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Padres in top-5 of MLB teams with elite young talent

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Tatis, Paddack, Gore all included in Friars’ group of budding stars.

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer posted an interesting article on Monday that took all the top young talent (25 years or younger) among the 30 MLB teams and ranked them from first to worst. For the article, here are the criteria that each team’s players were graded upon:

Superstars (10 Points): For the most part, these are players who already have at least one five-WAR season under their belts, according to either Baseball Reference or FanGraphs. We also squeezed in a certain Washington Nationals star who ZiPS has been projecting as a five-WAR player for 2020.”

Lesser Stars (5 Points): These are players who have managed at least a two-WAR season or who are projected for one in 2020 by ZiPS or Steamer. However, any prospects who made the cut were instead scored according to the next stipulation.”

Key Prospects (1-3 Points): Prospects got one point for each appearance in the top 100s of MLB.com, ESPN.com and FanGraphs.”

Based on these parameters, Rymer concluded that the Padres are tied fifth amongst all MLB teams with the Toronto Blue Jays in their pool of elite young talent.

He are the players included in the Padres’ score:

Lesser Stars (High WAR): SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (4.1 rWAR), RHP Chris Paddack (3.3 sWAR), OF Trent Grisham (2.0 zWAR)

Prospects (Lists): LHP MacKenzie Gore (3), SS CJ Abrams (3), RHP Luis Patino (3), C Luis Campusano (3), OF Taylor Trammell (3)

“Right now, you might be thinking that Fernando Tatis Jr. deserves better than to be referred to as a “lesser star,” Rymer says. “That’s fair given that he put up a .969 OPS with 22 homers and 16 steals in only 84 games as a 20-year-old rookie in 2019. He has some rough edges to smooth over before he can go any further, but there’s little question he has MVP-level upside.”

I’m not surprised in the slightest that San Diego is this high in the rankings. I think Rymer got this one right. As I scrolled down the list, I kept telling myself “I better not see the Padres any lower than the top 10.” Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed. Gore and Patino, alone, are both in the top-20 on Fan Graphs, with Gore as #3-overall prospect and Patino coming in at #18. The likes of Abrams and Campusano also clocked-in within the top-40.

Aside from the prospects, Paddack rightfully got the love he deserves, as well.

“To his credit, Chris Paddack might have Cy Young Award upside if he finds a third pitch to go with his fastball and changeup. Tatis also has some young company in the San Diego Padres lineup. Trent Grisham is coming off a massive year in the Brewers organization, and Francisco Mejia has the goods to be a star catcher.”

“Underneath all this, meanwhile, is arguably the best farm system in the National League. San Diego’s system is marked by both depth and headliners, none of whom are as electric as MacKenzie Gore. By way of four plus pitches and plus command, he has a strong case as baseball’s best pitching prospect.”

That some real high praise.

What do you all think of Rymer’s rankings? Should the Padres be even higher, or are they too high as it is?