If you have read anything about Padres prospects this offseason then the four names that made the Baseball America top 100 should be familiar to you. Baseball America's prospect list does not have backing of a big media conglomerate like ESPN's Keith Law or the sabremetric prestige of Baseball Prospectus, but it is probably the longest running and most revered of the lists that come out. Previously we discussed their top 10 Padres prospects, but here are the 4 that rank among the top 100 in all of baseball:
|Rank||Prospect||Position||MLB ETA||BA Comment|
|27.||Austin Hedges||c||2015||The minors’ best defensive catcher needs to keep improving his bat. After leading San Antonio to the Double-A Texas League title last fall, Hedges likely returns there to start 2014.|
|44.||Matt Wisler||rhp||2015||Combating lefthanded hitters is Wisler’s last minor league assignment. He has all the traits of a starting major league pitcher, leading off with command of a strong fastball.|
|53.||Max Fried||lhp||2016||Fried has the pitch quality and the projection to become a frontline starter in San Diego. His next step is to challenge hitters more frequently in the strike zone.|
|80.||Hunter Renfroe||of||2016||Renfroe’s swing tends to get too complicated. A simpler approach would help the toolsy right fielder get to his plus raw power more often.|
Nothing surprising here. Hedges' bat is still a bit of a question make and keeps him out of the top 25, but could very well be there next year. Wisler's rank is about right for a pitcher that is a near guaranteed future major league starter that does not have a ceiling as a future all star caliber pitcher. Fried's upside is higher than Wisler's, but is still young and needs to show development before he ascends up prospect lists. Renfroe is actually older than Wisler is and will rise quickly, but as mentioned his bat needs more development before people start betting on him as a future major league regular.
BA's fifth ranked Padres prospect was Casey Kelly and he did not make this list after making it in 2010 (#24), 2011 (#31), 2012 (#76) and 2013 (#45). As I posted earlier, this could be bad news for Kelly's future major league outlook despite being still highly ranked among Padres prospects.