Where will Robert Hassell land among the Padres top prospects?
Now that the abbreviated MLB Draft has come and gone, the Padres have added the next wave of talent to their farm system. However, unlike traditional seasons, unless any of the players are added to the taxi squad of a potentially expanded roster, the six players drafted won’t be going anywhere soon.
And assuming that things return to normal in the 2021 season, first-round pick Robert Hassell is expected to sign and spend a good chunk of his first professional in Rookie Ball. Similar to CJ Abrams, who was taken out of Blessed Trinity Catholic High School with the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft, Hassell will likely get approximately 150 at-bats in Padres’ Rookie Ball before the front office considers promoting him to Single-A Fort Wayne.
It will be intriguing to see where Hassell lands in MLB Pipeline’s top 30 prospects for the Padres. But we are going to do our best guess of predicting the updated top-10.
1. MacKenzie Gore
The Padres top prospect and the game’s top pitching prospect was expected to make his big league debut at some point this year. Will that still be the case in what is likely to be a 50-game season?
2. CJ Abrams
Abrams hit .401 in 32 games in Rookie Ball and earned MVP honors. He finished out the year playing two games for Single-A and will resume his development there when the minor league season returns in 2021.
3. Luis Patiño
While not as far along as Gore, Patiño is expected to be a front-end starter when he arrives in San Diego. He made 18 appearances, including 17 starts for High-A Lake Elsinore last year and fanned 113 batters over 87.0 innings. Patiño closed out his year with two starts for Double-A Amarillo.
4. Luis Campusano
The Padres top catching prospect had a breakout year offensively in 2019, posting a .325/.396/.509 slash line with 15 bombs and 81 RBI for High-A. He would have began the year at Double-A and could have been called up in 2021.
5. Taylor Trammell
Acquired in the three-team deal that centered around Trevor Bauer last year, Trammell was off to a red-hot start in Spring Training. He survived the first wave of cuts, but was demoted as part of the next round. He made a convincing case to slide into an everyday role very soon.
6. Robert Hassell
I wanted to put Hassell at number five on my list, but Trammel had a strong showing in the spring. He’ll (Trammell) also make his big league debut well before Hassell. That said, the Padres first-round pick is widely considered to be the best prep hitter in this class, and I’d put a timeline of 2023 or 2024 before we see him in San Diego.
7. Adrian Morejon
Morejon had a rough go of it in Spring Training. Still, he made 16 starts for Double-A Amarillo last year, striking out 44 over 36.0 innings. He made his big league debut in July and posted a 10.13 ERA in five appearances, including two starts as well.
8. Cole Wilcox
Assuming he signs, Wilcox is another pitching prospect that the Padres can be excited about. He’s a first-round talent that the Friars lucked into with their third-round pick. He throws gas and complements his fastball with a nasty slider. His change up remains a work in progress, but there’s so much to like about Wilcox. Again, it hinges on if he signs, but he could realistically be pitching in San Diego as soon as 2022.
9. Gabriel Arias
Arias checked all the boxes that the Padres wanted to see in Spring Training, and despite being just 20 years old, he hit .302 to go along with 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 120 games at High-A. He’ll likely begin the 2021 season at Double-A and could be attractive option for the Padres as a September call-up next year.
10. Justin Lange
I’m not entirely sure that he’ll unseat Ryan Weathers in the top ten, but I think that speaks volumes about the Padres farm system. Lange put on a significant amount of muscle mass in a year and increased the velocity of his fastball from 92 MPH to a dazzling 100 MPH.
Look for him to develop his secondary pitches, and he’ll join Gore and Patiño in the rotation within three to four years.