Padres pitching prospects ranked eighth-best group in baseball

(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

With MacKenzie Gore and Ryan Weathers in tow, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see the San Diego Padres included on yet another farm system rankings list. This time, MLB Pipeline broke down the top 10 systems in the game based on pitching alone – and it bode well for the Friars.

San Diego’s pitching prospects ranked eighth in the game, thanks to a class headlined by Gore and Weathers. Eighteen of the team’s top 30 prospects heading into 2021 are arms. Of course, the Padres delved into their pool in recent trades – acquiring the likes of Mike Clevinger last summer, followed by Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove this offseason.

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Still, MLB Pipeline is high on this group – largely because of Gore.

"“It’s not as deep a group as it was a year ago before the Padres got aggressive on the trade market, but it’s still plenty solid.”"

The biggest loss for San Diego came in the form of Luis Patiño – who was a key piece in the deal for Snell and begins 2021 as the number 19 prospect in all of baseball.

Seven organizations clock in ahead of the Padres on this preseason rankings. Here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Detroit
  2. Miami
  3. Tampa Bay
  4. Seattle
  5. Kansas City
  6. Toronto
  7. Baltimore

Most of those organizations are a year (or more) behind the Padres in terms of their path back to contention. Miami snuck into the postseason last year, but aren’t expected to contend in a loaded NL East. Tampa Bay has perennial crop of young talent making its way to the bigs – while teams like Detroit, Seattle and Baltimore are spinning their wheels while enjoying envious draft picks each summer.

Padres built their rotation to bridge the gap to the next generation

Pitching will dictate San Diego’s future – just like any other club. Thankfully, AJ Preller assembled one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball over the last year. The best part? The team has long-term control over enough of those arms that Gore, Weathers and the next generation have time to finish developing.

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This is just more good news for fans who already can’t wait for the 2021 season and Opening Day. Not just is the short-term outlook for the franchise bright, but the long-term picture is just as bright on multiple fronts.