Here's where Padres Top 30 prospects are starting '22

April 7th, 2022

With the Minor League season opening this week, here's where the Padres’ Top 30 prospects are projected to start:

  1. C.J. Abrams (MLB No. 9), SS -- San Diego (MLB)
  2. Robert Hassell (MLB No. 37), OF -- Fort Wayne (High-A)
  3. Luis Campusano (MLB No. 44), C -- El Paso (Triple-A)
  4. MacKenzie Gore (MLB No. 86), LHP -- El Paso (Triple-A)
  5. James Wood, OF -- Lake Elsinore (Single-A)
  6. Jackson Merrill, SS -- Lake Elsinore (Single-A)
  7. Eguy Rosario, INF -- El Paso (Triple-A)
  8. Reiss Knehr, RHP -- El Paso (Triple-A)
  9. Robert Gasser, LHP -- Fort Wayne (High-A)
  10. Joshua Mears, OF -- Fort Wayne (High-A)
  11. Victor Acosta, SS -- ACL (Rookie)
  12. Samuel Zavala, OF -- ACL (Rookie)
  13. Ethan Elliott, LHP -- Rehab
  14. Victor Lizaraga, RHP -- Lake Elsinore (Single-A)
  15. Brayan Medina, RHP -- ACL (Rookie)
  16. Korry Howell, OF -- San Antonio (Double-A)
  17. Kevin Kopps, RHP -- San Antonio (Double-A)
  18. Max Ferguson, 2B -- Lake Elsinore (Single-A)
  19. Jarlin Susana, RHP -- ACL (Rookie)
  20. Reggie Lawson, RHP -- El Paso (Triple-A)
  21. Brandon Valenzuela, C -- Fort Wayne (High-A)
  22. Steven Wilson, RHP -- San Diego (MLB)
  23. Jagger Haynes, LHP -- Rehab
  24. Efrain Contreras, RHP -- San Antonio (Double-A)
  25. Daniel Montesino, OF -- ACL (Rookie)
  26. Yendry Rojas, SS -- ACL (Rookie)
  27. Tirso Ornelas, OF -- San Antonio (Double-A)
  28. Agustin Ruiz, OF -- San Antonio (Double-A)
  29. Ray Kerr, LHP -- El Paso (Triple-A)
  30. Matthew Batten, INF -- El Paso (Triple-A)

Team to watch
The Padres system is pretty balanced as there are multiple top 30 prospects at every level. That said, three of the organization’s Top 10 prospects are expected to start the season with High-A Fort Wayne. Robert Hassell headlines the group, but Robert Gasser and Joshua Mears are also intriguing. Mears comes with some swing-and-miss concerns, but when everything is clicking he has some of the best pop in the system, and it’ll certainly be worth watching some Fort Wayne games to see how far he can crush some homers.

Teams on MiLB.TV
Triple-A El Paso
Double-A San Antonio
High-A Fort Wayne
Single-A Lake Elsinore

New faces
Jackson Merrill and James Wood, the Padres’ first two selections from last year’s Draft, highlight a Lake Elsinore roster expected to feature four players from the Top 30 list. Robert Gasser and Kevin Kopps, picked 71st and 99th overall, will also be worth keeping an eye on. Kopps was dominant for Arkansas last season and continued that in his brief professional debut. His pro experience is limited, but he fits the bill as someone who could quickly rise through the ranks.

On the shelf
There aren’t a ton of injuries on the Padres' Top 30 Prospects list. Lefties Ethan Elliott and Jagger Haynes will begin the season rehabbing rather than joining full-season affiliates. Haynes, a fifth-round pick from the 2020 Draft, has yet to make his pro debut as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, and although he needs a bit more time before he’s ready to join an affiliate, he is expected to pitch this season.