Padres: 15 players to protect in hypothetical expansion draft

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PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 13: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 13, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 13: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 13, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres, Adrian Morejon
(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

Is Campusano the Padres’ catcher of the future?

7. CJ Abrams

Despite being 19 years old, Abrams is a highly-touted prospect and may eventually push Tatis to second or the outfield, depending on a number of factors. After being taken with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, he spent some time getting acclimated, batting .401 in 32 games of Rookie ball. His final two games were played at Single-A Fort Wayne, where he was expected to begin this season.

8. Luis Campusano

The Padres catching situation at the big league level looks bleak, at best. Drafted in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Campusano had a breakout year in 2019. He posted a .325/.396/.509 slash line with 15 home runs and 81 RBI for High-A Lake Elsinore. Primarily drafted a defensive-minded catcher, his bat is coming along nicely.

9. Adrian Morejon

Morejon got roughed up in one of the Padres’ final spring training games. Still, he posted a 4.25 ERA in 16 starts with 44 strikeouts in 36.0 innings. He’s been limited by injuries over the last year and a half. But if his 2018 is indicative of what he’s capable of, the 21-year-old may have a future in the starting rotation.

10. Luis Torrens

The Padres surely won’t let all three catchers on the big league roster go, right? Austin Hedges‘ time is just about up minus a hail mary-like effort in a shortened season. I’m not sold on Francisco Mejia‘s offense, and his defense leaves a lot to be desired. Torrens hit .300 in 97 games at Double-A last year with 15 bombs and 62 RBI.

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