Recently the crew at MLB Pipeline released their Top 100 Prospects for 2019. Among those, 10 Padres were ranked inside the Top 100 with seven of those 10 ranked inside the Top 50. No surprise, but Fernando Tatis Jr., was the second overall prospect behind Toronto’s Vlad Guerrero Jr.
Padres Prospects in Top 100:
- Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, (ranked 2nd, SD #1 prospect)
- MacKenzie Gore, LHP, (ranked 15th, #2 LHP prospect)
- Luis Urias, INF, (ranked 23rd)
- Francisco Mejia, C/OF, (ranked 26th, #2 C prospect)
- Chris Paddack, RHP, (ranked 34th)
- Luis Patino, RHP, (ranked 48th)
- Adrian Morejon, LHP, (ranked 49th, #6 LHP prospect)
- Michel Baez, RHP, (ranked 72nd)
- Logan Allen, LHP, (ranked 74th, #8 LHP prospect)
- Ryan Weathers, LHP, (ranked 93rd, #10 LHP prospect)
One thing for sure when evaluating the Padres’ list here is that they are pitcher heavy with only three prospects being hitters. Ranks 5-10 are all pitchers. Gore and Paddack have been rumored to battle for a roster spot this spring while Tatis Jr., should get a strong push from within the organization.
As for trade talks, they’ve gotten hotter and hotter over the last couple of days as Mejia’s name was thrown out there as a possible trade candidate for Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 26, 2019
If Mejia is traded, it would be his second time facing this. He was announced as the minor-leaguer that was traded from the Indians to the Padres for one of baseball’s best relievers, Brad Hand, and setup man Adam Cimber. However, if the Padres decide to hang on to Mejia, then it almost means his path to the majors will coincide with Tatis Jr., so it seems.
Don’t be surprised to see Mejia start this season in Triple-A with the El Paso Chihuahuas. As for Tatis Jr., he will likely start the season in Triple-A as well so it gives the Padres more time to see him develop, so expect a possible call-up around May or June.
According to a source with knowledge on Mejia, who covers the Padres, stated to Baseball Farm that the main reason why Mejia could start the season at Triple-A is to refine his defense behind home plate. He lost that playing time at the catching position with Cleveland since he was being moved around from third and left field.
The source also notes that the Padres “really like” Mejia and “believe in him.” That being said, if he stays with San Diego, the Padres see him as an offensive minded catcher.
As for Urias, he should start the season at shortstop barring a significant signing with Ian Kinsler at second base until Tatis is ready for the promotion. When that happens, it could be possible for Urias slide over to second, with Kinsler being the main backup.
Kinsler, 36, signed a two-year deal with the Padres back in December.
Mejia: Scouting reports show that Mejia has a 75+ arm if not 80. A scout told me “his arm is a cannon.” His bat speed is coming around with a 60 hit with above-average power. Mejia’s main issue won’t be his fielding, according to the scout that I spoke with. However, if he starts in Triple-A, it will be to refine his defense behind the dish. His issue can be plate discipline. He won’t flirt with batting titles, but he has a chance to be a first division impact bat with defensive tools to work with.
Urias: According to his scouting charts, he has a 70+ hit tool with 55 defense (at 2B), will get some playing time at shortstop (depending on Tatis). He’s not a plus runner but he’s not the slowest out there either. His power isn’t the best, but if a pitcher makes a mistake he can put one over the fence. His hitting is what will keep in the majors.
Tatis Jr.: What needs to be said that is already known? The kid won’t just be an All-Star, he will also be a superstar.
Another source stated that they spoke to an evaluator and stated that the particular evaluator doesn’t like to rave on prospects but couldn’t help to do so when getting asked questions about Tatis.
That source shared this info:
“Scouts, among other teams, are raving over Tatis. From his baseball IQ, to his confidence all the way to his fielding and hitting instincts. His defense at short and the hitting/plate recognition with discipline is catching up to his power. Some think he may be better then Guerrero.”
Bet the White Sox wish they could have a do over.