While hope springs eternal in every major league spring training clubhouse, most Padres fans realize that 2017 is going to be rough year at the big league level. But there is plenty to be excited about on the horizon.
So anyone making a trip to the Peoria Sports Complex this spring should take the opportunity to walk out to the back fields to watch the prospect-laden minor league system for a sneak peek at the young talent that has decision-makers in the organization optimistic for the future.
While the official reporting date for minor league position players isn't until March 5, and the first official games follow on the 15th, there will be plenty of activity on the minor league side of camp before then.
As they have for the last several years, the Padres will host a minor league minicamp, which opens on Thursday, February 23. The camp will feature 31 pitchers and 17 position players, including several of last year's highest-profile international signees Adrian Morejon, Jorge Ona, Ronald Bolanos and Wen-Hua Sung, the club's first seven picks from last year's amateur draft, and recently acquired top prospects including Anderson Espinoza, Josh Naylor and Fernando Tatis, Jr.
The remainder of pitchers and catchers will report on March 1 and be in full workouts two days later. Once the rest of the 178 minor leaguers report to camp, they will all be in full workouts on March 7. Generally, players are on the back fields by 9:00 a.m. and work out through the morning. They will then likely have intrasquad workouts several days, with clubhouse work others.
The schedule of morning drills and workouts will continue when games start on the 15th, and games will be scheduled daily at 1:00 p.m.
While games are labeled as "Triple-A," "Double-A" and "Single-A," players will often be grouped a level above where they'll ultimately open the season, largely because there are 43 players in big league camp who will slowly trickle down as the Padres' roster shakes out. Many of the players who take the field on the two Single-A rosters will ultimately stay behind in extended spring training to wait for games to begin in the Northwest League and Arizona League.
Because of the number of players in camp, the organization will probably run a number of intrasquad and simulated games alongside the four competitive games.
Home games are generally played on fields four and five at the Peoria Sports Complex.
|DATE||Triple-A||Double-A||High Single-A||Low Single-A|
|3/15||@ Rangers||@ Rangers||Rangers||Rangers|
|3/16||Indians||Indians||@ Indians||@ Indians|
|3/17||@ Royals||@ Royals||Royals||Royals|
|3/18||Brewers||Brewers||@ Brewers||@ Brewers|
|3/19||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY|
|3/20||Royals||Royals||@ Royals||@ Royals|
|3/21||@ Mariners||@ Mariners||Mariners||Mariners|
|3/22||Rangers||Rangers||@ Rangers||@ Rangers|
|3/23||@ Dodgers||@ Dodgers||Dodgers||Dodgers|
|3/24||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY|
|3/25||@ Royals||@ Royals||Royals||Royals|
|3/26||Rangers||Rangers||@ Rangers||@ Rangers|
|3/27||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY||CAMP DAY|
|3/28||Royals||Royals||@ Royals||@ Royals|
|3/29||@ Mariners||@ Mariners||Mariners||Mariners|
|3/30||White Sox||White Sox||@ White Sox||@ White Sox|
|3/31||@ Dodgers||@ Dodgers||Dodgers**||Dodgers|
|4/1*||Mariners||Mariners||@ Mariners**||@ Mariners|
* Games on April 1 will be played at 9:00 a.m. to accommodate camp breaking
** The Padres and Storm will play at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore on March 31.