#33: Austin Hedges
The minors' premier defensive catcher is one of the best bets on the list to have a long MLB career, although it remains to be seen what kind of role he has. His glove will keep him playing as long as he's healthy, regardless of whether or not he hits, but he has the raw power to become an impact bat for the position as well.
The highest-ranked Friar on Law's list is unsurprisingly Austin Hedges, who climbed three spots in the rankings from 2013. He has been one of the most talked-about prospects in our farm system since he was drafted in 2011 and decommitted from UCLA to sign with the Padres. He played in the All-Star Futures Game last Summer, as well as the AZL Fall Stars Game last Fall. He also topped the Top 10 Padres Prospects lists at both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. MLB.com ranked him #24 overall in their 2014 Prospect Watch Top 100 and #2 among catchers. Hedges is probably still a year away from major league playing time, but we'll get to see some of his stuff this Spring when he joins the boys at the big league camp for his second straight year as one of 18 non-roster invitees.
#39: Matt Wisler
The main knock on Wisler is his delivery, as he doesn't use his lower half as much as he should and he pronates his pitching arm late, with his front foot already touching the ground. That leads to some inconsistency in his slot, but he hasn't had any trouble yet with command or control, only with his feel for his changeup, which he can't turn over properly when his arm drifts down.
He's an 80-grade competitor and a diligent worker, giving him a better chance than most pitchers to reach his ceiling, which for him is a No. 2 starter who can handle 200-plus innings a year.
Wisler was much further down in MLB.com's Top 100, where he came in at #78. Another product of the 2011 draft, who decomitted from Ohio State to sign with San Diego, Wisler has become one of the fastest-rising pitchers in the league after getting to Double-A San Antonio in 2013. Law seems to think so too, considering he ranked Wisler in his Top 50 after leaving him out last season. He was ranked just behind Hedges in both Baseball America's and Baseball Prospectus' Top 10 lists. He'll be at major league camp along with Hedges, so look forward to seeing them both this Spring.
#48: Max Fried
Fried had a good but not ideal first full year in pro ball, showing improved stuff and staying healthy but struggling more with command than anyone might have anticipated...
... He's very competitive with great makeup, so no one doubts he'll make this adjustment in time and cut his walk rate as he moves up; he'll have to do so to continue to project as a future No. 2 starter.
Drafted 7th overall in the 2012 First-Year Player draft, Fried rounds out the top 3 Padres prospects by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. MLB.com also ranked him #43 on their Top 100 list and #3 amongst lefty pitchers. He moved down Law's rankings by 12 spots compared to 2013, but still made it in his top 50. Like Hedges and Wisler, Fried isn't expected to move past Double-A this season, but he'll be fun to watch.
#94: Hunter Renfroe
He's a plus runner with a strong arm and should be an excellent defender in right, saving up to 10 runs per season between his glove and his arm. The question on Renfroe, and it's a significant one, is his pitch recognition and the resulting trouble he has making contact...
Hunter Renfroe was originally drafted out of high school by Boston in the 31st round of the 2010 draft, but thankfully for us, he decided to play college ball at Mississippi State. He became a standout player for the Bulldogs, and entered the draft again in 2013, when the Padres selected him as their top pick (13th overall) and signed him a month later. He quickly became a fan favorite after interacting with fans at Social Media Night, on the same night he signed his contract. He split time between Eugene and Fort Wayne last season, with his promotion coming after he helped his team win the Northwest League's All-Star Game.
Watch out for Law's lists of Top 10 NL West Prospects, scheduled to be released tomorrow.