Once upon a time the Padres had two young middle infielders on the major league roster named Khalil Greene and Josh Barfield. Both were traded shortly after their partnership began and the Padres muddled through with mediocre veterans for years to come. Now once again the middle infield has two young players again and the situation appears to finally be stable.
Both Jedd Gyorko and Everth Cabrera are relatively young and years away from free agency. That is good because there aren't many prospects at their positions waiting in the wings. The Padres mainly have all their eggs in the basket of those two plus a little depth in Jace Peterson, who the Padres may have to move to 3B should Chase Headley leave after the 2014 season. Unlike other positions there is no long line of failures. The team has been selective with drafting these types of players over the years.
Elite: Everth Cabrera
Top: Jedd Gyorko
Depth: Alexi Amarista
Grade: B+. Normally having an elite player and a top one would get you an A grade, but Cabrera just barely squeaks into that status and Gyorko needs to find his way this season or else that contract extension he signed is going to look ugly. Amarista is still very young, but I don't think there is much development left. He is what he is. A utility player with a very light bat.
Depth: Ryan Jackson, Jonathan Galvez
Grade: D. Both Jackson and Galvez haven't been healthy this season and neither have much projections remaining. It's really a shame when it comes to Galvez since he was once projected to have a bright future.
Top: Jace Peterson
Promising: Cory Spangenberg
Depth: Casey McElroy, B.J. Guinn
Grade: B+. Peterson is currently with the Padres, but began the year with the Missions. He's one of the best position player prospects in the organization and the only one of the top prospects that plays up the middle. Spangenberg has lost his luster since being a 1st round pick. There's talk that his ceiling is only as a utility player now. McElroy was injured last year, but he's a good organizational guy. Same goes for Guinn who has less bat, but plays SS.
Depth: Diego Goris.
Grade: F. Goris has bounced around a bit after being with the Pirates as a teen. At 23 and in High A ball his clock is ticking.
Promising: Josh VanMeter
Depth: Fernando Perez, Chase Jensen
Grade: C. VanMeter gets some mixed grades. Some have liked him enough to put him in the Padres' top 20 prospects and others don't believe in his bat. His defense is supposed to be quite good. Fernando Perez played 3B last year and had to play 1B some when Franchy Cordero was on this team at SS and VanMeter was displaced to 2B. With Cordero going back to instructs, Perez is now a middle INF at 2B. His bat is very hot this season so far. 2013 22nd round pick Chase Jensen didn't start the season with Lake Elsinore but has now played in a handful of games and his bat looks good
Promising: Franchy Cordero
Depth: Ruddy Giron
Grade: C+. Cordero was getting same rave reviews this offseason, but double digit errors at SS and a poor hitting display at Fort Wayne caused the Padres to reset some expectations for the season. For many this would be a major setback, but Cordero is just 19 and has time to learn some tough lessons. How he bounces back later this season will be key. Ruddy Giron was a bonus baby last year, signed for $600,000.