For a second straight year, the San Diego Padres have MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked farm system.
Of course, that probably doesn’t come as a total surprise after the organization placed an MLB Pipeline-record 10 players on our list of the Top 100 prospects for 2019.
The Padres had three players graduate off last year’s list, with Joey Lucchesi, Franchy Cordero and Eric Lauer all emerging as big leaguers in 2018. That number is sure to grow during the ’19 season, and it’s a safe bet that the Padres Top 30 will have a much different look one year from now.
The offseason addition of free agent Manny Machado, who signed a historic 10-year, $300 million deal, means the future is now for a Padres organization that has spent the last several years accumulating top prospects via trades, the Draft and the international market.
It shouldn’t be long until Machado is joined on the left side of San Diego’s infield by shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 overall prospect. And while Luis Urias and Francisco Mejia don’t have a line on regular playing time to begin the year, they’re both going to take on key roles for the club in some capacity as the season unfolds.
The real difference-maker, however, will be the arrival of the organization’s first wave of young arms. At the forefront of that group is righty Chris Paddack, who is already making a bid for a spot in the Opening Day rotation despite having never pitched above the Double-A level. He’s poised to make an impact very soon, with the likes of Logan Allen, Cal Quantrill and Jacob Nix, to name a few, close behind.
Looking ahead, the Padres should continue to produce impact big leaguers long after the likes of Tatis and Co. have graduated. 19-year-old right-hander Luis Patino, currently No. 48 on the Top 100, could be among the game’s best pitching prospects a year from now, and the same can be said about the bright futures of 2017 first-rounder MacKenzie Gore and Cuban lefty Adrian Morejon.
Meanwhile, Padres fans will want to keep a close eye on the development of teenage middle infielders Xavier Edwards and Tucupita Marcano in the coming years, as they headline the next wave of young, high-ceiling talent set to rise through the system.
Here's a look at the Padres' top prospects:
- Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
- MacKenzie Gore, LHP
- Luis Urias, SS/2B
- Francisco Mejia, C/OF
- Chris Paddack, RHP
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2018 preseason list to the 2019 preseason list.
Jump: Luis Patino, RHP (2018: NR | 2019: 6) -- Pushed aggressively, the teenager dominated in his full-season debut in '18.
Fall: Gabriel Arias, SS (2018: 11 | 2019: 26) -- The 18-year-old struggled during his first-half in full-season ball but finished on a high note.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 70 -- Luis Urias
Power: 60 -- Fernando Tatis Jr.
Run: 70 -- Xavier Edwards (Buddy Reed)
Arm: 70 -- Francisco Mejia
Defense: 65 -- Buddy Reed
Fastball: 80 -- Andres Munoz
Curveball: 60 -- MacKenzie Gore (Adrian Morejon, Jacob Nix)
Slider: 60 -- Luis Patino
Changeup: 70 -- Chris Paddack
Control: 65 - Chris Paddack
How they were built
Draft: 12 | International: 10 | Trade: 8
Breakdown by ETA
2019: 10 | 2020: 8 | 2021: 11 | 2022: 1
Breakdown by position
C: 4 | 1B: 0 | 2B: 2 | 3B: 1 | SS: 4 | INF: 1 | OF: 5 | RHP: 8 | LHP: 5