21. Michael Gettys, OF
There are plenty of players on this list with huge upside. Would you believe me if I told you that I think Michael Gettys is one adjustment away from having the highest ceiling out of all these prospects? A 22-year-old right handed outfielder, Gettys is an athlete, defender, and has a fantastic arm. He grades extremely well on the base paths and has the highest graded arm of any defensive player on this list. Gettys also possess a ton of power with an extremely explosive swing that allows him to drive the ball and hit home runs.
The one adjustment that Gettys absolutely NEEDS to make to have any kind of success is his plate discipline. He strikes out WAY too much and sometimes seems lost at the plate. His pitch recognition is average at best and Gettys needs to improve his approach at the plate mightily. If Gettys can somehow make this adjustment he has the complete package and has the potential to be a phenomenal player. We could see Gettys at some point in 2018, but it would be more realistic to bet on the fact that he will spend most of this next year in the minor leagues working on making this adjustment.
22. Mason House, OF
Some people question taking high school prospects repeatedly in the first few rounds of the MLB draft is a high risk, high reward type of situation. A.J Preller and the Padres did not shy away from this, taking several high school prospects in the early rounds of the draft, including Mason House. Coming from a high school program that has produced several major league players, House has impressed the Padres’ organization from the beginning. He has an athletic build, standing at 6’3” and weighing 190 pounds. He has very quick hands that allow him to get the bat through the zone quickly, thus producing hard contact and base hits. House does have the build and stature to project as a power hitter long-term and we’ve already seen some of his power displayed.
He has decent speed, and currently plays center field, although it is unlikely that he stays there long-term because he simply can’t cover the same ground that others can. His arm is not spectacular but it surely is not bad, so expect House to move to a corner outfield spot once he progresses through the minor league levels. We shouldn’t expect to see him until at least 2021, possibly 2022, as he is a very raw product that will need time to develop in order to see what he can really do. House projects as an average player that may have an impact at the big league level, but it is truly hard to tell just because of the small sample size that we have on him.
23. Hudson Potts, 3B/SS
The highest ranked third baseman prospect in the Padres farm system, Hudson Potts could be the long-term option for the Padres at third base unless they choose to address the situation elsewhere. The 2016 first rounder, the Padres drafted Potts as a shortstop but moved him to third base as it seemed to be a better fit for his big frame. Potts has power, driving the ball well and using his size to his advantage. Scouts project Potts to be an above-average hitter that should bat in the middle of the order in the long run.
Similar to Gettys, Potts does strike out quite a bit, but this could simply be because he is only 19 and needs to get a better feel for his competition. Given his age and how he still isn’t really close to being fully developed, Potts will remain in the farm system until at least 2020. Given that Fernando Tatis Jr doesn’t move over to third base, or that the Padres don’t address the position via trade or free agency signing, Hudson Potts has what it takes to be the everyday third basemen once he is big league ready.
24. Blake Hunt, C
Speaking of high school talent drafted in the early rounds, the Padres took back to back catchers in the second round, selecting Blake Hunt as the second of the two. Arguably one of the best defensive catchers in this years draft, Hunt is great behind the plate and is projected to stick back there long term. His pop time is constantly in the 1.75-1.80 range and pitchers say that he is great to work with. Where Hunt is a phenomenal backstop, he struggles mightily at the plate. Several scouts don’t like his swing at all and believe that he generates power from his strength rather than a quality swing.
Hunt is light years away from being big league ready, offensively that is, and should not see any major league action until 2021 the earliest. Hunt’s ceiling really is not that high if he doesn’t develop an offensive game as that will leave him to be a defensive specialist that can’t produce offensively. He will need to focus on his offensive game in order to be successful at the next level, but surely has the talent to one day be an impact big league player.
25. Jordy Barley, SS
Signed by the Padres from the international market for one million dollars, Jordy Barley is an extremely young and raw shortstop prospect from the Dominican Republic. At only 17 years old, Barley showed that he has great speed and some power last season in the Arizona rookie league. Barley has repeatedly been clocked in at a 6.4 second 60-yard dash which certainly makes him one of the fastest players in the Padres entire farm system.
Defensively speaking, Barley uses his speed to cover plenty of ground and has a good glove, paired with a strong arm and plus footwork. Barley has a smooth swing, but somewhat lacks quickness in his hands. Despite a small frame and inexperience, Barley has shown that he can drive the ball well and does hit for power. He does have a lot of good to him, but he is quite inexperienced and we don’t have a big enough sample size to truly evaluate him and what he can and cannot do. Given his young age I would not expect to see Jordy Barley until 2022 at the earliest if he can truly pan out to be something.
26. Chris Paddack, RHP
Acquired via trade by the Marlins for Fernando Rodney in 2016, Chris Paddack was an extremely promising prospect before he went down with an elbow injury that would require Tommy John surgery. Prior to his injury, Paddack had an exciting fastball that would sit around 94 mph and he did a great job of commanding it. He pairs this fastball with a solid changeup that has good downward movement and he started to make strides with a breaking ball that has a late break to it. His 6´4” frame allows Paddack to throw the ball on a downward plane, leading to strikes in the lower half of the zone and a high ground ball rate. He did not pitch at all last season, making it hard to evaluate his progression, but Paddack surely has the talent and the stuff to be an intriguing young prospect.
Had he been healthy last year, I surely think that Paddack would be much higher on this list. Paddack may be close to ready come the end of 2019 if he can stay healthy and become comfortable with his pitches, but I would expect for him to be big league ready by 2020 as the Padres are more than likely to take it slow with him. He has the ceiling to be a back-end starter at the big league level if he can stay healthy.
27. Reggie Lawson, RHP
Reggie Lawson, to me, is hands down the most high risk, high reward prospect in the Padres farm system. The 71st overall pick in the 2016 draft, scouts drafted Lawson on the fact that he has an electric arm with a quality curveball. However, Lawson disappointed in his professional debut, sitting at around 90 mph with his fastball when he was clocked in at 94 prior to the draft. This caused questions to come about that if Lawson truly had what it took and if his arm could handle the big league level. Lawson put on extra weight coming into this season and his arm looked like it had gained strength, as he looked like the player that the Padres fell in love with prior to the draft.
Lawson struggled at points last season, but also looked untouchable at other times. He really is a true project player and will need to fully develop both his curveball and changeup in order to have any type of success professionally. Lawson surely has the potential to be a great pitcher, but he is inconsistent and a huge question mark right now. If he does end up becoming something expect to see him around September call ups of 2020. As of now, however, I am not too high on Reggie Lawson developing into a quality major league pitcher.
28. Sam Keating, RHP
Drafted out of high school in the 2016 draft, Sam Keating was classified as an under the radar type of prospect. Keating was almost certain that he would be attending Clemson University, but the Padres were able to lure him away and get him to sign with them. Keating, who also played center field and was quite a good hitter, has some high quality stuff on the mound. A fastball that currently tops out at 94, but scouts believe can be improved upon with time, paired with a an above average slider gives Keating a good two pitch mix. He does have a changeup in his back pocket but Keating isn’t really comfortable throwing it and does not show it much.
Keating does have some funkiness to his delivery, which draw consistency concerns and doubts that he can project as a starter long-term. Even if he is meant for a bullpen role, Keating has the potential to excel and may have some upside to him. Similar to many of the young prospects on this list, the sample size for Keating is very small and does not offer much. I think he is more of a risk than a reward due to his arm action, but if the Padres can find a way to adjust his mechanics, he should be just fine. Keating won’t see any big league time until 2021 the earliest but keep an eye out for him next season as he tries to make a name for himself.
29. Eguy Rosario, 2B/3B
Signed when he was only 16 years old from the Dominican Republic, Eguy Rosario is an intriguing young prospect that had success last season in the minor leagues. Rosario is undersized, standing at a mere 5´9¨, but has tremendous pop to his bat as he drives the ball across the entire field and can deposit it over the fence every once in a while. He will grow into this power more and more each year leading me to believe that Rosario has a chance to hit more than 20+ home runs annually someday. His approach at the plate his advanced for his age and he does not strike out at an alarming rate.
Rosario is extremely fast and gets on base often, using his speed to his advantage as much as he possibly can. He has played both second and third base in his career, and although he is undersized for third base, has excelled at both of these positions. This is mostly because he has phenomenal range, a strong arm, and very quick hands. He projects as a top of the order hitter with great speed and a natural ability to find ways to get on base. Rosario is advanced for players his age meaning that we should be able to get a glimpse of him at some point in 2020. I think that him and the next player on this list will surely skyrocket up this prospects list and catch the eyes of baseball evaluators around the world in their respective 2018 campaigns.
30. Esteury Ruiz, 2B
Many people were skeptical and opposed to the Padres trading Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer, and Ryan Buchter to the Kansas City Royals this summer for Travis Wood, Matt Strahm, and Esteury Ruiz. Let me make one thing very clear: Esteury Ruiz was an absolute STEAL for the San Diego Padres. From the beginning of his time with the Padres organization , Ruiz has been sensational, batting .350 in 206 at bats last season. He makes solid, hard contact with the baseball because of his good bat speed and strength that comes from his big frame. Ruiz is very agile and runs the bases well and can also be considered a plus defender.
He is a second basemen by trait, and will stay there in the long-term. This is the one prospect towards the bottom level of this list that I firmly believe can enter the top ten next season. Ruiz has all the tools to be an everyday starter at the big league level and can be a huge part of the Padres success once he hits the big league level. He will need quite some time to develop as I think Ruiz will open the season with the Padres in 2021, although he may see some action late in 2020. The future is bright for this young man and years from now, Padres fans will be wondering why they ever doubted A.J. Preller for pulling the trigger on that trade.