Forgive me if I’m a little biased toward the FanSided’s network of sites, but Seedlings to Stars did a fantastic job with their list of the game’s top-100 prospects. If we add some of the players included in S2S’s list to MLB.com‘s list, the Padres would rank first in number of top-100 prospects with eight.
No matter the list, six or eight, the Padres should be excited about their future. So should the fans. In an interview with Padres.com writer Corey Brock, Yonder Alonso summed up the sentiment nicely:
"You have the future right here. It’s a fun time to be a San Diego Padres fan. Not only this season, but for years to come."
With that in mind, here are the top five reasons to get excited about this season:
1) Yonder Alonso
To have a (virtually) every day starting first baseman should help the club find some continuity. Beyond that, it will be exciting to see if he can perform to expectations or if he struggles in the expansive PETCO Park setting.
Yes another bat to get excited about. Excited and bat seems like an oxymoron in Padres lexicon, but the fact is Carlos Quentin should perform well in San Diego. He’s coming home, and he has the tools to get on base and to knock the ball out of the park.
What? Why in the world should we get excited about Volquez you ask? Volquez is easily overlooked because of his struggles in Cincinnati, but he has serious Major League talent. He can hit upper 90’s with his fast ball. He has movement on his pitches (sometimes a little too much movement), and he has a curveball and change up that just confuse hitters. With the tutelage of the Padres fantastic coaches, don’t be surprised to see Volquez jump into a number one starter role.
4) The prospects
The Padres have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. According to John Verburg of Motor City Bengals, the Padres have the third best system inn baseball. According to Minor League Ball, the Padres have the second best system. It’s clear, at worst the Padres have a top-five farm system, possibly a top three system. There are quite a few prospects set to make their Major League debuts in San Diego this season as long as all goes to plan. Robbie Erlin, Joe Weiland, Casey Kelly, and Jedd Gyorko are on the horizon. Their potential call-ups could mean huge contributions to a team in win-now/build for the future mode.
5) It’s baseball!
If you’re not already excited about the season without reading this list – although I must say I make compelling arguments as to why we should be excited – you’re not a baseball fan. The season is quickly approaching. Pitchers and catchers report in 22 days. The boys of summer are getting ready to ring in the Spring and lead us toward those crystal clear blue-sky days in July. And with every new season, the hope is there. The hope renews and builds every offseason. This season, like most, is one in which we can only hope the moves being made help build a competitive ball club. But we should all be excited nonetheless.