Ivan Pierre Aguirre

MadFriars' Top 30 - Davey Edition

After spending most of 2015 trading away prospects, San Diego Padres’ General Manager A.J. Preller reversed course in 2016 restocking the farm system. The Top 10 alone sees only a few familiar faces, as the rest have only been with the organization for a few months. Be that as it may, Preller has started the course for the Padres to have one of the better farm systems in baseball in a few years.

While Preller made some fixes to a porous farm system through trades and the amateur draft, the biggest influx of talent came internationally.  As was expected, he blew past his spending limit, and ended up signing, depending on whose reporting, five of the Top 10 international prospects including Cuban Phenom Adrian Morejon.  Depending on the ranking you will see anywhere between four and seven international signings making the list. 

However, for my list, I limited it to players who I had a bit more research on.  I do not doubt that players like Luis Almanzar, Jeisson Rosario, Gabriel Arias, Michael Millano, and Kelvin Melean could be Top 10 prospects next year; I wanted to wait until they played in the US. 

This should be the main reason why a system as talented as the Padres’ probably won’t even make top five systems in baseball when the national pundits release their rankings.  It is not because they do not believe in the J2 signings or draft picks, but they are all far away from the majors.  For most prospects, the better you perform, and the closer you are to the majors, has a significant impact on a ranking.  The Padres now have the talent, it is just about how fast can they develop and climb through the system. 

The Padres talent this year is so extensive, that I had to fight to find a way to get the MadFriars’ pitcher of the year Walker Lockett, into the rankings.  This is even after not including most of the J2 signings.  Quite a few players who missed the cut have a great chance to be Top 15 prospects next year while others will establish themselves in the major leagues.

In the end, I had to go with ceiling above floor.  While I know some of my colleagues like the idea that a reliever who can stay in the majors is more valuable than an Low-A starter, I think there has to be more merit for the likelihood that if the player does reach his ceiling where would he be ranked.  This method leads to the possibility of over evaluating some players who never end up reaching their potential, but also leads me to not rank a player in the top 15 whose ceiling is a fourth outfielder.  Without further explanation, here we go.

1)      Anderson Espinoza, RHP/SP

Padres acquired Espinoza in a one for one deal from the Boston Red Sox for LHP Drew Pomeranz.  Anderson came over with a very lofty ranking, and struggled out of the gate making some fans question his value.  Those questions were answered, and then some, when he pitched at Petco Park in October, as part of an off-season showcase for the organization’s top minor league talent. 

The 18-year old flashed an effortless mid-90s fastball, and while he didn’t really need to show more, he had hitters badly fooled with his change and curve.  What makes Espinoza arguably one of the best prospects in all of baseball is his fastball.  Aside from the velocity, which was topping out at 98 mph, the pitch still had great movement low in the zone. 

2017: Given his age and an offseason working with the Padres’ staff, expect Espinoza to come out as the ace of a very good High-A Lake Elsinore team.  Whether he adds a few pounds of muscle or not shouldn’t impact his success one way or another. 

 

2)      Manuel Margot, CF
The greatness of Manuel Margot was summarized nicely in one posterized catch that he made playing in the Futures Game at Petco Park.  Which helped to define why he is so highly thought off as a defender.  Offensively, Margot is someone who should be able to hit for a good average, make solid contact and could steal 25-30 bases a season.  He has never shown tremendous power but has enough speed to where he will often turn long singles into doubles, and double into triples.  Essentially Margot is an ideal lead-off or number two hitter in a lineup while playing gold glove defense in center. 

2017: Whether Margot starts the year in San Diego or Triple-A El Paso will depend a lot on how much they believe in current incumbent Travis Jankowski, and whether or not they resign major league free agent Jon Jay.  At just 22, it wouldn’t hurt Margot to spend a few more months in Triple-A.  Rest assured barring injury he will be the starting center fielder in San Diego by the deadline.

 

3)      Hunter Renfroe, RF/OF

Like Margot, Renfroe is another MLB ready outfield bat.  In a small sample size Renfroe tore the cover off the ball in San Diego, winning the National League player of the week award for the last week of the season.  In a short 11-game stretch, Renfroe hit .371/.389/.800 with four home runs and 14 RBI.  Renfroe also was named the Padres’ top hitting prospect and more importantly, named the MadFriars’ player of the year for 2016. 

Renfroe has big time power, and has shown the ability to make very hard contact.  Even his outs tend to be smashed.  The biggest question with Renfroe is his plate discipline.  Renfroe had only 22 walks compared to 115 strikeouts in Triple-A.  The strikeout numbers are not horrible, but the lack of walks, have been a concern. 

Defensively, Renfroe’s arm is stuff of legends.  Coming up through the system, Renfroe has always been graded as having a plus arm, but for most people seeing is also believing.  The last week of the season, it almost seemed like people were hoping to see the ball hit to right field just to see him throw. 

2017: Unless something strange happens, he should be the starting right fielder for San Diego.  Whether he can come close to replicating his stint in 2016 with the Padres remains to be seen, but he makes enough hard contact that he should be starting for the team for the next few years.

4)      Adrian Morejon, LHP/SP

This ranking is based nearly solely on other scouts reviews as he has yet to throw in the US.  Morejon was viewed as the best pitcher in the J-2 class, and while he had to wait another month for his paperwork to clear, the Padres gladly gave up nearly $22 million for him – half of which were penalties for going over slot.  The biggest reason why he is ranked so high is because he is viewed as having three above-average pitches already.  Not pitches that “could become great” in a few years, but pitches that should allow him to breeze through the lower minors quickly.  Even without adding more muscle, he still projects as a #2/3 starter in the majors, and if things can go right for a Padre prospect for a change he could reach that “ace” level.

2017: As advanced as Morejon is, there is a good chance he starts the year in Low-A Fort Wayne or possibly Lake Elsinore.  No matter where he starts, there is a good chance that he finishes the year in San Antonio, putting himself ready for an MLB call-up either late 2018/early 2019. 

 

5)      Josh Naylor, 1B
Depending on what scout you talk to you are either enamored with Naylor, or think he is one of the most overrated prospects in baseball.  If you are in his camp, he hit for power, a lot of power. Naylor prides himself on his strength (his biceps are the size of small mountains), and it is evident when he crushes balls 400 plus feet on a daily basis in batting practice.  He is also seen as having a good arm at first base.  After that the debate comes into play. 

His antagonists point to his weight, listed at 225 but that might be per bicep, and the fact that he is limited position wise as a huge red flag.  They also note that while Naylor makes good contact for a power hitter (84 strikeouts in 500 plate appearances), a much of the contact is swinging out of the zone where he doesn’t generate much power.

Why I like him?  He is someone who treats baseball as a job, and one of the few young players who say they are going to say they will spend their winter becoming a better student of the game you believe them.  He was also the youngest player in the Cal League last year, and at the time of the trade really only had one year of pro baseball experience.  He also is surprisingly agile for someone his size.  He will out hustle anyone, and once he gets moving he is a force to be reckoned with.  He will never be plus defensively, but I believe in his bat enough that with even an average glove at first he will be a MLB regular. 

2017: Look for reports about how “great” Naylor looks in spring training, as he will lose a bit of weight and /or have more muscle.  He will start the year in Lake Elsinore, but could also easily end up in Double-A San Antonio by the seasons’ end. 

6)      Cal Quantrill, RHP/SP
Before his injury Quantrill was viewed as the likely number one overall selection.  Even post injury the Padres liked him enough in private workouts to select him with the third overall pick in this year’s draft.  Quantrill showed in his brief debut appearances that his repertoire was back to what it was preinjury.  He will be the first to express that his accuracy isn’t completely back together, but that should come back with time and more innings.  He managed to show in just a few months why he has a ceiling of a number two pitcher.

2017:  Being a college pitcher, there is a good chance that Quantrill skips Fort Wayne and goes straight to Lake Elsinore where he will be fast tracked up the system.  Being his third year removed from surgery he won’t have as big an innings limit as others, but still look for the Padres to cap him out around 100-110 innings.   

 

7)      Chris Paddack, RHP/SP
When the Padres traded closer Fernando Rodney from him, many scouts raved that he was a steal and would easily end up being a top 100 prospect.  At the time of the trade Paddack had struck out 48 in just 28.1 innings, all while allowing only 11 baserunners!  He then went to Fort Wayne and struck out 23 in 14 innings before going down with injury. 

He features a fastball in the low 90s, and an ok slider, but what made him truly unhittable was his changeup.  It is often compared to a video game or cartoon where the ball just completely drops.  Assuming he comes back from surgery, he has the possibility of being an above average #3 starter. 

2017: Get well Chris.  We will see you in 2018. 

8)      Luis Urias, 2B
Every year there are prospects that some of us rank way too high because we see something special in.  Last year, Luis Urias was my guy, and I just want to point out that thus far I am right. 

Urias’ biggest criticism last year was that he was so skinny that he would never hit for even “gap” power and outfielders would take advantage of it eventually treating him like a pitcher.  It was justifiable as he hit just seven extra-base hits in all of 2015.  He responded by hitting his first home run on April 19th, although it was of the inside the park variety.  He ended up hitting six home runs and finishing the year with 37 extra-base hits.  Not a power hitter, but still someone who can’t be written off for being weak. 

What really makes Urias a top prospect is that he has a great eye at the plate, great bat speed and can hit the ball to all fields.  He finished the year hitting .333/.404/.446 while striking out just 37 times in over 500 plate appearances and led the league in batting average.  Not to mention until Naylor joined the team, Urias was the youngest player in the Cal League. 

2017: Urias should start in San Antonio, and if he can add even a little bit more power/arm strength could end up being the starting third baseman, and find himself ready for a call-up to San Diego by September. 

9)      Fernando Tatis, INF
Preller was really high on him when he first signed two years ago out of the Dominican, and jumped at the opportunity to trade for him this year.  It is easy to see why.  Tatis has a big arm, big power, above average athlete, solid bat speed and as he grows and matures it is easy to see his comp being his dad.  However, Tatis Jr is farther along than his father was at the same age.  He is still very raw, and has a lot of work to do to smooth out his swing, and fill out his frame, but if everything works out, which is always a big “if”, Tatis he could become an all-star level MLB third baseman.

2017: With that in mind don’t expect to see Tatis in San Diego anytime soon.  Tatis should start the year in Fort Wayne.  While many think he will end up at third, Preller has expressed a desire to leave both him and Hudson Potts at shortstop until they have to move them off. 

10)   Carlos Asuaje, 2B/INF
From a scout perspective Asuaje is not incredibly impressive.  He has an above-average hit tool, but all of his other tools rate as average or worse.  However, from a fan standpoint, he is loved.  Asuaje hustles, studies, and practices more than any player out there.  He is the ideal number two hitter in he can take a walk, bunt, get the runner over anything that you want he can do it – except maybe hit consistent home runs

2017: Asuaje is limited to second, and could either start for the Padres or back in El Paso.  His hit tool will dictate whether he becomes a 4A player, bench player, or hopefully, solid MLB starter.

11)   Michael Gettys, CF/OF
Gettys had his coming out party in 2016.  He hit over .300 across two different levels, had 40 extra-base-hits, stole 33 bases and scored 77 runs all while playing excellent defense in center. Gettys has the raw power to eventually hit 20-25 HR a season and steal 35-40 bases at higher levels.  The biggest problem, like Pedro Cerrano from the movie Major League, he cannot hit the breaking ball. 

He struck out 162 times in 2015 almost 90% of the time on breaking balls.  He showed improvement this past year in Lake Elsinore swinging less often at the breaking ball in the dirt, but still striking out 146 times, but unfortunately the AFL showed that the improvement was just minor as Gettys led the league in strikeouts.  If he can ever learn to lay off the breaking ball he has MLB All-Star level talent. 

2017: Gettys will either start at San Antonio or Lake Elsinore depending on what the Padres do with Franchy Cordero and Manuel Margot.  Gettys knows that it will be his ability to lay off the breaking ball in the dirt that dictates how far he goes this year.

 

12)   Eric Laurer, LHP/SP
Lauer was a popular pick for “quickest to the majors,” and depending on how the Padres treat him this year he could end up in San Diego by the end of the year.  He has above average control of all four of his pitches and can constantly throw them low in the zone.  He throws a low 90s fastball with a slider being his best pitch.  Lauer’s weakest pitch is his changeup but has already had special training sessions with someone named Trevor Hoffman.  Even if his changeup improves, Laurer is a mid-rotation starter at best; however the likelihood of him reaching that ceiling is higher than probably anyone else on the list.

2017: He will begin the year in Lake Elsinore, and depending on how he does can easily be this year’s version of Walker Lockett or Michael Kelly in his ability to climb within the system.

 

13)   Jorge Ona, OF/RF
Besides Morejon, Ona is the only other J-2 signee to make the list.  Already being 19, and having a more advanced feel for the game should allow him to go straight to full season ball in April, something none of the other J-2 signings will do until at least 2018.  Ona is viewed as being an above average MLB hitter, with good bat speed, plus power, and a good eye at the plate.  While he has a good speed, most scouts feel his arm and size will push him to a corner outfield spot. 

2017: He should be part of a strong but incredibly young Fort Wayne lineup.

 

14)   Logan Allen, LHP/SP
Allen was the great sleeper pick in the Kimbrel trade, as he was coming off a spectacular rookie campaign with the Red Sox in 2015.  Although 2016 did not meet the same success, mainly because of injuries, he still showed promise.  Similar to Laurer, Allen relies on control and off-speed pitches more than just pounding his fastball.  While he didn’t struggle with command, he didn’t find the same success at fooling hitters.  After an injury cost him most of the middle of season, the Padres took the time to work on his delivery and adding more movement to his breaking ball.  Allen has a ceiling of a number four starter.

2017: Allen should be in Lake Elsinore, but could find himself at least beginning the season in Fort Wayne.

 

15)   Javier Guerra, SS
He was a top 100 prospect who many thought was going to be the answer for the Padres’ future problems at shortstop.  The only thing that increased from his breakout 2015 was his strikeout numbers.  Everything else went backwards.  He looked over-matched at the plate, and often times lethargic.  It was reported, but not confirmed, that he was sent home early after fighting depression for most of the second half of the season.  I still like him because his ceiling is that off a left-handed hitting, gold glove caliber shortstop, who has 15-20 home run power. 

Guerra’s season was lost by May when he tried incredibly hard to impress his new organization, failed, and caused him to press more.  Hopefully an offseason to relax and the confidence gained by being put on the 40man roster helps him get his head on straight.

2017: Guerra should return to Lake Elsinore, and will be just 21 when the season starts which will still be young for the club. 

 

16)   Jacob Nix, RHP/SP
Nix had a decent but uninspiring debut season with the Padres, as he struggled to consistently find command with his fastball.  That was mastered in the offseason and in 2016 Nix looked like the best pitcher on a strong Fort Wayne staff.  With a good moving fastball that touches 96, when he can control it, he can mix in both his change and curve, both of which profile as above-average pitches, and become nearly unhittable.  He profiles as a mid-rotation MLB starter. 

2017: Another pitcher that should start in Lake Elsinore.  There is an off chance with the sheer number of prospects that they try and push him to San Antonio, but he will probably at least begin the season with the Storm.

 

17)   Reggie Lawson, RHP/SP
Lawson is probably hoping to be the 2017 version of Nix.  Lawson was poised to be a Top 10 pick before a change in delivery and injury caused him to move backwards.  The Padres believe they can fix it and revert him back to that potential ceiling of a number two starter.  He has a lot of work to do, but depending on which scout you talk to they either really like his fastball, his curveball, or completely hate him now.  Got to love scouting.

2017: Ideally Lawson starts off on Fort Wayne, but if his delivery is not back to where it needs to be they might keep him in extended for a month or two and then send him out to either Fort Wayne or short-season Tri-Cities.

 

18)   Mason Thompson, RHP/RP
Thompson’s first start in the AZL he was sitting in the 88-89 MPH range with his fastball.  By the prospect game at Petco in October, he was sitting 94 topping out at 96.  As with most players’ post-Tommy John, his location was not great, but his fastball and change combo alone had hitters flailing wildly.  His change is a plus pitch, and when he can locate his breaking ball it has the potential to be above average as well.  Thompson is a tall guy at 6’8” and with most pitchers that height they can be truly dominating when they can quiet their delivery and find home plate (see Tyson Ross).  Thompson still has a lot of work to do but the talent of a mid-rotation starter is there.

2017: Like Lawson, Thompson will either start in Fort Wayne or extended depending on how far along they think he is. 

 

19)   Hudson Potts, INF
Every single one of Potts’ tools profiles as MLB average or slightly better.  The knock on him is that no tool profiles as truly elite.  He can hit, hit for power, steal a few bases, play solid defense and make consistent contact, all of which should make him a top prospect.  As the youngest player selected in the 2016 Amateur Draft at 17 (he just turned 18 in late October, he has room to grow.  Preller defended picking him in the first round by pointing to his age and that he was extremely moldable, so the jury is out as to what type of mold the Padres use and if it takes shape.

2017: Despite the age Potts has shown enough where he should start at Fort Wayne.  Like he did last year he will probably move around between the infield and designated hitter.

 

20)   Dinelson Lamet, RHP
Lamet had a breakout 2015 in Fort Wayne, and started 2016 in Lake Elsinore easily being the most dominant pitcher in the Cal League (he was scheduled to be the starting pitcher in the All-Star Game before his promotion to Double-A).  He did not have exactly the same success in San Antonio and El Paso, but still pitched well enough for the Padres to consider him for a starting role heading into 2017. 

He has an extreme over the top arm angle which makes his pitches hard to pick-up.  Combine that with a fastball that can reach 96 and it is understandable why he can be so dominant.  However, his fastball is currently the only pitch that profiles as better than average, and often times he will struggle with location of all of his pitches.  Still his arm angle and fastball alone will be enough to get him to the majors.  The question will be whether it will be a starter or a reliever.

2017: Lamet should begin the year in El Paso but has an outside shot of making the Padres’ rotation depending on offseason acquisitions. 

 

21)   Enyel De Los Santos, RHP/SP
De Los Santos’ is the first in a line of Padres’ prospects that have a big fastball but not much else.  His fastball reaches 96 and has good movement creating a lot of swings and misses.  However both his change and curve are mediocre at best and haven’t improved much year-to-year.  It was his first year in the Padres organization, and hopefully an offseason with the Padres will improve his off-speed stuff.  If not, he could very well end up at the backend of a bullpen.

2017: De Los Santos is this high on the list because he is still a starter and the Padres have made every indication that he will continue to be one until it becomes a necessity to move him.  Look for him to be in the starting rotation for San Antonio. 

 

22)   Phil Maton, RHP/RP
The Padres had a plethora of excellent relievers this past season but Maton stood out above the rest.  The organization toyed with putting him in the starting rotation, but after missing the first month of the season with injuries the Padres returned him to the pen and he dominated.  He finished the year with 78 strikeouts compared to just 11 walks in 51.2 innings.  Maton technically has four pitches, but his fastball, which is almost thrown like a slider thanks to an absurdly high spin rate, has so much movement that it is virtually unhittable.  It sits around 94 mph, but he flashed the same pitching in May in Fort Wayne as he did in the PCL Championship game in September, and both times had hitters completely off balance.  His actual slider is another plus pitch, just thrown slower with more movement.  The rest of his pitches were viewed as below average, but two pitches viewed as above average MLB pitches could give him a nice career in the majors. 

2017: Maton has an outside shot at making the Padres out of spring training.  However, he is not on the 40-man, and if everyone is healthy will not be called up until injuries start to occur.  Look for him in San Diego by mid-year. 

 

23)   Franchy Cordero, CF/OF
For years Franchy has been rated as a top prospect in the system based primarily on projection.  He was ranked even though he led the free world in errors at short a few years ago.  2016 was the first time that we saw what Franchy could do when he put his whole game together.  After a mid-season promotion to San Antonio, Cordero became the leader of the team.  He showed power, speed, hit to all fields, made solid contact, and was never cheated at the plate.  He finished the year hitting .290/.344/.450 with 16 triples, 11 home runs, 79 runs, and 23 stolen bases.  He does still strike out quite a bit (154 times in 137 games), but he finally showed why the Padres and scouts loved him so much.  He also just turned 22 and would be the equivalent of a college senior. 

2017: Cordero is in a tough place.  He has Jankowski and Margot ahead of him, and Gettys and Buddy Reed behind him.  For now he will probably slide one league under wherever Margot ends up; so either back to San Antonio or El Paso.  Cordero isn’t a great defender in center right now because his routes are still a work in progress, but has a lot more value there then he does at a corner outfield spot.  Additionally, he has the raw athleticism to get a lot better in center field.

 

24)   Ruddy Giron, SS/INF  
I might be one of the few people who still really like Ruddy.  Giron was a Top 10 prospect last year, and then struggled for the better part of this year.  The thing that makes me optimistic about him is that even during his struggles his strikeout numbers didn’t change much (17.6% in 2015, to 18.4% in 2016). Giron had just a .482 OPS in the first half of the season but rebounded to a .740 OPS in July than 1.141 OPS in a brief stint with the Storm at the end of the season. 

Giron doesn’t have one exceptional tool, but profiles as a shortstop who won’t strike out a ton, hit for a good average, with some power, possibly more as he fills out his frame.  Shortstops are at such a premium that if he can come close to his potential he can end up being a top 100 MLB prospect.  We just happened to see the floor of his prospect status in 2016, but hopefully it is just a down year and nothing more.

2017: Giron was promoted to Lake Elsinore late in the year and will start there in 2017.  The question might be where he plays as other disappointing shortstop Javier Guerra will also probably start with Lake Elsinore, so look for them both to rotate between second base, shortstop and third.

 

25)   Austin Allen, C
Allen was drafted as an offensive catcher, so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see him hit over .290 in four of the five months of the season, including winning player of the month in April when he hit .460/.539/.603.  He projects as someone who can hit for both average and power.  However most of his value lies in his ability to stay at catcher.  Allen  showed significant  improvement defensively since the Padres drafted him, but most scouts think he will still be too big to stay behind the plate (Evan Gattis is a great body type comparison as they are both 6’4” and roughly same weight).

2017: Allen has huge power, but struggled with elevating the ball in game (only eight home runs, but had some that landed 430 plus feet).  That shouldn’t be a problem in the Cal League where on a particular warm night in the desert, a bunt can go off the wall for a double.  Look for him to continue to break out offensively. 

 

26)   Walker Lockett RHP/SP
Lockett being ranked this low is more a product of the increased depth in the system more than his prospect status taking a step back.  Lockett had a breakout year and was named the MadFriars’ Pitcher of the Year.  He is a prototypical sinker type pitcher.  I have seen him in a start where he has been on with his sinker and he looked just like Brandon Webb.  The sinker drops like a bowling ball and if it gets hit at all, it just gets beat into the ground.  I have also seen the flip side of it where the sinker gets left up in the zone and it gets hit… hard.  As such, Lockett profiles as more of a back of the rotation type starter, but he can easily be a 15 game winner in the majors. 

2017: Lockett was added to the 40-man and has an inside shot at making the starting rotation.  Because he is not viewed as the same type of prospect as most of the pitchers earlier in the list, the Padres won’t try to make him wait a month to play the contract status game.  If he is ready he will be in San Diego.

 

27)   Austin Smith, RHP/SP
Smith has a tall body, above average fastball, above-average slider, but below-average everything else; including command.  He struggled throughout the year throwing his repertoire for strikes.  Which meant on any given start there was at least one pitch he couldn’t find the strike zone with; which enabled hitters to focus on just one pitch. Like most taller pitchers, if Smith can get his mechanics and command in order he has a chance to be a mid-rotation starter.  If not he might be moved to the pen where he would only need half his pitches.

2017: Smith will be given another chance to start, and will more than likely do so in Lake Elsinore.  However he will likely be viewed as the number four or five starter in a very talented rotation.

 

28)   Jose Rondon, SS 
Rondon makes the list because of his floor, not because of his ceiling.  There are a lot of incredibly talented but extremely young Padres’ players that can and probably will easily pass him before next year’s rankings; but for now he makes the list.  Rondon is an above-average shortstop defensively, that has speed, and is a pretty good contact hitter. 

I really don’t see anything else even profiling as close to average at the MLB level, but there is usually a bench spot for someone with plus defense at short and some speed, and that alone will probably get him a MLB job at some point which is far more of a guarantee than any of the other players who didn’t make the list. 

2017: Rondon was overmatched in his brief appearance with the Padres but did show off his glove work.  With the Padres acquiring Luis Sardinas, Rondon will probably spend most of the year in Triple-A El Paso hopefully showing that consistent hitting ability that made some people think he was a top prospect. 

 

29)   Jose Castillo, LHP
I have always been a huge Jose Castillo fan since the Padres acquired him in the Wil Myers deal.  He is essentially the left-handed version of someone like Jacob Nix.  Both listed at 6’4” over 200 lbs.  The difference being Castillo has had control issues and injury problems and Nix hasn’t. 

Castillo has a big fastball and improving secondary pitches that can make him lethal.  After missing most of the year with injuries he came back and in 40 innings (across three levels) he struck out 49, while decreasing his walk numbers by half and posting a 2.03 ERA.  Castillo still needs that first full season to show what he is capable of before he is moved higher on the list.

2017: Castillo was moved to the pen in 2016 to get him innings before the season ended, but the Padres have indicated they still see a possibility of Castillo as a starter.  With the glut of pitchers in Lake Elsinore they might try to push Castillo to San Antonio to start but he is more likely to return to Lake Elsinore in the bullpen.

30)          Buddy Reed, CF
The Padres seemed to make a lot of draft picks based on scouting reports from 2015.  Reed was looked on as arguably the best college outfielder in 2015, before having an unremarkable junior season with the Gators.  The Padres see him as a plus  defensive center fielder and arguably the fastest person in the system.  He also has enough raw power to project to hit 15 homers  a season.  The reason he fell in the draft and the reason he is ranked so low is because his hit tool never developed and remains a big question mark.  If it can develop he has the build and athleticism of someone like Dexter Fowler.  If it can’t, he has the makings of someone who can’t get out of A-Ball. 

2017: He will be the starting center fielder for the Tin Caps.  The Padres might try to push him to Lake Elsinore, but considering his hit tool is his biggest need, it might be easier to put him against weaker pitching and let his bat continue to develop.

 31) Part 2: Relievers

Brad Wieck, LHP; Kyle McGrath, LHP; Yimmi Brasoban, RHP; Jose Torres, LHP; Jason Jester, RHP
The Padres had a number of remarkable relievers that each are completely different in their skill set and each could possibly appear in the majors.  The reason why each of them do not make the list though, is because for the most part they are all failed starters with one or two exceptional pitches.  Both Wieck and Brasoban struggled starting, moved to the pen, and all of a sudden their two pitch combination made them unhittable.  Considering how big of a need there is in the majors for relievers, each of these prospects could have a long career in a major league bullpen. 


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