The San Diego Padres are well-stocked in the second base area throughout their minor leagues.
Luis Urias is now a Milwaukee Brewer. The future at the position is up for grabs. Jurickson Profar is only signed for one more year, so there could be several new faces in the area in the coming years. Good thing for the Padres- they have depth at the position throughout the minor leagues.
No other area has more depth fo the San Diego Padres than the keystone position.
Here is a look at several that are battling for playing time in the minors.
Cream of the Crop
CJ Abrams– 1.083 OPS (.393/.436/.647) Single-A Fort Wayne
A shoulder injury ended his first season as a professional, but the left-handed hitter will be at full strength this spring. The infielder is capable of playing shortstop or second base, and there are whispers he could see time in center field. The swing is smooth and quick from the 19-year-old. There is power potential from Abrams as he showed good pop in the desert late in the summer. Speed will be a considerable asset for Abrams, who takes long strides and goes from first to third with ease.
Owen Miller– .785 OPS (.290/.355/.430) Double-A Amarillo
Steady is how you would describe Owen Miller. His skills are not extravagant in any particular area, but he does everything well. The right-handed hitter sprays the ball all over the field with a level swing. Power is not a huge tool for him, but he still displays the ability to power the ball over the fence. Defensively, he can play all over the infield. Arm strength is a bit of a concern on the left side of the infield, but Miller is smooth with the glove.
Hudson Potts– .724 OPS (.240/.302/.423) Double-A Amarillo
A natural third baseman, Potts played 19 games at the keystone in 2019 for Amarillo. With Manny Machado entrenched at the position, this was the correct move for the right-handed hitter. His swing is intriguing, as the ball sounds completely different off his bat. Struggles with pitch recognition have limited him to some sort, but it is important to remember that he has always played at a higher level than his age. The 21-year-old is close to making his major league debut and, if all breaks well in 2020, he could be knocking on the door.
Tucupita Marcano– .660 OPS (.270/.323/.337) Single-A Lake Elsinore
The contact-oriented swing of Marcano is capable, but some wonder if he will be able to stay productive at the upper levels of the minors. The left-handed hitter has very little power as he is a thin youngster. The Venezuelan has plus plate discipline and rarely strikes out. There is a speed aspect to his game, but he is not a burner on the basepaths. Marcano can play second base, shortstop, or third base where he shows plus range and a decent arm. The 20-year-old will start the year in Lake Elsinore.
Ivan Castillo– .808 (.313/.347/.461) Double-A Amarillo
24-year-old Ivan Castillo won the Texas League Batting Title in 2019 for the Sod Poodles. The switch-hitter is very productive with the bat as he shows an aggressive swing at the plate. Castillo rarely walks, but also rarely strikes out. There is a little bit of power in his swing, though he will never be a huge home run threat. Castillo can swipe a bag if needed, as he has over 100 steals in his career. Defensively, he can play all over the diamond, including all three outfield positions.
Esteban Quiroz– .923 OPS (.271/.384/.539) Triple-A El Paso
Soon-to-be 28-year-old Esteban Quiroz is not a young prospect, but he is close to major league action. The left-handed hitter is only 5-foot-7, but he generates plenty of power in his swing. The native of Mexico slugged 19 homers last season in El Paso. He has very little speed and is not considered a traditional infielder. Quiroz can play multiple positions, including some corner outfield. If the Padres need help at second base this year, Quiroz could be the first one called by San Diego.
Esteury Ruiz– .657 OPS (.239/.300/.357) Single-A Lake Elsinore
2020 was disappointing for the Dominican infielder as he only amassed six home runs in the California League. The swing can get a little long with this right-handed hitter. Strikeouts and plate recognition issues stunted his growth in 2019, and he will likely repeat his time in Lake Elsinore start 2020. The 20-year-old has plenty of speed as he swiped 34 bags in 98 games last year. Defensively, he has issues as he lacks the footwork and general skills in the infield. He could see time in the outfield eventually if he cannot pick up his skills at second base.
Yeison Santana– .923 OPS (.346/.429/.494) AZL Padres
At 19, the future seems very bright for this Dominican infielder. The right-handed hitter shows excellent plate discipline and recognition of pitches. His swing is smooth, and he began to show some power in 2019, solidifying his name as a player to keep an eye on in 2020. Defensively, he has only played shortstop so far in the minors. He could see time at second base in 2020 as the minor league system is loaded in front of him at the position.
Youth with Upside
Luis Almanzar– .657 OPS (.221/.333..323) Single-A Fort Wayne
When he signed for $4-million in 2016, he was supposed to be a solid contributor. The right-handed hitter has just not produced, and some wonder if he can find his swing consistently. The 20-year-old is young and could take a little longer to grow. Almanzar showed promise this summer at the Arizona Rookie League, displaying some power and plate discipline. The Dominican native played first base, third base and left field this summer, but is more than capable at the keystone.
Jordy Barley– .733 OPS (.254/.310/.423) Short-Season Tri-City
With an aggressive swing and some speed, Barley is an interesting prospect. The right-handed hitter struggles with contact at the plate but shows some power for his size. Barley will need to make better contact and show some patience to advance in the system truly. With good range and a solid arm, Barley can play all over the infield. The 20-year-old will likely start the year in Single-A this upcoming season.
Allen Cordoba– .779 OPS (.301/.367/.412) Single-A Lake Elsinore
At one time, Padres fans were very excited about this young infielder. The 2017 season is when he spent the year on the Padres’ roster (Rule-5 draft pick), showing an impressive swing from the right side of the plate. Cordoba fell into a slump late in the year and spent the last two years in the minors. There is still a lot to like about the 24-year-old from Panama.
Justin Lopez– .646 OPS (.228/.278/..368) Single-A Fort Wayne
Switch-hitting infielder Justin Lopez spent the last two seasons in Fort Wayne. The 19-year-old was one of the youngest players in the league for both seasons and showed considerable maturity for the game. There is power in his swing, though he has not unlocked his potential yet in that regard. The Venezuelan native needs to cut down on the strikeouts to further develop in the system. Lopez can play all over the diamond in the infield but is very raw on defense.
Reinaldo Ilarraza– .698 OPS (.222/.356/..342) Short-Season Tri-City
Showing an ability to walk, this 21-year-old is developing. The switch-hitter is not a huge power threat, but he can use the gaps. The infielder has plus speed and is regarded as a decent defender. He has a strong arm and played a lot of center field this past summer for the Padres. Not considered to be a top prospect, Ilarraza will continue his slow rise through the system with a full-season team this spring.
Lee Solomon– .655 OPS (.224/.322/..333) Single-A Lake Elsinore
At 23, Solomon is looked upon as a veteran of sorts to all these young players in the system. The right-handed hitter is gap to gap with his swing and has a little bit of pop. Solomon will battle pitchers in the box and works the count well. Defensively, he can play all over the diamond but prefers second base.
Euribiel Angeles– .734 OPS (.301/.359/.376) DSL Padres
At 17, there is plenty of upside with this young infielder. The Dominican native showed really well in his first taste of professional pitching. The right-handed swing is quick, and Angeles shows the ability to take a walk as well. Defensively, he has a strong arm and can play all over the infield. 2020 may bring a repeat of the DSL, or he could show up in the desert this spring.
Neifi Antunez– .738 OPS (.274/.398/.340) DSL Padres
This Venezuelan youngster is someone to keep tabs on. The 17-year-old is showing a decent bat despite an issue making contact. There is not much speed from him, and he has some minor issues at second base. The outfield is where he may ultimately play when it is all said and done.
Chris Givin– .815 OPS (.306/.377/.438) Single-A Fort Wayne
Drafted in the 19th-round this past season, Givin is showing a promising future. The right-handed hitter has good size (6-foot-2) and should be a power threat eventually. The Minnesota native can play all over the infield and is quite versatile.
Ripken Reyes– .842 OPS (.308/.412/.430) Single-A Fort Wayne
This scrappy ballplayer from USD could turn heads in 2020. The switch-hitter is gritty and loves the game of baseball. With a line-drive swing and some power for his size, Reyes made it to Fort Wayne in his first few months as a professional. Speed is a plus skill for this young man who is capable of playing shortstop as well.
Charlis Aquino– .670 OPS (.255/.336/.333) AZL Padres
At 6-foot-2, Aquino has decent size. The right-handed hitter needs to add muscle to his frame to fully take advantage of his swing. Gap power is already on display, and there is the thought he could be a decent power threat in time. The Dominican native can play both middle infield positions.
Bryan Torres– .695 OPS (.259/.362/.333) AZL Padres
Torres is not a tall prospect (5-foot-8) but has shown some progress in his three years in the system. The right-handed hitter does not have a lot of power, but he shows good hand-eye skills at the plate and the ability to take a walk. The 20-year-old Venezuelan native is a capable fielder at second base, third base, and shortstop.
Vladimir Echavarria– .742 OPS (.276/.405/.337) AZL Padres
The Padres asked for some swing adjustments from this young infielder, and he responded. The right-handed hitter cut down on his swing, sacrificing some power, but he is putting the ball in play more effectively now. The 19-year-old is a good defender around the infield.
Anthony Nunez– .637 OPS (.222/.364/.274) AZL Padres
Drafted in the 29th-round in 2019, this young infielder showed some skills in Peoria in his first taste of professional pitching. The switch-hitter struck out a bit too much in his debut but is only 19. Defensively, he can play all four infield positions.
Sean Guilbe– .752 OPS (.233/.318/.434) Short-Season Tri-City
This 20-year-old shows some real power potential but needs to make swing adjustments. The 2018 draft pick will walk, and that is a good sign for his progression. Guilbe can play third base, second base, and left field. Some defensive problems need to be addressed.
Minor League Depth and Uncertainty
Matt Batten– .779 OPS (.298/.353/.426) Triple-A El Paso
Drafted in the 32nd-round of the 2017 draft, Batten has played well for the Padres. In El Paso this past season, Batten was utilized in several areas. His versatility and ability to pinch-hit makes this right-handed hitter a useful player in the minors.
Luke Becker– .598 OPS (.192/.328/.269) Single-A Fort Wayne
23-year-old Luke Becker can play all over the diamond, and that is very helpful. The switch-hitter is a contact hitter with little power. Speed is not his game, though he is a smart baserunner. The former 9th-round pick in 2018 is a natural second baseman.
Ruddy Giron-.560 OPS (.202/.239/.321) Double-A Amarillo
Giron is 23 and considered minor league depth at this point. The right-handed hitter is a bit pull happy and has only limited power. The Dominican native can play all over the infield and even in the outfield if needed.
Josttin Diaz– .575 OPS (.153/.320/.255) DSL Padres
Diaz is yet another 17-year-old infielder who played in the DSL this past season. The switch-hitter is a work in progress with his swing from both sides of the plate. The Dominican has good size to him and will eventually show some power. Defensively, he can play all over the infield.
Nerwilian Cedeno– .593 OPS (.193/.352/.241) DSL Padres
Switch-hitter Nerwilian Cedeno is showing the ability to take a walk at an early age. The Venezuelan walked 40 times last year in 166 at-bats in the DSL. His left-handed swing is a work in progress. He can play all over the infield and did not commit one error last year at second base in 145 innings at the position.
Olivier Basabe– .650 OPS (.233/.312/.337) Single-A Lake Elsinore
This right-handed hitter is showing some bat skills but needs a little refinement. The Venezuelan infielder does not have a lot of speed but has some power for his size. Defensively, he can play multiple positions where he shows good range.
Kelvin Melean– .683 OPS (.259/.336/.347) Single-A Lake Elsinore
21-year-old Kelvin Melean has been in the system for four years. The Venezuelan right-handed hitter makes contact but has very little power. There is not much speed in his game, but he is a capable defender at all the infield positions.
Kelvin Alarcon– .790 OPS (.307/.389/.402) Single-A Fort Wayne
Alarcon can get on-base and broke out of sorts in 2019. The switch-hitter showed a little more power but is still not driving the ball consistently. The Venezuelan has some speed and can play multiple positions on the diamond.
Jarryd Dale– .703 OPS (.301/.358/.345) AZL Padres
This right-handed hitter performed better in 2019, but still has question marks about his swing. The native of Australia comes from a baseball family and has a high baseball IQ. Defensively, he can play all over the infield but has natural shortstop skills.
Luis Paez– .654 OPS (.286/.344/.310) AZL Padres
In 2019, the left-handed hitter quietly put up a productive year in the desert. There is not much power in his swing, but he will barrel up the ball from time to time. The youngster originally from the D.R. can play the outfield but looks like a second base prospect moving forward.
Juan Garcia– .431 OPS (.167/.222/.208) AZL Padres
There is not much to say about this 18-year-old from the Dominican Republic. The right-handed hitter has only amassed 110 at-bats in two minor league seasons. Defensively, he can play centerfield and shortstop and is versatile in that regard.
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