Preller’s Impressive Rebuild

Back in 2014, the Padres had a really good farm system. It featured Austin Hedges, Matt Wisler, Trea Turner, and a few other good prospects, and Baseball America had them ranked sixth.

However, then came 2015, and A.J. Preller made an ill-advised attempt to go all-in. We don’t know whether the owners demanded him to do that, but we can for sure say it didn’t work. The Padres did improve to 74 wins, but came nowhere close to a wild-card slot, and they sent away Yasmani Grandal, Max Fried, Mallex Smith, Trea Turner, and others.

Suddenly, BA then had their farm system ranked only 24th, and the talent in the majors wasn’t great either.

Those actions really were bad for the organization.

But then came 2016, and Preller made a complete 180-degree turn. Most notably, he traded Craig Kimbrel for Javier Guerra, Manuel Margot and Logan Allen. He also selected Dan Straily and Brad Hand from waivers, and he made a lot of rule 5 picks.

Later, he traded James Shields for eventual top prospect Fernando Tatis, and swung the infamous Drew Pomeranz for Anderson Espinoza trade where Preller rightfully got criticized for not being honest about the health of his player. Preller got punished and was despised by the league and fans, but that didn’t stop him in his quest. He drafted Jacob Nix in 2015, Cal Quantrill in 2016, and MacKenzie Gore in 2017. He also signed a lot of guys on the international market, most notably Cuban Adrian Morejon.

The bottom line is that he built up a farm system in little more than two years that contains some risk but has some high upside and a lot of depth. MLB.com has seven of their guys in their top-100, and ranked their farm third midseason.

You can rightfully criticize Preller’s actions as a human being and professional, but there is little doubt about the results he got for his organization in the last two years.



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