30- Tirso Ornelas Age- 17.2 53 games/196 at bats (.276/.399/.408) .807 OPS (40 BB/61 K)
I really like what I see from this young man. He has a quick bat with plus power and can utilize the whole field with his left-handed stroke. He has shown excellent plate discipline at an early age. At 6′ 4″, he is a physical presence and will be a power threat eventually. Defensively, he takes good routes on the ball and has a decent arm. His speed is good enough for center currently, where he has played a lot, but you have to think that he is a corner outfielder in the future. The Mexican teenager will be someone who you should get familiar with in the coming years. He is special and will climb this list fast.
29- Hansel Rodriguez Age-20.2 (7-9) 3.80 ERA/1.189 WHIP 10 saves 90 IP/31 BB/103 K
The converted starter has excelled in the closer role and could be a quick riser now that the team has found his identity. Acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for Melvin Upton, he has really come on in the last six months. He reminds me of Craig Kimbrel with his arm waggle as he sets from the stretch. He is armed with a plus fastball that he sinks to both sides of the plate. His slider is serviceable and he also throws a change though that is clearly his least effective pitch. He recorded 10 saves in the last few months of the season and could start the 2018 season as the Lake Elsinore Storm’ closer.
28- Michael Gettys Age-21.4 116 games/457 at bats (.254/.329/.431) .760 OPS (46 BB/191 K)
Gettys is truly a frustrating player. He has excellent size and strength. The outfielder is also blessed with a rocket arm and top-notch speed. The whole issue with Gettys revolves around his bat. The power stroke is there, but he fails to make contact. His strikeout rate climbed all the way to 37.2 in 2017 while playing in the California League, which is a notoriously great league for hitters. He walks enough to be productive, but the K rate has to drop. His stance and approach needs adjustments and the Padres would be wise to find a coach to assist this young man personally. He has so much ability, it would be a shame to see him get too discouraged to grow as a player. He could repeat Lake Elsinore as the team might not want to expose him to Double-A pitching quite yet.
27- Mason Thompson Age- 19.2 (2-4) 4.67 ERA/1.296 WHIP 27 IP/12BB/28 K
This big Texan was selected out of high school in 2016 with the 85th overall selection. He was coming off of Tommy John surgery during his senior year and only fell that low due to the medical concern. Thompson has a plus arm and excellent size (6′ 7″). He was brought along slowly in 2017, only recording 27 innings pitched. His arm worries are not totally over, but at 19, there is plenty of time for him to get his health on track. Once his arm is 100 percent, expect Thompson to rise fast through the system as he has a plus curve and serviceable change to go along with his mid 90’s fastball.
26- Gabriel Arias Age- 17.2 53 games/ 215 at bats (.265/.312/.326) .637 OPS (12 BB/67 K)
Last season at the Futures Game, the Padres International Scouting Director, Chris Kemp, and I had a conversation. I asked him about the recently signed class and he raved about Gabe Arias and his future with the club. The defensive-minded shortstop is the best young shortstop as far as defense goes in the minor league system. He is smooth with his actions and has a great arm and plus range. He made his debut this season in Fort Wayne at the age of 17 and was serviceable. He hit .242 in 62 at bats and showed that he has the ability to play at that level in 2018. The right-handed hitter has good size in his lower half and could ultimately develop some power. He has little power currently.
25- Enyel De Los Santos Age- 21.3 (10-6) 3.78 ERA/1.19 WHIP 150 IP/48 BB/138 K
The short-striding, right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic had a very solid year in 2017. He improved his strikeout numbers from 2016 and he also lowered his ERA in a higher division of minor league baseball. At 21, De Los Santos is younger than Quantrill, Lauer, and Lucchesi, and is right alongside in term of development. He could eventually turn into a back-end bullpen piece, but that is only if he fails to stay consistent with his off-speed deliveries. He is not typically a strikeout pitcher as he relies on a heavy two-seamer to initiate contact.
24- Luis Campusano Age- 19.1 37 games/134 at bats (.269/.344/.388) .732 OPS (15 BB/25 K)
The Padres had no immediate need for a catcher as Austin Hedges is young and now establishing himself in the league. That did not stop A.J. Preller, as the team selected the best catcher in the draft. Campusano is the son of a minor league prospect and has a high pedigree. He has excellent receiving skills and a strong throwing arm. He has a polished right-handed-hitting bat and should have no problem advancing with his offensive skill set. He has reportedly worked well with pitchers early as he has the ability to communicate fluently in English and Spanish.
23- Pedro Avila Age- 20.3 (8-5) 3.70 ERA/1.217 WHIP 129 IP/33BB/170 K
This right-handed pitcher, obtained from the Nationals for Derek Norris, has been great since joining the Padres’ system. He has a plus curve and gets plenty of swings and misses on it. He also has excellent command of his fastball, which he locates to all quadrants of the zone. Avila is still only 20, and is only now coming into his own as a pitcher. Expect him to continue to start, and if he can find a serviceable third pitch, his development will continue. He should start in the California league and be right behind the group that is presently in San Antonio. If Avila can keep displaying pinpoint control with his fastball, he could make an even bigger jump in 2018.
22- Mason House Age- 19.1 39 games/164 at bats (.293/.354/.463) .817 OPS (13 BB/68 K)
In speaking to this young man, you get a sense that he wants to gain knowledge about the game. The coaches will love this kid, as he has shown tremendous ability and an insatiable lust for baseball information. The left-handed hitter put up an impressive .817 OPS in limited time in the AZL. The Texas high school product was not hyped a ton in the draft, but the Padres were diligent and found the young man. He has excellent size (6’3″) and decent foot speed. House wants to remain in center, but that remains to be seen presently. He has the skills to play the position, but there are concerns about his range and arm as he matures as a player. Mason House has a great ceiling and could be a fast-riser within the system.
21- Reggie Lawson Age- 20.2 (4-6) 5.30 ERA/1.370 WHIP 73 IP/35BB/89 K
Watching this man throw is fun. He has a mid 90’s fastball and a decent breaking pitch. At an early age he has shown great durability and the craving to get better. Lawson wants to learn and grow as a pitcher, and that is half the battle out there. He might lack some refinement presently, but you should not count this right-handed pitcher out. If he can fill out his frame and add some strength, he has the ability to be special. Presently he tires out fairly early and his control can get shaky from time to time. Lawson will repeat Fort Wayne, most likely, and be looked upon as a key member of the rotation.
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