SAN DIEGO -- The Padres will send an impressive crop of young talent to the Arizona Fall League this October, with eight prospects set to compete for the Peoria Javelinas.Two of those eight players are ranked among the club's Top 30 prospects: second baseman Luis Urias (No. 3 on the
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres will send an impressive crop of young talent to the Arizona Fall League this October, with eight prospects set to compete for the Peoria Javelinas.
Two of those eight players are ranked among the club's Top 30 prospects: second baseman Luis Urias (No. 3 on the Padres, No. 55 overall) and first baseman Josh Naylor (No. 10 on the Padres). Shortstop Javier Guerra and right-hander Walker Lockett also serve as compelling Fall League players.
2017 Arizona Fall League rosters
Rounding out the group are right-handers David Bednar, T.J. Weir and Andres Munoz. Outfielder Franmil Reyes will serve as a taxi-squad player, meaning he can play in no more than two games per week unless he replaces an injured player.
The Arizona Fall League begins Oct. 10 and consists of high-end prospects from all 30 clubs. Those prospects are generally big league-caliber talents, thrust into a highly competitive environment.
Urias is the most prominent of the Padres' bunch, having raked at every level of the Minors through Double-A San Antonio this year. He's hitting .299 and reaching base at a .400 clip, and many in the organization believe Urias could knock on the big league door next season. The AFL offers Urias something of a chance to make his case.
Guerra, however, may be the most interesting of the group. Acquired from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal, Guerra once stacked up with the best prospects in the organization. Defensively, he's been outstanding. But to say he hasn't lived up to expectations offensively would be an understatement. He's batting .217/.261/.343 between Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio this season, after hitting .202/.264/.325 for Lake Elsinore last year.
Guerra is only 21 years old, and the Padres feel he still has time to figure things out. They hope his time with Peoria helps jump-start that process.
As for Lockett, he's probably closest to a big league debut. There's a chance he would've made it already if not for back trouble that has limited him to 10 starts with Triple-A El Paso this season. In that time, he's 5-2 with a 4.39 ERA.
Naylor, like Urias, is the rare 20-year-old in the Texas League (three years younger than the league's average age). After tearing through Class A Advanced early in the year, Naylor has posted a .252/.324/.366 slash line in 34 games for San Antonio.
Weir, Munoz and Bednar will pitch in relief for Peoria. Weir owns a 1.97 ERA between Elsinore and San Antonio. Bednar has a 2.78 mark between two levels of A ball. And Munoz has notched a 3.80 ERA with Class A Short-Season Tri-City.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.