The San Diego Padres: A Flash of the Future

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 16: San Diego Padres players high five after beating the San Francisco Giants 7-1 in a baseball game at PETCO Park on July 16, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 16: San Diego Padres players high five after beating the San Francisco Giants 7-1 in a baseball game at PETCO Park on July 16, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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The San Diego Padres have been surging as of late, giving fans an opportunity to see what their bright future may hold. 

Dating back to a June 23rd series against Atlanta, the Padres have played very tight baseball and won 7 of their last 10 series. During this span, the Friars have seen major upside production and clutch hitting from young stars Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe, and Manuel Margot.

If not for such an awful April and May, the Padres would be holding a winning record in August for the first time since 2010.

José Pirela

One of the biggest surprises this season has been 27-year-old Venezuelan outfielder José Pirela. A.J. Preller acquired Pirela through a trade with the Yankees in 2015 for minor league right-hander Ronald Herrera. Herrera was acquired from Oakland in a masterful trade by Preller involving OF Kyle Blanks. Padres fans remember Blanks as an Aaron Judge sized player who never panned out. Needless to say, Pirela is hitting an impressive .292 this season and has solidified his spot at 3rd in the lineup.

Pitching

Pitching has been tremendous during this stretch. Brad Hand has taken over as the club’s closer and posted a 0.00 ERA with 5 saves in the last 30 games. Also during this stretch, starting pitcher Jhoulys Chachin has posted a dominant 2.35 ERA with 30.2 innings pitched. Right-handed Kirby Yates has also been fantastic out of the bullpen, posting a 0.96 ERA in the last 30 games.

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Prospects

As of August 3rd, MLB Pipeline ranks the Padres as the 3rd best farm system in the league, right behind the Braves and White Sox. MacKenzie Gore has pitched flawlessly thus far in the Arizona Fall League. Gore has pitched 8.2 innings, while striking out 13, and giving up 0 earned runs. Padres #2 overall prospect Cal Quantrill has posted a respectable 3.79 ERA this season in AA San Antonio. Offensively, 30 yr old outfielder Nick Buss is leading the Pacific Coast League with an impressive .373 batting average for AAA El Paso.

Next: Padres: Year of development

Future

Despite all of these positives, the club is still sitting at 4th place in arguably the toughest division in baseball. Although playoffs are highly unlikely, it will be interesting to see of the Padres can keep this positive momentum rolling through the rest of 2017.