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6 Padres land on ESPN’s Top-100 MLB prospects

To no one’s surprise, the Friars have some good prospects.

MLB: NLDS-San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, everyone, and happy Tuesday.

ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel recently published his latest rendition of his top-100 MLB prospects and the Padres were able to land six players among his rankings, including four in the top-50 and three in the top-30.

McDaniel opens his piece with notes on how this year’s prospect rankings will be unlike any other due to the fact that there was no minor league season in 2020, so if you see some things that you aren’t so sure about, there’s likely reasons for it. Either way, there’s a wealth of knowledge to be had and he did another phenomenal job with this article.

For your easy viewing pleasure, I compiled the five prospects, their rankings, and included the important pieces of information of each player provided by McDaniel.


5. CJ Abrams, CF, San Diego Padres

Age: 20 | Bats: Left | Throws: Right
Tools: Hit 30/65, Game Power 20/50, Raw Power 55/60, Speed 70/70, Fielding 45/55, Throw 50/50
Future Value: 30/60

“Abrams hasn’t necessarily had a huge influx of new information causing his rise up the rankings, but I think he has steadily improved, and I was probably underrating him a bit last year due to where he was drafted, how little pro data we have and some pre-draft concerns that don’t sound relevant anymore.”

“At his best, Abrams looked to me to have the skill set of a young Kenny Lofton, with a similar overall skill set and slashing style at the plate. He’s playing shortstop now and probably won’t stay there long term, with some chance for a fit at second base, but I think center field is most likely, with his big league team’s needs another factor when the time comes.”

13. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres

Age: 21 | Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Tools: Fastball 55/55, Slider 55/60, Curveball 45/50, Changeup 55/60, Command 50/60
Present/Future Value: 45/60

“The explanation from San Diego on why he didn’t pitch in the big leagues or playoffs last year while Patino and Weathers jumped ahead of him in the debut line is that Gore was a little out of whack with his delivery, so the timing wasn’t right. He apparently had a real shot to start Game 2 if they advanced another round but didn’t get the call against the Dodgers since his profile doesn’t work as well out of the bullpen.”

“I’m told Gore hit 96 mph recently in a bullpen and is all systems go for 2020. You can see the pitch grades above, and he’s a plus athlete with advanced feel and a good delivery — even if there isn’t 100 mph or a 70-grade pitch to wow you. We’ll find out in March and April if there’s actually anything to worry about, so I downgraded Gore ever so slightly in this year’s list until we learn more.”

29. Luis Campusano, C, San Diego Padres

Age: 22 | Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Future Value: 55

“Campusano has made great strides since his prep days, when he was overweight in the summer and wasn’t facing or catching any velocity in the spring.”

“He now has above-average to plus contact skills, raw power, and arm strength and is one of the more valuable catchers in baseball. He’s continuing to put the ball in the air more and may end up as a power-over-hit type with solid-average offensive production. His weakest point is in receiving and framing, which may be essentially non-entities in catcher evaluation is automated strike-calling comes as expected, though Campusano is still improving back there.”

45. Robert Hassell III, CF, San Diego Padres

Age: 19 | Bats: Left | Throws: Left
Future Value: 50

“Hassell stood out early in his prep career as a Nick Markakis type, with an advanced feel for contact, but limited speed and power. By his showcase summer leading into his draft year, he was flashing MLB-average power and looked like he’d stick in center field as a plus runner. He was among the best performers and probably had the best pure hit tool among all prep position players in the 2020 MLB draft.”

“Some think Hassell will slide to a corner spot eventually, but that would likely come with enough strength gains for his power to profile at that position. I’ve continued hearing notes on how Hassell has some of the best makeup some scouts have seen in years, an intense, baseball junkie with an insane work ethic, along the same lines as Jarred Kelenic and Bryce Harper.”

86. Ha-Seong Kim, SS, San Diego Padres

Age: 25 | Bats: Right | Throws: Right
Future Value: 50

“Kim signed a four-year, $28 million deal with a mutual option, $4 million in incentives, and a $5.25 million posting fee paid to his Korean club, Kiwoom Heroes. The 25-year-old is a stats darling with strong performances in the KBO (between Double-A and Triple-A for translation purposes) while scouts are a little less bullish (he’ll face greater velocity in MLB and raw hitting tools are just OK) but in the same general area projecting roughly average contact and power output.”

“Most scouts think Kim will be good enough defensively to be around average at shortstop while others think he’s more of a fill-in option who fits best at second or third. Kim’s contract allows him to be optioned to the minors and with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, he’ll likely fit at second base (with Jake Cronenworth) and filling in around the diamond depending on who’s getting rest or has a bad matchup.”

99. Ryan Weathers, LHP, San Diego Padres

Age: 21 | Bats: Right | Throws: Left
Future Value: 50

“Weathers grows on you the more you watch him. At first glance, he has an unimpressive frame for an elite young pitcher and, depending on when you see him, he may sit in the low-90s. But the son of former big league reliever David is deceptively athletic, able to dunk at a filled-out 6-foot-1.”

“His prospect status took a leap in both spring training camps of 2020 as he was sitting in the mid-90s with a firmer breaking ball, but still with the above-average command and changeup from when he was sitting closer to 90 mph. There’s still some concern that Weathers’ velo backs up and he settles in as a back-end starter with solid-average stuff and solid feel, but even that may be Top 100 worthy as he made his big league debut in the 2020 playoffs, leaping ahead of MacKenzie Gore, and may be on the fast track to getting another look in the big leagues sooner than later.”