A look at the San Diego Padres’ shortstop position within the minor leagues.
With Fernando Tatis Jr. established at the major league level, there is little need for much shortstop depth in the system.
The Padres may not have a lot of top-end prospects at shortstop, but they do have plenty of relevant players that could one day grace the major leagues.
Here is a look at the group.
Cream of the Crop
CJ Abrams– 1.083 OPS (.393/.436/.647) Single-A Fort Wayne
This is a special player. The left-handed swing is smooth, and the power will come in time for this speedy infielder. The former first-round pick may eventually play some outfield for the Padres as the team could have a need in that area for the future. There is plenty of arm strength and agility from this 19-year-old.
Gabriel Arias– .809 OPS (.302/.339/.470) Single-A Lake Elsinore
Arias is a wizard with the glove and should have no problem making it to the majors on glovework alone. The right-handed swing is a bit long, but he is showing increased power, which is a great thing. The soon-to-be 20-year-old needs to walk a little more, but there is plenty to like about his upside.
Owen Miller– .785 OPS (.290/.355/.430) Double-A Amarillo
There is nothing spectacular about Miller, who is solid across the board in all areas. The right-handed swing is quick, and he uses the whole field well. Defensively, shortstop may be a stretch for the former Illinois State product, but he is competent in the area. The 23-year-old is very close to major league action.
Tucupita Marcano– .660 OPS (.270/.323/.337) Single-A Lake Elsinore
If Marcano can add some muscle to his frame, he could be a useful prospect for the Padres. The left-handed swing is smooth, and he shows plus hand/eye coordination. Power will probably always be lacking from the 20-year-old Venezuelan. Marcano is very stable at shortstop, but could eventually move to second base for the Padres.
Yeison Santana– .923 OPS (.346/.429/.494) AZL Padres
19-year-old Yeison Santana is an interesting young player. The right-handed hitter shows plus pitch recognition, and the power is developing. The Dominican should make his debut in full-season ball this season. Defensively, he has always played shortstop where he shows positive skills with the glove.
Ivan Castillo– .808 (.313/.347/.461) Double-A Amarillo
Capable of playing all over the diamond, Castillo had a wonderful 2019 season in Amarillo. The Dominican won the Texas League batting title with a .313 batting average. The 24-year-old can play shortstop but could be more of a utility option when it is all said and done.
Youth with Upside
Luis Almanzar– .657 OPS (.221/.333./.323) Single-A Fort Wayne
This right-handed hitter was signed in 2016 on the international market and has failed to live up to expectations. The thought is that he might have figured it out in 2019 as he put up serviceable numbers compared to what he did as an early teen. The 20-year-old is still a significant project, but the talent is there. He is a decent defender at shortstop.
Jordy Barley– .733 OPS (.254/.310/.423) Short-Season Tri-City
Barley played this winter in Australia and looked to be making some strides with his swing. The right-handed hitter needs to be more consistent at the plate to advance in the system. The Dominican can play all over the infield, where he shows decent range.
Allen Cordoba– .733 OPS (.254/.310/.423) Short-Season Tri-City
In 2017, Cordoba looked to be a solid contributor for the future. His right-handed swing regressed a little bit at the end of his first major league season, and he battled injuries after that. The Panamanian is capable with the glove at shortstop, but the Padres have utilized him in left field in the past two seasons.
Justin Lopez– .646 OPS (.228/.278/..368) Single-A Fort Wayne
Power is not a problem with this switch-hitter, though he has yet to show much. The 19-year-old is very talented and spent the last two seasons in the Midwest League. Lopez has a lot of promise but will still need to progress with his swing. The Venezuelan has a big arm and is capable at shortstop, but might eventually be a third baseman.
Euribiel Angeles– .734 OPS (.301/.359/.376) DSL Padres
Angeles is an exciting prospect. The 17-year-old right-handed hitter is showing a good eye at the plate but needs to add muscle. If he can do that, he might tap into some power potential. The Dominican can play shortstop and will likely start the 2020 season in the DSL.
Chris Givin– .815 OPS (.306/.377/.438) Single-A Fort Wayne
22-year-old Chris Givin had a productive season in his first taste of pro ball after being drafted in the 19th round. The right-handed hitter makes contact, though he has little power presently. Givin is capable of playing all over the infield, including shortstop.
Charlis Aquino– .670 OPS (.255/.336/.333) AZL Padres
At 18-years-old and 6-foot-2, Aquino has the promising size to be an offensive threat. The right-handed hitter has not shown much power with his swing as of yet, but the thought is that it is coming. The Dominican is a middle infielder with decent range at the position.
Bryan Torres– .695 OPS (.259/.362/.333) AZL Padres
This small in stature right-handed hitter will take a walk and shows decent hand-eye coordination. The 20-year-old should play in Single-A this season and could develop in time. He is capable of playing a solid shortstop but looks to be a second baseman moving forward.
Ripken Reyes-.842 OPS (.308/.412/.430) Single-A Fort Wayne
Scrappy Ripken Reyes could turn some heads in 2020. The switch-hitter makes contact and uses his speed well on the diamond. There is not a lot of power in his swing, but he makes up for it in an ability to use the whole field. Reyes is serviceable at shortstop and will likely float around the diamond in 2020.
Minor League Depth and Uncertainty
Reinaldo Ilarraza– .698 OPS (.222/.356/..342) Short-Season Tri-City
21-year-old Ilarraza is minor league depth at this point. The switch-hitter shows some promise at the plate but will need to show more power with the bat. The Venezuelan is capable of playing all over the diamond but might have issues sticking at the shortstop position.
Olivier Basabe- .650 OPS (.233/.312/.337) Single-A Lake Elsinore
The native of Venezuela is versatile and can play all over the diamond. The right-handed hitter displays some power with his swing. Basabe played all over the field for the Storm in 2019 and will likely do something similar in 2020. He is a useful player.
Matt Batten– .779 OPS (.298/.353/.426) Triple-A El Paso
Matt Batten has been impressive in his tenure with the Padres. The 24-year-old is probably not an everyday player at the major league level, but he should make it to the highest level as he is very versatile. The right-handed swing is decent, and he shows ability with the glove. For a 32nd round pick, he has shown a lot of promise.
Anthony Nunez– .637 OPS (.222/.364/.274) AZL Padres
This high school draft pick from 2019 displays some ability but needs to make a few swing adjustments. He can grow and gain power, though he presently doesn’t show much. The Miami product can play all over the infield and could stick at short in the long term.
Nerwilian Cedeno– .593 OPS (.193/.352/.241) DSL Padres
At 17, Cedeno is a bit of an unknown factor. The switch-hitter will walk, but also strikes out a lot at the plate. He is young and very inconsistent. The Venezuelan can play all over the infield displaying a decent glove. He should start his 2020 season in the DSL.
Kelvin Melean– .683 OPS (.259/.336/.347) Single-A Lake Elsinore
21-year-old Kelvin Melean is organizational depth at this point. The right-handed hitter shows very little power and will have trouble against high-velocity pitchers moving forward. The glove is capable at several positions where Melean has played over the years for the Padres.
Jarryd Dale– .703 OPS (.301/.358/.345) AZL Padres
Australian Jarryd Dale comes from a baseball family. There is a high baseball IQ, but the right-handed hitter has had some trouble with the bat. He looked better in 2019, and there is hope for the 19-year-old. Dale plays all over the infield and is capable at shortstop.
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