Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Padres News

Padres' farm system ranked Majors' second-best

@AJCassavell
March 10, 2020

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Within the past year, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack have graduated from the Padres' vaunted farm system and become stars. Cal Quantrill, Andres Muñoz, Francisco Mejía and Josh Naylor also left their prospect status and became important big league pieces. Without their status as prospects, the

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Within the past year, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack have graduated from the Padres' vaunted farm system and become stars. Cal Quantrill, Andres Muñoz, Francisco Mejía and Josh Naylor also left their prospect status and became important big league pieces.

Without their status as prospects, the Padres' farm system surely took a major hit in MLB Pipeline's new rankings this spring, right?

Indeed. They plummeted all the way from No. 1 to No. 2.

MLB Pipeline unveiled its rankings of all 30 farm systems on Tuesday with the Padres finishing second, behind only Tampa Bay. It's the first time San Diego hasn't finished atop that group in the last five rankings. But its standing as the No. 2 ranked organization is arguably an even greater testament to the Padres' organizational depth.

At the forefront of that system are top pitching prospects MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patiño. Both are still in big league camp (and expected to pitch on Wednesday night), though they remain longshots for the Opening Day rotation. They're likely to open the season at Double-A Amarillo, where they finished the 2019 campaign.

The Padres' top hitting prospects are a bit further away. Shortstop CJ Abrams and catcher Luis Campusano are unlikely to make an impact in 2020. But they're both ranked among MLB Pipeline's top 50 prospects -- along with both Gore and Patiño.

For all the star power at the top, however, the strength of the Padres' system is its depth. That bodes well for the team's future for a number of reasons.

Most notably, the Padres' rotation is currently an enigma. But it could receive a huge boost this season if and when Patiño and Gore arrive. Fellow pitching prospects Adrian Morejon and Michel Baez (ranked sixth and seventh in the system, respectively) are in that mix, as well.

The organizational depth will also allow for the Padres to explore trades if they find themselves in contention at the Trade Deadline. They've made their top-tier prospects off limits, but they'll have no shortage of suitors for the next level of players. Shortstop Gabriel Arias and corner infielder Hudson Potts are among those who impressed rival scouts this spring.

In any case, it seems very likely that the names on San Diego's top prospects list will change drastically in the next few months. But the Padres feel as though they've built a system to withstand that kind of attrition. Their No. 2 ranking this spring only reinforces that notion.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.