Padres News: San Diego Padres Top 20 Prospects

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

10) Michael Gettys – OF

Date of Birth: 10/22/1995

Height/Weight: 6’1”/ 203 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right 

Acquired: Drafted in second round (51st overall) of 2014 draft 

Drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft, Michael Gettys is a pretty raw prospect with a lot of long term potential upside. Gettys spent his entire 2015 season in Single A, finishing with a slash line of .231/.271/.346 and a wRC+ of 77 with 20 stolen bases. This was quite a regression from his 2014 season in rookie ball, in which he finished with a slash line of .310/.353/.437 and a wRC+ of 124 in only 52 total games, compared to 122 games in 2015. Despite Gettys poor showing in 2015, he still has a lot of time to develop, as he is still only 20 years old entering the 2016 season.

Gettys is a great all around prospect, with many plus skills, but he still struggles at the plate. Gettys flashes plus-plus speed, a plus-plus arm and plays above average defense. Despite his, plus-plus bat speed, Gettys still struggles to stay consistent at the plate. Gettys also has slightly above average power, that could translate well to the big league level long term. If Gettys is unable to make decent contact long term, he still profiles as a strong fourth outfielder given his speed and defensive ability. Having drawn some comparisons to Mike Trout, the sky may be the limit for Gettys if he is able to have more consistency at the plate and put all his strong tools together into a balanced game. Gettys comes with quite a high risk, but also the potential for a substantially high reward.

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

9) Jacob Nix – RHP

Date of Birth: 01/09/1996

Height/Weight: 6’4’’/ 220 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted in 3rd round (86th overall) in 2015

Drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Padres, Nix was originally supposed to go the Houston Astros in 2014 but declined to sign with the team. Nix did not appear at all for the Padres during the 2015 regular season, although he did pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Nix pitched in seven games, including three starts, finishing with an ERA of 5.49 in 19 2/3 innings in total. While those numbers weren’t eye popping by any measure, he did maintain strong K/9 of 8.7 and a BB/9 of 3.2. It is quite a small sample size, and not much can be made of his performance, but Nix did struggle in his limited time in the Padres organization so far.

Nix consistently sits mid-90s with his fastball, reaching up to 96 mph, with loose arm action and an easy delivery. Nix obviously has a good overall size for a pitcher, and also has a strong plus changeup with the potential for another plus pitch in his curveball. Nix has both the athletic makeup, as well as the pitches to be a solid Major League starter. Nix will still have several years in the Padres minor leagues before getting that chance, but Nix being a solid two or three starter for the Friars is not entirely out of the realm of possibility long term.

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

8) Ruddy Giron – SS

Date of Birth: 01/04/1997

Height/Weight: 5’11’’/ 175 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: International Signing 2013 out of the Dominican Republic 

Ruddy Giron signed with the Padres during the 2013 season out of the Dominican Republic. After a full season of rookie ball in 2014, Giron spent his entire 2015 season with the Padres single A affiliate. Giron finished last season with a slash line of .285/.335/.407 with a wRC+ of 116. Giron did strikeout a lot last season, but he played an all around well rounded game with his added speed and defense. At only 18 years old, Giron is well advanced for his age and still has plenty of time for his long term development.

While Giron is not a big player, he did surprise Padres officials with his power at the plate in 2015. He drives the ball well with a quick, compact swing, and has strong bat speed. One knock against Giron at the plate is his tendency to expand the strike zone, but if he can cut down on the strikeouts he has a good overall approach at the plate otherwise. Defensively, Giron does have quick hands and good arm strength, but may lack the lateral movement to be a shortstop in the long term. He may be able to stick at short, but it is more likely that he shifts to second base at some point in the future. Overall, Giron projects to be a Major Leaguer, although it remains uncertain in what role that will be in, given the fact he still needs several years of development before he is ready for that jump.

Credit: MILB
Credit: MILB

7) Austin Smith – RHP

Date of Birth: 07/09/1996

Height/Weight: 6’4’’/ 220 pounds

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Acquired: Drafted in 2nd round (51st overall) in 2015

The Padres top pick of the 2015 draft, although it was in the second round because of the Padres various moves last offseason that cost them draft picks, Austin Smith may be the best raw pitching prospect the Padres have in their entire system. In his limited playing time in the Padres rookie league during the 2015 season, Smith threw 17 innings over nine games, finishing with an ERA over 7.00. Similarly to Nix, this likely wasn’t the performance Smith would have wanted, but the small sample size should not dampen Smith’s long term potential.

Best known for his fastball velocity, which usually sits at 90-92 mph but can hit up to 96 mph, Smith’s fastball velocity was one of the most effortless of all the high school pitchers in the 2015 draft class. Scouts have raved about how it looks like Smith is just playing catch when he is throwing heat. Once Smith adds more strength to his already substantial frame, he should be able to consistently throw his fastball in the mid-90s with ease. Smith will need to work on and grow into his secondary pitches going forward, but both his curveball and changeup show great promise, with a delivery that bodes well for his long term prospects.

Credit: UT San Diego
Credit: UT San Diego

6) Travis Jankowski – OF

Date of Birth: 06/15/1991

Height/Weight: 6’2’’/ 190 pounds

Bats/Throws: Left/Right

Acquired: Drafted in 1st round (44th overall) in 2012

Drafted in the first round by the San Diego Padres way back in 2011, Travis Jankowski finally saw Major League playing time in 2015. Following a strong showing in both Double A and Triple A last season, Jankowski was promoted to the Padres and played in 34 games for the Friars over the final stretch of the season. Jankowski slashed .316/.395/.401 in Double A, .392/.464/.495 in Triple A, and finished the season slashing .211/.245/.344 in the big leagues, all while showing brilliant speed and well above average defensive capability. Despite his struggles at the big league level at the end of the 2015 season, Jankowski is still only 24 years old, and may see some significant playing time on the big league roster in 2016.

At the crux of Jankowski’s entire game is his speed potential. Jankowski flashes plus-plus speed, and relies on that speed to get on base, steal bases, and play a strong center field. He isn’t a flashy hitter, and mainly focuses on putting the ball in play so he can maximize the use of his speed. Even if the expectations of his bat are not increased, Jankowski could still profile as a fourth outfielder based on his speed and defense alone. If he can become more consistent at the plate going forward, Jankowski could provide strong value as an everyday big league starter for the Padres in the future.

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Patrick Brewer
Editorial and Prospect Writer for East Village Times. Twenty-five years young, Patrick has lived in San Diego for his entire life and has been a Padres fan nearly as long. Patrick lives for baseball and is always looking to learn new things about the game he loves through advanced stats.

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