The San Diego Padres have another affiliate beginning play on Friday, June 15th, the Tri-City Dust Devils.
For anyone who follows prospects and minor league baseball, this is an exciting time. Prospects who have impressed and developed well will be moved up the organizational ladder and trends among players have become clear. There’s also a brand new season of San Diego Padres affiliate baseball set to begin.
The short-season Tri-City Dust Devils kick off their 2018 campaign on Friday night (June 15th) with a series against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (San Francisco Giants affiliate). The Dust Devils recently released a partial version of their roster, littered with familiar names and former top draft picks.
Short-season ball is always an exciting league to follow. For many, it’s the first time fans get to see a number of up-and-coming Latin American prospects and recent draft picks.
As more 2018 draft picks sign contracts, the Padres will add more names, along with pulling more names from their Arizona League/Dominican League complexes.
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Taking a glance over the initial roster released by the team, two names instantly stick out. Outfielders Aldemar Burgos and Mason House. Burgos was an 8th round pick of the Padres back in 2015, out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. San Diego selected House in the 3rd round of last year’s draft out of high school.
You won’t find Burgos on any top prospect list, not even on John Sickels’ list of 79 Padres’ prospects he published before the season started. He’s a career .211 hitter with a .261 OBP. In 140 games, Burgos has struck out 146 times and has recorded just 26 extra-base hits.
However, as we highlighted back in the offseason, Burgos stood out this winter in the Puerto Rican league. He won the league’s batting title, hitting .403 with a .431 OBP and .915 OPS. Now 21, Burgos needs to put together a solid season to show the organization he can be more than just a glove-first outfielder.
We are witnessing the breakout campaign of Buddy Reed in Lake Elsinore, after raking in Australia during the offseason. Can the same happen to Burgos?
Joining Burgos in the Tri-City outfield will be Mason House. House, 19, isn’t on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 prospect list, however, he is featured as the 20th ranked prospect on John Sickel’s pre-season Top 20 list.
A very raw player, House played in 39 games in the Arizona League last season, hitting .293 with eight triples, six doubles, and two home runs. His strikeout rate (68 in 164 at-bats) exposed the holes in his hitting. Pre-draft reports on House highlight his lack of experience against elite-level prep-pitching before joining the Padres, so he will need time to settle in. At just 19 years of age and with an unbelievable amount of outfield depth, giving House a few years will be no problem.
With 60-grade power from the left side, keep your eye on Mason House and the numbers he puts up with Tri-City.
Give the Tri-City Dust Devils a follow on social media and if you’re near Gesa Stadium, go check out some future San Diego Padres!