by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
After the Padres went virtually all in prior to the 2015 season, an experiment that went horribly wrong, the team has looked to replenish their system heading into 2016. They key trade was obviously the one sending Craig Kimbrel to Boston, netting them three of the Top 5 prospects on this list. Of course, that shows how much of a hit last year’s moves caused.
We’ve taken already taken a look at their outfield prospects, many of which will see time in 2016 (click here for the article), but that was short-term. Who has the brightest long-term future? Let’s take a look:
1) Manuel Margot – Outfielder
Grade – A-
ETA – 2017
If it hadn’t been for the signing of Yoan Mocada we would’ve been talking about Margot as the next big thing in Boston. Now in San Diego, we no longer have to worry about that. Splitting time between High-A and Double-A he hit .276 with 6 HR and 39 SB over 439 AB.
He may never be a 20+ HR hitter, but double-digits are a realistic expectation, even with calling Petco Park home, having added 27 doubles and 9 triples in ’15. Throw in just 53 K (12.8% strikeout rate at Double-A) and you have the makings of a real menace hitting atop a batting order.
There’s a chance that the Padres push the envelope with Margot, who at 21-years old could conceivably reach the Majors at some point in ’16 given the questions the team has in the outfield. It’s more likely that he arrives in ’17, though, where he could thrive immediately.
2) Hunter Renfroe – Outfielder
Grade – B
ETA – 2016
Power is at a premium and that’s what Renfroe brings to the table. Splitting time between Double and Triple-A last season he hit 20 HR, adding 27 doubles and 5 triples, and he’s really just beginning to tap into his full potential. The problem is that there is a lot of swing and miss to his game, as he displayed at both stops:
- Double-A – 24.2%
- Triple-A – 21.1%
The Triple-A mark was in just 95 PA (21 games), so don’t read too much into it. It’s possible that he brings a near 30% strikeout out in the Majors, at least initially, though his upside is greater than Rule 5 pick Jabari Blash. Think of a .250-.260ish type hitter with 20 HR potential.
3) Ruddy Giron – Shortstop
Grade – B
ETA – 2018
He played 2015 as an 18-year old, so it’s easy to get excited about his performance over 419 PA at Single-A (he hit .285 with 9 HR and 15 SB). He does need to learn to be more efficient on the base paths (he was caught stealing 14 times), but with some work and considering his age it’s easy to imagine that developing. He also has shown a tremendous approach at the plate, posting a 16.2% strikeout rate. As he grows and matures the appeal is only going to grow so now is the time to get on board. There’s a good chance that he ultimately becomes the Padres shortstop of the future.
4) Javier Guerra – Shortstop
Grade – B-
ETA – 2018
Another piece of the Craig Kimbrel trade, Guerra broke out last season hitting .279 with 15 HR over 434 AB at Single-A last season. Of course there are questions about his ability to maintain those marks, given his elevated strikeout rate (23.5%) and likelihood that he can’t keep up the power (he’s listed at 5’11” and 155 lbs.). Throw in the lack of speed and we’re not quite ready push the gas pedal on his overall outlook quite yet. There’s potential and he should be able to stick at shortstop, but his overall upside could be capped despite the impressive ’15 .
5) Logan Allen – Left-Handed Pitcher
Grade – B- (borderline B)
ETA – 2018
This is an aggressive ranking, but we had Allen initially at #10 among Red Sox prospects and that is a significantly deeper farm system. We did a full scouting report, which you can read by clicking here. An eighth round pick in 2015, he was impressive in his first taste of professional baseball with 26 K, 1 BB and a 1.09 GO/AO over 24.1 IP. He’s gaining velocity, throws four pitches and is a southpaw, so seeing him excel in the lower levels is not a surprise. It’ll be interesting to see how the numbers transition as he climbs up against more advanced hitters, but the upside is clearly there.
6) Luis Perdomo – Right-Handed Pitcher
7) Travis Jankowski – Outfielder
8) Colin Rea – Right-Handed Pitcher
9) Jacob Nix – Right-Handed Pitcher
10) Jose Rondon – Shortstop
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference
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Grading System (still in development):
Grade A – Elite Prospects (aka potential future perennial All-Stars)
Grade B – Above Average Prospects (aka above average Major Leaguers, could develop into a potential All-Star)
Grade C – Average Prospects (aka solid, though unspectacular)
Grade D – Nothing More Than Roster Filler
Grade F – Move On
Make sure to check out all of our Top 10 Prospect Lists: