The San Diego Padres have seven prospects featured on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list, released last Saturday. In this two-part post, we will first take a look at the vast improvements many prospects made in the rankings. Tomorrow, we will take a look at which prospects are on the cusp of making the Top 100.
If you haven’t heard by now, the San Diego Padres farm system is really talented. The Friars have seven prospects featured in the Top 100 on MLB Pipeline’s newly released list.
Six of those seven made it into the Top 50. Let’s take a look at who the biggest climbers were on that list compared to last year.
First, here’s a breakdown of the Top 100:
#8 SS Fernando Tatis, Jr.
#19 LHP Mackenzie Gore
#36 2B/SS Luis Urias
#40 RHP Cal Quantrill
#42 RHP Michel Baez
#50 LHP Adrian Morejon
#89 RHP Anderson Espinoza
Who were the biggest climbers for the San Diego Padres?
The biggest climber was Michel Baez. Baez, a right-handed pitching prospect, climbed 52 spots (94th last year). Signed as a 21-year-old international free agent out of Cuba, Baez took no prisoners in his first season with the Padres.
In 10 starts at Fort Wayne, Baez posted a 6-2 record with a 2.45 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. His 82/8 K/BB ratio was a result of his 6’8” frame, a 94-98 plus-fastball, plus-changeup, and plus-slider. Stay tuned for a complete scouting report of Baez in the upcoming days.
Shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. jumped 44 slots and is the highest ranked prospect in the organization. Tatis evolved from the 52nd ranked prospect to (in the opinion of many evaluators) part of the small, elite corps of prospects in baseball. At just 19, he has been invited to spring training with the big league ballclub. Tatis destroyed Midwest League pitching at just 18, hitting 21 home runs with a .281 batting average and .390 on-base percentage.
Infielder Luis Urias (up 13 spots) and LHP Adrian Morejon (up 19 spots) also took significant leaps forward. We get out our first look at the middle infield combo of Tatis/Urias this spring, while Morejon will look to master his control at Fort Wayne in 2018. I urge you to check out our full scouting reports on Urias and Morejon to get a good understanding of what the future holds for these two young studs.
Lastly, we have Mackenzie Gore who rose six spots to 19th. With four plus-pitches and near pinpoint accuracy, Gore projects as a true number one pitcher in the Padres rotation of the future. If he can handle a high workload, expect Gore to be fast-tracked through the minor league system. Very few prospects in baseball have been as hyped up as Gore, and deservedly so.
San Diego Padres had two prospects fall slightly down the list.
RHP Cal Quantrill dropped two spots to 40th on the list. We’ll get our first look at how Quantrill
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handles major league hitters during spring training. It’s not a significant drop, but can be attributed to his mediocre statistical performance in High-A and Double-A ball. In eight starts for San Antonio (AA), Quantrill pitched to a 4.04 ERA with a 1.61 WHIP, allowing opposing batters to hit .295 off him. However, scouts are still very high on him. Spring training will be a major test for Quantrill.
Anderson Espinoza might have fallen 17 spots, but he’s still a Top 100 prospect. Tommy John surgery forced Espinoza to miss the entire 2017 season. Reports indicate that the Padres hope to have Espinoza back by late 2018. Scouts believe that only Gore and Baez have higher ceilings within the organization. He will have a long route to recovery and establishing himself as an elite prospect again, but few seem to doubt his abilities.
Tomorrow, we will take a look at four prospects who are right on the verge of cracking the Top 100 list.