Multiple Padres’ Top Prospects Will Be in MLB Spring Training

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10: Josh Naylor of the World Team looks on during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10: Josh Naylor of the World Team looks on during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

While the offseason is far from over and many more moves are still yet to be made, fans are getting excited about Padres baseball. San Diego has made multiple moves that could potentially put them in contention sooner than most people think. With the annual “FanFest” out of the way, the next thing Padres’ fans are looking forward to is Spring Training.

Spring Training allows fans to see all of their favorite players and see how they’ve progressed over the offseason. It also allows for players to battle it out for starting positions or even roster spots.

One of the most exciting parts of any of Spring Training is the prospects. Many prospects get invited to Spring Training to allow them to get a taste of Major League pitching. However when the season starts they’re sent back down to the minors to season their craft. With not many following minor league baseball religiously, Spring Training is the one time fans can see the future in action.

This is especially true with the 2018 Padres. While the team has undoubtedly improved at the MLB level, the focus is clearly on the future. With a farm system stacked with potential, fans would love to see some of San Diego’s future stars in action.

The only question becomes, which top prospects will be invited to Major League Spring Training?

Speaking at FanFest, manager Andy Green made the answer much clearer. Jeff Saunders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Green’s response, writing:

"Fernando Tatis Jr. opened 2017 as one of the youngest players in the Midwest League. He was the youngest in the Texas League by season’s end. Now, the 19-year-old Tatis – arguably the Padres’ top positional prospect – will be the youngest player in big league camp when the Padres report to Peoria, Ariz., next month.Padres manager Andy Green revealed as much while speaking with reporters at Saturday’s FanFest at Petco Park. Other prospects expected to participate in big league camp this spring include infielder Luis Urias, starting pitchers Cal Quantrill, Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi and Jacob Nix, first baseman Josh Naylor and reliever Trey Wingenter."

Saunders went on to include a quote from Green, showing how he’s looking forward to having them in big league game.

"“These are guys we’ve been talking about for a while and now they’re,” Green said, “For me, that’s exciting.”"

Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis Jr. will not only be the youngest player at Padres’ Spring Training, but arguably the most interesting. At just 19, the infielder has risen up the ranks and impressed at every level he’s played at. Cut 4 of went as far to call him the “most likely” Hall of Famer currently on the Padres.

He has spent two seasons in the minors, hitting .276 with 26 home runs, 100 RBIs and 147 stolen bases over 186 games. Tatis is one of the best all around hitters in the minor leagues. At just 19 he has proven to be a potential five-tool player and a real 20/20 threat.

Tatis is likely the team’s shortstop of the future, however some think he could move to third base. Regardless of position Tatis should thrive. Putting him a lineup that already features Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe should give the team three potential 20+ home run hitters. Tatis could either hit towards the top or in the middle of the lineup, giving the Padres a likely perennial All-Star.

Fans should be extremely excited to hear that Tatis will be at Spring Training. He is the team’s future and will likely be ranked as one of the best players in all of baseball when more 2018 lists are released. He’s proven he could do it all at such a young age and will be a force once he finally reaches the majors.

It’s still crazy to think that all the Padres had to give up for him was James Shields.

Luis Urias

Urias isn’t getting as much hype as Tatis, but he has been a phenomenal prospect during his time in San Diego. Likely slated as the team’s second baseman of the future, there’s a good chance Urias gets a decent shot of winning the job out of Spring Training.

Urias has spent four seasons in the minor leagues, hitting .310 with nine home runs, 124 RBIs and 33 stolen bases.

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While Urias doesn’t offer the same power stroke as Tatis, he is a well-rounded hitter who has a knakc for extra base hits. He should hit towards the top of the order, getting on base and starting the scoring for the Padres. Urias also has a great eye at the plate, getting more walks (40) than strikeouts (36) in 2016.

Even if Urias doesn’t earn the second base role out of the camp, watching a member of the team’s clear future will be exciting. Watching him turn double plays with Tatis should make fans mouths water.

Urias won’t have as many exciting plays as Tatis, but he is one of the more solid prospects in the Padres’ farm system. The two are the team’s likely middle infield of the future and watching them play together in Spring Training should be a fan’s dream.

Cal Quantrill

Looking at the Padres’ pitching rotation over the future, Cal Quantrill definitely looks like he has a spot locked up. Taken in the first round of the 2016 draft, Quantrill has already advanced to AA and looks like he could be reaching the majors very shortly.

In 34 minor league games, Quantrill has pitched to a 7-15 record with a 4.12 ERA and a 156/48 K/BB ratio.

Quantrill has one of, if not the best changeup in all of the minor leagues. Coupled with a fastball that hits the mid 90s and a slider that continues to improve, Quantrill has a potentially lethal arsenal. As he continues to go stronger following Tommy John surgery that arsenal will only improve.

Mackenzie Gore is the clear cream of the crop when it comes to pitching prospects in the Padres’ system, but Quantrill isn’t far behind. Fans should be excited to watch him, as he has the potential to be a frontline starter when he finally reaches the major leagues.

If he keeps ascending the minors in the pass he has, that could be sooner than people think.

Eric Lauer

Lauer is another pitcher who has been flying under the radar a bit. However he has true potential and could be a force for the Padres in the coming years. John Sickels of Minor League Ball recently ranked him as the team’s ninth best starter, calling him a “potential middle rotation arm.

Over four seasons in the minors he has appeared in 32 games, pitching to a 7-9 record with a 3.05 ERA and a 169/45 K/BB ratio.

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  • Lauer may not be as flashy as a Quantrill or Gore, but he does everything you would want of a mid-rotation starter. He has four usable pitches, which is impressive for a guy in AA. The most impressive being his slider, which should fool batters at every level.

    Not many will expect Lauer to make waves during the 2018 season, which is why he should be fun to watch. Getting to know a prospect many others won’t will be exciting. Seeing him pitch should be a joy.

    Lauer has a real chance to be the number three starter of the future. Fans will get their first taste of him in 2018 Spring Training.

    Joey Lucchesi

    Lucchesi is built much in the same form as Lauer. Not well known, but highly successful. Much like Lauer he has been deemed as a “mid-rotation” starter with upside to be the number three.

    Over 39 minor league games, Lucchesi has pitched to an 11-9 record with a 1.99 ERA and a 204/36 K/BB ratio.

    Those stats are impressive, and a testament to how great Lucchesi has been. He should rise up at least a few spots when new rankings come out. For now, Sickels has him listed as the eighth best prospect in the Padres’ system.

    He holds a mid 90s fastball with an electric breaking ball and an above average curveball. All three pitches have been described as “above-average” and should translate well at the major league level.

    Of all the players listed, Lucchesi has a real chance of being the first one to make the majors. He has been dominant at the AA level. Clearly this invite to Spring Training is serious as the team will get a real look at one of the better pitchers in their system.

    Dinelson Lamet wasn’t ranked before he broke out and made the majors. Lucchesi could have the same rise, perhaps on a much grander scale.

    Jacob Nix

    Nix doesn’t have the same upside as Lauer and Lucchesi, yet he is another underrated type prospect. However much like the first two, he has the ceiling of a third starter. Perhaps the Padres are inviting all three to see which one has true potential.

    In 49 games Nix has pitched to an 8-14 record with a 4.39 ERA and a 182/46 K/BB ratio.

    Nix throws a fastball that could hit 97 miles an hour, pretty impressive for a starting pitcher. He also holds an electric curveball and a changeup that continues to improve. All three have been deemed “above average” and should succeed at most level.

    There’s no such thing as “too many prospects”. However it’s true that the Padres have an influx of pitching talent in their farm system. Bringing Nix to Spring Training gives him an opportunity to prove himself. If he can succeed against other major leaguers, he shows his true potential and that he’s a prospect to watch.

    Nix should be a fun one to watch in Spring Training. He could end up being the diamond in the rough of San Diego’s rotation and watching him perform should show how talented he really is. Nix’s three pitch fastball-curveball-changeup arsenal should be more than enough reason to be excited about the 22 year old.

    Josh Naylor

    Getting away from the pitching prospects, Josh Naylor is one of the more interesting hitters in the Padres’ system. The hard hitting first baseman was acquired in the Andrew Cashner deal and has looked like a potential star during his time in the minors.

    During his time in the minors, Naylor has hit .277 with 23 home runs, 155 RBIs and 22 stolen bases over 261 games.

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    Naylor’s best trait is his power. As he continues to improve he has a chance to become a 30+ home run hitter annually. Naylor has also proven he can be a consistent hitter, batting .277 during his time in the minors.

    Fans should be excited to see Naylor at Spring Training as he will provide more than enough bombs. Watching home runs is always fun. Watching home runs from a potential future star could be a…blast.

    The only problem is that Naylor doesn’t necessarily have a position of the future. If the team signs Hosmer, then first base is taken for at least the next five season. If they don’t, Wil Myers is still there. Naylor’s future is in question.

    Spring Training 2018 will give him an opportunity to prove he’s worth making room for. If he can hit against major league pitching, perhaps the Padres start working him at other positions. Regardless, Naylor is the best power hitter currently in the Padres’ farm system. Watching him hit bomb after bomb is worth the price of admission.

    Trey Wingenter

    Wingenter is likely the only truly “unknown” prospect on this list. He isn’t featured in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 prospects, nor is he featured in Sickels’ updated 2018 list. However while he isn’t well known, being invited to Spring Training might bode well for himself and the fans.

    San Diego isn’t going to invite a prospect if they don’t have potential. While Wingenter is flying under the radar, perhaps the Padres see his potential. Inviting him to Spring Training may mean that he has a legit shot at making the Opening Day roster.

    He’s spent 100 games at the minor league level, pitching to a 6-4 record with a 2.82 ERA and a 145/46 K/BB ratio.

    It’s important to note that Wingenter is a relief pitcher, which may make those chances even higher. While the team already has Brad Hand, Craig Stammen, Kazuhisa Makita and Kirby Yates locked into the bullpen, you could always use more talent. If Wingenter performs well, maybe he gets a shot.

    Wingenter won’t get as much hype as the other players on the list, but there’s a chance he has the most likely shot of making the roster. If that is the case, fans should want to watch their newest bullpen piece.


    The fact that these players are attending Spring Training should be a smile on every Padres’ fans face. San Diego will get a good look at their future and see how they perform against other major league talent.

    It’s likely that most, if not all, get sent back down to the minors. However seeing them compete early should be fun enough. It’s been a long time since the Padres have had this much talent, it’s time to show it off.

    It’s still unlikely the Padres are ready to compete in 2018. Perhaps Eric Hosmer changes that. But there’s no doubting how good the future is. These players get the opportunity to show that future, and show why it pays to trust the process.

    If you needed any more reason to check out Padres Spring Training, now you got it.