Padres 2018 Top Prospects

Baseball America identifies Padres top prospects

By Matthew Rodriguez / Lake Elsinore Storm | November 28, 2017 1:16 PM

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Baseball America recently published its synopsis of the Padres farm system with the annual Top 10 prospects list, which included a projected 2021 lineup, best tools, and more. Several players who made the list have recently worn the Storm eyes, while many we can hope to see at The Diamond in the near future.


View Baseball America's list.


Taking the top spot on the list is shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who spent most of 2017 with the Class-A Fort Wayne TinCaps, batting .281 with 54 extra-base hits, including 21 home runs before a late promotion to Double-A San Antonio as the Missions were preparing for a deep playoff run.


The publication tabbed Tatis Jr. as the best power hitting prospect in the system and penciled him in at shortstop for the projected Padres 2021 lineup.


Taken as the Padres top draft choice of 2017 out of high school, left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore is receiving a lot of hype after coming in at number two on the list. The southpaw spent the summer in Arizona playing rookie ball and overpowering hitters with 34 strikeouts in just 21.1 innings while giving up just three runs on 14 hits.


Baseball America believes in Gore so much they have him as the future ace in 2021 and noted Gore as having the best slider in the system as well as the best control. He walked just seven hitters. Storm fans can hope to see him very soon if he continues to dominate at all levels below Class-A Advanced.


Coming in at the three spot is righty Michel Baez, another guy Storm fans could see at The Diamond very soon. The Cuban pitcher pitched to a 6-2 record with a 2.45 earned run average and 82 strikeouts in 58.2 innings with Fort Wayne.


He is dubbed as having the best fastball in the farm system and is penciled in as a future Padres starting pitcher in the projected 2021 lineup.


Behind Baez is Cal Quantrill, a familiar face to Storm fans after spending much of his 2017 campaign in Lake Elsinore before a promotion to San Antonio. Quantrill earned California League All-Star honors before leaving shortly after.


Baseball America tabbed Quantrill as having the best changeup in the system and have him penciled in as a starting pitcher along with Gore and Baez.


Following Quantrill is lefty Adrian Morejon, at number five. After seven starts with the Tri-City Dust Devils, the Cuban southpaw was promoted to Fort Wayne to pitch alongside Baez. Morejon is another pitcher on the Top 10 list projected to be in the Padres rotation by 2021.


After continuing to consistently perform at a high level wherever he plays, middle infielder Luis Urias comes in at sixth on the list.


Storm fans were treated to a California League MVP season of Urias in 2016 and Padres fans watched him excel in Double-A in 2017. The 5-foot-9 Urias hit .296 with more walks than strikeouts in 442 at-bats, earning him best tools for best hitter for average and best strike-zone discipline.


Urias performed well in the Arizona Fall League and showed good range up the middle, giving Baseball America good reason to have him listed as the Padres second baseman in 2021, sharing the middle infield with Tatis Jr.


Right-hander Anderson Espinoza comes in at seven on the list despite not throwing a single competitive pitch in 2017. Once a top prospect in the Red Sox system, Espinoza was dealt to the Padres in the middle of 2016 and finished the year in Fort Wayne.


Although listed on the Storm roster in 2017, the righty felt discomfort in his pitching arm that resulted in Tommy John surgery. A hard thrower, he is projected to serve the closer role for the Padres in 2021.


Another left-hander on the list, Logan Allen comes in at number eight. Storm fans got to see Allen go to work at The Diamond after a midseason call-up from Fort Wayne. Allen got ten starts for the Storm, collecting 58 strikeouts to just 18 walks in 56.2 innings of work.


Rising through the system's ranks after a breakthrough season in Lake Elsinore and San Antonio, Joey Lucchesi earned the nine spot on the list. Lucchesi dazzled Storm fans when he threw, going 6-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 95 strikeouts to just 19 walks in 78.2 innings to earn California League All-Star honors.


The fourth southpaw on the short list of ten, Lucchesi continued to dominate in San Antonio with a 5-3 record and a 1.79 ERA.


Rounding out the list is just the third position player to earn a spot. Shortstop Gabriel Arias took over for Tatis Jr. in Fort Wayne at just 17-years-old after performing well in Arizona. While odds of seeing Arias in Lake Elsinore during 2018 are low, he isn't far away from anchoring the shortstop position for the Storm.


Pedro Avila , who pitched part of 2017 for the Storm, was tabbed as having the best curveball in the system. Storm shortstop Javier Guerra earned best infield arm, while 2017 Storm outfielder Michael Gettys earned best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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