Players will talk: Which Padres have impressed?

Friars pick which teammates are standing out in spring camp

March 5th, 2020

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The first half of Spring Training has gone smoothly in Padres camp, to say the least. The Friars are 9-2, they've mostly avoided injuries, and they rank toward the top of the Cactus League in nearly every statistical category -- hitting and pitching.

It's easy to look at those numbers and find a few standout performers. But Spring Training isn't always about the numbers. So asked 10 Padres veterans -- five pitchers and five hitters -- who has impressed them the most this spring. (A couple of those veterans offered multiple answers, bringing our vote total to 12.)

Here are the results of that survey:

Jake Cronenworth, INF/RHP: three votes

When the Padres traded for in November, they insisted that Pham wasn't the only big league piece they acquired in that deal. , a two-way player with a unique skill set, might be poised to win one of the final places on the roster. He's an excellent defender in the middle infield and has proven himself more than capable with his left-handed bat. Cronenworth batted .334/.429/.520 last season in winning the Rays' Triple-A MVP Award. He's also a threat as a reliever, where he boasts a mid-90s fastball with two off-speed weapons.

Quote: "He's just a really good athlete, which makes him good at a lot of different things. It just seems like he's under control at all times. He's never out of his element. He does it all. It's hard to make everything look natural, and he makes it all look natural -- hitting, pitching, fielding." -- Craig Stammen

Wil Myers, OF: two votes
This isn't the first time has raked in the Cactus League, and there aren't many questions about his ability. But Myers has been prone to maddening bouts of inconsistency throughout his career. So when he starts Cactus League play with a .421/.476/1.000 slash line through his first seven games, it's easy to write that off. But Myers' performance isn't why he was mentioned twice on the survey.

Quote: "Wil's that X factor. [Shoot], man, this dude's motivated." -- Pham

MacKenzie Gore, LHP: two votes
won't make his spring debut until Thursday, and it's very unlikely that he cracks the Opening Day roster. But his performance has impressed a few veterans, nonetheless. The 21-year-old is widely considered the best pitching prospect in baseball, and he has dazzled while facing live hitters with a four-pitch mix that might already be big league caliber.

Quote: "With MacKenzie, you notice the work ethic. It's really good." -- Matt Strahm

Javy Guerra, RHP: one vote
The Padres are in a tricky spot with , who is out of Minor League options. He has spent barely more than a year as a pitcher after converting from shortstop. But there's clearly a lot to like -- namely a 99 mph two-seamer with movement. It seems highly unlikely that he would pass through waivers, meaning the Padres have a vested interest in Guerra earning a roster spot. Thus far, he has pitched three scoreless frames.

Quote: "He's just improving. He's got an electric arm, and he's grasping the concept of being able to pitch. What he's done in a year is pretty impressive." -- Kirby Yates

Taylor Trammell, OF: one vote
Through nine Cactus League games, is hitting .400 with three doubles and a pair of walks. The 22-year-old outfielder leads the team in plate appearances, too, as the Padres clearly want to get a look at their top outfield prospect. It's still likely that Trammell opens the year in the Minors. But if he continues to hit, he could make an impact at the big league level this summer.

Quote: "I love his swing, for sure, and he plays hard. ... I haven't faced him. But I just really like his swing. It's sweet and quick." -- Strahm

Tommy Pham, OF: one vote
Pham has been limited early in camp as he works his way back from a UCL sprain. But he came to the Padres renowned for his work ethic, and he hasn't disappointed. When he missed a few days of swinging with oblique soreness, Pham still made a point to stand in the box and track pitches during bullpen sessions. He also spends plenty of time during batting practice taking live reads in left field.

Quote: "I had never seen him up close. Seeing him here, the way he works, it's been really impressive. It's pretty obvious why we acquired him." -- Myers

Jason Vosler, INF: one vote
plays first and third base in an organization that has $444 million committed to and . But he offers the Padres some nice organizational depth at those spots. He's off to a torrid start to Cactus League play, hitting .500 with a 1.454 OPS through his first nine games. After posting an .890 OPS at Triple-A El Paso last season, Vosler is expected to open the 2020 campaign there.

Quote: "He's a guy that maybe doesn't get a ton of recognition, but you watch him do everything, and he's good at everything. He plays really good defense, he's a solid player, he goes about his business the right way. He's really stood out." -- Greg Garcia

Reggie Lawson, RHP: one vote
The upside of has always tantalized, but the 22-year-old has yet to put it all together. After his impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League, several people in the organization think Lawson could be poised for a 2020 breakout. Lawson is expected to open the year at Double-A Amarillo, where he'll look to harness what is already a pretty special pitch mix -- a mid-90s fastball with two legit putaway offerings, his curveball and changeup.

Quote: "I don't think a lot of people realize how good this guy could be, how good his fastball is." -- Myers