The 2023 MLB trade deadline was busy. The San Diego Padres were buyers, as they acquired an established starting pitcher, two dependable bats and a reliable bullpen option. All the new additions were added without giving away the organization’s top prospects.
The Friars do not have the deepest farm system in baseball, especially after clearing out the talent pool to acquire Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals last August. But the organization is not devoid of talent. And no question Dylan Lesko, Ethan Salas and Robbie Snelling could have been associated with any potential blockbuster trades at the deadline.
Let's take a look at why these three prospects remained in the Padres organization after the trade deadline:
San Diego Padres prospect: RHP Dylan Lesko
There might not have been a Friars pitching prospect who did more to boost his stock than Dylan Lesko this season.
Lesko was projected to be one of the top prep pitchers of his draft class. He was the first junior to win the Gatorade Player of the Year award in 2021. But Lesko needed Tommy John surgery that prematurely ended his senior season. Suddenly, an unknown factor about his health allowed Lesko to fall into the Padres arms as the 15th overall pick in last summer’s Major League Baseball draft.
Currently, he is ranked the No. 3 prospect in the Padres minor league system by MLB.com, and his trajectory through the organization is on pace for the majors in a few seasons. The 19-year-old made his pro debut in the Arizona rookie league this June. Lesko needed only four starts before earning a promotion to Single-A Lake Elsinore. The move did raise some eyebrows due to his high ERA (10.80).
He is honing his craft, as Lesko is trying to gain more velocity on his fastball, refine his above-average curveball and throw a dazzling changeup for strikes. Still, Lesko seems to run out of gas at the 40-pitch mark of his starts. Now is the time for him to get his body ready for the rigors of pro baseball.