Here are the Padres' 2022 Top 30 Prospects

March 25th, 2022

A multitude of trades to elevate the Major League club into true contenders have thinned the Padres farm system over the past couple seasons. However, San Diego held on to many of its top players, still has four Top 100 prospects and has proven adept at quickly restocking.

Sure, the farm isn’t as elite as it once was when it ranked among the top two in baseball from 2018-20, but there are still several intriguing names, as well as some high-ceiling youngsters, on the new Padres Top 30 Prospects list.

A trio of hitters with considerable upside highlight the top of the list in CJ Abrams, Robert Hassell and Luis Campusano. Injuries limited Abrams to just 42 games a season ago, so the dynamic shortstop enters 2022 looking to get back on track and resume his ascent to San Diego.

Hassell, the No. 8 overall pick from the 2020 Draft, impressed last year in his first full season, showing advanced bat-to-ball skills and hitting .302 over 110 games. Of the three hitters at the top, Campusano is the closest to establishing himself in the Majors, having already made his Major League debut. He’s long been lauded for his bat and hit .295 with a career-high 15 homers over 81 games with Triple-A El Paso in 2021.

MacKenzie Gore remains the Padres’ top pitching prospect, despite a rough past two seasons. The lefty, who was regarded as baseball’s No. 1 pitching prospect in 2019, struggled with his mechanics last season, but showed flashes of his old self in the Arizona Fall League and maintains a high ceiling.

The Padres Top 30 Prospects list also reflects the organization’s aggressiveness on the international market. In fact, nearly half the list (14 prospects) was signed as international free agents. Victor Acosta (No. 12) is the highest ranked of the six 2021 and ’22 signees, though he’s still a few years away as his professional experience is limited to 56 games in the Dominican Summer League.

The abundance of international youngsters on the list means we may not see several of these players in San Diego until 2024 or 2025, but it also means the strength of the Padres system could jump considerably. There are seven 17- or 18-year-olds on the Top 30 and while their ceilings are high, it may take some time to get a clearer view on what type of players they’ll become.

Of course, there are also several Draft picks listed, including five players who were selected last year. James Wood, Jackson Merrill and Robert Gasser, San Diego’s top three picks from 2021, each crack the Top 10. Kevin Kopps (third round) and Max Ferguson (fifth round) also made the Top 30.

Here’s a look at the Padres’ top prospects

  1. CJ Abrams, SS (MLB No. 9)
  2. Robert Hassell, OF (MLB No. 37)
  3. Luis Campusano, C (MLB No. 44)
  4. MacKenzie Gore, LHP (MLB No. 86)
  5. James Wood, OF
    Complete Top 30 Prospects list »

Biggest jump/fall
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2019 preseason list to the 2020 preseason list.

Jump: Eguy Rosario, INF (2021: 18 | 2022: 8) -- Bumped up to Double-A, Rosario slashed .281/.360/.455 and hit a career-high 12 homers over 114 games last season. The infielder then continued to impress in the Arizona Fall League, showing the ability to use the entire field. Rosario is also a versatile defender, capable of playing all over the infield with a plus arm.

Fall: Jorge Ona, OF (2021: 9 | 2022: NR) -- Ona played in just five games last season so it’s difficult to try to glean too much from those numbers. However, that’s now two full seasons the outfielder has missed – albeit 2020 certainly wasn’t his fault – and swing-and-miss concerns remain. Ona possesses plenty of power, but his ability to reduce strikeouts will determine his future.

Top 30s

Best tools
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.

Hit: 60 -- CJ Abrams (Robert Hassell)
Power: 60 -- Joshua Mears
Run: 80 -- CJ Abrams
Arm: 65 -- Eguy Rosario
Defense: 60 -- Max Ferguson
Fastball: 70 -- Ray Kerr
Curveball: 60 -- Efrain Contreras
Slider: 55 -- MacKenzie Gore (Robert Gasser, Brayan Medina, Steven Wilson)
Changeup: 60 -- MacKenzie Gore (Adrian Martinez)
Control: 55 -- Ethan Elliott (Steven Wilson, Efrain Contreras)

How they were built
Draft: 15 | International: 14 | Trade: 1

Breakdown by ETA
2022: 8 | 2023: 6 | 2024: 6 | 2025: 10

Breakdown by position
C: 2 | 1B: 0 | 2B: 1 | 3B: 0 | SS: 4 | INF: 2 | OF: 7 | RHP: 9 | LHP: 5