In case you haven’t noticed, the San Diego Padres have rejuvenated the farm system. If there’s reason to be excited about the future of this franchise, the talent in the minor leagues should do the trick.
The system has been making gradual strides over the years, but it was during the Jed Hoyer/Jason McLeod regime where the biggest steps were taken, thanks to big returns for Adrian Gonzalez and Mike Adams and a couple of nice drafts.
Over the last couple of days, top Padres prospect lists have been released by Baseball America, Kevin Goldstein, and John Sickels, all vital sources for minor league/scouting coverage. Here’s a chart listing the top 10 prospects from each of the above mentioned:
|Baseball America||Kevin Goldstein||John Sickels|
|1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B||1. Rymer Liriano, OF||1. Anthony Rizzo, 1B|
|2. Rymer Liriano, OF||2. Robbie Erlin, LHP||2. Rymer Liriano, OF|
|3. Casey Kelly, RHP||3. Jedd Gyorko, 3B||3 Jedd Gyorko, 3B|
|4. Cory Spangenberg, 2B||4. Cory Spangenberg, 2B||4. Robbie Erlin, LHP|
|5. Austin Hedges, C||5. Joe Wieland, RHP||5. Joe Wieland, RHP|
|6. Jedd Gyorko, 3B||6. Anthony Rizzo, 1B||6. Keyvius Sampson, RHP|
|7. Joe Wieland, RHP||7. Casey Kelly, RHP||7. Casey Kelly, RHP|
|8. Robbie Erlin, LHP||8. Austin Hedges, C||8. Cory Spangenberg, 2B|
|9. Joe Ross, RHP||9. Joe Ross, RHP||9. James Darnell, 3B|
|10. Keyvius Sampson, RHP||10. Keyvius Sampson, RHP||10. Joe Ross, RHP|
The three lists contain almost an identical group of players, except for James Darnell who was included by Sickels and not the other two (Sickels left off Austin Hedges). There’s certainly a good deal of agreement at the top of the Padres system, although the order isn’t necessarily all that close.
To give you an idea of how the Padres system has developed, consider the following: In 2008, Kevin Goldstein gave the Padres a total of nine players with three+ stars (he rates them on a one to five scale). This season, nine Padres received a *four star* rating and Goldstein noted in the comments that the Padres would have three star prospects all the way into the late-teens.
The system isn’t overflowing with high-ceiling talent, but there’s a ton of depth that has been built up over the last few years, from a variety of sources. Though the Padres are lacking at the MLB level, the combination of a solid young foundation in the bigs to go with an incredibly deep farm system will make them very dangerous in the near future.
MadFriars does an exceptional job covering the minor leagues, and they have a number of prospect lists posted (subscriber-only) by familiar names like Ben Davey and John Conniff.
Peter Friberg, long-time Pads prospect expert, is running through his list at Friarhood (he’s currently at #8).
Padres Prospects has posted their top 25.