The San Diego Padres’ farm system has grown tremendously.
With talent overflowing at every level, a top 40 or 50 list doesn’t do justice for what this current regime has created.
So, I decided to embark on a top-100 list for the Padres. This was a long, arduous task, but in compiling this list, I found so many under-the-radar type youngsters that have a serious shot at being real prospects one day for this team. In researching the AZL (Arizona Rookie League) and DSL (Dominican Summer League) leagues, I discovered that, unlike anytime in Padre history, the team has dozens upon dozens of international players on the rise. It is truly a great time to be a Padres fan.
Some of the names on this list will be new to you, as some were certainly new to me. There are also names that I regrettably left out. They were not included because their numbers were lacking, or they haven’t begun their pro career yet. But to discount a 16-24 year old athlete is foolish. Basically anyone in the system can develop if they put in the work and are blessed with a little luck.
The Padres have supplied their farm systems with an unbelievable influx of talent. All of this talent will not succeed though. In fact, most will probably not have any long-term success at the major league level. However, the feeling is that the team has a real chance of gaining and developing some perennial all-star caliber players. That is exciting.
In putting this list together, I ranked the players in order of overall upside, but yet their current value and what system they are presently in certainly has a lot to do with where I placed them. For instance, a four-year veteran of the minors, now at the Triple-A level, receives about the same overall value/ranking (to me) as a 17-year-old with no upper minor league at bats. However there are exceptions to this, as some of the more highly regarded additions this international spending period come with a high expectation and should be productive in the long run.
Remember, this is my list. It is certainly debatable, and I expect to be torn apart for my rankings. So be it.
At the very least, I hope this is an entertaining read for you.
17-year-old Carlos Luis is #100 on my list. The left-handed hitter is very young, but has shown some decent power at an early age. He was signed for $200,000 during this international signing period by A.J. Preller and company. Luis is 6′ 2″ presently and should add to his 160 lb frame fairly easily in time. With that added weight, the Dominican shortstop should vault up this list. He is off to an 8-28 start in the Dominican Summer League, with one home run and three doubles. It remains to be seen if he can stick at the shortstop position, but his bat looks to be productive.
99- Diego Goris
Diego Goris has been in the Padres’ system since 2008, and the infielder has slowly made his way all the way up to Triple-A. He is currently in El Paso, where his numbers aren’t impressive, but yet they are not disappointing either. That seems to be the calling card on this stocky right-handed hitter. At 5′ 10″, he is not a mammoth presence on the field, but he owns a .286 career minor league average in over 2,800 at bats. He’s slugged 66 homers and driven in 411 runs in that time. Goris does not walk very often at all, but does not strike out much either. At 26, he is no young hot prospect, but he should surface on a major league roster eventually. He deserves a shot.
98- Tucapita Marcano
His name is fun to say, but this Venezuelan native has a decent glove/bat combination at shortstop that could become valuable eventually. He is a left-handed hitter, and that has value in itself for a shortstop. He is also 6′ foot and 165 lbs, so he has pretty decent size for the position. At 17, he still has plenty of time to develop and possibly move up this list.
97- Yimmi Brasoban
The hard-throwing right-hander had some arm issues at the end of last year, and the club left him off their 40-man roster. There was a lot of speculation that he would be selected in the Rule-5 draft, but that did not happen. He just came back recently after his arm troubles and has gone two scoreless innings in Double-A. The 22-year-old could become a factor once again if he shows his arm is not a problem. He has a very lively arm and a repeatable delivery.
96- Chris Baker
Seeing this young man in person has put him on this list. I admit, I knew little about him, but he has really impressed me with his play. Baker was drafted by the Padres in the 17th round of the 2016 draft out of the University of Washington. The 6′ 1″ right-handed batter can play shortstop and second base. He is currently in Lake Elsinore where he has played second base solely since the Storm has Javier Guerra on the roster. He might be better suited for second, and has as a really solid glove there. He doesn’t have the best power or the most speed, but this young man barrels up baseballs, and at 22, could still be a very relevant prospect in this farm system. Keep an eye on him.
95- Omar Fernandez
This 18-year-old lefty has a great arm, but lacks real size to be considered a top prospect right now. His fastball only sits in the mid to high 80’s, but he spots it really well with a very athletic, loose motion. He has very effective secondary pitches, including an above average change. That change up, makes his fastball tough to catch up to when placed correctly, but he will need an increase in velocity to make strides in the organization. He had a great year at the DSL in 2016, where he went 3-0 in 12 starts with a 0.76 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP in 59 innings. During that span he only walked 11 batters, while striking out 30. If he can gain strength and velocity, this young man could be more than serviceable for the Padres in the future.
94- Lake Bachar
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 draft out of Wisconsin-Whitewater, this right-handed pitcher has looked serviceable thus far. He made it all the way to Lake Elsinore last season, but this season was assigned to extended spring in April and has yet to make an appearance. He has a mid 90’s fastball with an average curve ball. At 6′ 3″ and 210 lbs, he has a great body for throwing. He usually throws strikes and walked only seven batters last season, in 36 total innings, between three minor league stops. Bachar held a 3.19 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP last season in 15 games, while striking out 41 batters. He did struggle against lefties a bit, so he will need to develop a plan against them to advance through the system.
93- Danny Tovar
This 18-year-old outfielder is flying under the radar presently, but could develop into a decent prospect. The left-handed hitter and thrower hit .287 last year as a 17-year-old in the DSL. The Venezuelan youngster is off to a 8-34 start, but has walked nine times and has shown some patience at the plate at an early age. His arm is average and so is his speed, but the young man does have a decent hit tool. The 5′ 11″ Tovar could develop more size and power in time. Keep an eye on him.
92- Bryan Torres
Venezuelan infielder Bryan Torres is only 17 and makes this list simply because of his young age and his ability to square up a baseball. The right-handed hitter is only 5′ 9″, but generates decent bat speed. He is off to a 14-41 start at the DSL with one homer and three RBI. He has the ability to play short, but has made three errors in 72 innings at the position, so he might be better suited for second base.
91- Anderson Polanco
19-year-old left-handed pitcher Anderson Polanco has size and ability. The Dominican pitcher went 3-3 last year at the DSL in 12 games (six starts) and 41 innings. He held a 3.95 ERA and struck out 38 batters. He also saved one game for the team. Polanco has developing stuff, and could see some time at the professional level next year, if he has another productive year in the DSL. So far he is 1-0 in two games and five innings, without allowing a run. Look for the young lefty to move through the system at a decent pace once he starts playing in the States.
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