90- Jesse Scholtens Age-23.4 (7-9) 3.60 ERA/1.262 WHIP 147 IP/33 BB/ 123 K
Scholtens has pitched well since being drafted by the Padres in the ninth round of the 2016 draft out of Wright State University. He is not a hard thrower (88-93 sinking fastball/80’s slider/cutter), but will generally throw strikes. He started 18 games in Lake Elsinore this past season, going 6-7 with a 4.23 ERA. His strikeout numbers dropped in the California league, as opposed to the Mid West League, so you have to wonder if he has enough in his arsenal to be successful at the upper minor league levels. He needs to develop that third pitch (changeup) to get better.
89- Ben Sheckler Age-22.4 (5-6) 3.35 ERA/1.355 WHIP 96 IP/30 BB/94 K
When you think of all the Padres left-handed pitching in the minors, the name Ben Sheckler is not one that pops into the head. The 6′ 8″ hurler is worth noting though, as he seemed to turn the corner after a demotion to Tri-City this past season from Fort Wayne. Sheckler went 3-3 in Washington with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.225 WHIP. He has a sinking fastball in the low 90’s and a serviceable slider.
88- A.J. Kennedy Age-23.8 69 games/239 at bats (.109/.167/.180) .399 OPS (10 BB/88 K)
All the young pitchers in Fort Wayne rave about this young man, but he just cannot hit right now. His right-handed swing is long and he just does not have that much power. He is an excellent receiver and thrower. He gunned out 43% of would-be base stealers in 2017. If he can learn to be average with the bat, he could have a future as a backup in the majors. He has a long way to go though. In the meantime, he will help all the Padres’ young pitchers get better, and that is a good thing.
87- Nate Easley Age-21.8 81 games/274 at bats (.248/.350/.372) .722 OPS (41 BB/66 K)
Being the son of a former major leaguer (Damion Easley), gives this young player an advantage. He was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2016 draft out of Yavapai College in Arizona. Easley has a developing right-handed swing, but still has work to do. He puts the ball in play for the most part and has average power for his size. He can play second base or corner outfield and is a plus defender. At this point, his bat will only dictate time at second, but he needs more seasoning and might be buried by the Padres’ depth. It might be difficult to find him at bats in 2018, but you never know. I like his patient approach.
86- Walker “Andrew” Lockett Age-23.5 (5-3) 4.55 ERA/1.454 WHIP 65 IP/17 BB/45 K
He is a big body that doesn’t throw hard. Lockett has struck out 255 batters in 347 minor league innings and offers very little upside. He was hit and miss in El Paso this season, recording a 6.02 ERA in 10 starts. He will probably be given an opportunity to compete for a roster spot in the spring, but he has little to offer. He throws strikes, but his stuff is just not electric enough to get consistent outs.
85- Dan Dallas Age-19.8 (0-2) 9.00 ERA/1.800 WHIP 10 IP/6 BB/16 K
Flying under the radar, is this young left-handed pitcher. He has a plus arm, but has struggled getting on the mound consistently. He was drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 draft, so the Padres do have high hopes for this young man. Dallas has only pitched in the AZL so far and hopes to make his debut in Tri-City or Fort Wayne this coming season. He features a low 90’s fastball and a big overhand curve.
84- Aaron Leasher Age-23.4 (1-3) 4.29 ERA/1.542 WHIP 35 IP/19 BB/ 33 K
Drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 draft, this left-handed pitcher from Morehead State has some real potential. He features a 88-91 mph fastball and an average change. He is described as a real athlete and could transition into a bullpen role. He has some control issues and mechanical flaws, but could progress if he is able to make some positive changes.
83- Alex Cunningham Age-23.4 (0-1) 5.73 ERA/1.545 WHIP 11 IP/5 BB/16 K
In the 2017 draft, the Padres selected this right-handed pitcher out of Coastal Carolina with the team’s 9th-round pick. He is a bit small in stature at 6′ 0″, but has a plus arm. He managed to make a start in Lake Elsinore, where he was knocked around, but the team did show some confidence in giving him the nod. He will likely begin the year in Fort Wayne, where he will try to earn a rotation spot.
82- Yordi Francisco Age-20.6 65 games/247 at bats (.275/.336/.385) .720 OPS (14 BB/49 K)
The 2017 DSL team did not produce many hitters. The offense was an issue nightly, but the team did have a few players stand out with the bat. Yordi Francisco is a left-handed-hitting outfielder with some potential. He was a bit older (20) than most of the players in the DSL and you should take that into consideration. He is a corner outfielder with average speed and a plus arm. He should start the 2018 season in the AZL or he might get a chance to start with a full season team if the Padres feel like challenging him.
81- Yimmi Brasoban Age-23.3 (0-1) 4.71 ERA/1.884 WHIP 28 IP/20 BB/20 K
Injuries have derailed his recent career. He was left unprotected by the team in the 2017 Rule 5 draft and was a surprise “no pick”. The Dominican right-hander has great stuff, featuring a mid 90’s heater, but only made 22 appearances last season out of the pen. He is a big injury concern, as his elbow just isn’t right.
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