Is Gabriel Arias this year’s Fernando Tatis, Jr for the San Diego Padres?
After a successful winter season in Australia, I wrote about the emergence of Gabriel Arias as an elite Padres prospect. You can read the full piece here, but let’s review the highlights.
Arias signed as an extremely raw 16-year-old out of Venezuela in 2016, but quickly displayed a number of plus-tools. He joined Jeisson Rosario within the top 15 of the top international free agents list. Since then, he’s made quite the impression of the Padres’ coaching staff and national scouts/evaluators.
Arias began his Padres career in the Arizona League, appearing in just 37 games before earning an aggressive promotion to Fort Wayne. He managed to hit .242 (15-62) in his brief stint as the youngest player in full-season minor ball.
This winter, Arias continued his development in the Australian Baseball League. Appearing in 29 games for the Canberra Cavalry, Arias slashed .271/.310/.486/.796 with five home runs.
Why such the hype around Gabriel Arias?
First and foremost, Arias brings elite level defense. His infield range and glove have been graded as plus-plus and he has a powerful and accurate arm. Scouts note that his is good enough for the outfield also.
As I mentioned in the previous piece on Arias, both Kyle Glaser of Baseball America and Eric
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Longenhagen of Fangraphs are very high on Arias. Here’s a quote from my previous piece,
“The biggest question is his offense. Kyle Glaser of Baseball America has been quoted as saying that Arias has a “top-flight makeup”, and is “rapidly improving as a hitter.” Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs backs up those claims. “He’s an everyday player at the very least,” said Longenhagen of how he projects Arias’ future role.”
The only reason Rosario, Ruiz, and Arias were not in serious contention for making the Top 100 list at the moment is because of their age. All three need a lot of development, but they are all trending in the right direction. Coaches within the Padres system are extremely high on them and strongly believe that all three are future major leaguers. At 20, Logan Allen has the best chance of cracking the mid-season Top 100 list.
Stay tuned to Friars On Base as we bring you updates all year long on their progress through the 2018 MiLB season.