By: Marc Lam
Jeff Nycz/Mid-South Images
As a Padres fan, my team has gone through a lot. From wasted talent to horrible management to big free agency flops, my team has made tons of mistakes in just the last few years. However, the Padres’ fortunes could all change as soon as next season. While it may seem grim at the moment, the future is most definitely bright. General Manager A.J. Preller has done a great job spotting and developing talent and has rebounded from the disastrous 2015 off-season. Just how jam packed with talent is the Padres farm system? Let’s find out.
Prospect #1: SS, Fernando Tatis Jr.
Tatis is the crown jewel of the Padres farm system. He was acquired in the James Shields trade, which is panning out better for the Padres as time goes on. He is currently the no. 2 prospect in the MLB according to mlb.com. In AA San Antonio Tatis has been raking with a 286. AVG and 16 HR and a stellar .862 OPS. Tatis would likely be playing for the Padres right now had it not been for a thumb injury that was season ending.
Prospect #2: LHP, Mackenzie Gore
Gore is the best pitcher in the Padres farm system and sits at no. 13 among the top 100 prospects. He has drawn comparisons to other big lefty’s like Madison Bumgarner. He throws in the mid 90s and has a nasty curveball to go along with it. He’s probably not gonna be ready until 2020 or 2021, but his upside is huge.
Prospect #3: C, Francisco Mejia
Mejia was acquired in the Brad Hand trade with the Indians, and the Padres landed the top catching prospect in baseball with Mejia. Mejia’s defensive abilities have improved immensely from just a few years ago. Offensively, Mejia is even more gifted. He has a 283. AVG and a 777. OPS while also hitting 12 HRs.
Prospect #4: 2B, Luis Urias
Urias was just called up to the show, and for good reason. The no. 22 prospect has already flashed great defensive abilities while being a great hitter for contact. His 398. OBP really shows how well he can get on base. Along with great speed, Urias looks to anchor the Padres infield along with Fernando Tatis Jr.
Prospect #5: RHP, Michael Baez
In 2016, the Padres went on a massive spending spree in the international bonus pool. That year they landed the then-unknown Michael Baez. Baez possesses great size, standing at 6 foot 8 and 220 lbs. He has great athleticism along with great velocity that can hit up to 98 MPH. He also throws a curve and a changeup and could be called up as soon as next year.
While the Padres do have other great prospects such as Chris Paddock, Adrian Morejon, and Logan Allen, these were the 5 prospects that were most intriguing to me. Not all prospects pan out, but the Padres’ farm system is so deep that at least 1 player will develop into an all-star caliber player, and considering the talent it could 5 or more all-stars. But, only time will tell.