Ranked as one of the baseball’s Top 100 prospects, San Diego Padres’ catcher Luis Campusano was also tabbed as the most powerful hitter.
Selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, San Diego Padres’ catching prospect, Luis Campusano, took a monumental leap forward on the offensive side of the ball last year. Coming out of Cross Creek High School, he was known for his defense with the potential to tap into power as his body matured.
Up until last year, he fit the mold of a defensive catcher, logging a .992 fielding percentage behind the plate while throwing out 22 percent of runners during the 2018 season. That year, Campusano slashed .288/.345/.365 with three home runs and 40 RBI, profiling primarily as a singles hitter.
However, last year his numbers soared, hitting for more extra-base hits on his way to a .325/.396/.509 line with 15 home runs and 81 RBI at High-A Lake Elsinore. Now 21-years-old, Campusano could be seeing the big league within the next couple of years.
He also received high praise from MLB.com, pegged as the organization’s best power hitter:
"“The 2017 second-rounder put himself on the map last season at age 20 as the California League co-MVP, winning the circuit batting title (.325) and finishing second in OPS (.906) and RBIs (81). Campusano also established career highs in home runs (15) and doubles (31), flashing above-average raw power that should improve as he gets stronger and learns how to better leverage his right-handed swing.”"
The catching situation at the big league level is a giant question mark with Austin Hedges likely earning one last chance to prove why the Padres thought so highly to take him in the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft. But in five big league seasons, he has a combined .201 batting average and has become a defensive replacement.
Francisco Mejia and Luis Torrens will likely battle it out during Spring Training for the right to be a regular behind the plate. Mejia profiles as a big bat and started to display it last year, smacking eight home runs and driving in 22 runs. However, he graded as a negative 4.3 in pitch framing and was below league average in throwing out runners.
Torrens, 23, leaves a lot to be desired both offensively and defensively. It would seem that the Padres’ best hope at having a catcher who can do both, and do both very well, will spend the entire year in the minors. I could see him [Campusano] being a potential September call up if he’s tearing the cover off the ball, but I don’t predict that he’ll have a significant role on the 2020 Padres.