Around 12:00 AM EST MLB.com released their midseason update for the league's top prospects including the overall Top 100 and every team's Top 30. The update is important because it now includes the players from the 2016 MLB Draft and the July 2nd International Signing Period, which is particularly exciting for Padres fans considering we had 6 of the first 84 picks in this years MLB Draft and spent over $60 million on International signings. Check it out in full detail here: MLB.com Midseason SDP Top Prospects
The Padres feature three prospects on the Top 100 board; Anderson Espinoza (#21), Manuel Margot (#36), and Hunter Renfroe (#52). Yes, most of us already know these guys and we aren't surprised to see them here, but one thing to note: all three top prospects have moved up the ranks since MLB.com's Pre-2016 ranks came out. Espinoza was ranked #39, Margot was #45, while Renfroe barely snuck in at #92 before 2016 started.
Since I don't need to go overboard here I will tell you a little bit about the top 5 and you can check out the rest and their bios on MLB.com. I left the link above at the end of the first paragraph.
San Diego Padres Top 5 Prospects
1. Anderson Espinoza - Acquired in the tactful Pomeranz trade with the Red Sox a week and a half ago, the Venezuelan born right hander is ranked 5th amongst other top righties in all of the minors. He has made two less-than-stellar starts now at Class-A Fort Wayne but the future still shines bright for a guy who gets Pedro Martinez comparisons from some scouts. The 18 year-old's fastball is already considered to be above average while his curveball and change up show potential to also be above average.
2. Manuel Margot - Manny was also acquired via trade with the Red Sox that included three other prospects in a package that sent Craig Kimbrel their way to Boston. In his first season with his new club he has led off for the El Paso Chihuahuas all year and shown off his plus speed, defense, and hit tool. He is ranked 3rd in all of AAA in runs scored, tied for 5th in stolen bases, and 10th in lowest K%. I was lucky enough to watch him play CF at the Future's Game myself and witnessed his web-gem nominee of a robbed HR. The 21 year-old is said to have a high ceiling. Just a couple days ago A.J. Preller was quoted saying both Margot and Renfroe will most likely be involved in the September call ups.
3. Hunter Renfroe - The #13 overall pick by the Padres back in 2013 has moved through the Padres' system with no real speed bumps on his way. He has posted some really absurd numbers in AAA since being called up to El Paso back in August of 2015. Over the 121 game span for the Chihuahuas, Hunter has hit .327/.352/.614/.966 with 36 HR, 97 R, and 117 RBI. Many scouts believe his aggressive approach at the plate and very low walk rate (3.7% across 121 games in AAA) will hinder his overall production, but see a 25+ HR bat that can anchor a lineup as he strides into his prime. He is 24 and is expected to reach the majors this year.
4. Cal Quantrill - Many draft analysts thought that Quantrill at pick #8 of this year's draft was a bit of a reach for the TJS-recovering Stanford product who didn't pitch an inning in 2016. But the Padres thought it was just the right spot for him and signed him for $3.9 mil. They see Cal as a top of the rotation arm who is known for his outstanding feel of his four-pitch mix. He's tossed 10 innings thus far in 2016 and has a 11K:0BB.
5. Adrian Morejon - Morejon is said to be the Padres' prized possession of this years International Signing Period. The 17 year-old Cuban signed for $11 million on July 7th. Evaluators say he is smooth and athletic and has a fastball that sits from 89-92 but can hit 94 and projects even harder as he matures. He is said to be short (5'11-6'0) but has a solid build and a low-effort delivery that makes up for his lack of height. The Padres believe the lefty can be a No. 1 or No. 2 type starter in the big leagues when he is fully developed.
The Padres have an exciting looking group of young prospects in a farm that is pretty deep with talent. Keith Law of ESPN recently ranked the Padres as the 2nd best farm system in the league trailing only the Atlanta Braves. The future is a huge piece of this organization right now and I know! being a homer of a World Series-less franchise is hard to muster at times. It's tough being patient as a baseball fan, but I think it is very important for us Friar Faithful to do so for this year and the next. We have an abundance of young talent that is looking to cash in around late-2018/2019/2020/2021 and a management that has proven they are willing to spend some money nowadays. It looks bright as we move forward into the third year of the Preller Era. Hold on for the ride. It's gonna be fun.
How do you feel about the prospect rankings? What are your thoughts on the future of these guys?