Michael Black returns to update his mid-season San Diego Padres top prospects list.
With the trade deadline well behind us, the big trade for Francisco Mejia in the books, and the vast majority of 2018 season complete, let’s take one more look this season at my San Diego Padres top 30 prospects list.
Since the last top 30 list, Mejia is obviously the biggest addition, but there are also two players who are back on the list from the pre-season, who were left off the mid-season list, right-handed relief pitcher Andres Munoz being the first (pre-season #24), and the second being outfielder Robbie Podorsky (pre-season #30).
There are other additions as well. For instance, someone considered for the most recent top 30 but since has really stepped up his game has been left-handed starter Osvaldo Hernandez. The other two newcomers come to us from different levels of the minors. Newly promoted Fort Wayne shortstop Owen Miller, and newly promoted to El Paso third basemen Ty France. Both cracking the list for the first time.
Naturally, with addition comes subtraction. Since we added six players, we also removed six. This is where it gets tricky. If removing that amount, you’d better have good reasons for why they’ve fallen off. Two have graduated off the list completely, outfielder Franmil Reyes being one, and left-handed relief pitcher Jose Castillo being the other.
Friar fans, here is your San Diego Padres post-trade deadline top 30 prospects. Numbers in parentheses denote the previous ranking on the mid-season list.
San Diego Padres Top 30 prospects.
1) Fernando Tatis Jr. SS, AA-San Antonio Missions, ETA 2019 (1). The number one shortstop prospect in all of baseball had his season cut short due to thumb surgery last month. A solid spring training could give him the keys to the position for years to come. The San Diego Padres have finally found their shortstop of the future.
2) MacKenzie Gore. LH-SP, -A Fort Wayne Tin Caps, ETA 2020-21 (2). The number one left-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball has had an up and down season to say the least. A third trip to the disabled list has stalled his season once again. Hopefully, we get to have a full season from him next year, to see if his numbers can match his talent. He posted a 74/18 K/BB ratio in 60.2 innings this season.
3) Francisco Mejia. C, AAA-El Paso Chihuahuas, ETA 2018-19 (NR). The Padres acquired the number one catching prospect in baseball from the Indians during this year’s trade deadline for relievers Brad Hand, and Adam Cimber. It will be interesting to see how he fits in long-term with Austin Hedges currently manning the fort. Since joining El Paso, Mejia is hitting .300 with four home runs in 100 at-bats.
4) Luis Urias. 2B/SS, AAA-El Paso Chihuahuas, ETA 2018-19 (5). The number one second base prospect (see a pattern developing here) in all of baseball has really stepped up his game in August. It will be curious to see if the front office brings him up after the Chihuahuas playoff run. Currently riding a 14-game hitting streak in which he’s raised his AVG from .260 to .296. (Update: Urias will be called up to the majors on Tuesday)
5) Chris Paddack. RH-SP, AA-San Antonio Missions, ETA 2018-19 (12). Had video game type numbers pre-Tommy John surgery, has video game type numbers post surgery. Has been just as good in the Texas League if not better after his promotion from High A-Lake Elsinore. He was 4-1 with a 2.24 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 52.1 innings before his promotion. Since then, he is 3-2 with a 1.91 ERA and 37 K’s in 37.2 innings. Will be added to the 40-man roster before this off-season’s Rule-5 draft.
6) Logan Allen. LH-SP, AAA-El Paso Chihuahuas, ETA 2018-19 (9). Allen leads the entire San Diego Padres organization in wins (13) and strikeouts (143) and is second in innings pitched. Another player having better numbers, 3-0 and a 1.06 ERA, after being promoted to El Paso from a dominant stint in the Texas League. Allen is another one who may make a possible September cameo after the Chihuahuas playoff run.
7) Michel Baez. RH-SP, AA-San Antonio Missions, ETA 2019-20 (4). It seems as if his star has dimmed a bit after a rough promotion to double-A ball. He did have his best start in the Texas League in his last outing, however, going six innings of two-run ball (one earned run) while striking out six. He looked much more relaxed in that start.
8) Adrian Morejon. LH-SP, +A Lake Elsinore Storm, ETA 2020-21 (13). His second disabled list stint this season is a bit worrisome, especially with the history of this franchise when it comes to injuries, particularly arm injuries to pitchers. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious and like Gore, we see a healthy and productive season from him next year. In 13 starts, Morejon has a 3.30 ERA and 70 strikeouts.
9) Jacob Nix. RH-SP, San Diego Padres, ETA 2018-19 (11). Nix started the season late due to injury but was dominant upon his return, earning him a promotion to the big club. After going six innings of no run ball in his début, Allen has fallen back to earth. He will be given every opportunity before the end of the season to see where he stands within the organization, as he is Rule 5 eligible in the off-season.
10) Josh Naylor.1B/LF, AA-San Antonio Missions, ETA 2019-20 (11). It feels to me like Naylor doesn’t get the credit he deserves, especially for a player putting up his stat line. As of Monday morning, Naylor is hit .301 with 15 home runs and 70 RBIs. This is an important off-season for him too, with Naylor being essentially blocked at the positions he plays at the major league level.
11) Cal Quantrill. RH-SP, AAA-El Paso Chihuahuas, ETA 2018-19 (8). The former number one draft pick has seen his stock slip this season. Had an up and down showing in the Texas League before a surprise promotion to the Chihuahuas. Through four starts with El Paso, he has looked better, posting a 2-0 record with an ERA of 2.74. Another possible call-up after the post-season is over.
12) Luis Patino. RH-SP, -A Fort Wayne Tin Caps, ETA 2020-21 (NR). Moving very fast up the prospect rankings, he could crack the top 100 list soon. Has been flat-out dominant for the Tin Caps this year, going 6-3 with an ERA of 2.16 while striking out 98 batters in 83.1 innings pitched. Reminds people of a right-handed Gore with the stuff he has, not to mention the very similar high leg kick.
13) Andres Munoz. RH-RP, AA-San Antonio Missions, ETA 2019-20 (23). Another name San Diego Padres fans are hearing a lot of lately. When you can hit 103 mph with your fastball, you’re gonna get that type of hype. He wasn’t on the mid-season list, only because he hadn’t pitched much to that point in the season after being delayed by an injury. Another possible fast riser.
14) Anderson Espinoza. RH-SP, +A Lake Elsinore Storm, ETA 2020-21 (14). He would be a lot higher on this list if it weren’t for a two-year loss in development due to Tommy John surgery. And to think, he was once the number one prospect in the organization before his injury. Hopefully demonstrates he is fully healthy next season.
15) Osvaldo Hernandez. LH-SP, -A Fort Wayne Tin Caps, ETA 2020-21 (NR). Hernandez isn’t on anyone else’s top 30 list but definitely is deserving. Was leading the Midwest League with an ERA of 1.81, not to mention having a record of 11-4 before a recent injury put him on the disabled list. Let’s hope he can come back and finish his coming out party this year. Looking forward to his future development.