The MLB All-Star Game voting is in full swing, but for a team with no players in the top five in voting at any position, us Padres fans really don’t care much about the selection process. Brad Hand will probably be the lone representative, Kirby Yates is a dark horse pick, and it doesn’t really matter since neither will get quality billing in the game anyway. Real Padres fans are keeping an eye on the talent in the minors, and it’s been a great first half across all levels of the organization. With the announcement of the AAA Pacific Coast League All-Star Game roster, all of the full-season leagues’ rosters have been announced. Here’s who was selected from the Padres organization for the honor to represent their league in a midseason showcase:
AAA El Paso Chihuahuas
- Brett Kennedy (RHP): Hardly a prospect, Kennedy is 5-0 with a 3.06 ERA across ten starts. There are flashier names drawing attention but Kennedy may be the next minor leaguer to get called up to the Padres rotation.
- Luis Urias (2B): Splitting time at SS & 2B, Urias just turned 21 and is the youngest player in his league for the third straight season. His strikeout rate is up over previous years, but he’s still drawing a ton of walks and showing a little more power than in the past. It’s been a streaky season for the usually consistent hitter, but he’s adapting well to a tough league.
Some notable former Padres farmhands are on the roster as well. Apparently Christian Bethancourt (MIL) and Rocky Gale (LAD) are both hitting over .300. Jabari Blash (LAA) is leading the league in OPS. Chase d’Arnaud (SFG) is having a nice season in Sacramento. R.J. Alvarez (TEX) came to the Padres in the Huston Street trade and left in the Derek Norris deal, now he’s in the Rangers organization.
AA San Antonio Missions
- Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS): After a rough April, Tatis has been on a tear. He’s hitting .320/.400/.558 since the start of May with 12 stolen bases and 9 homers in that time. I think Barry Bloom made him mad. Tatis didn’t play in the ASG as the team wanted to give him a rest after starting every one of the Missions’ games in the first half.
- Josh Naylor (1B/LF): Selected as a leftfielder, Naylor is shedding his reputation as a defensively-limited prospect while hitting .318/.396/.475. He went 1-for-2 with a homer in the Texas League ASG.
- Austin Allen (C): The big backstop continues to crush at the plate, hitting .319/.372/.574 on the season and is second in the league in both doubles and home runs. He’s also showing the results of hard work behind the plate, looking much more like a legitimate MLB catcher prospect than a year ago.
- Ty France (3B): The gritty third baseman his hitting .249/.362/.434 on the season, but my favorite stat is that he’s already been hit by 22 pitches this year, well on his way to breaking his totals from 2017 (27) and 2016 (28).
- River Stevens (INF): This utility infielder is being overshadowed by Naylor, Allen, & Tatis, but Stevens is putting in a solid campaign this year, hitting .311/.387/.462.
- Logan Allen (LHP): Usually pitchers struggle after moving from single-A to AA, but Allen has been impressive with an 8-3 record and a 2.78 ERA across 13 appearances. He was on the DL after rolling an ankle while shagging fly balls in BP so he missed the ASG, but he’s back in action with the Missions now.
- Cal Quantrill (RHP): A rough start to the season skews his numbers in a bad way, but a stretch of five strong starts leading into the ASG showed a glimpse of his talent. Dennis Lin published a great Q&A with Quantrill earlier this week.
- Brad Wieck (LHP): The 6’9” lefty reliever has been absolutely dominant this year, posting a 1.93 ERA across 27 relief appearances and notching 10 saves. He has yet to give up a hit to a right-handed hitter this year! He was added to the 40-man roster last winter, so expect to see Wieck in Petco park this September.
- Rowan Wick (RHP): The converted catcher was picked up by the Padres this offseason and has settled in nicely. He’s struck out 40 batters in 30.1 innings pitched and has held batters to a .202 average this year. Wick is also on the 40-man so he might get a September cup of coffee as well.
Advanced A Lake Elsinore Storm
- Hudson Potts (3B): The 19-year-old Potts leads the league in doubles (25) and is hitting an impressive .261/.340/.485 while playing excellent defense at the hot corner.
- Edward Olivares (OF): The main player in the Yangervis Solarte trade, Olivares is having a solid year as he works through some mechanical tweaks at the plate while holding down the fort in CF. He’s hitting .262/.301/.396 and going toe-to-toe with Buddy Reed with the highlight plays in the outfield.
- Buddy Reed (OF): All Buddy Reed has done this year is lead the league in hits (92), batting average (.326), and stolen bases (32!) and he’s near the league leaders in pretty much every offensive category. The concern with him during the draft was whether or not he would hit. Hmm. He’s also an outstanding defender who makes highlight plays with his glove and his arm. He won’t keep this up in Lake Elsinore for long, because a promotion will come his way soon.
- Elliot Ashbeck (RHP): Through 24 games, Ashbeck has posted a 2.18 ERA and 0.99 WHIP across 45.1 innings as he’s served as the team’s long reliever.
- Pedro Avila (RHP): Avila leads the team in innings pitched and while he’s been inconsistent, he’s been dominant when he’s on. He’s struck out 10 hitters twice this season and he’s worked six more more innings in seven of his twelve starts.
- Reggie Lawson (RHP): The 6’4” righty is having a breakout season, posting a 2.77 ERA across 65 innings in 13 games. The 20-year-old is young for the level but he still might earn a promotion to AA if he keeps this up.
- Adrian Morejon (LHP): Morejon is one of these guys who needs to be considered beyond his stat line. An emotional competitor who tends to stray from his mechanics, Morejon is learning how to harness his temperament and pitch consistently with both his body and mind. The brilliance is there when he’s locked in, like when he struck out 12 in six innings on June 15th.
- Chris Paddack (RHP): The tall Texan has done nothing but make hitters look silly since coming back from Tommy John surgery. The electric fastball and plus-plus changeup have been supplemented with a new “show-me” curveball. He’s struck out an absurd 79 hitters through 46.1 innings and only issued four free passes. Dude is filthy on the mound but his instagram game is a clean as it gets. He’ll have his ticket punched for AA any day now.
Single-A Ft. Wayne TinCaps
- Luis Campusano (C): Drafted just last year, Campusano is hitting .289/.362/.374 while impressing with his framing and blocking on defense.
- Nick Margevicius (LHP): Buried on the prospect depth charts behind lefties like Mackenzie Gore, Morejon, Eric Lauer, and others, Margevicius is scratching a name out for himself by striking out more than a batter an inning (81 K’s in 71.1 IP) while being thrifty with free passes (9 so far this year). A mid-90’s fastball with life and a power slider give him a profile like a lefty Tyson Ross.
- Aaron Leasher (LHP): Leasher has bounced back from a rough rookie campaign with a solid first half in single-A. He’s learning how to pound the strike zone under pitching coach Burt Hooton, and the newfound aggressiveness is paying off. He’s a fastball/changeup pitcher with a slider that he’ll sprinkle in, so developing his fastball command is a primary goal.
- Travis Radke (RHP): The “grandpa” of the roster at age 25, Radke is having a resurgent season after time lost to injury. He’s collected ten saves and has struck out 56 batters in 39.2 innings of work across 24 appearances. While his stuff isn’t overpowering, he uses pinpoint location and an intellectual approach as he finds the holes in hitter’s swings. He has an outside chance of making it to Petco by the end of the season.
While the Padres’ major league team might not be all that much fun to watch, keep an eye on these kids in the minors. They’re pretty good, and some of them might bring some hardware home to Petco Park some day.