Let’s take a look at the San Diego Padres’ 2019 minor league affiliates and try to determine exactly where each of their valuable prospects fits. The system is really deep with talent and there are a lot of names to know, so here is a brief preview of the 2019 season.
The San Diego Padres have a deep farm system. That is not a secret.
2019 should be an exciting year for the franchise, as many of the young players in the organization are near major league service time.
It has been a long wait in San Diego. The fan base has been starved of competitive baseball for a long time. Even though the past two seasons have been horrific to witness at the major league level, there are plenty of things to be excited about. Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski have all taken their game to the next level in 2018. Renfroe and Hedges in particular, look like completely different players with the bat. The duo is also feeding off each other, as they both grew up in the system and are homegrown Padres.
The team is starting to motivate itself to get better and there are more reinforcements on the way. The Padres will be flooded with talent in the coming years and that is a very good thing. Here is a look at the top four affiliates who all play full-season ball starting in April.
There is no way to predict exactly where each player will start their 2019 season, but here is an outlook to give you an idea how developed this system really is.
El Paso Chihuahuas
The 2019 San Diego Padres starting staff will consist of several young pitchers, but all simply cannot make the team. Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi, Jacob Nix and Brett Kennedy will all be competing for a spot in the rotation, but each probably will not make it. That will give El Paso some “veteran” leadership and a pitcher or two with major league experience. Paddack is very close to being major league ready. Allen is as well and Cal Quantrill showed great improvement in 2018. This is an exciting group of hurlers.
Mejia is listed here, but very well may be the starting catcher on opening day. Tatis should start in El Paso after a successful Winter League, showcasing that his injured thumb is healed. Naylor has emerged and will have a huge year in the PCL and Ty France keeps doing everything right on the baseball field. The former SDSU athlete has emerged as a viable prospect in the system. Andres Munoz should also probably be on this team. The bullpen will be stacked too, as the Padres seem to always have the ability to find relievers.
It’s looking like the Padres will play the 2019 season in Amarillo, but that is not set in stone just yet. No matter what happens, the team will play in the Texas League and they will have a very competitive squad. The starting staff here is going to compete. Baez and Morejon are Cuban aces that will surely lead this staff. Behind them, Margevicius is very serviceable and so is Avila, Lawson and Bolanos. This will be a fun staff to watch.
The offense will be full of young prospects, some with experience already at the Double-A level. Hudson Potts and Buddy Reed had rough starts to the Texas League careers, but each seemed to get more comfortable late in the year. Expect both men to help lead a squad that will consist of many young Latino position players. Jorge Ona is not a lock to start in Double-A, but Olivares should clear the Rule-5 Draft and begin the year in the Texas League.
Lake Elsinore Storm
Of all the starting staffs in the system, this one could be the most exciting to watch. Gore, Espinoza and Patino all have top of the order stuff and Hernandez and Leasher are two very effective lefties. There will be plenty of reason to travel up the 15 freeway to Lake Elsinore in 2019.
Most of the 2018 TinCaps’ roster should move up to the California League where they should put up more impressive numbers. The Latino blood on the team may be more comfortable pitching in Lake Elsinore and visiting the neighboring communities. Expect to see Orlenas, Ruiz and company all boost their offensive numbers from 2018 in the Midwest League.
Fort Wayne TinCaps
Ryan Weather will headline this staff which should have plenty of young players from the DSL and AZL Leagues. Mason Thompson may also repeat in Fort Wayne as he has some mechanical issude to work through. Cruz and Cantillo are both interesting pitchers and Manuel Partida has a decent upside. The Mexican left-handed pitcher, Partida, may start in Tri-City though before making his way potentially to Indiana.
This team will have some offensive potential as Xavier Edwards, Grant Little, Blake Hunt and company are a nice mix of young position players. Tucupita Marcano is another interesting player to keep an eye on as he hit over .380 in the AZL this year. International draft picks Jorday Barley, Luis Almanzar, Justin Lopez and others will provide a very entertaining young infield.
Position Players- Grant Little (OF), Xavier Edwards (SS), Tucupita Marcano (SS-2B), Blake Hunt (C), Mason House (OF), Jordy Barley (INF), Justin Lopez (INF), Luis Almanzar (INF), Luis Asuncion (OF), Olivier Basabe (INF)