PHOENIX -- Three years ago, in A.J. Preller's first Futures Game as general manager, the Padres sent one prospect to the All-Star festivities in Cincinnati. Right-hander Colin Rea was the organization's only representative, and he recorded two outs in the ninth inning of a blowout.If the lack of options in
PHOENIX -- Three years ago, in A.J. Preller's first Futures Game as general manager, the Padres sent one prospect to the All-Star festivities in Cincinnati. Right-hander Colin Rea was the organization's only representative, and he recorded two outs in the ninth inning of a blowout.
If the lack of options in 2015 was an indication of the dire state of the Padres' farm system, the reverse holds true this summer. The system is loaded. Friday's announcement of the rosters for the Sirius XM Futures Game proves as much.
Three Padres prospects will head to D.C. next weekend for the Futures Game, which takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. PT on MLB Network. Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and second baseman Luis Urias will represent the World team, while Buddy Reed will don the U.S. jersey.
"When you look at our first year that a lot of us were over here in 2015, we got one player," said Padres farm director Sam Geaney. "We're pleased with where the system is now. Any time you get three, it's a big deal. It's a very competitive game. The group at MLB takes it seriously [with] which players they want to showcase.
"We're very proud of these three guys, but we feel fortunate that so many guys of ours have had strong years and you could make some strong cases for other guys as well."
Tatis and Urias -- ranked as the No. 3 and 29 overall prospects in baseball -- are two of the game's most heralded youngsters. Their inclusion qualified as something of a no-brainer. Both have the potential to arrive in San Diego before the season is over.
Reed, meanwhile, was a surprise choice. But he's certainly earned it. In 77 games for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, Reed is hitting .319/.368/.528 with 33 steals and 11 homers. He's been one of the most complete players in the Padres' system this year.
"Potentially, it could be a coming out party for him," Geaney said. "We've known and been hoping he would take some of these strides forward. Ultimately, it's a testament to him and the work he's put in. He probably did not enter the year with as high of a profile as the other guys we talk about. But the Futures Game should been a pretty cool stage for more people to learn about Buddy Reed."
Urias is hitting .279/.388/.410 at Triple-A El Paso this year, and it's widely believed he'll be called up in the second half of the season.
Tatis, meanwhile, got off to a slow start for Double-A San Antonio. But he's turned things around in a big way. After posting a .177 batting average in April, Tatis is hitting .339 with 12 homers since.
"It feels great, man," Tatis said of his inclusion in the Futures Game during an interview on MLB Central on Friday morning. "I'm really happy right now that my family is going to be able to see me go and play over there and have a good time in a big league park."
Papa Yates returns
Right-hander Kirby Yates returned from the paternity list on Friday after welcoming his son Kove earlier this week. Kove is Yates' second child. His wife gave birth to a daughter, Oaklee, last year.
Yates hasn't been shy when discussing the perspective his kids brought to his life. It's no coincidence, he says, that he's posted his best two seasons as a professional in the past two years.
Now, Yates could be on the verge of being selected to his first All-Star Game. He's posted a 0.79 ERA in 34 innings this season with 41 strikeouts.
"Would it be awesome to make it? Of course," Yates said. "But it's out of my control. I'll just focus on doing what I've been doing."
Hughes returns; Stock, Makita optioned
Along with Yates, right-hander Phil Hughes re-joined the Padres' bullpen. He's been on the disabled list for two weeks with a rhomboid strain in his back. In 14 appearances this season between the Twins and Padres, Hughes owns a 6.53 ERA.
To clear room for Hughes and Yates, the Padres optioned righties Robert Stock and Kazuhisa Makita to Triple-A El Paso. In his first stint in the Majors, Stock struck out five and allowed one earned run over three innings.
Makita, meanwhile, didn't allow a run over three appearances in his return to the bigs. He had posted a 6.55 ERA in 19 games before he was demoted in late May.
"It could be a week, it could be two weeks, but sometime soon, I'd expect to see both of them [back]," manager Andy Green said. "Phil Maton falls into that camp as well. They're guys we consider big league relievers who are just in that up-down part of their careers right now."
• Righty starter Jordan Lyles is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, his first since he was placed on the disabled list last month with right elbow inflammation. It appears unlikely Lyles will re-join the team before the All-Star break.
• The Padres had originally planned to limit Eric Lauer's workload by giving him extra rest before and after the All-Star break. Given Lauer's recent performance -- the rookie left-hander owns a 2.63 ERA since the start of June -- they might no longer do so.
"Yesterday, he looked as strong as he's looked at any point in time this season," Green said. "… You want to watch with your eyes, as much as you do with your plan. Our eyes right now are saying his arm's alive, and it looks pretty good. If that means pushing a break back to another time when it looks like he's fatiguing, we might do that."
• The Padres finalized their 2018 Draft signings Friday, agreeing to a $150,000 bonus with 30th-round pick Cullen Dana, a left-hander from Seton Hall, according to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis. In total, the Padres signed 29 picks ahead of Friday's Deadline to do so -- including each of their first 13 selections.
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.