Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.Prized shortstop Javier Guerra will be the top Padres prospect opening the season with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore on Thursday.Guerra, 20, was part of the package the Padres received from the Red Sox last Nov. 13
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
Prized shortstop Javier Guerra will be the top Padres prospect opening the season with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore on Thursday.
Guerra, 20, was part of the package the Padres received from the Red Sox last Nov. 13 in the trade that sent right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel to Boston. He is one of six prospects on the Padres' Top 30 list opening the season with the Storm, who play 75 minutes north of San Diego.
Other prospects ranked by MLBPipeline.com on Lake Elsinore's Opening Day roster are pitchers Dinelson Lamet (No. 17), Jose Torres (No. 21) and Yimmi Brasoban (No. 19), and infielders Fernando Perez (No. 20) and Luis Urias (No. 29).
Guerra and second baseman Urias form a promising Double-play combination.
Guerra, a native of Panama, hit .279 with 15 homers and 68 RBIs as a 19-year-old at Class A in the Red Sox's system last season.
Urias, who won't turn 19 until June 3, hit .290 in 51 games with Class A Fort Wayne at the end of lsast season as the youngest player in the Midwest League. Before that, the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Urias hit .355 in 10 games with short-season Class A Tri-City. He hit .286 in the Mexican Winter League.
The third infield prospect in the Storm lineup is Perez, 22, who had a strong Arizona Fall League after hitting .224 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs for Lake Elsinore last year. In 2014, the Padres' third-round pick in the '12 Draft hit .284 with 18 homers and a Midwest League-leading 95 RBIs with Fort Wayne.
Perez is one of seven players returning from the 2015 Storm, including infielder Chase Jensen (.276 with five homers and 28 RBIs in 51 games) and outfielder Nick Schulz (.238, 12 homers, 48 RBIs in 122 games).
First baseman Trae Santos and outfielders Edwin Moreno, Franmil Reyes and Franchy Cordero are a quartet of interesting players up from Fort Wayne.
Santos, 23, hit .264 with 14 homers and 60 RBIs last season and hit a pair of homers in cameos with the Padres during Spring Training this season. The 6-foot-3 Cordero, 21, hit .243 at Fort Wayne last year. Moreno, 22, hit .303 in 89 games with the TinCaps. The 6-foot-5 Reyes hit .255 with nine homers and 62 RBIs for the TinCaps.
Lamet, 23, was 5-8 with a 2.99 ERA in 26 games (24 starts) for Fort Wayne last season. Brasoban, 21, was 5-3 with a 2.26 ERA in 41 games (three starts) with Fort Wayne. Torres, 22, who came from Oakland with Drew Pomeranz in the trade for first baseman Yonder Alonso, had a 2.56 ERA in 47 relief appearances at Class A last season.
Other key pitchers with the Storm will be Thomas Dorminy, 23, who was 11-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 25 starts with Fort Wayne last season, and reliever Colby Blueberg, 22, who was 4-1 with 21 saves and a 1.07 ERA in 41 games with Fort Wayne.
Managing Lake Elsinore this season will Francisco Morales, who was at the helm for Fort Wayne last season. Former Major Leaguers Xavier Nady (hitting) and Glendon Rusch (pitching) will return as the Storm coaches.
Lake Elsinore opens the season at Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night. The home opener at The Diamond is April 14. Lake Elsinore will also host the California League All-Star Game this season.
The Lake Elsinore Opening Day Roster:
Right-handed pitchers (8): Martires Arias, Colby Blueberg, Yimmi Brasoban, Chris Huffman, Michael Kelly, Dinelson Lamet, Zech Lemond and T.J.Weir.
Left-handed pitchers (5): Thomas Dorminy, Kyle McGrath, Trevor Seidenberger, Jose Torres and Brad Wieck.
Catchers (2): Miguel Del Castillo and Jose Ruiz.
Infielders (6): Javier Guerra, Chase Jensen, Fernando Perez, Trae Santos, Luis Urias and Josh Van Meter.
Outfielders (4): Franchy Cordero, Edwin Moreno, Franmil Reyes and Nick Schulz.