Over the course of this week, Padres Prospectus will announce their Top 50 prospect list, unveiling ten prospects at a time along with some brief commentary from our writing staff. One of the reasons that sites like MLB Pipeline and Minor League Ball only list top 20-30 prospects is because it can be a bit of a crap shoot once you get past that number; nevertheless, we’ve compiled our rankings by trying to strike an appropriate balance between the floors, ceilings, and past performances of prospects in the organization.
With that being said, there are a few guys omitted from the list that could have just as easily ended up on on tail-end depending on the evaluator(s).
**Players in Extended Spring Training and Instructional Leagues will be listed as unassigned.
40. Trey Wingenter – RP, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
Where you would rank Wingenter on a top prospect list would depend on how much stock you put into relievers. For those that believe a bullpen is the easiest thing to build at the major league level, he’s probably much lower. However, with the arrival of Phil Maton to the majors, we can see that there’s still enough to get excited with if they have the stuff, and Wingenter has some serious stuff. At 6’7″, he’s a big dude with some big heat, including a fastball that touches 99 MPH. It’d be great if he could shave off a few walks here and there (his minor league career walk rate is 3.6 per nine innings), but he strikes out a ton of guys and didn’t allow a home run until his third season of minor league ball, so he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. – Marcus Pond
39. Mason House – OF, Unassigned
Padres third round selection from this year’s draft already looks the part of a major leaguer, but he needs to learn to tap into that raw plus power before he can work his way up in the organization. Additionally, while he was a center fielder in high school, the speed and glove are more suited for a corner outfield spot where there is a little more scarcity in the organization.– Travis Barnett
38. Ruddy Giron – 3B, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
Ruddy Giron burst onto the scene back in 2015, announcing his arrival to the minors with a perfect 6 for 6 game as an 18-year-old. He is 20 now, and much of that initial prospect shine has worn off, but he strikes me as an under the radar that’s worth checking up on now and then. He lacks pop and doesn’t make a ton of solid contact, profiling him as a midde infield bat. He has spent time at short, and from what I’ve seen is a good defender, but Javier Guerra is more advanced and gets the playing time there. Giron’s much younger than the league average, so it’s likely that he’ll work a few things out in Lake Elsinore as he gets his bearings. I could see him being potentially much higher on this list at the end of the season, but it’s also possible that he treads a bit of water and repeats High-A next year. – Marcus Pond
37. Hansel Rodriguez – SP, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
After being signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014 by the Toronto Blue Jays, Rodriguez was shipped to San Diego in last summer’s Melvin Upton Jr. trade. His heater has plenty of velocity, especially for a twenty year old, but his secondary pitches are still very raw despite international scouts being impressed by his breaking ball upon signing. As his 5.27 ERA at Fort Wayne indicates, he’s years away from contributing to the major league squad; although, he garners a place on our list because the ceiling is still high for the young right-hander that simply needs to develop his arsenal and clean up his delivery.– Travis Barnett
36: Tirso Ornelas – OF, Unassigned
A strong lefty hitter, the 17-year-old outfielder was Baseball America’s #34 international signing last year and apparently got the highest signing bonus in MLB history for a player from Mexico. Scouting reports from BA and Fangraphs say he’ll be limited defensively, possibly ending up at first base, so he will have to mash at the plate to make up for it.– Dan McMenamin
35. Jesse Scholtens – SP, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
The Padres’ ninth-rounder from 2016 via Wright State has pitched much better than expected, with his most recent start on June 15 for High-A Lake Elsinore being a complete game, the first for anyone in the Cal League this year. He has a 2.61 ERA for the Storm after a 2.45 ERA with 9+ strikeouts per 9 innings for Low-A Fort Wayne. Scholtens has the ceiling of a 4th or 5th starter in the majors if he continues his success into the high minors.–Dan McMenamin
34. Buddy Reed – CF, Fort Wayne TinCaps (Single-A)
A 2016 second-round pick last year, Reed has been underwhelming so far in the Padres’ system as a 22-year-old outfielder for Low-A Fort Wayne. The switch-hitter from University of Florida has good speed and solid defense, but an utter lack of hitting so far (a .583 OPS through 93 plate appearances for Fort Wayne) will have to turn around if he has any hope at getting to the majors.– Dan McMenamin
33. Nick Torres – OF, San Antonio Missions (Double-A)
2016 was a great year to be Nick Torres. After starting the season in Double-A and putting together a solid season, the young outfielder out of Cal Poly was promoted to El Paso, and continued doing more of the same. After hitting 14 extra base hits and slugging .504 in 36 games, I figured that he would start the season in Triple-A, but for whatever reason, Torres has repeated a season in the Texas League. The results haven’t really been there this season (.240/.281/.346 in 57 games), but there’s hope that the former fourth-round draft pick (2014) can regain the promise he hinted at just a year ago. – Marcus Pond
32. Austin Allen – C, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
Austin Allen is a bat-first catcher drafted out of Florida Tech in the 4th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. The 23-year-old is slightly above the average age for the Cal League, but he’s hitting a decent .247/.341/.394 through 54 games this season. Especially considering that his defense isn’t at an elite level, he’ll need to start hitting better if he intends to continue progressing up the system. However, it’s always a good thing to have young catchers in the organization, and if Allen can achieve his potential at the plate and make positive steps behind it, he can be very valuable to any major league team. – Chad Hamner
31. Javier Guerra– SS, Lake Elsinore Storm (High-A)
Guerra was widely thought of as the main prospect in the trade that sent Craig Kimbrel to Boston two offseasons ago. He was touted as everything you could ask for in a shortstop: great defense, an amazing arm, a good hit tool, a solid runner, and even power to boot. After his age 19 season in the Red Sox farm system, Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus ranked him in the mid-50’s of their top 100 prospect rankings. Guerra was an elite talent with room to grow. However, Guerra’s performance took a nosedive in 2016 that has continued into this season. Whether it be an undisclosed injury or something with his mental outlook, the only thing we know for sure is that Guerra is simply not the prospect he was in 2015. Repeating a level at Lake Elsinore, Guerra strikes out too much, walks too little, and is hardly hitting at all. The young Panamanian has fallen off the top prospect rankings, and despite his excellent defense at short, the odds aren’t great that he’ll be the impact player that it was hoped he’d be. – Chad Hamner