The San Diego Padres have what has been referred to as “a volcano of hot talent lava”.
Here is a list of the Top-10 prospects currently in the Padres’ system. Included is an estimated debut for each player.
The following players make up only a small portion of the “hot talent lava” quote.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Tatís Jr. quickly moved through the Padres’ farm system in 2017, starting in Single-A Fort Wayne and moving up to Double-A San Antonio. Fashioning a 1.054 on-base-plus slugging percentage in July 2017, and pushing it to 1.262 in August 2017, warranted the aggressive promotion. Tatís Jr. responded by logging the first four-hit game of his career in his second week in the Texas League. He put up a .255/.281/.327 batting line in the 14-game audition, and went 7-for-20 (.350) with a homer and two RBI during the Missions’ five-game playoff run. For his first full season as a pro, Tatís Jr. finished with a .278/.379/.498 batting line with 22 homers and 32 steals.
Tatís Jr. was a non-roster invitee to Padres’ spring training and unquestionably made a great impression finishing with a .281/.343/.812 batting line with one home run and three stolen bases.
*Estimation- Tatís Jr. should be up sooner rather than later, but probably not until 2019.
Age: 19/Left-handed pitcher/Gore was drafted by the San Diego Padres with the third overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.
He attended Whiteville High School in Whiteville, North Carolina. As a junior, he was 12–1 with a 0.08 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 88 1⁄3 innings pitched. During the season, he threw a no-hitter with 18 strikeouts. Also while in high school, Gore received both the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award, and the Gatorade High School Baseball Player of the Year Award.
He signed a rookie contract on June 23, 2017. Gore spent 2017 with the AZL (Arizona League) Padres, where he pitched in seven games, posting an 0-1 record, a 1.27 ERA in 21 innings at the rookie ball level. He put up a 34/7 K/BB ratio and a 0.98 WHIP.
Gore has sharp command of 92-95 MPH fastball, plus curveball, plus change-up, and plus slider. Scouting reports are hot and the numbers match the reports so far. He is a possible top-of-the-rotation starter. The main concern at this point is showing what kind of workload he can handle.
*Estimation- He should be a Padres starting pitcher in 2020.
Age: 22/Right-handed pitcher/Signed out of Cuba with the San Diego Padres as an international free agent in December 2016 for $3 million.
He played for the Vegueros de Pinar del Río and the Huracanes de Mayabeque of the Cuban National Series in 2014/2015. Báez made a beautiful professional debut in 2017, posting a 2.45 ERA in 59 innings in Low-A. He started in the Arizona League and then was promoted to the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
After the 2017 season, Báez was rated as the Midwest League’s No. 4 prospect according to Baseball America. Báez also earned honorable mention as a starting pitcher in the 2017 Yahoo Sports All-Minor League team. Báez is currently ranked as the Padres’ No. 7 prospect according to MLB.com.
He brings a 94-98 MPH fastball with a plus slider, developing change-up, and stunning control for a tall pitcher.
*Estimation- He should make the rotation by late 2019.
Age: 20/Infielder/He signed with the San Diego Padres as an international free agent in December 2013.
Urías made his professional debut in 2014 with the Dominican Summer League Padres and was promoted to the Arizona League Padres after two games. In 45 total games between the two clubs, he batted .297 with 14 RBI. In 2015, he played for the Tri-City Dust Devils and Fort Wayne TinCaps, posting a combined .299 batting average with 17 RBI in 61 total games between the two teams. Urías started 2016 with the Lake Elsinore Storm and was a California League All-Star.
July 2016, Urías played in three games for the El Paso Chihuahuas as a brief replacement for players who were selected to the All-Star Futures Game. In those three games for El Paso, he batted .444 with one home run. In 120 games for Lake Elsinore, he batted .330 with five home runs, 52 RBI, a .397 OBP and an .836 OPS.
Urías was chosen to play for the Mexico National Baseball team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. In 2017, he also played for the San Antonio Missions where he posted a .296 batting average with three home runs, 38 RBI, and a .778 OPS.
This spring, Urías was invited to Padres’ spring training camp as a non-roster invite and held his own, batting .283/.394/.858 and three RBI.
Urías is a better second baseman with more range, but also can play shortstop if needed. Scouts say he could be something like Freddy Sanchez with more walks and fewer injuries when it is all said and done.
*Estimation- Expect a call-up sometime this season.
Age: 19/Left-handed pitcher/He agreed to a contract with the San Diego Padres for $11 million in July 2016.
Morejon played in the 2014 15U Baseball World Cup, and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Morejon also appeared in the Cuban National Series for Mayabeque.
He made his professional debut in 2017, spending time with both the Tri-City Dust Devils and the Fort Wayne TinCaps, posting a combined 3-4 record with a 3.86 ERA in 63 innings pitched. Simply amazing considering his age.
Morejon is equipped with a fastball (92-95) peaking out at 98 MPH. He has advanced secondary pitches including a change-up and curveball. Morejon can be inconsistent at times, but he is still performing better than most 19 year old pitchers.
*Estimation- He should arrive sometime during the 2020 season.
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