14 Players Who Have Progressed Within the Padres’ System This Year

Credit: AP Photo

San Antonio Missions

Luis Urias

This young man has not slowed down as he has climbed the ladder of the Padres’ affiliate teams. Now in San Antonio, Urias has just turned 20 and is batting .304 on the season in 76 games and 296 at bats. The power is not there yet, indicated by his .402 slugging percentage, but he has hit two home runs on the year. His power numbers are lacking, but because he is so young, he could develop decent gap power in time. Luis Urias probably will never be a huge power threat because of his size, but his intangibles are off the charts.

Urias just continually barrels up the baseball, while hardly striking out. He has struck out 41 times this season while walking 44, and maintains a .400 on base percentage. The young right-handed hitter looks to be a solid #2 hitter as he has excellent plate discipline. With Urias currently playing solid in Double-A, a promotion might be in order very soon. There is no reason to believe he will not succeed in El Paso, so he could be up as soon as September if the team can make room on the 40-man roster. His biggest issue is that Yangervis Solarte, Cory Spangenberg, Ryan Schimpf, and Carlos Asuaje are all ahead of him on the depth chart at second base. I know he has been playing short, but his future seems to be a second. Urias looks to be the future at the position. It is just about making room for him at this point.

Brad Wieck

This man could probably be pitching in the major league right now, but is buried slightly by the Padres sudden depth in left-handed pitching talent. The big southpaw has been pitching in El Paso recently, but started the year with the Missions, going 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in 26 innings pitched. He struck out 45 batters in that time while walking 12, featuring a mid 90’s fastball and a serviceable breaking ball.

With Brad Hand all but on the way out the door, Wieck could very well get a call-up this season. He has the ability to throw strikes, and at the age of 25, he is ready maturity-wise. The native Texan is patient and just want to throw the rock, so his head is in the right place. Very soon, Padre fans will be aware of who Wieck is and he could have a decent major league career when it is all said and done.

El Paso Chihuahuas

Dinelson Lamet

The first of the three from El Paso to reach the major leagues was Dinelson Lamet. He has been lights out at times, but has also struggled in a few starts. With the Padres, Lamet has gone 3-2 with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. He has struck out 50 batters in his seven starts and 37 innings pitched. The right-handed pitcher looks like he is here to stay. His fastball reaches the upper 90’s and his secondary has been refined. Lamet could be really special.

Phil Maton

Another pitcher who started in Triple-A, but will likely never go back, is Maton. His spin rate is incredible and so is his moxie on the mound. He has ice water running through his veins and could very well be the closer of the future. So far, he has gone 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his first 12 games in the majors. The 20th-round selection (597th overall) in the 2015 draft has certainly progressed as he was the first player drafted by A.J. Preller to reach the majors.

Franchy Cordero

For a few weeks we saw how special this man can be on the baseball diamond. He was playing stellar defense in center and racking up clutch hit after clutch hit. Then the wheels fell off a bit and reality hit for this 22-year-old. He struck out 42 times in 87 major league at bats this season, which is horrifying. He did manage three home runs and looked as though he has the ability to play center field moving forward, so that is something to be excited about. Cordero will obviously need to refine his approach at the plate, but you have not heard the last from this young man.

Credit: A.Morejon/Twitter

Tri-City Dust Devils

Michel Baez

He started in Tri-City, and that did not last long, as he started for the TinCaps on July 4th. Baez went five shutout innings, striking out nine batters without issuing walk, and only allowing two hits. He features a mid to high 90’s fastball that is described as the easiest gas in the system. He will stay in Fort Wayne for the near future, but a promotion to Lake Elsinore could be in order eventually. Baez is 20 and it is good to see him progress this fast. Keep an eye on him. He looks to be really special.

Kevin Melean

This 18-year-old is showing great skill at a young age. He is playing stellar defense at short, second, and third this season for Tri-City. In his first 71 at bats, Melean has put up a .296/.359.338 batting line. Melean is not a big name, and its really early, but the Padres are surely happy with his progression so far in 2017.

Adrian Morejon

Much was expected from this Cuban hurler when the Padres gave him $11 million this past international spending period. He has not disappointed so far in Tri-City, where he has gone 1-1 in his first four starts, recording a 3.79 ERA. Morejon has struck out 17 in 19 innings pitched and has only walked one batter. He features a mid-90’s fastball and seems destined to be promoted to Lake Elsinore or Fort Wayne relatively soon. He is an enigma right now. He could progress rapidly, but more evaluation against higher caliber hitters is needed to predict when he could pitch at Petco. He is 18, so there is really no rush. Of all the players on this list, Morejon has the highest ceiling. He is described by some evaluators as an ace pitcher in the making.

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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres

Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.

This article has 7 Comments

  1. Franmil Reyes is an under the radar big outfielder for San Antonio who seems to be turning the corner offensively. Reyes is hitting fairly well in a place that is hard to hit and could see 17+ home runs this year. You can see the offensive production improvements year to year. I look for Reyes to have a monster year next year in El Paso.

  2. What about Josh Naylor? The kid is raking at Elsinore and he will probably get a Double A call up soon as well. he might be a little big in the Prince Fielder mode but he can scoot around the bases. His defense at first base does need to improve. So glad up mentioned Luis Urias. The kid was a hitting machine when I would watch him at Lake Elsinore.

  3. I like your assessments, but I think you are making the case for several of these players to be in Petco too soon. Quantril will not be in Petco this year. He will be shut down before September. Lauer will not, as well. No reason to rush these kids. I could see Lauer ‘maybe’ next September. Urias won’t play in Petco until 2019. He’s too young and we have other options

  4. Great insight as usual James. Sure it cost the Padres a ton of money, but that trade of Shields for Tatis Jr, may go down as one of the best in Padre history if Tatis can reach his potential. To me he has a poor mans, Manny Machado written all over him. The one prospect I worry about is Espinoza. We all know the Padres will/are playing it safe with him, but potentially losing an entire year of experience will hurt down the road. If there is something wrong with his arm, I would have rather him just get the surgery out of the way and hopefully be ready for next season. And if there is something up with Espinoza’s arm, that would be 2 prospects coming back in deals with the Red Sox and Marlins (Espinoza and Paddack) who have broken down shortly after the deal. Should the Padres cry to MLB like those other organizations did?

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