Kimberly Contreras

San Diego Padres top prospects get extra development time in early spring training

The San Diego Padres opened their minor league mini-camp this week, giving a group of 21 pitchers and 23 position players some extended exposure to the minor league instruction staff before the full minor league roster reports on March 3.

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The list of invitees includes many of the players who took part in the Padres’ instructional league program in October, their development program in San Diego in December and the Dominican Republic in January.

“Our minicamp is very, very young - a lot of guys who’ve come into the organization in the last year,” said Padres player development director Sam Geaney.

Indeed, 27 of the players working in Peoria have been acquired since A.J. Preller became the team’s general manager after the 2014 season. The group includes trade acquisitions, the first seven picks from last year’s draft, and several of the higher-profile international signees from Chris Kemp’s first July 2 class.

“You kind of joke that Major League camp is a little bit long at this point, with the shape guys are in, and minor league camp is a little short,” said Geaney. “We basically started the day after Major League camp did, so we’re giving ourselves an extra two weeks to spend additional time working with these guys to continue to get to know them.”

New faces include Javier Guerra and Logan Allen, who came over from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal, Enyel De Los Santos and Nelson Ward, the prospects acquired from Seattle for Joaquin Benoit, and young righty J.C. Cosme, who came over Baltimore in exchange for Odrisamer Despaigne.

Lefties Jose Castillo and Nathan Foriest and right-handers Jordan Guerrero, Brett Kennedy, Phil Maton, Trevor Megill, Jacob Nix and Austin Smith all figure to join Allen, Cosme and De Los Santos vying for a job on the Fort Wayne pitching staff.

“It’s going to be a fun competition, but all the extra coaching and interaction we’re having with those guys, we’re going to be able to make those decisions,” said Geaney.

The youngest player in camp is Kelvin Alarcon, who won’t turn 17 until March 6. He and fellow Venezuelan shortstop Kelvin Melean were both held out of the October instructional league program with leg problems, but both are now on the field. They’re joined by four other members of last year’s international signing period class.

Also getting on the field for the first time in the Padres organization is catcher Marcus Greene, Jr., who had been sidelined by June Tommy John Surgery before coming over from Texas in the Will Venable trade last summer. Though he is still limited in a few drills, he is participating in most activities.

The full camp roster includes:

RHP Catchers
Yimmi Brasoban Austin Allen*
Emmanuel Clase Marcus Greene, Jr.
Starlin Cordero A.J. Kennedy
Jean Cosme Jose Ruiz
Enyel De Los Santos
Jordan Guerrero Infielders
Henry Henry Kelvin Alarcon**
Brett Kennedy Ruddy Giron
Dinelson Lamet Javier Guerra*
Zech Lemond Reinaldo Illarraza**
Adrian Martinez Kelvin Melean
Phil Maton Trae Santos*
Trevor Megill Luis Urias
Andres Munoz Peter Van Gansen*
Jacob Nix Josh VanMeter
Austin Smith Nelson Ward*
Brad Zunica*
Logan Allen Outfielders
Jose Castillo Auston Bousfield
Thomas Dorminy Rod Boykin
Nathan Foriest Aldemar Burgos
Brad Wieck Franchy Cordero*
Michael Gettys
Josh Magee
Nick Torres

* LHH  **Switch-hitter
Players in italics acquired by A.J. Preller

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