1) Manuel Margot – OF
Date of Birth: September 28, 1994
Height/Weight: 5’11’’/ 170 lb.
Acquired: Trade with Boston Red Sox in 2015
The real prize in the Craig Kimbrel trade, Margot was a top ten prospect for the Red Sox before the trade and has now vaulted his way to the top of the San Diego Padres farm system. With how barren the Padres system was following A.J. Preller’s last offseason frenzy, Margot is easily the Padres best overall prospect with the brightest potential future. While Renfroe clearly packs more power potential than Margot, Margot has a more well rounded all around game, with a stronger hit tool and more speed, both in the outfield and on the base paths. Margot split time between high A ball and Double A ball in 2015 with Boston, with near identical slash lines with both teams of around .275/.320/.420 and a wRC+ of 114. Margot also showed great discipline at the plate, striking out only 9-10% of the time combined at both levels.
Arguably the best all around athlete in the Red Sox system prior to the trade, Margot has true five tool potential in his future. Despite being just a bit undersized, Margot does have power potential in the big leagues, and benefits from quick hands at the plate and very advanced plate discipline. One knock against Margot is his need to draw more walks, which may not be as much of an issue because of how much he is able to make contact. Margot has strong speed on both the base paths and in the outfield, making him a threat to both steal bases and potentially win a gold glove. Margot has an advanced feel for baseball at such a young age, and should be ready to make a big league impact in 2017 if he is able to work out the small kinks in his game. Hands down Margot is the best all around athlete in the Padres farm system with the greatest potential for long term success in all facets of the game.
A version of this article first appeared at BaseballEssential.com