FORT WAYNE, Ind. - As TinCaps fans have witnessed in recent years, the San Diego Padres have the deepest farm system in baseball. Now, the next wave of talent is ready to arrive in Fort Wayne. The Padres, whose farm system is rated No. 1 in the sport by MLB.com, ESPN, Baseball America, and others, announced the 2019 Opening Day roster for the TinCaps on Monday.
San Diego's first three selections in the 2018 MLB Draft-starting pitcher Ryan Weathers (seventh overall), infielder Xavier Edwards , and outfielder Grant Little -are all TinCaps. The team's roster also features MLB.com Padres Top 30 prospects in infielder Tucupita Marcano and catcher Blake Hunt .
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Due to the depth of the Padres' farm system, other tantalizing prospects who didn't make the cut for MLB.com's Top 30 list include 18-year-old infielder Justin Lopez , right-handed pitcher Efrain Contreras , outfielder Agustin Ruiz , and left-handed pitcher Joey Cantillo .
Weathers, Lopez, Ruiz, and Cantillo represent four of 11 players with previous, albeit limited, Fort Wayne experience.
"I'm extremely excited," fourth-year TinCaps manager Anthony Contreras said about his 2019 squad. "We have a well-rounded group in terms of speed, power, and pitching. After spring training, it's going to be nice to see them play some real baseball under the lights. I know they're chomping at the bit to get going and I think it'll be fun for the fans to watch these guys."
The TinCaps begin the 2019 season on Thursday, April 4 (7:05 p.m.) at Parkview Field against the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate). Tickets are available at TinCapsTickets.com, by calling 260-482-6400, and at the Parkview Field Ticket Office. Thursday features Postgame Fireworks, Thirsty Thursday™ presented by Rudy's drink specials, and a Magnet Schedule Giveaway courtesy of Freschetta.
Before then, fans can get their first look at this year's team on Wednesday, April 3 (5 p.m.) at Meet the Team Night, a free event at Parkview Field where players and coaches will sign autographs.
2019 TinCaps Coaching Staff
Manager: Anthony Contreras
Hitting Coach: Jonathan Mathews
Pitching Coach Matt Williams**
Fielding Coach: Jhonny Carvajal
Athletic Trainer: Allyse Kramer
Strength Coach: Sam Hoffman
**The Padres have added Matt Williams to the TinCaps' staff in place of Burt Hooton, who will miss the 2019 season as he recovers from off-season knee surgery. Going back to 2013, Hooton spent the last six seasons guiding Fort Wayne's pitchers. Williams, 36, was the pitching coach at UNCW the last five years, helping to guide the Seahawks to three NCAA Tournament appearances. Click here for more information on the TinCaps' coaching staff.
MLB.com's Top 30 Padres Prospects on 2019 TinCaps Opening Day Roster (4)
10. Ryan Weathers (LHP)
14. Xavier Edwards (INF)
21. Tucupita Marcano (INF)
30. Blake Hunt (C)
Returning TinCaps on 2018 Opening Day Roster (11: 4 Position Players, 7 Pitchers)
- Luis Almanzar (INF)
- Carlos Belen (RHP)*
- Joey Cantillo (LHP)
- Dan Dallas (LHP)
- Juan Fernandez (C)
- Henry Henry (RHP)
- Justin Lopez (INF)
- Gabe Mosser (RHP)
- Jose Quezada (RHP)
- Agustin Ruiz (OF)
- Ryan Weathers (LHP)
* Infielder in '16 & '18, since converted to reliever
2019 TinCaps by Opening Day Age
2018 Experience for 2019 TinCaps
Majority of 2018 with TinCaps: 4
Majority of 2018 with Tri-City Dust Devils (Short-Season A): 8
Majority of 2018 with Arizona League Padres (Rookie): 13
How Padres Acquired 2019 TinCaps
2013 International Signing: 1
2015 International Signing: 1
2016 Draft: 1
2016 International Signing: 7
2017 Draft: 2
2017 International Signing: 2
2018 Draft: 10
2018 International Signing: 1
2019 TinCaps by Background
Drafted, Signed Out of High School: 4
Drafted, Signed Out of College: 9
Free Agent, Signed Out of College: 2
International Signings: 10
2019 TinCaps by B/T
Right-Handed Hitters: 7
Left-Handed Hitters: 3
Switch Hitters: 2
Right-Handed Pitchers: 7
Left-Handed Pitchers: 6
2019 TinCaps by Hometowns
States (11) / Foreign Countries (4) Represented: California (3), Florida (2), Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas… Venezuela (4), Dominican Republic (3), Mexico (3), Cuba
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.