San Diego Padres Top 50 Fantasy Prospects

Jack Cecil ranks the Top 50 prospects for the San Diego Padres

As we prepare for the season ahead, the Pitcher List staff will be creating profiles for every fantasy-relevant player for 2021. Players will be broken up by team and role through starting pitchers, bullpen, lineup, and prospects. You can access every article as it comes out in our Player Profiles 2021 hub here.

Here at Pitcher List, we are big fans of lists. The Dynasty team will be covering the top 50 fantasy prospects for each MLB team, and today we are covering one of if not the best farm system in baseball. Below you will find prospect blurbs on the top 50 San Diego Padres.

Note: These Top 50 lists are all done through a fantasy baseball-focused lens. Many players who are ranked higher or lower on other platforms will get a boost here. For example, players who profile as middle relievers or glove-first infielders likely won’t have much fantasy relevance, so they won’t be ranked as highly

 

1) MacKenzie Gore, LHP

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Double-A

Gore is the crown jewel of the Padres system. An athlete first, Gore comes at hitters with a funky set of mechanics and a very en vogue high arm slot which produces an extremely efficient repertoire of a fastball, slider, curveball, and change up with plus future command projected, presuming you don’t see him on the right day when he already has it. Gore dominated high-A and then was merely very good in double-A as 20 year old in 2019. A 2020 debut never happened and now we are all waiting for the highly anticipated, possibly future top of the rotation arm in 2021.

ETA: 2021

 

2) CJ Abrams, SS

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: Low-A

Right on Gore’s tail is Abrams, another high end athlete. Abrams’ short career could be described as an onslaught of hits, with very little swing and misses. He is a blazing fast runner and his 80 speed is most threatened by his frame built to be more of a future power/speed threat than a true burner. But Abrams is not only much more athletic than his coworkers in the Padres system, he also rakes and is very likely to continue doing so. If Abrams fills out his frame, he would look similar to Byron Buxton in a jersey.  Hopefully, power comes as it did with Buxton, and a true high end fantasy pick could be born. Until then, this is a player who has yet to play above two games in Low-A. He appears to be well on his way to being worth the wait.

ETA: 2023

 

3) Ha-seong Kim, 2B

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: KBO

A new member of the Padres system with hopefully a brief stay on this list. Kim has been terrorizing the KBO for years, and is now ready to bring his talents stateside. He is likely going to slide in as a low end starting second baseman in the wasteland that second has become recently, being an average batter who gives you a shot at 15/15 production.

ETA: 2021

 

4) Luis Campusano, C

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: MLB

The catcher that hits first and fields second can be a fantasy goldmine. Campusano is stocky but fit and thick at the same time. He brings a classic short to it, long through it swing, and lets his sheer strength supply the power as opposed to muscling up and giving it everything he’s got on every swing. Having already made his MLB debut, he likely will be back up shortly with only recent success story Austin Nola in his way. The defense does need to catch up to his offense, but he isn’t a butcher behind the plate and should stay there.

ETA: 2020

 

5) Ryan Weathers, LHP

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Low-A

Weathers is a high school pitcher who has been up and down prospect rankings depending on when you have seen him. He commands his three pitch mix well, but it is an average slider and an average changeup to back up a fastball that oscillates between low and mid 90s. He appears to be on his way to being a safer bet to play in the majors, but his potential lack of an impact caps how high he can be on this list. The command is very advanced for someone his age.

ETA: 2023

 

6) Robert Hassell III, OF

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Did not play

Hassell does not have the feel of your normal Padres position player prospect, but he is very deserving of a high spot on this list. Hassell has a rhythmic smooth swing, and consistently finds his barrel on the ball. After his potentially plus hit tool, it gets a lot more boring, unfortunately. He is a lanky guy and has a few projected average tools in his future. If everything comes together perfectly, he appears to be similar to Andrew Benintendi.

ETA: 2023

 

7) Hudson Head, OF

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: AZL

Head brings an interesting profile as a $3,000,000 third rounder who came into pro ball with a shorter resume than most high end draft picks, but he immediately performed. If Head keeps performing, this rank will be light. He has shown plus times to first base, and is already projecting for above average raw power. When traits like that pair up with a guy who is hitting well, their value rockets up prospect rankings after a promotion or two. This is a name with helium.

ETA: 2023

 

8) Jorge Oña, OF

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: MLB

Oña is a $7,000,000 Cuban who brings a combo of power, speed, and swing and miss to a left field profile. Oña blasted his way through double-A in 2019, and would have been on a very good El Paso team in 2020 without a COVID shutdown. He’s already debuted but looks to be behind the other outfielders they already have on the MLB roster. Currently, he seems like a trade candidate for a team that is pushing its chips in.

ETA: 2021

 

9) Joshua Mears, OF

 

Age: 20

Highest Level: Rookie

Mears is an athletic beast who has baseball skills lagging behind. He is currently a 20 year old with at least plus raw power, and average speed. Those tools are expected to tip more towards more power and less speed soon. The problem is he continues to swing and miss a lot while being so early in his career. If he can walk more then this could be a classic slugging outfielder, but as of right now it looks like an athlete with a bad approach.

ETA: 2024

 

10) Brayan Medina, RHP

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: Did not play

Medina is all projection at this point. He has been up to the mid 90s without having played a single pro game yet. A very long term and high risk/high reward piece, but worthy of being on your radar already.

ETA: 2025

 

11) Justin Lange, RHP

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Did not play

Lange is a muscular big bodied pitcher who is already sitting in the upper 90s. Outside of that, he is a very standard teenage pitching prospect who needs to tighten up his command and does not have a secondary pitch of the same quality as his fastball yet.

ETA: 2025

 

12) Tucupita Marcano, SS/2B

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Low-A

Marcano is projecting to become a pesky leadoff type who plays average defense at a middle infield position. He has a feel for the barrel that limits both his strikeouts and walks, a style of offense that pairs well with his plus speed. There are some obstacles in San Diego with them being stacked up the middle, but he is a valuable player nonetheless.

ETA: 2021

 

13) Mason Thompson, RHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: Low-A

Thompson most recently has thrown 94-97, but that has been sandwiched between a slew of injuries. He is all projection, but the stuff is there for fantasy greatness.

ETA: 2022

 

14) Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

At this point, Mateo is a utility player with blazing speed. He strikes out a ton and does not work many walks. If he can get on base or put a ball in play he is extremely dangerous, but that has not happened yet, and likely will not happen in the future.

ETA: 2020

 

15) Tirso Ornelas, OF

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: High-A

It’s easy to notice that Ornelas has largely been an average producer, and hits way too many grounders, and as an outfielder without speed that will not fly in fantasy baseball. But Ornelas has yet to turn 21, and he survived High-A as a 19 year old while working a good number of walks and striking out 24% of the time. Here and there he will smoke one, but he has not hit nearly enough balls in the air so far in his career. The swing is kind of grooved, so the Padres need to do something to alter the path, but as of right now, he’s still very young for his level and should be monitored closely.

ETA: 2021

 

16) Henry Baez, RHP

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: Did not play

Baez is the dream, but he is a thousand miles away from being a major leaguer. With a big body and already hitting 93, he just needs to follow a traditional major leaguer’s progression to eventually meet his lofty expectations.

ETA: 2025

 

17) Reggie Lawson, RHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: Double-A

Lawson had a power relievers pitch mix, before missing 2019 due to Tommy John, and 2020 because of COVID. His stunted development time is going to be an issue because his rule 5 clock is starting to tick, which means he may be up soon, but it looks very likely he’ll be a newly anointed reliever, and seemingly not of the closer variety.

ETA: 2021

 

18) Hugo Sanchez, 3B/SS

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: DSL

Sanchez is a big bodied left handed bat with a smooth swing, who also has a chance to stay on the dirt. The potential for average power and hits while still being in the infield makes him interesting enough to warrant this rank and be a guy on your radar.

ETA: 2024

 

19) Esteury Ruiz, 2B

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: High-A

Ruiz has had a disappointing past two seasons based on the package of tools he brings to the field. Armed with plus speed, and above average power, struggling in High-A was not to be expected. However, he is still young, and the package is tantalizing so while I would not want to be rostering him currently, I also would want to keep my eye on him for a quick start to what could potentially be an exciting career.

ETA: 2021

 

20) Omar Cruz, LHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level:Low-A

Cruz brings above average command as a lefty, and that has been the fuel to his high strikeout rates so far in his minor league career. Obviously, this is not meant to be a slight of his potential, but he currently sits low 90s, and has an average breaking ball to pair with his heater. This profile sometimes goes under reported, but as of now, he’s more of a filler guy who figures to move up one level per year before having an okay big league career. So while the security is nice, it’s not what we typically go for.

ETA: 2022

 

21) Jose Cordero, OF

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: Did not play

Cordero has yet to play a pro game, but is an athlete the Padres signed in the 2019 J2 class. He has plus speed, and a 6’1″ frame that is ready to pack on some power. This is the kind of athlete who if he performs in the DSL will experience some helium quickly.

ETA: 2025

 

22) Frank Lopez, RHP

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: Low-A

Lopez has a good fastball changeup combo right now, but needs to develop a breaking ball to really move up these lists. But he has a projectable body, and good things are on the horizon if San Diego player development can make that third pitch a reality.

ETA: 2023

 

23) Anderson Espinoza, RHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: Low-A

The highest level may be a bit deceiving as it came about in his last pro game back in 2016. Since then he has two Tommy John surgeries and missed a year of development for obvious COVID reasons. Espinoza once had front end stuff, and that is the entire reason for his placement on this list. Back in 2016 he likely would have been fighting for the top spot, but now this is a gamble to see if he returns to the previous form he once possessed.

ETA: 2021

 

24) Luis Gutierrez, LHP

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: Did not play

Gutierrez checks a lot of the boxes you want to see checked in a starter. As an amateur, he was clocked at 87-90 and he pairs that with a steep curve, and a nascent change up. His smooth mechanics from the left side predict good things in his future, but he is a long ways from being a big league producer.

ETA: 2025

 

25) Javy Guerra, RHP

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

Guerra is a conversion arm that was part of the package that sent Craig Kimbrel to Boston. He previously was a shortstop, but then failed at the plate, and now he is a power armed reliever topping out at 100. He brings an average breaking ball and iffy command to the table as well. He doesn’t have a ton of experience, but he still feels like a finished product and this may be what he is. If you need a guy right now, here he is, but I don’t think this career will be long or strong despite already being a big leaguer.

ETA: 2019

 

26) Michel Baez, RHP

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: MLB

Baez was a prospect on the rise two years ago. but has seen his star lose its shine more recently. At 6’8 he brings a package of an above average fastball, and an above average change up. The Pads are so deep that he has been relegated to the bullpen where he is far less exciting, but still an interesting present big leaguer.

ETA: 2019

 

27) Angel Solarte, OF

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Short Season

Solarte is small and athletic. He does not project to have much future power, and his aggressive approach has worked so far allowing his plus speed to play. But he has not piled up stolen bases, so we are hoping he can keep piling up hits with the poor approach. This feels like someone who is going to peak in the minors but it has worked for him so far.

ETA: 2023

 

28) Cristian Heredia, OF

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie

The most interesting part of his profile is that he was born in Spain, but Heredia brings a bland average across the board projection for a player that has never been off the complex. He has shown a knack for finding the ball with the barrel, but there hasn’t been enough juice behind it to make this really interesting. His body is good, so let’s see how his 2021 turns out.

ETA: 2023

 

29) Charlis Aquino, SS

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie

Aquino is a very thin shortstop prospect who looks to impress more by sticking at shortstop than being an offensive performer. He has held his own to so far, but this is more for the very deep leaguers who need a player who can stick in the middle infield.

ETA: 2024

 

30) Zayed Salinas, LHP/OF

 

Age: 17
Highest Level: Did not play

Interesting in that he is going through the player development process as a true two way player as an international signee. The Mexican two way player is mostly average both offensively and on the mound, outside of his arm being plus when used in the field. He is very far off, and the complications of him being used as a pitcher and hitter make his ETA further than normal, while the ceiling doesn’t really experience much additional excitement, but this is a cool player to roster.

ETA: 2025

 

31) Dwanya Williams-Sutton, OF

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: Low-A

Williams-Sutton is big time athlete first, and a hitter second. In 2019 he lit up the Midwest League, on the back of a monster walk rate (15%). At levels this low, simply now swinging, which has its benefits, can get you on base more than you would think. But Williams-Sutton projects to have plus raw power and plus speed, the problem is he has not actually hit, and the prospect community doesn’t have much confidence he ever will. If magic happens he could be a star, but I don’t think that is particularly likely.

ETA: 2022

 

32) Carlos Guarate, RHP

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Low-A

Part of an army of 300K signing bonus players when the Padres were in the penalty box, Guarate has arguably the best body, but more middling stuff. He’s only been in Low-A for a game, so he’s very similar to the names above, but he posses a nice curveball, and hopefully he can fill out his frame and improve his strikeout rate as he ascends up the system.

ETA: 2022

 

33) David Bednar, RHP

 

Age: 26
Highest Level: MLB

Bednar is a three pitch reliever who debuted in 2019. He works with a fastball, curveball, splitter all which are or have shown above average to plus ability, with poor ability to locate. He was knocked around so far, but I think his rates need some time to stabilize seeing as his strand rate, babip, and HR/FB ratio are through the roof right now.

ETA: 2019

 

34) Edgar Martinez, RHP

 

Age: 19
Highest Level: Rookie

An interesting prospect archetype to corner the market on, the Padres have a lot of pitchability guys who are on the shorter side. Enter Edgar Martinez who has a below average fastball, but also an above average slider, change up, and overall command. Yet another player who is going to be a slow burn, but an interestingly safe bet for someone with a fastball sitting 90.

ETA: 2022

 

35) Pedro Avila, RHP

 

Age: 23
Highest Level: MLB

Avila debuted in 2019 and later had Tommy John surgery. He should be back in 2021, but his package of shorter body with an average fastball and above average curveball and changeup coming off of surgery is not particularly enticing considering his ceiling is a #5.

ETA: 2021

 

36) Lake Bachar, RHP

 

Age: 25
Highest Level: Double-A

What Bachar brings in proximity, he lacks in excitement. A dual sport athlete in college, Bachar chose baseball/baseball chose him. Bachar has built up an innings tolerance, getting up to 126 in 2019, and has provided average strikeout and walk rates supported by his average four pitch mix. He’ll likely make his debut soon, but he currently feels like an up and down starter.

ETA: 2021

 

37) Jagger Haynes, LHP

 

Age: 18
Highest Level: Did not play

Haynes was the youngest player drafted in 2020. His three pitch mix of a projected plus fastball and an average breaking ball and change up is great, but without having a senior season, and having reported below average command, this is a development project that probably will take longer than you are willing to wait.

ETA: 2025

 

38) Steven Wilson, RHP

 

Age: 26
Highest Level: Triple-A

Depending on how you view pitches that have no big league potential, Wilson has 4, in our game he is a two pitch reliever with below average control. The kicker here is that he has a mid 90s plus fastball. His command has been enough to get by, but his most recent stint at triple-A didn’t fool anyone, and he needs to improve his control in order to take his game up one more level.

ETA: 2022

 

39) Eguy Rosario, 2B

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Double-A

At 5’9 Rosario is bringing a feel to hit and a collection of average tools behind that. It’s not exciting, but his ability to hit and plate discipline may be enough to put him in a big league uniform.

ETA: 2021

 

40) Miguel Rondon, RHP

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: Rookie

Rondon is a skinny, sub 6 foot, strike throwing, average three pitch mix pitcher. At the low levels, he is chewing hitters up, but as he ascends up the ranks, he is going to need to add velocity or really start manipulating the offspeed well.

ETA: 2023

 

41) Jordy Barley, SS

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Short Season

Barley will occasionally dazzle you with a gold glove caliber play, or blast a bomb, but most of the time he is hacking wildly through pitches he should not have been swinging at in the first place. His occasional highlight is what keeps him interesting, but he is otherwise not really a prospect.

ETA: 2023

 

42) Efrain Contreras, RHP

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Low-A

Contreras is a very 2020 style arm, and his shorter and thicker stature actually compliments that well. His lower release point and plus extension allow his above average fastball to play up. His curveball has good shape, but I worry about how it will work at higher levels, since he won’t get a steep approach angle due to his release point as stated earlier. His changeup needs work, so this looks like another back end starter type.

ETA: 2023

 

43) Osvaldo Hernandez, LHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: High-A

Hernandez had a breakout 2018 which can best be encapsulated by his 1.81 ERA, and came crashing back down to earth in 2019 due to injuries and most recently the 2020 pandemic halting any attempt at progress. Hernandez doesn’t have standout stuff, but he throws strikes and mixes up his delivery to keep things interesting.

ETA: 2023

 

44) Sean Guilbe, 2B/3B/OF

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Short Season

Guilbe has raw power, but so far it has been a lot of strikeouts and big babips keeping his production up. Maybe a swing change could help revamp Guilbe, but as of right now he is a watch list guy with some pop.

ETA: 2023

 

45) Henry Henry, RHP

 

Age: 22
Highest Level: Low-A

Henry is a bland low arm slot reliever who has command over stuff, but the arm slot does allow the slider to play up.

ETA: 2022

 

46) Luarbert Arias, RHP

 

Age: 20
Highest Level: Low-A

One of a million short strike throwing pitchers who sits in the low 90s and doesn’t have the frame to project a ton more body to grow into.

ETA: 2022

 

47) Taylor Lomack, OF

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Rookie

With the absolutely stacked system the Padres have, I have my doubts many of you have heard of Lomack, who had the second highest average in the system in 2019 (first was recently traded Yeison Santana in the Darvish deal). Lomack is a speedy contact oriented, patient hitter. His shortcoming is that he needs to develop more pop since the swing is pretty punchless. With the year off, he may have had a fantastic opportunity to pack on the necessary pounds to keep up, but this is merely a guess.

ETA: 2023

 

48) Luis Almanzar, 3B

 

Age: 21
Highest Level: Low-A

Take this with a grain of salt, because I haven’t seen or heard about Almanzar since 2018. Back in 2016 Almanzar was a $4,000,000 international signee. Since then he has 1) not hit at all, 2) when I saw him he looked borderline emaciated, 3) gone from finishing 2018 in Low-A Fort Wayne back down to the complex in 2019 to start the season. While every team has staff turnover, the Padres are notorious for doing well in international scouting. Almanzar used to be considered a player with average tools across the board, and I am curious what someone like him did with the time off. This is likely a lost cause, but crazier things have happened than talent taking some time to show up, and he is still only 21.

ETA: 2023

 

49) Ethan Skender, 3B

 

Age: 24
Highest Level: Low-A

The Trevor Hooth special. Skender was traded in the 28th round of the 2016 draft, and never played for the Padres until 2019. A slew of knee injuries stopped him from making his way into games, but once he did make it in 2019, he was good. Skender is contact oriented, which limits both his walk and strikeout totals, and he doesn’t pack a ton of punch in his 5’11 frame. This is going to be the last time I write this, but a guy who had his progress stunted because of injuries sure could be in for a treat after having a full year just to prepare without the grind of games.

ETA: 2023

 

50) Levi Thomas, RHP

Age: 22
Highest Level: Did not play

In terms of track record, Thomas was excellent at Troy before being drafted in the fourth round. He compiled an 11.3 K/9 at Troy and in his summer league and has kept his walks in check at 3.4 BB/9 in the same timeframe. He comes at hitters with a deceptive crossfire stride, but a much higher arm slot that you would think could pair with this stride direction. Altogether it’s a useful three pitch mix that I would like to see more of against better competition in pro ball.

ETA: 2024

Photo by Erik Drost/Flickr | Adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Jack Cecil

Jack previously worked for the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland Athletics, Baseball Info Solutions, and TrackMan. He loves data driven decisions in all facets of baseball.

  • Great job! I’m completing my top 50 list at the moment, and this year was a tough one with all the new players to rank. One minor thing; Gettys is now with Boston. Overall, though, amazing work!

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