In recent weeks, it has become quite clear that San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller is poised to make some additions to the team.
The Eric Hosmer talk is still running wild, as the Padres continue to be linked to the prized free-agent. A signing of Hosmer would signify that the Padres are intending to compete sooner rather than later. Trying to compete and actually doing it are two different things, but a signing of Hosmer would surely energize the fan base.
By adding Eric Hosmer, the Padres would not have to dip into their farm system (they would lose a low first round/high second round pick though) and would only be required to spend money. Lots of it.
We will have to wait and see what A.J. Preller does. He has options. Anything can happen.
A possible scenario is that the team attempts to trade for viable major league talent now. Christian Yelich, anyone?
The following players are prospects who should not, and probably will not be made available by the team as trade talks progress this winter. We all know that A.J. Preller does not leave any stone untouched, so there is a strong likelihood of another deal or two before the spring.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
There is no doubt that Tatis is the crown jewel in the Padre system presently. He has grown tremendously and continues to display the intangibles to be a very good player at the major league level. The Padres would never deal this young man. He will make his debut with the team soon and should, at the very least, be an average to above average major league regular. Padre fans are excited to see this young man in the near future.
If Tatis is considered the crown jewel, then you should consider it a dual-tiered headpiece. All indication are that Gore will be really special. He has four above average pitches. Count them. FOUR. His control is advanced for his age and he has a fluid motion with excellent deception. We all know about the leg kick. The Padres are set to roll with Gore for the long run. He has a great knowledge of how to pitch for a player of his age and that means that he could be a fast-riser through the system.
The Padres are pleasantly surprised with the 2017 season this man put forth. He was tremendous at the lower levels, but will be tested this year in Lake Elsinore and beyond. His high home run rate has some concerned, but he should be able to rectify that as he learns to pound the corners more effectively. Baez throws a lot of strikes and sometimes that leads to home runs. His fastball can be straight at times as well, but the Padres are surely not in any rush to move this young Cuban right handed pitcher.
Most people do not mention this young man’s name when they speak of the Padres best prospects, but he could really take off in 2018. Morejon has advanced knowledge of how to pitch and teams that with excellent stuff. With three advanced pitches, he has all the makings to stick in the rotation. He is only 18 (19 next baseball season), and was successful in Fort Wayne last year, going 1-2 with a 4.23 ERA in six starts. Morejon could start the year in the Mid West League or he could start in Lake Elsinore. Either way, he is probably about as untouchable as they get for the Padres.
A surprise addition to this list is this Venezuelan shortstop. International scouting director Chris Kemp told me in 2016 that Arias was something special. He was not wrong, as the 17-year-old has made quite the name for himself. He has advanced ability at short and could be a Gold Glove candidate there, but his hitting is what is getting most excited about his future. He has shown plus power and has great size in his legs and lower body to develop even more. He has struggled with plate recognition, but given his age, it is no big deal. Arias looks like the answer at short eventually for the Padres (but he has a long road still).
I was very tempted to leave him off this list simply because the Padres have so much second base depth. Urias is an excellent player and its amazing that he is only 20 years old as he has seemingly been around forever. Urias hit .296 last year in Double-A, but his average dipped in August after sustaining an ankle injury. He would have easily hit above .300 if not for the fact he played through the injury. In the AFL, he played a very serviceable shortstop and there is still talk of him getting some time there in 2018. Urias will probably start the year in El Paso, but could be called up if the Padres are able to move some of their major league infield depth.
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