After a summer spent stockpiling a huge amount of young talent, the San Diego Padres opened their instructional league program on Tuesday afternoon with 38 pitchers and 36 position players at the Peoria Sports Complex. The group, which includes an unheard-of 19 players who have yet to turn 19 years old, will work together for four weeks, including a trip to Petco Park in early October for about half of them.
Instructional League provides a chance for players new to the organization - or new to a position - to work in a highly structured environment with the bulk of the system's instruction staff and develop personalized plans for the offseason.
This year's program includes the majority of the club's high-profile international free agent signees from the summer including Cuban pitchers Ronald Bolanos and Adrian Morejon, as well as their countryman, outfielder Jorge Ona. Other signings from July who have made their first trip to the United States include pitchers Jose Manuel "Manny" Guzman, Michell Miliano and Taiwanese righthander Wen-Hua Sung and a group of high-profile position players including infielders Luis Almanzar, Gabriel Arias, Justin Lopez and Yordy Barley and outfielders Tirso Ornelas and Jeisson Rosario.
The top picks from the last two draft classes will also be participating. Each of the Padres first 12 picks and 10 additional 2016 draftees will suit up, as will the team's first five picks from the class of 2015. All of the minor league players acquired by trade during the season, including highly-regarded pitcher Anderson Espinoza and Fernando Tatis, Jr.. are also attending the program.
Two players to watch as they work at new positions are Jose Ruiz, a former catcher who will continue the transition to the mound he began during this season, and Luis Anguizola, who played at first base collegiately and this summer, but who is making the move behind the plate.
Several players rehabbing from injury are also part of the group, including Walker Weickel, Logan Allen, and a pair of draftees - Ethan Skender and Joe Galindo who didn't see action this summer after signing.
One of the more interesting storylines to watch will be Javier Guerra, who struggled mightily through his first year in the organization after headlining a trade with the Boston Red Sox for closer Craig Kimbrel last year. The 20-year-old was placed on the disabled list in Lake Elsinore in early August and given a month to go home and try to get ready for the instructional program.
|Right Handed Pitchers||Left Handed Pitchers|
|Lake Bachar (21)||Logan Allen (19)|
|Ronald Bolanos (20)||David Bednar (21)|
|Emmanuel Clase (18)||Jose Cabrera (17)|
|Starlin Cordero (18)||Jose Castillo (20)|
|JC Cosme (20)||Omar Fernandez (17)|
|Enyel De Los Santos (20)||Dan Dallas (19)|
|Dom DiSabatino (20)||Eric Lauer (21)|
|Anderson Espinoza (18)||Joey Lucchesi (23)|
|Jose Galindo (21)||Adrian Morejon (17)|
|Jordan Guerrero (20)||Ben Sheckler (21)|
|Manny Guzman (16)|
|Henry Henry (17)||Catchers|
|Reggie Lawson (19)||Austin Allen* (22)|
|Braxton Lorenzini (21)||Luis Anguizola (22)|
|Michell Miliano (16)||Bryant Aragon* (18)|
|Andrew Munoz (17)||AJ Kennedy (22)|
|Jacob Nix (20)||Jose Lezama* (18)|
|Cal Quantrill (21)||Chris Mattison (22)|
|Hansel Rodriguez (19)||Alison Quintero (16)|
|Jose Ruiz (21)|
|Jesse Scholtens (22)|
|Austin Smith (20)||Outfielders|
|Will Stillman (22)||Luis Asuncion (19)|
|Wen-Hua Sung (20)||Rod Boykin (21)|
|Dauris Valdez (20)||Tre Carter* (19)|
|Walker Weickel (22)||Alan Garcia* (19)|
|Trey Wingenter (22)||Taylor Kohlway* (22)|
|Mark Zimmerman (22)||Josh Magee (19)|
|Jorge Ona (20)|
|Infielders||Tirso Ornelas (16)|
|Luis Almanzar (16)||Buddy Reed# (21)|
|Gabriel Arias (16)||Jeisson Rosario* (16)|
|Jordy Barley (16)||Agustin Ruiz (16)|
|Carlos Belen (20)||Jack Suwinski* (18)|
|Ruddy Giron (19)|
|Javy Guerra* (20)|
|Reinaldo Ilarraza# (17)|
|Justin Lopez (16)|
|Kelvin Melean (18)|
|Josh Naylor* (19)|
|Hudson Potts (17)|
|Eguy Rosario (16)|
|Ethan Skender (19)|
|Fernando Tatis, Jr. (17)|
|Luis Urias (19)|
|Brad Zunica* (20)|
* Hits Left #Switch hitter