Written By: Drake Mann
Follow him on Twitter: @DrakeMann4
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**Right below is the Padres Top 20 list simplified. Scroll further down for FULL Present/Future Grades, FV, ETA, and summaries on EACH PLAYER ranked in the system! Tons of Statistics on each player as well! Some player highlights, future outlooks and more, enjoy!**
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|1||Mackenzie Gore||LHP||1st Round: 3rd Overall – 2017 Draft|
|2||CJ Abrams||SS||1st Round: 6th Overall – 2019|
|3||Luis Campusano||C||2nd Round – 2017 Draft|
|4||Luis Patino||RHP||International FA Signing 2016|
|5||Robert Hassell III||OF||1st Round: 7th Overall – 2020 Draft|
|6||Taylor Trammell||OF||Three team trade with Reds and Indians|
|7||Gabriel Arias||SS||International FA Signing 2016|
|8||Cole Wilcox||RHP||3rd Round – 2020 Draft|
|9||Joey Cantillo||LHP||16th Round – 2017 Draft|
|10||Owen Miller||2B||3rd Round – 2018 Draft|
|11||Tucupita Marcano||SS||International FA Signing 2016|
|12||Hudson Head||OF||3rd Round – 2019 Draft|
|13||Michael Baez||RHP||International FA Signing 2016|
|14||Ryan Weathers||LHP||1st Round: 7th Overall – 2018 Draft|
|15||Adrian Morejon||LHP||International FA Signing 2016|
|16||Edward Olivares||OF||Trade with Blue Jays|
|17||Jeisson Rosario||OF||International FA Signing 2016|
|18||Justin Lange||RHP||1st Round: 34th Overall – 2020 Draft|
|19||Hudson Potts||3B||1st Round: 24th Overall – 2016 Draft|
|20||Jake Cronenworth||2B||Trade with Rays|
1. Mackenzie Gore LHP – San Diego Padres (AA)
21 Years old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’3” 195lbs – ETA: 2020
Gore was taken 3rd overall in the 2017 MLB draft and he’s the best left-handed pitching prospect I’ve seen in a while. He’s touched 98 MPH with his fastball and is consistently 92-95. He mixes that with a changeup that’s 84-87, a slider in the mid-’80s, and has the best curveball in the minors that’s around the high 70’s. His curveball does tend to be loopy but has plenty of late movement, making it hard to square up. It’s very reminiscent of Kershaw’s curveball and might even be better.
He has a funky delivery with a lot of moving parts but has a brilliant downhill plane that keeps his pitches down in the zone. Gore’s highest level he pitched was Double-A Amarillo, where he provided a 10.38 K/9 and a 1.29 WHIP in 21.2 innings. He’s always had an act for stranding base runners as in 2019, at Single-A Lake Elsinore he left runners on-base at a 93.5% rate in 79.1 innings. Overall, Gore is a legit ace going forward, and the Padres having him, Chris Paddack, and Luis Patino in the same rotation is just unfair to the opposition.
2. CJ Abrams – SS – San Diego Padres (A)
19 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: L – 6’2” 185lbs – ETA: 2022
Drafted 6th overall in 2019, Abrams can flat out fly on the basepaths. He also has a nice hit tool that’ll get better with age. Right now, he doesn’t have that much power, just based on his strength right now. But the projection is there for him to hit 10-15 home runs a year. Abrams has a quick left-handed swing that results in consistent line-drive contact.
The Padres changed his load a little, now instead of a leg kick he has a slide step that’ll help him with timing purposes. Starting in the Arizona League, Abrams accumulated a 189 wRC+ and a .442 OBP in 156 plate appearances. Abrams is a dynamic talent on both sides of the ball and with how good his tools already are he should be a fast riser through the Padres system.
3. Luis Campusano C – San Diego Padres (A+)
21 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 5’10” 215lbs – ETA: 2022
Drafted 39th overall in 2017, Campusano was the top prep-catcher at the time with a mix of bat speed, arm strength, and a plus hit tool. Campusano broke out in a big way in 2019, hitting for a 148 WRC+ and a .401 wOBA in 487 plate appearances. He has a slide stop for a load and also drops his hands in his load to create some loft in his swing. That’s where most of his raw power comes from. We’re starting to see that power more as he hit a career-high 15 home runs for Lake Elsinore. He’s a below-average runner and there’s very little projection in the speed department for Campusano.
Defensively, he has a strong arm that at times gets wild because Campusano looks rushed throwing to any base, he’s still an excellent athlete behind the plate that’ll make waves once his defensive game comes together. He still has the potential to be a regular behind the plate for the Padres.
4. Luis Patino RHP- San Diego Padres (AA)
20 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’1” 192lbs – ETA: 2020
Patino signed out of Columbia for a measly $130,000 in the 2016-17 international signing period. He was one of the lesser-known signees at the time behind guys like Michael Baez, Jorge Ona, and Adrian Morejon. Patino has made strides with his repertoire and risen quickly through the Padres system. He has a fluid low effort delivery that shows him using his lower half for more extension on his pitches and consistent arm speed. He has three plus pitches and a potential fourth plus pitch, a fastball that touches 99 MPH with some arm side run, a slider that might be his best pitch in the mid-’80s with plenty of late biting movement. He also displays a changeup that will turn into a plus offering and a curveball that’s another look for hitters.
Patino has continued his high strikeout numbers as in 2019 he had an 11.69 K/9 for Lake Elsinore in 87 innings. He also had a 31.6 K% and a rather high 9.5 BB%. While control is his main issue Patino is the best right-handed pitching prospect in the Padres system and no doubt has the potential turn into a front-line starter, but likely will end up slotting in as a nice #2 option in the rotation.
5. Robert Hassell III OF – San Diego Padres
18 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’2” – 195lbs – ETA: 2023
No Professional Stats Yet
Hassell was among one of the top prep-outfielders in the 2020 draft class. While his tools are still raw, going to a team like the Padres could make his tools that much better. with how good they are at developing hitters. Hassell has a slightly open stance with a leg kick for a load, he remains incredibly balanced at the plate. His swing reminds many of Christian Yelich and he has tremendous plate coverage enabling him to hit to all fields well. His contact tool is more polished than his power but there’s certainly some projection to his 6’2” frame and we might see his power stroke sooner rather than later.
His above-average arm but average range makes him more susceptible to be a corner outfield spot going forward. His speed is another one of his better tools as he had a 6.54 60-yard time. Overall, Hassell is going to have a long development as there might be some adjustment issues but the #8 overall pick in the 2020 draft comes with considerable potential.
6. Taylor Trammell OF – San Diego Padres (AA)
22 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’2” – 215lbs – ETA: 2020
Drafted 35th overall by the Reds in 2016, Trammell is in a bit of a weird spot right now. He’s coming off his worst offensive season after he had a 106 WRC+ and a .325 wOBA before being traded to San Diego. After, he continued struggling in 32 games hitting for a 98 WRC+ and a .319 wOBA. When he’s right Trammell has 15-20 home run power, has a high on-base percentage and steals plenty of bases.
Trammell has a good ability to hit to all fields but most of his power comes from his pull side. He has a quick compact swing and good bat control that ultimately will lead to more base hits going forward. I believe that there’s more in the power department just based on his swing path having some launch angle in it. Defensively, he has nice range in the outfield that projects him to be a center fielder. However, with his below average arm that remains to be seen. The Padres traded quite a bit for Trammell and they’re hoping his bat can rebound after an underwhelming 2019.
7. Gabriel Arias SS- San Diego Padres (A+)
20 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’1” – 201lbs – ETA: 2022
Was a part of the Padres spending spree in the 2016/17 season. Arias is another player that’s coming off a breakout 2019 season. He had a 120 wRC+ and a .302/.339/.470 with 15 home runs and a .809 OPS. His defense outweighs his hitting but his hitting tools are starting to show on a consistent basis. Arias has two loads that are used in different counts in an at-bat. If he’s behind in the count, he relies more on a toe-tap that’ll help with contact but if he’s ahead or even in the count he has a leg-kick that provides most of his power.
One fault with the bat is Arias has trouble recognizing off-speed and is out-in-front which develops weak contact. Defensively, Arias has a cannon from the shortstop position and shows some impressive range. The Padres have another up and coming shortstop in Arias, the amount of middle infield talent in the Padres system is insane.
8. Cole Wilcox RHP – San Diego Padres
20 Years – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’5” – 232lbs – ETA: 2023
No Professional Stats Yet
Wilcox was one of my favorite arms of the 2020 draft. He ended up dropping this draft because of wanting three million plus dollars, he would end up getting picked up in the third round by the Padres. Wilcox was a staple in Georgia’s rotation behind ace Emerson Hancock. Before COVID-19 shut down the 2020 college season, Wilcox was on a tear having a 12.5 K/9 and a microscopic 0.8 BB/9 in 23 innings. Wilcox has some unique mechanics that include throwing across his body, while throwing from a three-quarter arm slot. It’s a deceptive delivery but might put a little too much pressure on his elbow. His stuff starts with a fastball that is consistently 95-96 and it touches 100 while having some late sinking movement on it.
He also has a slider that’s in the mid-80s and his best secondary offering his changeup that he throws with plus arm speed making it a deceptive pitch. His command continues to be his best tool, and while his delivery is questionable to many, his stuff makes him a solid pick to be a #2 or #3 in any rotation. The Padres got a steal in Wilcox, netting a first round talent in the third round is one smart move by Padres GM AJ Preller.
9. Joey Cantillo LHP – San Diego Padres (A+)
20 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’4” – 220lbs – ETA: 2022
Cantillo is one of my favorite pitching prospects ever since he was drafted in the 16th round in 2017. He broke out in a big way in 2019, he had a 1.93 ERA, 2.15 FIP, and 11.76 K/9 in 98 innings pitched for Single-A Fort Wayne before getting promoted to Lake Elsinore for another 13.2 innings where he had a 10.54 K/9 and a 4.61 ERA and a 4.98 FIP. Cantillo uses a deceptive delivery that includes throwing across his body and having a consistent three-quarter arm slot. His mechanics remind me of James Paxton quite a bit.
His arsenal includes a fastball in the low 90’s that touches 94, a changeup that’s his best secondary offering with some late depth to it, and a loopy curveball that’ll need some polishing for it to become a plus pitch. With the 2020 minor league season canceled, this puts a dent in Cantillo’s progression but with him being a part of the Padres 60-man player pool, he gets some much-needed experience to propel through the Padres system even faster than he already is. Plus, this will also give him some extra time to work on the control of his pitches. The breakout of Cantillo shouldn’t go unnoticed by the Padres, he might be a great find for San Diego from the 2017 draft.
10. Owen Miller 2B – San Diego Padres (AA)
23 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 5’11” – 197lbs – ETA: 2020
Miller was drafted 84th overall in the 2018 draft, Miller has made it clear he has the purest bat in the Padres system. He continues to have excellent bat control making for more hits and also takes his fair share of walks as he has a .367 OBP in his minors career. He will be that high average, high on-base top of the order bat going forward. Continuing, his contact tool has continued to get better and while he does have some raw power I don’t think he hits more than 10 home runs in a season.
In 2019, he had a 121 WRC+ and a .355 wOBA in 560 plate appearances at Double-A Amarillo, most of that came from his high extra-base hit total as he had 28 doubles, two triples, and 13 home runs. Miller has already shown an increase of ability to hit at each level of the minors, it won’t be long before we see him in Petco park producing on an everyday basis.
11. Tucupita Marcano OF- San Diego Padres (A)
20 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: L – 6’0” – 170lbs – ETA: 2023
Marcano was signed during the 2017/18 International signing period for $320,000, as of right now he’s a raw, talented player that’s extremely slender and will need to grow into his frame a bit and put on some muscle to succeed at the next level. He’s always gotten on-base at a high clip in his career, even in 2019 where he had a bit of regression with the bat he still provided a .323 OBP. However, his highest was a .497 OBP in 35 games at Rookie Ball in 2018. Marcano has excelled in the speed department, as he flashes plus speed. His contact tool is one of his more promising tools as his left-handed swing has continued to show consistent line-drive contact.
His swing does remind me of Dee Gordon’s, short, quick and at times he even changes his approach to use his speed to run out a ground ball. There’s some power projection but until his strength comes around it’s hard seeing him hit more than five home runs in a given season. In the field, Marcano should stick at short with his above-average range but he lacks the necessary arm strength and might have a spot at second base in the long term. His combination of speed, on-base abilities, and contact make him a top of the line threat and the Padres will give him every chance to keep that role.
12. Hudson Head OF- San Diego Padres (Rk)
19 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’1” – 180lbs – ETA: 2023
Another prospect that is extremely underrated in this system. He was drafted 3rd round in the 2019 draft and burst onto the scene hitting .283/.383/.417 with one home run and an .800 OPS, he also had a 119 wRC+ and a .375 wOBA in 141 plate appearances. Head has plus bat speed and a consistent line drive approach, his good hand-eye coordination makes for constant barrels making his contact tool one of his better tools. He has raw power that’ll take time for him to tap into but his over the fence power could become something of a constant as he matures.
His speed is already plus and defensively his above-average arm makes him expendable in the outfield. Head’s high ceiling could include a high average/high slugging player with the ability to steal 20+ bases a year. While his bat is extremely advanced for his age, there’s going to be swing-and-miss at the plate as his plate discipline is what’s holding him back from really breaking out at the plate for the Padres. The future is bright for Head, but it’ll be interesting to see how he fares with advancing through each level of the minors.
13. Michael Baez RHP – San Diego Padres (MLB)
24 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’8” – 220lbs – ETA: 2020
During the 2016-17 international signing period the Padres gave out a $3 million dollar bonus to Baez. At the time, he wasn’t considered a top international prospect, but was still a high upside prospect. Going through the Padres system Baez has worked exclusively as a starter but 2019 proved differently he pitched in 43 games (56 innings) between Double-A Amarillo and the MLB, he didn’t start a single game. While he might have a future as a back end starter, Baez looks to be more of a reliever going forward just based on his health.
When healthy Baez provides a fastball at 93-95 consistently and he touches 97, he has a mid-to-high 80’s a changeup, an over-top high 70’s curveball, and a slider in the mid-80’s as well. His changeup is his best secondary offering as it had 31.4 inches of vertical drop on it with his changeup having a spin rate of 1,719 RPM and hitters hit .205 against that pitch. Baez repeats his mechanics well but he does put a lot of stress on his back when he throws, that’s one area of concern for the Padres. Baez is a nice piece for the Padres, his stuff is there but his health continues to be a question mark.
14. Ryan Weathers LHP – San Diego Padres (A)
20 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: R – 6’1” – 230lbs – ETA: 2022
The former Gatorade Player of the Year in 2017 and is the son of former MLB pitcher David Weathers. Weathers was taken 7th overall in the 2018 draft, and was one of the better left-handed pitching prospects from that draft. Weathers is a control artist as in 96 innings he had a 1.69 BB/9 and a 8.44 K/9. Weathers throws from a three-quarter arm slot but is inconsistent with it as he lowers his arm slot at times. His mechanics include a lot of moving parts that make it hard to repeat consistently.
One thing you can say about Weathers is that he produces weak contact and high ground ball rates, in the 96 innings he had a 45.3 ground ball percentage and he stranded runners 68.9% of the time. He has a four-pitch mix, a fastball that’s 90-92 that’s hard to square up just based on his command and high spin rates on that pitch. His secondary offerings include a mid-80’s changeup that’s very deceptive, a high 70’s curveball, and a developing slider.
While he does get plenty of ground balls he hangs his secondary pitches a little too much, thus causing more hits and extra-base hits to occur. Here’s another pitching prospect that has a lower ceiling but if he can stay healthy and add some more swing-and-miss to his game, Weathers could easily hit his potential.
15. Adrian Morejon LHP – San Diego Padres (MLB)
21 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 5’11” – 224lbs – ETA: 2020
Morejon was another top international prospect from the 2016/17 international signing period. In fact, he was the top left-handed pitching prospect for that period. The Padres landed Morejon for $11 million dollars, he has risen quickly through the system and is expected to be a factor for the Padres in 2020. Now you might be confused as to why I have him ranked so low. The reasoning is he has a slight injury history as he had shoulder issues in 2019, there’s some worry in his mechanics as his arm drags just a bit which may lead to more arm issues going forward. Another part of his game that hasn’t progressed is his control. In 2019, he walked 3.75 hitters per nine innings in 36 innings pitched at Double-A Amarillo.
Morejon throws from an over-hand delivery and has a fastball that is consistently 95-96 that touches 99. His best secondary offering is his curveball that has late bite to it in the high 70’s. He also displays a changeup in the low 80’s and a sinker in the low 90’s and that is his main pitch for his high ground ball rates. Morejon still has time to hit his potential of a #2 or #3 starter but if his mechanics show anything it’s going to be a challenge for him to consistently stay healthy.
16. Edward Olivares OF – San Diego Padres (AA)
24 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’2” 186 lbs – ETA: 2020
Signed out of Venezuela in 2014 by the Blue Jays, Olivares was an extremely raw but talented outfielder in the Blue Jays system. Fast Forward to 2018, he was traded alongside Jared Carkuff for Yangervis Solarte. Olivares has since been unknown to many baseball fans, but I truly believe the Padres struck gold with Olivares. For starters, he’s coming off his best offensive season to date hitting for a 123 wRC+ and a .358 wOBA in 551 plate appearances. One thing has become known is the Padres have tinkered with his stance and swing.
Olivares has lowered his hands and is more straight up in the box, he also doesn’t have as many moving parts in the box. All this has not only led to more power but more walks as well, 2019 showed Olivares having a 7.8 BB% the second highest in his career with a minimum of 100 plate appearances. Olivares, also has plenty of speed and defensively has a cannon of an arm, mixing all this with above- average range in the outfield. Olivares is a legit contender to be in San Diego soon, maybe even 2020 depending on the season.
17. Jeisson Rosario OF – San Diego Padres (A+)
20 Years Old – Throws: L – Bats: L – 6’1” – 191lbs – ETA: 2024
Rosario was another signing from the Padres signing spree in the 2016/17 international signing period. While Rosario lacks power his combination of contact and speed make him a top 20 prospect. However, he is a defensive first player as he is more set in center field with his impressive range and athleticism in the outfield and cannon of an arm. His left-handed stroke has more of a slap hitting look to it but his swing is extremely quick and he gets constant barrels of the ball.
He’s your prototypical leadoff bat with how good his walk rates are, as in Fort Wayne he walked at about a 16% clip and had a .372 OBP and interesting enough he’s never had an on-base percentage lower than .360 in three seasons of minor league ball. On the other side, he has higher strikeout rates as he had a 21.7 K% in 525 plate appearances at Fort Wayne last year. His speed that I talked about earlier, is his lone plus tool as of right now but with how well he controls the bat, Rosario could end up having one of the purest bats in the Padres system. As it stands right now, he’s a high ceiling-low floor player and will need continued polishing for him to hit that high ceiling going forward. Rosario is definitely one guy to watch going forward.
18. Justin Lange RHP – San Diego Padres
18 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’4” – 220lbs – ETA: 2024
No professional stats yet
Lange was a first-round compensation pick in the 2020 draft, Lange is a really interesting pick as he has as high of a ceiling as any prep-pitcher this draft but needs plenty of polishing. Lange repeats his mechanics well, these involve a slower windup with an explosive lower half and a three-quarter arm slot.
He has a fastball that’s consistently 94-95 MPH and touches 100 MPH with some arm-side run, a slider in the mid-to-high 80’s and a changeup that should get better with more use. His fastball could become his downfall as it has so much movement it affects his command and control, which already needs work going forward.
Another issue with Lange is his arm drags making for fears of injury and may lead to some reliever risk. What may benefit Lange is adding a fourth pitch to his arsenal, mixing with his fastball/slider combo, and developing changeup, this in turn could launch him higher on this list in a year or two.
19. Hudson Potts 3B – San Diego Padres (AA)
21 Years Old – Throws: R – Bats: R – 6’3” – 218lbs – ETA: 2023
Potts was drafted 24th overall in 2016, at the time he went by the name Hudson Sanchez and wasn’t projected to go in the first round. The Padres saw his potential with the bat with how well he was hitting with a wood bat as a high schooler. The now 21-year-old is rising rather quickly through the Padres system as he ended 2019 in Double-A Amarillo where he blasted 16 home runs and a .406 slugging percentage. At his best Potts provides 20+ home run power and has plenty of gap-to-gap power. In terms of hitting mechanics, he has a slightly open stance and is quiet with regards to movement in the box. I’ve noticed he has a tendency to open up during his load.
This causes a decrease in power and makes it difficult to hit any outside pitch. Defensively, he has more of a future at third base with his above-average arm and range, he has below-average speed with very little projection to that part of his game. There’s going to be a lot of strikeouts in his game but if he can get his walk rate up (7.1% at Double-A Amarillo compared to a 28.6 K%) his power makes him a rather interesting prospect to watch.
20. Jake Cronenworth 2B- San Diego Padres (AAA)
26 Years Old – Bats: L – Throws: R – 6’0” – 187lbs – ETA: 2020
Cronenworth was acquired in the four player swap of Tommy Pham for Hunter Renfroe this offseason. He’s a two-way talent but will provide more with the bat as his contact tool just keeps getting better. He provided a 147 wRC+ and a .334/.429/.520 with 10 home runs and a .949 OPS in Triple-A Durham this year. These stats might be skewed because Durham is a major hitters park.
Cronenworth loves his pull side hitting there about 38% of the time but what’s surprising is his ability to hit to the opposite field, hitting there about 36% of the time. That shows his ability to spray the ball and how pure of a bat he has. Over-the-fence power won’t be his calling going forward but 8-10 home runs from a shortstop with his hitting ability. Cronenworth pairs his bat with good athleticism and above-average speed. Defensively, his arm shows better than his range or instincts but he’ll still provide considerable value from the shortstop position. While he is older in terms of prospects, his bat comes with considerable upside.
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