Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Carlos Asuaje couldn't quite seal the deal in the Triple-A National Championship on Tuesday, but they're getting the best possible consolation prize.
The Padres will call up No. 2 prospect Margot, No. 3 prospect Renfroe and No. 20 prospect Asuaje from Triple-A El Paso, San Diego manager Andy Green announced late Tuesday night. Catcher Austin Hedges -- a former top prospect who lost his prospect eligibility last season -- and left-handers Buddy Baumann and Jose Torres will also receive promotions.
"It's an exciting time for them," Green told MLB.com. "These guys, especially the ones that are coming up for the first time, they've earned this right to be here. All of them have done very well, and we're all very excited to get them."
The group of six just had their Minor League seasons come to an end following a run that included a Pacific Coast League title and a 3-1 loss to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday in Memphis.
Margot, Hedges, Baumann and Torres are already members of the Padres' 40-man roster and can be added freely to the Major League active roster as part of September roster expansions. Renfroe and Asuaje, on the other hand, will need to be added to the 40-man before officially getting the call, although Green did not immediately address what the corresponding moves would be to make that happen. Both would be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason, however, meaning their roster additions were likely coming soon anyway.
It was an award-winning year for the three ranked Padres prospects getting the call.
Renfroe was named PCL MVP after hitting .306/.336/.557 with 30 homers, five triples, 34 doubles and 105 RBIs in 133 games for the Chihuahuas. The 24-year-old outfielder's 69 extra-base hits and 297 total bases were tops among all Triple-A hitters, while his 30 long balls were in a three-way tie for first at the Minors' top level.
Playing primarily at second base, Asuaje took home PCL Rookie of the Year honors as he hit .321/.378/.473 with nine homers, 11 triples, 32 doubles, 69 RBIs and 10 steals in 134 games over his first season in the circuit.
Margot -- the Padres' top position player prospect and No. 27 overall on MLB.com's overall list -- hit .304/.351/.426 with 39 extra-base hits and 30 steals in 124 games for the Chihuahuas while adding impressive defense in center field. The 21-year-old went 14-for-40 (.350) with a homer, three triples, three doubles and four RBIs in the PCL postseason and was named playoff MVP for his efforts.
Both Margot and Asuaje came to the Padres from the Red Sox in a trade last offseason for closer Craig Kimbrel.
All three were named to the PCL end-of-season All-Star list as was Hedges, who was selected as the circuit's top catcher for the 2016 season. The 24-year-old hit .326 with 21 homers and a .951 OPS in 82 games with the Chihuahuas but did not get the call to San Diego this year until Tuesday, partly because he missed more than a month from late April to early June with a broken hand. The 2011 second-rounder, who is considered an especially good defensive catcher, lost his prospect eligibility last season when he played 56 games for the big club, during which he hit just .168/.215/.248 before the assignment back to the PCL at the start of this season.
How much playing time the four position players will receive in the final two weeks of the season is unclear, but with the Padres out of the National League playoff picture with a 64-87 record, the club can afford to see what they have in the new guys before the offseason.
Baumann (3.14 ERA, 31 strikeouts in 28 2/3 Triple-A innings) and Torres (2.24 ERA, 63 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings across three levels) are expected to give San Diego left-handed help out of the bullpen. The former has made seven appearances with the Padres this season, giving up four earned runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.