Evaluating the Prospects: Rangers, Rockies, D’Backs, Twins, Astros, Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Reds, Phillies, Rays, Mets, Padres & Marlins
Scouting Explained: Introduction, Hitting Pt 1 Pt 2 Pt 3 Pt 4 Pt 5 Pt 6
Amateur Coverage: 2015 Draft Rankings, 2015 July 2 Top Prospects & Latest on Yoan Moncada
This list was gutted by five deals over an 12-day period earlier this month by new general manager A.J. Preller. He generally turned minor league pieces into big league pieces and these deals included 11 guys that would’ve been on this list: Trea Turner, Max Fried, Zach Eflin, Joe Ross, Joe Wieland, Mallex Smith, Jace Peterson, R.J. Alvarez, Johnny Barbato, Jake Bauers and Dustin Peterson, in that order.
Jesse Hahn would’ve been on the growth assets list and Burch Smith may have snuck on the end of the list but would likely be one of the last cuts, appearing in the others of note section. The lack of depth in the list below is understandable as a slightly above average system became a slightly below average one in the last month or so. Padres sources were quick to point out that only Justin Upton and Shawn Kelley were one-year assets, so this isn’t an all-in sort of move, but more of a reorganizing of the assets.
It’s interesting that the Rangers, where Preller worked until recently, have a reputation of not wanting to part with any prospects in trades. Preller came into a situation in San Diego where he didn’t sign any of the players he had and he immediately shipped one-third of the legitimate prospects out within a couple months, with no list-worthy prospects coming back in these deals. That’s somewhat misleading, as Preller’s job is to win big league games and a farm system exists to improve the big league team, but it’s interesting to note the contrast in styles.
Another big topic that came up on all my calls for this list was the recent history of Padres pitching prospects getting hurt. There have been somewhat recent Tommy John surgeries for Casey Kelly, Max Fried, Joe Wieland and Cory Luebke (twice) among the legitimate prospects, but the team has no explanation for why they’ve been hit harder than others. Padres execs detailed a study to me that was commissioned to answer this question and there were no common factors across the injuries and there didn’t appear to be problems with their throwing programs. It appears to just be rolling snake eyes a few more times than everyone else did, through random bad luck.
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