Ivan Pierre Aguirre

2017 MadFriars San Diego Padres Top 20 Prospect Lists

It's been a remarkable year of player acquisition and development for the San Diego Padres. The rewards of that work are just beginning to emerge in this year's Top 20 prospects list.

After decades of proclaiming that they would spare no expense in building a quality minor league farm system, the San Diego Padres’ reality finally matches their rhetoric. The organization has spent well over $70 million dollars (and counting) on the international market, went aggressive in the amateur draft, and has handed out four of the five biggest individual signing bonuses in team history.

In poker parlance, the Padres are all in on amateur talent acquisition.

General Manager A.J. Preller, in his third year at San Diego’s helm, has weathered a few controversies but also built a consensus top five system which should get even better with high draft picks this year and next.

In addition to being given a relatively open checkbook by ownership - a courtesy his predecessors were not provided – over the last 18 months Preller also peddled veteran players for quality prospects, many of whom have generally performed better than public expectations at the time of the deals.

Seven of this year’s Top 20 players, including the top two, were acquired via trade. Even in the salary dump of James Shields, Preller found a way to pry away Fernando Tatis, Jr. who many believe is one of most talented prospects in a strong San Diego system even though he is far away from the big leagues.

2017 Top 20 at a Glance: 11 Pitchers and 9 Position Players

New for 2017 (12): RHP Anderson Espinoza (acquired from Red Sox), RHP Cal Quantrill (2016 Draft), LHP Adrian Morejon (2016 international signing), LHP Eric Lauer (2016 Draft), 2B/3B Carlos Asuaje, 1B Josh Naylor (acquired from Marlins), INF Fernando Tatis (acquired from White Sox), RHP Chris Paddack (acquired from Marlins), RHP Mason Thompson (2016 Draft), INF Hudson Potts (2016 Draft), OF Jorge Ona (2016 international signing) and RHP Reggie Lawson (2016 Draft).

Out from 2016, but still in Organization (9): SS Javier Guerra, SS Ruddy Giron, RHP Ryan Butler, RHP Austin Smith, OF Nick Torres, RHP Enyel De Los Santos, SS Jose Rondon, LHP Jose Castillo and OF Jabari Blash.

Graduated from 2016 (3): RHP Colin Rea (Padres); CF Travis Jankowski (Padres) and OF Alex Dickerson (Padres).

Synopsis: Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot will be among the first wave of talent to arrive with the big club. Also expect to see Carlos Asuaje and Dinelson Lamet get long looks. The strength of the minor league system will be in A-Ball as the starting pitching staffs at Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore may include nearly half of this year’s Top 20 at one time or another. In the upper minors, keep an eye on young second baseman Luis Urias, especially in how well he adapts to splitting time at shortstop. The lower minors will feature two Arizona League teams because of the influx of international talent acquired and San Diego should send a particularly strong team to Tri-City this summer.

Not in the Top 20 Sleepers: SS/INF Chris Baker, LHP Joey Lucchesi, OF Nick Torres, CF Franchy Cordero and RHP Walker Lockett.

1.  Manuel Margot

Position: Center field
Height/Weight:
5-11/170
Age: 22
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
Trade with Boston Red Sox for Craig Kimbrel

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

El Paso

.304

.354

.426

553

36/64

157

39

6

Padres

.243

.243

.405

37

0/7

9

5

0

2016 Highlights: Only 21, Margot was well over five years younger than the PCL average last summer and was second only in the league to teammate Carlos Asuaje in runs scored, third in hits and among the top five in stolen bases with 30 in 41 attempts. Defensively, he improved his routes in the outfield and at the Future’s Game gave Padres’ fans a taste of what he can do with a spectacular catch in deep right-center.

Negatives: He’s not quite there in terms of plate discipline, mainly because he’s so good at putting the ball in play.

Projection: Margot has a chance to be a very good everyday centerfielder and profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter who can drive the ball into the gaps and steal 30 to 40 bases. While he is a very good player now. he’s going to be even better as his mental understanding of the game begins to catch up with his prodigious physical skills - as we saw this past year in El Paso.

MadFriars Assessment: Partially because of his arbitration years- and some additional seasoning - he should begin the first part of the year in Triple-A El Paso and will be in San Diego for good in a few months.

2. Anderson Espinoza

Position: RHP/SP
Height/Weight:
6-0/180
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
Trade with Boston Red Sox for Drew Pomeranz

2016 Stats

W/L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

Greenville (BOS)

5-8

76

4.38

17

72/27

77

37

Fort Wayne

1-3

32.1

4.73

7

28/8

38

17

2016 Highlights: While Espinoza’s numbers in his first full season weren’t eye-popping, the stuff – and the potential - was. His fastball sits easily in the mid-90s with the ability to touch higher. While his change was his best offspeed pitch when he arrived in the U.S., he focused on developing his curve this year. It’s now a strong offering and should play better when he’s mixing all three pitches in more consistently.

Negatives: As with most young pitchers with a big fastball, he can fall in love with it and catch too much of the plate. His change and curve ball need more consistency.

Projection: Anyone who throws that hard, that easy with this much control has an opportunity to become a top of the rotation pitcher,

MadFriars’ Assessment: With all that A.J. Preller went through with the medical report controversy during the past year, being able to acquire Espinoza may have been worth it. He’ll turn 19 in March and will likely be the ace of a deep Lake Elsinore staff less than a month later.  He would be regarded as one of the elite starting pitching prospects in the game with a strong showing in the Cal League this year.

3.  Hunter Renfroe

Position: Right field
Height/Weight:
6-1/205
Age: 25
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2013 First Round

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

El Paso

.306

.336

.557

555

22/115

163

69

30

Padres

.371

.378

.800

36

1/5

13

4

3

2016 Highlights: While not everything completely came together for Renfroe last season, it was pretty close. He led the organization in home runs and RBI’s, was fourth in the PCL in batting average, made an impressive cameo at the big league level, and was the MadFriars Player of the Year.

Negatives: While his strikeout rate fell at Triple-A, his walk rate went from mediocre to almost nonexistent. We believe he’ll equalize a bit going forward, but that rate could lead to some real variability in value from year-to-year. While a few people have read a lot into his severe home/road splits last year, he hit better in Omaha than Albuquerque and was better in Sacramento than Colorado Springs, so that could be as much noise as information.

Projection: Renfroe brings a couple of big tools to the table: power and a rocket arm in right field. While he’s a strong enough defender to be an emergency centerfielder, his ability to use his power in games will define his ceiling as a player.

MadFriars’ Assessment: The quintessential Renfroe moment came when he hit a home run off of the top of the Western Metal Supply Building in Petco. It was a pitch that was somewhere below his mid-shin and he golfed it off the roof. Was it the type of pitch that the organization has been working with him to lay off? Sure, but after watching him play for the past few years, sometimes what is wrong for others is right for him.
He’s going to be the opening day right fielder for the Padres and at times he will struggle to make consistent contact, but there is enough power and defense to justify him developing into a quality major league outfielder.

4. Cal Quantrill

Position: RHP/SP
Height/Weight:
6-3/195
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2016 First Round

2016 Stats

W/L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

AZL Padres

0-2

13.2

5.27

5

16/2

12

8

Tri-City

0-2

18.2

1.93

5

28/2

15

4

Fort Wayne

0-1

4.2

17.36

2

4/2

12

9

2016 Highlights: In the two years before the Padres made him their top pick, Quantrill threw only 18.2 competitive innings and had Tommy John surgery. But he quickly showed he was completely back to where he was during his freshman year at Stanford, if not a little better. He showed plenty to like in his pro debut, flashing a fastball with a bit more velocity than the organization expected in the early going and the same feel for a fantastic change-up that evaluators remembered.

Negatives: His fastball command is still not where he would like it to be and the organization will need to handle him cautiously since he is only 23 months removed from surgery.

Projection: He can touch 96 mph with his fastball and there were reports of him topping out at 98 mph in the AZL. His changeup is a clear strikeout pitch and his slider also could become and above-average pitch.

MadFriars’ Assessment: Quantrill will begin the year in High-A Lake Elsinore and should see Double-A San Antonio by the end of the year, but the organization will probably not push him much beyond 100 innings this season. He could get a brief taste of San Diego at the end of 2018 and be in the rotation mix by 2019.

5. Luis Urias

Position: Second Base
Height/Weight:
5-9/165
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2014 International Free Agent

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

Lake Elsinore

.330

.398

.440

506

40/36

154

36

5

El Paso

.444

.667

.778

14

5/1

4

1

1

2016 Highlights: Urias led the Cal League in batting while playing what was universally considered a nearly flawless second base despite being nearly five years younger than the Cal League average. He has a short, easy swing with great pitch recognition and gets the barrel to all parts of the strike zone easily. He’s walked more than he’s struck out as a professional, and looked completely comfortable when the organization showed confidence in him by giving him a three-day cameo in El Paso.

Negatives: Although he has put on muscle, there is significant doubt about how much power he can eventually develop.

Projection: Urias has two skills which cause most evaluators to take notice; a unique ability to consistently put the barrel of the bat on the ball and an advanced understanding of the strike zone. Those skills will find a home somewhere in a major league lineup.

MadFriars’ Assessment: He’ll have amassed a few hundred at-bats in Double-A San Antonio before he turns 20 in June, and is likely the club’s long-term solution at second base, though he does have enough arm for third and it’s conceivable the club’s plan to experiment with him at shortstop in 2017 will lead to a bit more positional flexibility.

6. Adrian Morejon

Position: LHP/SP
Height/Weight:
6-1/195
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: L/L
How Acquired:
2016 International Free Agent

2016 Stats - DNP

Highlights: The Padres’ decision to blow the roof off their international spending coincided nicely with MLB’s clearance of Morejon as a free agent. He had been on teams’ radar since earning the victory over the United States in the gold medal game of the 2014 Under 15 World Cup, and was part of the mass exodus from the island in the second half of 2015. San Diego signed him for $11 million dollars, plus a 100% tax on that amount to MLB.

Former Padres DSL manager Jeremy Rodriguez commended the lefty for his polish and his advanced feel for pitching. Morejon is still a long way from San Diego but his presence in the system is akin to adding another first-round talent into the fray.

Negatives: He hasn’t pitched in a full year and will be the equivalent of a high school senior this season. The key word: patience.

Projection: Preller spent $22 million to acquire him. Take a guess at how good the organization thinks he may become.

MadFriars’ Assessment: With the mass of talent that the organization has beginning the year in Fort Wayne this season - and Morejon not pitching for a year - he might be held be held back in Extended Spring and begin the year in short-season Tri-City. A strong showing in the spring could force the organization’s hand.

7.  Michael Gettys

Position: Center field
Height/Weight:
6-0/205
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2014 Second Round

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

Fort Wayne

.304

.372

.416

275

18/69

78

18

5

Lake Elsinore

.306

.357

.468

265

17/77

76

22

9

2016 Highlights: Gettys is simply among the most talented athletes in baseball with his five-tool ability that can shine on both sides of the ball - he has even more upside then Renfroe with his speed in center field. The big question with him has always been if he could make enough contact at the plate to fully display them.

Repeating Low-A Fort Wayne, he saw his on-base percentage rise by 101 points and may have put up even better overall numbers in Lake Elsinore if a variety of nagging injuries hadn’t slowed him down. As with Renfroe, his biggest growth this year came on the mental side of the ball as he learned to relax more at the plate and made some mechanical adjustments in his swing.

Negatives: He was overmatched during an aggressive assignment to the Arizona Fall League, striking out30 times in 76 plate appearances for a .157 batting average. He shows considerable power in batting practice, but it has yet to fully emerge during games.

Projection: If he can continue the developmental path that he showed last season, particularly on pitch recognition, he could offer a rare blend of speed and power. Even if his hit tool never fully comes around, he has a tool set that will ensure he gets opportunities for years to come.

MadFriars’ Assessment: He should spend a good part of 2017 back in Lake Elsinore, especially after the Arizona Fall League, but the real test for Gettys will be whether his pitch recognition and ability to stay in the moment hold up when he reaches Double-A. If he can keep his strikeout rate in the merely poor range, his combination of power and potentially plus defense in center field put him in line to spend plenty of time in the big leagues over the next decade.

8. Eric Lauer

Position: LHP
Height/Weight:
6-3/190
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: L/L
How Acquired:
2016 First Round

2016 Stats

W/L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

AZL Padres

0-1

4

6.75

2

7/1

7

3

Tri-City

1-0

25

1.44

7

28/7

17

4

Fort Wayne

0-1

2

0.00

1

2/1

0

0

2016 Highlights: Lauer posted the lowest ERA in the NCAA since 1979 and may be the first among this year’s draft class to reach the major leagues. While he will not blow anyone away with his velocity, his fastball consistently sits in the low 90s with exceptional command. Additionally, he can also sink and subtract with his fastball to go along with a plus slider and curveball.

Negatives: While Lauer throws what Dust Devils’ manager Ben Fritz termed as “heavy ball” because of its natural sink, he doesn’t have overpowering velocity, which gives him a narrower margin for error. The organization is going to attempt to get him to throw his curve more - which he did in college - and work on an improving change-up.

Projection: We think he’s more than a fifth starter, but that is based largely on the assumption that he will have a four-pitch mix as opposed to the fastball/slider combination we saw in his debut.

MadFriars’ Assessment: It would be surprising if Lauer doesn’t open 2017 at least in Lake Elsinore, and it’s not out of the question that the team might push him up to Double-A to put him up against hitters who can be selective within the zone in match-ups.

9.  Jacob Nix

Position: RHP
Height/Weight:
6-3/200
Age: 20
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2015 Third Round

2016 Stats

W-L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

Fort Wayne

3-7

105.1

3.93

25

90/20

115

46

2016 Highlights: Of all the young pitching talent in Fort Wayne last summer, Nix had the most impressive year. He throws a lot of two-seam fastballs and features a pretty good spike curve. The big right-hander had some of the highest average velocity of anyone in the system and when he has all three of his pitches working, he is as good as anyone.

His fastball can hold at 93-94 deep into outings, and he already uses his curve effectively for both swinging and called strikes.

Negatives: Nix perhaps threw too many strikes -- opposing hitters hit .280 off of the righty, although some of that could be blamed on an outfield that wasn’t as good after Michael Gettys was promoted.

Projection: In what is becoming a common theme, pretty high. Anyone who consistently throws as hard as Nix coupled with his intelligence has a chance to be very good.

MadFriars’ Assessment: At 21 years old, Nix will be coming back home to Southern California to open the year in the Storm rotation. He has the physical presence, pitching mix, and approach you want to see, and has put together the mental side of his game as well.

10. Carlos Asuaje

Position: Infield
Height/Weight:
5-9/160
Age: 25
Bats/Throws: L/R
How Acquired:
Trade with Boston Red Sox for Craig Kimbrell

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

El Paso

.321

.382

.473

584

49/82

172

52

9

Padres

.208

.240

.292

25

1/4

5

2

0

2016 Highlights: Asuaje was advertised as a utility infielder who couldn’t play shortstop when he was acquired, but he ended up leading the PCL with 172 hits, posted a .378 on-base percentage and only made 12 errors in 134 games. The left-handed hitter hit .321 at home and .322 on the road and may have been the most consistent performer of all the Padres’ minor leaguers last season.

Negatives: The big negative on Asuaje - and always has been with him - is his size and slight build. Then again, he has been proving people wrong about that concept since he was a freshman in high school.

Projection: He profiles more as a solid contributor than a long-term starter, but his proximity to the big leagues, potential positional versatility at second and third, and contact-oriented offensive game all earn him a spot here on the list.

MadFriars’ Assessment: Asuaje will be in the mix for the opening job with the big club next year between Corey Spangenberg and Ryan Schimpf. He’s the best of the three defensively and may even provide the most consistency at the plate.

11. Josh Naylor

Position: First Base
Height/Weight:
6-0/225
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: L/L
How Acquired:
Trade with Florida Marlins for Andrew Cashner

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

Greensboro (FL)

.269

.317

.430

364

22/62

92

35

9

Lake Elsinore

.252

.268

.353

142

3/22

35

8

3

2016 Highlights: There are things to like about Naylor, especially his impressive natural power, bat speed and youth. Two weeks younger than Luis Urias, Naylor got an aggressive assignment to join Urias with the Storm when the Padres acquired him from the Marlins. That was a lot to ask of the burly Canadian barely a year after he was the 12th overall pick in the draft – a pick that was widely seen as a reach by the Marlins at the time. His line in the Cal League was uninspiring, but he was in the midst of a decent first season in Low-A before the trade.

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

Projection: A power hitting first baseman, but he’s going to have to resolve contact issues first.

MadFriars’ Assessment: Ultimately, being a one-dimensional slugger is a tough way to make it through the minors and his violent swing could make it hard for him to adjust to advanced pitching. But the big man is going to get a lot of opportunity to turn his monster raw tool into a quality skill. He’ll likely spend all of 2017 at Lake Elsinore, and his future from there will depend on how much improvement he shows.

12. Dinelson Lamet

Position: RHP
Height/Weight:
6-4/190
Age: 24
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2014 International Free Agent

2016 Stats

W-L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

Lake Elsinore

7-1

65

2.35

12

54/26

55

17

San Antonio

5-7

74.1

3.39

14

91/31

57

28

El Paso

0-2

10.2

4.22

2

13/4

13

5

2016 Highlights: Lamet enters the year as the Padres’ top starting pitching prospect at the Double-A level and above. The six-foot-four Dominican flashes a very good fastball and slider combination - the key for him like many young pitchers will be to continue to develop a more consistent changeup. While he's had an odd career trajectory, Lamet built on his impressive stateside debut with an impressive campaign that got him all the way to Triple-A in his second professional season.

Negatives: At times, Lamet struggled with his command and he got himself into trouble by walking too many batters, but his stuff is explosive enough that he was able to pitch himself out of self-inflicted damage by using his slider to generate strikeouts.
The concern with him is that he doesn’t necessarily have a third pitch. He has tinkered with a changeup, but hasn’t thrown it enough to be confident with it which he will need to become a big league starter.

Projection: If the third pitch develops, he’s a mid-rotation starter in the big leagues. If not, he still has the arsenal to be a late-inning reliever.

MadFriars’ Assessment: He should spend much of 2017 in El Paso, but without much competition at the top of the system, he’ll likely get a look in San Diego at some point this season.

13. Fernando Tatis, Jr.

Position: Shortstop
Height/Weight:
6-3/190
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
Trade with Chicago White Sox for James Shields

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

AZL Padres

.273

.312

.426

186

10/44

48

18

4

Tri-City

.273

.319

.455

47

3/13

12

6

0

2016 Highlights: Tatis was the best part of the Padres sending James Shields and $27 million to the White Sox. The son of a former big leaguer is a lot like his teammate Hudson Potts in his ability to play multiple infield positions, his feel for hitting and only turning 18 in the offseason.

While Tatis is young, he has already shown impressive power. Chris Kemp, the Padres director of international scouting, marveled that his raw power had increased quite a bit since joining the organization.

Negatives: Tatis has a tendency to swing way too often – a trait that is somewhat surprising for a kid who’s had as much exposure to the game at its highest levels as he has. Some in the organization think he was trying too hard to impress after drawing as much attention as he has, but it will definitely be important to see quick improvements in this area.

Projection: An athletic power hitting third baseman somewhere far into the future.

MadFriars’ Assessment: He will be a young 18-year-old playing a lot of shortstop in the Midwest League all year, and even if he ultimately outgrows the position, there is no doubt that he’ll be able to stay in the infield. He’s got as much upside as any position player in the organization right now, but there are enough red flags and he’s far enough away that it’s best to remain cautious.

14. Chris Paddack

Position: RHP/SP
Height/Weight:
6-4/200
Age: 21
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
Trade with Florida Marlins for Fernando Rodney

2016 Stats

W-L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

Greensboro (FLA)

2-0

28.1

0.95

6

48/2

9

3

Fort Wayne

0-0

14

0.64

3

23/3

11

1

2016 Highlights: The last time a player announced himself so loudly in Fort Wayne was when Ruddy Giron came out guns blazing when he joined the TinCaps in 2015. Paddack, the player acquired straight-up for All-Star reliever Fernando Rodney, made three ridiculous starts for Fort Wayne, but blew out his elbow, ultimately undergoing Tommy John surgery that will keep him out of action all of next year.

He features a fastball in the low 90s, and an okay 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. He also has a developing curve and slider.

Negatives: As impressive as his showing in Low-A for both the Marlins and Padres was, he’s ultimately going to be a 22-year-old with 42 innings of full-season ball under his belt when he takes a mound again in 2018.

Projection: So much depends on his recovery from Tommy John surgery and the development of a consistent breaking ball.

MadFriars’ Assessment: Paddack will spend the entire year recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2018, if healthy, he seems likely to be in Lake Elsinore.

15. Mason Thompson

Position: RHP/SP
Height/Weight:
6-7/190
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired: 2016 Third Round

2016 Stats

W-L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

AZL Padres

0-0

12

2.25

5

12/5

8

3

2016 Highlights: Thompson is a prime example of how much San Diego believes in the extended scouting process. He was considered one of the best pitchers in the nation as a sophomore, but threw a grand total of just one inning in his junior and senior seasons. However, the Padres saw enough of the tall Texan in that year and were impressed enough in his side sessions before the draft to lay down $1.75 million in the third round.

It’s easy to see why player development folks like him. Thompson has nice extension and good arm action, and has had lots of exposure to high-level coaching for a long time.

Negatives: While he wasn’t showing his pre-surgery velocity very much in Peoria, there’s general consensus that it will and improve as he gets further away from the injury.

Projection: If he is healthy, he has a chance to be a Top Ten guy a year from now.

MadFriars’ Assessment: He’ll likely open the year piggy-backing in the Fort Wayne rotation, and is likely to follow a similar development path to 2015 third-rounder Jake Nix.

16. Hudson Potts

Position: Infielder
Height/Weight:
6-2/180
Age: 18
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2016 First Round

2016 Stats

AVG

OBP

SLG

PA

BB/K

Hits

XBH

HR

AZL Padres

.295

.335

.399

192

9/34

54

15

1

Tri-City

.233

.347

.267

69

9/13

14

1

0

2016 Highlights: Potts, who was drafted as “Sanchez” but changed to his stepfather’s name shortly after signing, was considered by many a surprise pick on draft day but put up some strong numbers in the AZL at only 17. The Padres were able to sign Potts for an under-slot amount, which they used on pitchers Mason Thompson and Reggie Lawson later in the draft, and get a player who probably would have been selected in the upper parts of the first round had he been in the class of 2017 with others his age.

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 could make him a top prospect.

Negatives: While there’s near universal certainty he won’t stay at shortstop, and some question whether he can stay on the infield at all, there’s also plenty of observers who believe in the bat.

Projection: Potts has some power in his bat, although right now he is more of a gap-to-gap guy. While he only hit one homer, he also drove several balls to the wall, including one at Gesa Stadium (Tri-Cities), which might be the worst park to hit in all of minor league baseball. At his ceiling, he could be a 15-20 home run guy.

MadFriars’ Assessment: Potts should start next season in the cold of Fort Wayne and the Midwest League, rotating with Tatis in multiple infield spots.

17. Logan Allen

Position: LHP/SP
Height/Weight:
6-3/200
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: L/L
How Acquired:
Trade with Boston Red Sox for Craig Kimbrell

2016 Stats

W-L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

AZL Padres (Rehab)

0-0

6

3.00

3

8/1

5

2

Tri-City (Rehab)

0-1

2.1

7.71

1

4/1

4

2

Fort Wayne

3-4

54

3.33

11

47/22

48

20

2016 Highlights: Allen battled injuries for most of the year but when he was healthy, showed an ability to throw three quality pitches for strikes. He can touch 95 mph and San Diego is working on getting him to have a shorter and tighter breaking ball. He is one of the four prospects that came over in the Craig Kimbrel deal, which right now looks very good for San Diego and A.J. Preller.

Negatives: Just needs to stay healthy, eat more innings and like the rest of us, become more consistent.

Projection: Allen has good fastball movement from the left side, already solid feel for a breaking ball, and a mental approach well beyond his years. And he won’t turn 20 until May. He has all the components to be a reliable mid-rotation starter.

MadFriars’ Assessment: He’s only going to turn 20 this year and was shut down for much of last summer, so he won’t be behind track if he’s returns back to Fort Wayne to open the year. Regardless of where he starts, if he stays healthy, he should finish in Elsinore. Allen profiles as a “crafty lefty” only he can bring the heat too.

18. Jorge Oña

Position: Outfield
Height/Weight:
6-2/210
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired: 2016 International Free Agent

2016 Stats - Did Not Play

2016 Highlights: The Padres’ pair of Cuban signees Oña and Morejon represent over half of the $70 million that San Diego spent in the international market. The corner outfielder was a force for Cuba in international competitions, but had limited exposure in Serie Nacional before he defected in July, 2015. Major League Baseball took its sweet time in clearing him as a free agent, paving the way for the Padres to include him in the current signing class. He will be 20 years old when he begins his career in the states.

Negatives: When we saw him during instructs, we saw a much less complete package than we’d previously heard. It’s important to remember that he’d had a significant layoff from actual game situations, but we’re going to wait for more information before going all-in on him, especially given some recent high-profile flameouts by young Cubans.

Projection: Oña demonstrated on the international stage that he has all the tools to be high-impact corner outfielder, but he'll need to show how he's doing in his professional debut this year.

MadFriars’ Assessment: He could begin the year in Lake Elsinore where he could really enjoy the Cal League, but it's certainly possible he opens Fort Wayne.

19. Phil Maton

Position: RHP/RP
Height/Weight:
6-3/190
Age: 23
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2015 20th Round

2016 Stats

W-L

IP

ERA

Saves

K/BB

Hits

ER

Fort Wayne

1-1

12.2

1.42

1

19/1

14

2

Lake Elsinore

3-2

33

1.91

3

47/8

17

7

El Paso

1-0

6

1.50

1

12/2

1

1

2016 Highlights: Maton is the type of player who makes scouting directors stick out their chests. A 20th round pick out of Louisiana Tech, Maton had a good, but not great collegiate career as a starter. But as a professional, he has been something else.

Since moving to the bullpen, he has seen his velocity tick up - helped out by a quality spin rate which makes his four-seam fastball appear to be rising - and a plus slider. Maton started the year in Fort Wayne, dominated in Lake Elsinore and helped to propel El Paso to the PCL championship.

Negatives: As a relief pitcher, not a lot. Although a consistent changeup would be a nice addition.

Projection: We’re about there; a quality bullpen arm who can get both righties and lefties out.

MadFriars’ Assessment: While Maton received an invite to big league camp, he almost certainly won’t make the 25-man roster when spring training breaks. However, if the big league bullpen is emptied out by trades this summer, he could lead a wave of very talented relievers to the majors.

20. Reggie Lawson

Position: RHP/SP
Height/Weight:
6-4/200
Age: 19
Bats/Throws: R/R
How Acquired:
2016 Second Round

2016 Stats

W-L

IP

ERA

GS

K/BB

Hits

ER

AZL Padres

0-0

8.2

8.31

3

7/3

12

8

2016 Highlights: Although Lawson battled injuries all throughout his senior year, San Diego threw him $1.9 million to keep him away from Arizona State. Coming into the season, many scouts considered him a potential first round talent.

He has a fastball that can touch 95 mph but will sit in the low 90s along with a curveball and change. Right now the curveball seems to be the better of the secondary pitches. You can put almost zero stock in his AZL stats - the most positive development is that he should go into the 2017 season healthy.

Negatives: The standard list with all young pitchers, fastball command, development of a changeup and refinement of breaking pitches.

Projection: Lawson is a young man with size and a big fastball, which is a nice start. He'll need to show that the competitiveness scouts saw as an amateur translates into being a professional pitcher.

MadFriars’ Assessment: The Padres might keep Lawson back in Extended Spring due to the depth in Fort Wayne and the desire to get his pitching motion back to where it was before his senior year.

These rankings compiled and written by John Conniff, David Jay, Ben Davey and Kevin Charity.


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