As Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune noted in his article, the big news was the Padres hiring of Edwin Rodriguez for the Lake Elsinore Storm. Rodriguez had once managed the Miami Marlins in 2010 and 2011. He has worked for the Cleveland Indians organization for the past three years.
This year the Padres will field two Arizona League teams to account for the $60 million plus San Diego has spent in the international market; and still may not be finished.
Other than the news of Rodriguez hiring, the other big news is that Xavier Nady, a former Padre and Lake Elsinore Storm, will not be returning to High-A as a hitting coach and instead will be replaced by Raul Padron, who was in Fort Wayne last year as a hitting coach.
A further indication of how serious San Diego is about the importance and development is the addition of an extra coach at each level. The Padres will now have four full-time coaches at every level in addition to the roving instructors. Most minor league clubs only have three coaches; manager, hitting and pitching coaches.
Additionally, there have been rumors that San Diego is considering the addition of another upper level short-season team in either the Appalachian or Pioneer League for 2018 which would give them eight minor league squads. Only the Yankees currently have that number.
Now for some housekeeping.
The MadFriars Top 20, our final top prospect list will come out on the day pitchers and catchers report on both Scout.com and FoxSports San Diego. We will have on-site reporting from both the early and later parts of Spring Training and try to take in the large amount of invitees that are scheduled.
In addition to the release of our Top 20 list we will also have a smaller Top 10 list for the organization's international signings that Kevin Charity will be working on.