As the top 100 lists are making their rounds, I can’t help but feel proud to be a Padres fan at this time. The Padres find themselves well represented. Padres prospects appearing on reputable top 100 lists include Yonder Alonso, Cory Spangenberg, Jed Gyorko, Yasmani Grandal, Austin Hedges, Keyvious Sampson, Robbie Erlin, Joseph Wieland, Casey Kelly, Rymer Liriano, Jaff Decker, and James Darnell. That makes 12 players appearing on top 100 lists.
The Padres have no shortage of highly regarded prospects. Still, there are several other Padres prospects that hope to make an appearance on next year’s top 100 lists’. Here are several that could make the lists next year:
Jace Peterson –Highest upside of any SS in the Padres system. Jace is fairly new to baseball but has the athleticism to shoot up the prospect boards if he stays focused and has the breakout year I expect.
Kevin Quackenbush – Relievers don’t often make it onto top prospect lists, but if Josh Spence could make a cameo last year, surely Quackenbush has a shot. I could see Quackenbush cracking top 100 lists if he replicates his 2011 performance in the upper minors.
Donovan Tate – Has enough talent to be an elite level prospect. The only thing holding Tate back from being considered a top 100 prospect are injury and character concerns. The word “only” seems a tad understated, but he has shown flashes. If Tate manages to stay healthy an entire season he could be next year’s Rymer Liriano.
Edinson Rincon – We all know Rincon has the offensive potential. If Rincon can find a position that he plays with adequate defense, he could easily be a top 100 prospect. At this point, though, he is essentially a younger Jesus Guzman.
Reymond Fuentes – I am not one of those that is disappointed in Fuentes’ progression. That said, he has not yet taken that next big step towards becoming the player the Red Sox and now Padres have envisioned. If Fuentes can improve his on base skills and show more power than Luis Durango, he could start getting talked about as a solid prospect.
Jonathan Galvez – Galvez is my personal favorite, along with Peterson, to have a huge 2012. With Spangenburg behind him and Belnome in front of him (on the minor league depth chart), Galvez will have plenty of motivation to stay focused and have a brilliant 2012. I could see Galvez hitting .300 with 15 HRs and 40 SBs at San Antonio next year. At 21, that kind of production from a 2B prospect could land him on several top 100 lists.
I am very excited for the upcoming baseball year on both the major league level and with the Padres minor league affiliates. Who will be the next group of Padre prospects to step up?