San Diego Padres: Outfield prospects
By Cheri Bell
Breaking down the best outfield prospects in the San Diego Padres organization, what they will bring to the big league club, and when they may arrive.
With their recent elevation in the minor league rankings, the Padres have many admirers of their system. In the recent MLB top prospects ranking there were six Padres in the top 100 prospects, fourth most after the Braves/White Sox/Rays.
Many of the top prospects are pitchers and that will be the list we will look at next. But some attention will be paid here to the outfielders. There are many in the system and this will highlight only the most notable prospects at this point.
LF Jorge Ona– signed by the Padres for 7 million (Cuba) in their 2016 international signing spree. At 6 ft and 220 lbs the 20 yr old Ona has + bat speed, +power, +arm and is an average runner. His defense is a work in progress but he has plenty of time to improve. In his first US professional season he has a .276/.353/.399 hitting line with 18 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR and 58 RBI. In 381 AB he has 108 K’s and 39 BB but that is not cause for concern this early in his development.
CF Michael Gettys– drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 draft. This 6-1, 203 lb ,21 yr old has the potential as an outstanding defensive outfielder. His hitting is what is slowing his progress down. His strikeout rate of almost 25% in his second year with Lake Elsinore is somewhat balanced out by his 21 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR and 44 RBI but his plate discipline could remind you of RF Hunter Renfroe.
CF Buddy Reed– drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. This 6-4, 210 lb, 22 yr old is a switch hitting speedster. His defense has above average potential but his bat is in question. If he can hit for average he will be a top of the order threat on the base paths with his base running skills. Time will tell if his bat will develop to allow him to realize his potential.
RF Franmil Reyes– signed in 2011 out of the DR. This 6-5, 240 lb 22 yr old stands out for his power potential. His 19 HR and 86 RBI for the AA San Antonio Missions ranks second in the Texas league for both HR and RBI. He will most likely be an average defender who strikes out 20% of the time but his power could make up for it. He currently has a .259/.322/.446 batting line with the Missions and may not ever hit for a high average but if his power continues to excel he will find a spot on the roster for the Padres.
LF Tirso Ornelas– signed in the international signing spree out of Mexico for 1.5 million. This 6-4, 200 lb, 17 yr old is a Tijuana native who grew up a Padres fan. The potential is for a power hitting right or left fielder who can spray the ball all over the field. He is too raw at this point to know what he will develop into regarding his other tools but the Padres admire his work ethic and professionalism.
LF Nick Torres– drafted in the 2nd round of the 2014 draft. This 6-1, 220 lb, 24 yr old is a solid defensive outfielder for AA San Antonio. He pales in comparison to the achievements of Reyes but has potential 20 HR per year power and is a good all around player.
RF Luis Asuncion– signed during the international signing period out of the DR. This 6-4, 205 lb, 20 yr old has + power potential and is currently playing with the Tri City Dust Devils. He is hitting .272/.325/.406 in his first 221 AB’s with 14 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR and 27 RBI.
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CF/RF Jeisson Rosario– signed in the international period for 1.86 million. This 6-1, 175 lb, 17 yr old is projected to have +speed and a +arm at either center field or right field. His position should be determined by how his bat develops. Playing in the AZ rookie league, he has show a plus bat and plus speed but his power remains a question mark.
CF Franchy Cordero– Most of us were impressed by how well this converted shortstop played his centerfield position during the early part of the season for the Padres. At 6-3 and 175 lb, this 22 yr old still has time to develop his outfield skills to go along with his plus arm and speed. Plate discipline was also a point for improvement. He is currently playing in AAA El Paso with a .312/.357/.584 line and 16 HR/ 58 RBI for the season. With a bit more development Cordero could give Manny Margot or any of the outfielders some stiff competition.
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No one can predict who the starting outfielders will be when the Padres arrive at their projected 2019 or 2020 competitive seasons. But the list of quality athletes to choose from includes Alex Dickerson (if he recovers from his surgery), Travis Jankowski, Renfroe, Margot and the above prospects.