3 surprising prospects who will shine at Padres spring training in 2024

The Padres have some fun decisions to make this spring with some surprising prospects potentially in play.

Iowa's Adam Mazur (33) delivers a pitch during a NCAA Big Ten Conference baseball game against
Iowa's Adam Mazur (33) delivers a pitch during a NCAA Big Ten Conference baseball game against / Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen /
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Adam Mazur

The Padres were pretty fortunate to be able to draft Adam Mazur in the second round of the 2022 draft. If not for some issues with his back during his draft year, it is entirely possible that he would have gone in the first round especially given the number of college arms that got hurt that year. The rest of the league's loss was San Diego's gain as Mazur has quickly established himself as one of their best pitching prospects period.

Mazur best feature is the number of pitches he can throw reliably. His fastball generally sits in the low to mid-90's, although he can throw it harder on occasion. His changeup and curve are nice change of pace pitches that can keep opposing lefties honest and his slider is arguably his best pitch. Having such a diverse arsenal makes him incredibly difficult for hitters to figure out and gives him lots of options to make adjustments over the course of a game.

Heading into spring training, it is hard not to wonder if Mazur diverse offerings give him an edge over opposing hitters. Guys just getting into camp already have a tough time getting their approach and timings right at the plate under the best of circumstances. A guy like Mazur is nightmare fuel to face in spring as he can throw so many pitches at so many different velocities and eye levels.

While Mazur has already made it to Double-A, the Padres may choose to wait on giving him a big league opportunity given that he has only played one full season so far. However, San Diego's rotation is in a pretty bad spot and if guys like Drew Thorpe struggle in spring training, it wouldn't be all that shocking to see Mazur in the thick of the competition.