Cal Quantrill impressed last year while reaching the upper Minor Leagues for the first time. And it looks like that's where he'll start 2018.
The Padres assigned their fourth-ranked prospect to Minor League camp on Friday. Joining Quantrill among nine players sent to the Minor League side were No. 16 prospect Josh Naylor and 29th-ranked Austin Allen.
Quantrill, the eighth overall selection in the 2016 Draft, made 22 starts at Class A Advanced and Double-A last year in his first full season following Tommy John surgery. After registering a 3.67 ERA with 76 strikeouts over 73 2/3 innings for Lake Elsinore in the California League, Quantrill climbed to San Antonio, where the right-hander compiled a 4.04 ERA in 42 1/3 innings in eight Texas League starts.
"It was getting tougher and tougher with the amount of starters we had in camp to get them innings," Padres manager Andy Green told MLB.com. "We're in a position right now where innings are hard to come by. [Quantrill] is going to get innings on the Minor League side. It's going to put him in a position to be successful for the season. We very much believe in his future."
Offseason MiLB include
Quantrill, MLB.com's No. 40 overall prospect, pitched in two Cactus League games this month. After allowing four runs on four hits in one inning against the Rangers on March 1, he rebounded to toss two hitless frames while striking out a pair and earning the win on Tuesday against the Royals.
Acquired from the Marlins in July 2016, Naylor played at the same levels as Quantrill last year. The 20-year-old first baseman batted .280/.346/.415 in 114 games, belting 10 homers and driving in 64 runs between Lake Elsinore and San Antonio.
Allen, a 24-year-old catcher, spent all of last season with Lake Elsinore and finished third in the California League with a .497 slugging percentage and fourth with 22 home runs. In 121 games, the Florida Tech product batted .283/.353/.497 and drove in 81 runs. Behind the plate, he posted a .989 fielding percentage and threw out 26 of 126 potential basestealers (20.6 percent).
Also assigned to Minor League were right-handers Rowan Wick, Trey Wingenter and Michael Mariot, shortstop Javier Guerra and outfielder Franmil Reyes.