The Athletic isn’t quite as high on the San Diego Padres farm system, recently ranking it fifth in Major League Baseball.
While most baseball sites have the San Diego Padres’ farm system within the top three of Major League Baseball, The Athletic recently ranked them at number five. Keith Law, the author, typically does an excellent job with his analysis, but I think he’s a bit off here. He acknowledges that the Padres’ farm took a hit when Fernando Tatis Jr. graduated to the big leagues, and he also reaffirms MacKenzie Gore‘s status as the best pitching prospect in baseball.
However, Law has the Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Arizona Diamondbacks all ahead of the Padres. The Rays boast the number one prospect in baseball, in Wander Franco, but MLB Pipeline has Brendan McKay as the 15th best prospect in the game, despite him making 11 starts and two appearances out of the bullpen last season with the big league club.
I can get on board with the Braves being ranked that high, as they have five prospects ranked within the Top 100, but so do the Padres. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks also have five prospects ranked within the Top 100, but the latter’s best prospect, Kristian Robinson, is ranked as the 43rd best prospect and played at the Single-A level last year.
The Dodgers have Gavin Lux as the second-best prospect in baseball and Dustin May as the 23rd best, so they are top-heavy in MLB’s Top 100. Still, Gore is ranked as the fifth overall prospect in the game, followed CJ Abrams at number 25, Luis Patino at 27, Luis Campusano at 50, and Taylor Trammell at 57, a strong argument can be made that the Padres still have a top three farm system.
In regards to the Padres’ prospects, the ZiPS projections are mostly favorable for all five of them, although they project a bit of an offensive dropoff from Campusano:
- MacKenzie Gore: 21 starts, 92.0 IP, 10.3 K/9, 105K, 3.62 ERA, 3.67 FIP
- CJ Abrams: likely to remain in rookie ball all season
- Luis Patino: 21 starts, 94.3 IP, 9.4 K/9, 98 K, 3.91 ERA, 3.99 FIP
- Luis Campusano: 107 games, .237/.301/.360, 9 HR, 53 RBI
- Taylor Trammell: 125 games, .204/.293/.308, 9 HR, 37 RBI
Regarding Campusano and Trammell, I think Fangraphs is vastly underestimating their production. They basically project the former to return to his 2018 numbers and for Trammell to post terrible numbers