San Diego Padres Top 10 Prospects Updated

This continues to be a stacked system with both high upside prospects and lots of depth. The organization is building from the ground up and seem to have a strong plan in place.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

*Amendment: This post was written and submitted prior to the Francisco Mejia deal (and I was on vacation). He would have fallen fifth on the list behind Luis Urias. Mejia could easily be a No. 1 prospect in some organizations but not San Diego, which is stacked with talent. The downside to this prospect is that he may not be a catcher in the long run and, while he doesn’t strike out a ton, he’s too aggressive at times and doesn’t always give himself the best pitch to hit or the best count to hit from. If he can make adjustments there, he will hit for average in the Majors and has 15-20 home run potential.

1. Fernando Tatis Jr. | SS | AA —> Much like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with Toronto, Tatis Jr. is a legacy prospect who is very advanced for his age. While the former possesses a plus-plus hit tool with modest future projections on his body and defence, the latter is known more for his plus power with an athletic frame and strong defensive potential. I like Tatis Jr. a little better long term but the swing-and-miss tendencies are a little worrisome but further maturation could temper that to a more reasonable level. There is all-star upside here.

2. MacKenzie Gore | LHP | A —> If he were pitching in the Yankees, Dodgers or Red Sox system, Gore would probably be a better known name as one of the Top 5 arms in the game. He’s a lefty with the potential for four above-average offerings and he has great size. Command and control both have the potential to be plus. He also receives strong marks for makeup. There is No. 1 starter potential here if he can stay healthy — and the organization has so far been handling him with kids’ gloves.

3. Cal Quantrill | RHP | AA —> With a little more polish to his command, Quantrill has the chance to be a mid-rotation starter — at worst. There is potential here for a No. 2 starter with his four-pitch mix, above-average control and intelligence. He induces an above-average number of ground balls but doesn’t get as many strikeouts as he might eventually because of the inconsistency to his breaking balls. If one or both improve (perhaps focusing on just one would help), then we could see that higher upside.

4. Luis Urias | IF | AAA —> Another advanced bat, Urias doesn’t have Tatis Jr.’s power but the former’s hit tool is excellent. He currently has an on-base average just shy of .400 at triple-A… as a 21 year old. The best thing about his ability to get on base is that it’s not tied solely to his batting average — he is more than willing to take a walk and he has 56 free passes in 86 games. The biggest knocks on Urias are his size (5 foot 7 inches) and modest abilities at shortstop, which could push him to second base.

5. Adrian Morejon | LHP | A+ —> Just 19, Morejon is more than surviving the pitcher’s wasteland known as the California League. He’s a lefty that induces a ton of ground balls and can also miss a lot of bats with an advanced three-pitch mix. He can struggle with his command at times and isn’t the biggest guy but he should also have advanced control when all is said and done. This Cuban has top-of-the-rotation potential if he continues to develop along this same path.

6. Michel Baez | RHP | A+ —> Standing 6-8, Baez is a beast on the mound and can threaten triple-digits as a starter. His fastball-slider combo could make him a lethal high-leverage reliever if neither the curveball or changeup don’t develop enough to be a reliable change-of-pace offering. He works up in the zone a lot and is a fly-ball pitcher. If one does develop to an average or better offering, Baez has No. 2/3 starter potential.

7. Chris Paddack | RHP | AA —> Paddack isn’t a flamethrower like Baez above but he is an impressive pitching prospect in his own right. He has a solid low-90s fastball and a plus changeup that can fool hitters even when they think it might be coming. He also has shown the potential for plus control and walked just four batters (with 83 Ks) in 52.1 A-ball innings before a promotion to double-A. The breaking ball is inconsistent and, although he has a strong pitcher’s frame, his elbow has already given out and required Tommy John surgery in late 2016. The curveball development will determine if he’s a starter or reliever in the long run.

8. Xavier Edwards | SS | R —> The Padres’ second selection in the 2018 draft, Edwards is an electric player with plus-plus speed and an advanced feel for the bat at the age of 18. He got off to a strong start in pro ball — .423 average, 6-4 BB-K, 6 steals in 7 tries — but suffered a wrist injury (severity undisclosed) and hasn’t played since late June. He’ll never be a home run hitter but this switch-hitter could be a top-of-the-order threat and a plus up-the-middle defender.

9. Ryan Weathers | LHP | R —> Weathers wasn’t one of my favorite prep arms in the 2018 draft but the Padres liked him enough to snap him up seventh overall. He doesn’t have great size (6-foot-1) and he already needs to keep an eye on his conditioning. He has the potential for three average-or-better offerings and average or better command/control. I see mid-rotation starter if he can keep the weight down and improve his changeup.

10. Hudson Potts | 3B | A+ —> Potts continues to show promise with the bat despite being one of the youngest players in his draft class back in 2016. Still 19, he’s already in his third pro season and at high-A ball. He swings and misses too much but he’s starting to make adjustments better and is more patient at the plate. He has plus-plus power potential and could be a 30-homer guy in The Show if he continues to make adjustments and keeps the Ks in check.

Just Missed:

Logan Allen | LHP | AA —> Allen, 21, projects as an innings-eating No. 4 starter with a solid fastball-changeup combo. The breaking ball continues to need work and he’ll have to watch his conditioning.

Esteury Ruiz | IF | A —> Ruiz is just 19 but he projects as a strong hitter with surprising pop and solid speed. His defence is still a work-in-progress and he’ll likely wind up at third or second base.

Tirso Ornelas | OF | A —> Another teenager in the system, Ornelas is just 18 and holding his own in full-season ball. He’s raw but the potential is here for both his hit and power tools to develop into plus attributes.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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The CHOOsen Onemember
4 years ago

Francisco Mejia omitted?

4 years ago

Seems like a big one too since it’s not like there’s been a ton of trades happening yet.

4 years ago

I did click on this article only because I was curious about where Mejia ranked.