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San Diego Padres

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  1. 1. Jackson Merrill | SS
    Jackson Merrill
    Born: Apr 19, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Danny Sader.
    Minors: .339/.395/.511 | 6 HR | 11 SB | 227 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 60/High

    Track Record: Merrill didn't attend many of the top high school showcase events during the summer of 2020 and was subsequently viewed as a popup prospect when he began to emerge in 2021 in the Baltimore-Washington metro area. The Padres were on Merrill well before he tied the Severna Park High record with 13 homers and were happy to select him 27th overall. He signed for a below-slot $1.8 million to forgo a Kentucky commitment and held his own during his pro debut in the Arizona Complex League until a minor hip flexor injury ended his season. In 2022 he was limited to 55 games in his full-season debut because of a fractured left wrist and a hamstring injury. Even in that limited time, Merrill stood out. He hit .339/.385/.511 in the regular season and went 11-for-17 with four doubles and three steals in four postseason games to help Low-A Lake Elsinore win the California League title. The Padres sent Merrill to the Arizona Fall League after the season, where he held his own.

    Scouting Report: Merrill had a huge growth spurt and added nearly 30 pounds leading up to the draft. The added strength gave him plus raw power, which continues to be the main selling point even as he learns to leverage it in games. Merrill's solid bat speed and feel for hitting intrigued the Padres over multiple predraft workouts, where they tested him against the type of high-velocity pitching he did not see regularly on Maryland's prep circuit. Likewise, he was rather raw against spin during his professional debut. A year later, Merrill has developed advanced offspeed coverage for his age, not to mention an impressive left-on-left approach. He handles all types of pitches and is rarely fazed in the batter's box. His sweet swing and advanced pitch recognition and approach give him a chance to be a plus hitter with above-average power at maturity, though he is still learning to pull the ball in the air. Just as Merrill rapidly improved as a hitter, he upped his range, mobility, first-step reads and arm strength in his first full year to silence concerns about him moving off shortstop. He is a fundamentally sound defender with polished hands and footwork that is the result of his dedication to his pregame work. Just an average runner, Merrill makes every play as a result of his excellent pre-pitch positioning and anticipation and completes every throw with his above-average, accurate arm. Club officials rave about his culture-changing makeup that will help him overcome any challenges.

    The Future: Merrill has the ability to play shortstop, but the Padres' depth at the position could ultimately push him to second or third base, where he would be an athletic defender with a bat that could produce in the middle of the order. He projects to move quickly for a high school player and could jump straight to Double-A San Antonio to begin 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55

  2. 2. Dylan Lesko | RHP
    Dylan Lesko
    Born: Sep 7, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195

    BA Grade/Risk: 65/Extreme

    Track Record: Lesko appeared headed for a top five overall selection in the 2022 draft after he struck out 112 batters over 60 innings and had a 0.35 ERA as a high school junior. He even won Gatorade national player of the year honors as an underclassman in 2021. That trajectory was altered after Lesko had Tommy John surgery as a senior, but that did little to scare off the Padres. The club did its due diligence and didn't hesitate when Lesko slipped to them at with the 15th overall pick. San Diego signed him for a below-slot $3.9 million to lure him away from a Vanderbilt commitment.

    Scouting Report: With an athletic 6-foot-2 frame that draws comparisons to a more physical Zack Greinke, a healthy Lesko boasts a four-seam fastball that sits 93-95 mph and touches 98 with carry at the top of the strike zone. His fading low-80s changeup earns plus-plus grades with its 'Bugs Bunny' action and is one of the best seen in recent years from a high school pitcher. Lesko has power in his 12-to-6 curveball that can push 3,000 rpms, but it's a pitch that lacks consistency, mainly because he didn't need anything more than his fastball and changeup to dominate high school hitters. He doesn't currently throw a slider, but Padres staffers believe he can add one down the road given his aptitude on the mound. As much as Lesko's pure stuff impresses, his polished delivery and clean arm action stand out even more for a pitcher his age. Before the surgery, Lesko threw strikes with plus control and showed an advanced feel for pitching.

    The Future: Lesko should return to the mound by summer and make his professional debut in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League. He has the talent to be a No. 2 or 3 starter as long as he returns healthy.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 70. Control: 60

  3. 3. Luis Campusano | C
    Luis Campusano
    Born: Sep 29, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 232
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Augusta, Ga., 2017 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Tyler Stubblefield.
    Minors: .298/.363/.483 | 14 HR | 0 SB | 319 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Medium

    Track Record: The first catcher selected in the 2017 draft, Campusano overcame a pair of early concussions to win co-MVP honors in the High-A California League in 2019. A year later, he hit his way from the alternate training site to the majors and homered in his debut, but a wrist injury quickly ended that stint and he has been blocked in San Diego the past two seasons by veteran catchers. Campusano spent most of 2022 at Triple-A El Paso but finished the season in the majors and made the Padres' postseason roster. He spent his offseason playing in the Dominican League and swung the bat well in eight games as Estrellas' starting catcher.

    Scouting Report: An immensely strong hitter who makes loud contact from foul pole to foul pole, Campusano projects as a middle-of-the-order threat who will hit for both average and power. He has demonstrated excellent strike-zone control at his best, though he has been too aggressive during spot duty in the majors. Defensively, Campusano is an athletic backstop who has improved his blocking significantly in pro ball. Improving his framing has long been a point of emphasis, while above-average arm strength remains his best asset behind the plate. Something of an introvert, Campusano has worked to assert himself in game-planning with pitchers, but his focus and effort level over the course of an entire game have long been flagged as areas that need improvement.

    The Future: With nothing left to prove in the minors, Campusano must earn the trust of a big league coaching staff helmed by former catcher Bob Melvin if he's going to fulfill his potential as the Padres' long-term backstop. He'll report to camp looking for a share of the catching job with Austin Nola.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 30. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55

  4. 4. Samuel Zavala | OF
    Samuel Zavala
    Born: Jul 15, 2004
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 175
    Minors: .272/.366/.530 | 8 HR | 5 SB | 151 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 55/Very High

    Track Record: Zavala was regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the 2021 international signing class and signed with the Padres for $1.2 million out of Venezuela. He made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League that year and did not disappoint, hitting for both average (.287) and power (25 extra-base hits) while showing remarkable plate discipline for his age. The Padres had designs on starting Zavala at Low-A Lake Elsinore to start 2022 but held him back in extended spring training to work on his speed. A hamstring strain slowed Zavala to start the summer, but he moved to Lake Elsinore after the trade deadline and homered seven times in 33 games before a broken hamate bone ended his season.

    Scouting Report: Zavala possesses a knack for finding the barrel with a smooth, whip-like swing from the left side. He doesn't have the brute strength of other teenagers, but he has added more power and loft to his swing as he's matured physically and could wind up with average power. His swing, patience and plate discipline give him a chance to be at least an above-average hitter as he adds strength. An above-average runner, Zavala also shows good reads, a quick first step and fluid movements. He'll have to prove he can continue to handle center field as he climbs the system and gets bigger. If not, arm strength that could get to above-average would help him in either corner. Zavala is bilingual and a heady player, leading the Padres to push him as they do with many of the younger prospects they believe in.

    The Future: With Robert Hassell III and James Wood traded away in the Juan Soto blockbuster, Zavala is the best true outfield prospect remaining in the Padres' system. He participated in instructional league last fall following his hamate surgery and should be ready for Opening Day in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 45. Fielding: 55. Arm: 55

  5. 5. Robby Snelling | LHP
    Robby Snelling
    Born: Dec 19, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210

    BA Grade/Risk: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: A physical quarterback and four-star recruit as a linebacker, Snelling originally had aspirations of playing both football and baseball in college before a breakout senior spring made him one of the fastest risers in the 2022 draft class. Snelling struck out a Nevada state record 146 batters while showing premium arm strength from the left side and was drafted 39th overall by the Padres. The Padres signed him away from a Louisiana State commitment with a $3 million signing bonus, nearly $1 million above slot, and unveiled him in fall instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Snelling is a physical lefthander who is built like a football player with broad, tapered shoulders and a thick and muscular lower half. His fastball jumped from 90-94 mph to 92-96 as a senior and he maintained that increased velocity when the Padres finally pushed him to the mound at instructional league. Snelling possesses a natural ability to spin the baseball and throws a spike-grip curveball with excellent rotation that was one of the best secondary pitches in the draft. He can manipulate its velocity anywhere from the mid 70s to mid 80s and can alter the shape to give it more sweeping action across the zone or two-plane break with sharp and late vertical bite. Snelling also has a low-80s changeup that he did not throw much in high school but is a focal point of his development. A physical pitcher with a football player's mentality, Snelling pounds the strike zone aggressively and is athletic enough to repeat his delivery. Padres officials rave about Snelling's competitive makeup as the son of a high school football coach.

    The Future: Snelling will make his pro debut in 2023 and could see Low-A Lake Elsinore by the end of the year. He has a chance to be a midrotation starter as long as he develops his changeup.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 40. Control: 55

  6. 6. Victor Lizarraga | RHP
    Victor Lizarraga
    Born: Nov 30, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2021
    Minors: 8-3 | 3.43 ERA | 95 SO | 34 BB | 95 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Lizarraga was Mexico's best pitching prospect in the 2021 international class and signed with the Padres for $1 million shortly after the signing period began. The Padres challenged him with an assignment to the Arizona Complex League as a 17-year-old after he signed and pushed him to Low-A Lake Elsinore to begin his first full season at age 18 in 2022. Lizarraga rose to the task by finishing fourth in the California League with a 3.43 ERA and started two playoff games on the road, winning both to help the Storm claim the league title.

    Scouting Report: Lizarraga is a long, lean and athletic righthander who is easy to dream on. His fastball sits 90-94 mph and should tick up as he adds weight and strength to his projectable, 6-foot-3 frame. His firm, fading changeup in the mid 80s could reach plus, though to do so it would need more separation from his fastball. His vertical, upper-70s curveball is a developing pitch that is fringy but has potential to improve. Lizarraga mixes his three pitches effectively and has the aptitude to develop a slider, though the Padres prefer he focus on improving his curveball. Beyond his pure stuff, Lizarraga demonstrates impressive moxie and competitiveness in between the lines and has an advanced ability to read swings. He stays calm and poised in tough situations and pounds the strike zone with average control. As is the case with most young pitchers, his fastball command still needs refinement. Lizarraga is still learning the importance of putting in the work between starts, including in the weight room and bullpen sessions, but should improve with experience and maturity.

    The Future: Lizarraga has a solid foundation to be a back-of-the-rotation starter and could be more depending on how much his velocity jumps. He'll be 19 in 2023 and has plenty of time to add strength.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 45. Changeup: 60. Control: 50

  7. 7. Ethan Salas | C
    Ethan Salas
    Born: Jun 1, 2006
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175

    BA Grade/Risk: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: The younger brother of Marlins shortstop prospect Jose Salas, Ethan has a remarkable combination of tools, polish and game awareness for his age. He's in the conversation for the best pure hitter in the class, with a lefthanded swing that's quick, compact and adjustable, keeping his barrel through the hitting zone for a long time.

    Scouting Report: He stays calm in the box with good rhythm and balance, recognizing pitches well with a mature approach that leads to frequent barrels and makes him a high on-base threat. Salas doesn't have the raw power that Francisco Alvarez or Gary Sanchez showed when they were amateurs, but as he's gotten stronger, he is showing more over-the-fence pop with the physical projection to grow into average or potentially more power. That would be a good profile for even a corner outfielder, but what makes Salas' potential even greater is that he's an excellent defensive catcher for his age. Salas is an athletic catcher whose blocking, receiving and throwing mechanics are all exemplary for his age, with a slightly above-average arm that should tick up to at least a 60 with natural strength progression. His arm already plays up because of his efficient transfer and release, leading to pop times under 1.9 seconds in games.

    The Future: Salas should make his pro debut in the DSL in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 45. Speed: 40. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55

  8. 8. Adam Mazur | RHP
    Adam Mazur
    Born: Apr 20, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 180

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/High

    Track Record: Mazur logged a 5.50 ERA over two years at South Dakota State, but he began to turn things around with a standout showing in the Cape Cod League after his sophomore year. He transferred to Iowa for his junior season in 2022 and went 7-3, 3.08 with a .178 opponent's batting average, seventh in the nation, en route to winning Big Ten Conference pitcher of the year honors. The Padres drafted Mazur in the second round, No. 53 overall, and signed him for an under-slot $1.25 million. He did not appear in a regular-season game after signing but pitched in instructional league.

    Scouting Report: The rare college pitcher who still had physical projection left, Mazur has already added 10 pounds of muscle since signing and has seen his stuff tick up. His fastball sat between 92-94 mph and topped out at 97 during the college season but now touches 99 out of a loose, easy delivery. His slider has jumped to 87-90 mph with added power to become a plus pitch, and his changeup has ticked up to 84-86 mph with enhanced two-seam action and armside life to become an average pitch. He also has an average 12-to-6 curveball he will throw to keep hitters off-balance. Mazur repeats his delivery and three-quarters arm slot well and has made progressive strides with his control. He cut his walk rate from 5.3 per nine innings as a freshman to 4.1 as a sophomore to 2.9 as a junior and projects to have average control.

    The Future: Mazur is advanced enough to make his pro debut at High-A Fort Wayne in 2023. He has to prove he can maintain his enhanced stuff over a full season, but he has a chance to be a No. 3 or 4 starter. His plus slider could play in the bullpen if his other secondaries stall.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  9. 9. Jay Groome | LHP
    Jay Groome
    Born: Aug 23, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 250
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Barnegat, N.J., 2016 (1st round).
    Signed By: Ray Fagnant.
    Minors: 7-7 | 3.44 ERA | 140 SO | 64 BB | 144 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Medium

    Track Record: Groome was arguably the top high school pitcher in the country when the Red Sox drafted him 12th overall in 2016, but his career has been sidetracked by injuries. He missed all of 2018 and most of 2019 after having Tommy John surgery and lost the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic but threw at the alternate training site. He returned to the mound with diminished stuff and athleticism but still made his way from Double-A to Triple-A in 2022, where he was having a solid season when the Padres acquired him in the deal that sent Eric Hosmer to the Red Sox. Groome stepped into the rotation at Triple-A El Paso and finished the year strong in hitter-friendly conditions to rise up the Padres' organizational depth chart heading into the offseason.

    Scouting Report: Because his stuff never fully bounced back after surgery, Groome is more of a pitchability lefthander than someone who overwhelms hitters. His fastball sits 90-94 mph and can touch 95-96. He commands the pitch to all quadrants of the zone and has added a two-seamer and an average cutter. His formerly elite curveball is more horizontal these days than a true north-south biter, but it is still average. Groome has ballooned from 220 to 262 pounds, so his conditioning and stamina are issues the Padres would like addressed. He often dominated early only to fall apart after a few innings, so it was a step in the right direction for him to complete eight innings for the first time after arriving in El Paso. He has reverse platoon splits and dominates righthanded hitters while struggling against lefties.

    The Future: Groome may no longer have a top-end ceiling, but he can still help the Padres in the back of the rotation or in the bullpen. He'll head to spring training with an eye on winning an Opening Day roster spot.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 50. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  10. 10. Eguy Rosario | 2B/3B
    Eguy Rosario
    Born: Aug 25, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 150
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2015.
    Signed By: Felix Feliz/Trevor Schumm/Chris Kemp.
    Minors: .288/.368/.508 | 22 HR | 21 SB | 490 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Rosario signed with the Padres for $300,000 on his 16th birthday and has annually been among the youngest players in his league. He was overmatched in his early years, but he showed signs of life in High-A in 2019 and led the Double-A Texas League with 31 doubles and finished fifth with 30 stolen bases in 2021. Like many hitters, Rosario set a career high in homers in his first year in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League in 2022 and received his first big league callup in late August, though he was used sparingly before returning to El Paso.

    Scouting Report: Surprisingly twitchy and athletic despite a stocky build, Rosario has a short, quick righthanded swing. He is at his best when his approach is aimed at shooting balls from gap to gap. Like a lot of hitters, he fares better against fastballs than offspeed pitches and is susceptible to chasing below the strike zone. Rosario showed off his strength gains with his first double-digit homer campaign in 2021, moved to Triple-A El Paso in 2022 and got off to a slow start while trying to pull balls in a hitter's haven. Rosario is an above-average runner who has improved his ability to put that speed to use on the bases. He is playable at shortstop, but his range and actions fit better at second base or even third. His plus arm rates as the best in the system, even if it has regressed a tick. Though Rosario has the physical skills to be an average defender, he'll have to cut down on mistakes on routine plays to earn the trust of the big league coaching staff.

    The Future: Rosario got his first taste of the big leagues in 2022 and projects as a utility infielder. He'll be in position to battle for a spot on the bench this spring.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 45. Power: 45. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60

  11. 11. Nerwilian Cedeno | 2B
    Nerwilian Cedeno
    Born: Mar 16, 2002
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Trevor Schumm/Luis Prieto.
    Minors: .256/.362/.400 | 6 HR | 18 SB | 270 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Cedeno signed with the Padres for $300,000 out of Venezuela in 2018 and quickly emerged as a favored low-level sleeper candidate. Club officials believed he was primed for a breakout season in 2021, but he suffered a meniscus tear before spring training and didn't get on the field in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League until late August. Arm trouble then delayed Cedeno by nearly two months in 2022, but he finally made it to Low-A Lake Elsinore on May 31 for his full-season debut. He played 71 games before finishing the year in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: A developing switch-hitter, Cedeno boasts a mature, line-drive approach, solid bat-to-ball skills and good strike-zone discipline. He's been a better hitter from the left side of the plate, but he closed the gap on his splits drastically in 2022, posting a .727 OPS versus lefties compared to a .770 mark versus righties. Cedeno's swing can get too rotational, but he uses gaps well when he's locked in and flashes solid bat speed. He has strong forearms and could develop double-digit home run power as his body matures and learns to use his lower half to drive the ball. He is an average runner with average arm strength and has the potential to be an average defender across the infield, though he profiles best at third base or as an offensive-minded second baseman. Cedeno is a hard worker and a leader in the clubhouse among Latin players.

    The Future: Cedeno needs reps more than anything after two injury-shortened seasons. He's still young and has time to make the necessary improvements to fulfill his potential as an everyday, switch-hitting infielder.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 45. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50

  12. 12. Rosman Verdugo | 2B
    Rosman Verdugo
    Born: Feb 2, 2005
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'0" Wt.: 154
    Minors: .251/.338/.467 | 7 HR | 3 SB | 167 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: A product of the Diablos Rojos academy in Mexico City, Rosman signed for $700,000 as Mexico's top amateur in the 2022 international class. While most international amateurs head to the Dominican Summer League, Rosman's advanced feel to hit led the Padres to start his professional career in the Arizona Complex League. There, his seven homers were three off the league lead as a 17-year-old. He finished his first year in pro ball playing in the Mexican Winter League, where the average age is 29.

    Scouting Report: Rosman's smooth feel to hit and contact skills draw comparisons to Brewers infielder Luis Urias, whom the Padres originally signed from the same academy. Rosman keeps his hands inside the ball and, while he will swing and miss, shows the early traits of being at least an average hitter. He also has good raw power for his age, which he demonstrated in Arizona over the summer. The Padres will play Verdugo all over the infield in the early goings, but he will most likely land at third base unless he can speed up his lower half.

    The Future: Verdugo held his own as the youngest player in a domestic league, warranting a push to Low-A Lake Elsinore in 2023. He has a chance to hit for average and power while staying in the dirt.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 45. Speed: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  13. 13. Jairo Iriarte | RHP
    Jairo Iriarte
    Born: Dec 15, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 160
    Signed By: Luis Prieto/Chris Kemp.
    Minors: 4-7 | 5.12 ERA | 109 SO | 42 BB | 92 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Iriarte stood 6-foot-2 and 160 pounds when he signed out of Venezuela for $75,000 in 2018 and has since matured into an imposing figure at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds. He showed well in the Dominican Summer League after signing (3.31 ERA), started the following year in Arizona and was hit hard when COVID protocols forced an early promotion to Low-A Lake Elsinore. Iriarte returned to the California League in 2022 and showed intriguing arm strength that made him a frequent target of opposing teams in trade discussions.

    Scouting Report: Iriarte is a long, lean, athletic righthander whose growth spurt has pushed his fastball up to 95-97 mph. His fastball plays up beyond its velocity with good carry through the top of the zone and is a plus pitch, although he can be scattershot with it. Iriarte's best secondary offering is an 86-87 mph changeup with late fade could be a future above-average pitch. His mid-80s slider has been inconsistent in his early goings in pro ball but shows average potential. Iriarte is athletic on the mound, but struggles with timing in his delivery has led to fringy control.

    The Future: Iriarte will head to High-A Fort Wayne in 2023. His flashes of three average of better pitches will keep him as a starter for now, but his stuff will play up in the bullpen if he has to move to relief.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 50. Changeup: 55. Control: 45

  14. 14. Korry Howell | OF
    Korry Howell
    Born: Sep 1, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 180
    Minors: .253/.390/.486 | 6 HR | 12 SB | 146 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Lightly recruited out of high school, Howell blossomed over two seasons at Kirkwood (Iowa) JC and signed with the Brewers for an above-slot $210,000 bonus as a 12th round pick in 2018. He used the coronavirus shutdown to add muscle to his frame and improve his plate approach and was rewarded with a breakout season across High-A and Double-A in 2021. The Padres acquired Howell before the start of the 2022 season as part of the deal that sent Victor Caratini to Milwaukee, and Howell was in the midst of a career year through 48 games at Double-A before having season-ending wrist surgery.

    Scouting Report: Howell is a high-end athlete whose best asset is his versatility. He spent time at shortstop, second base and all three outfield positions at San Antonio and is a plus runner with twitchy actions and excellent range in the field. An above-average defender everywhere, Howell remains a work in progress at the plate. He has an enticing combination of bat speed, pullside power and a discerning eye at the plate. He will have to iron out a hand-pump in his swing and improve his ability to hit spin in order to develop into an everyday regular.

    The Future: Howell will head to Triple-A El Paso in 2023. He projects to be a versatile bench piece and could grow into more if he continues his offensive gains.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 45. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  15. 15. Henry Williams | RHP
    Henry Williams
    Born: Sep 18, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 200

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: The Padres scouted Williams at Darien (Conn.) High and kept tabs on him as he made his way to Duke. He pitched just 37.2 innings in his college career before having Tommy John surgery, but the Padres saw enough in that limited stint to draft him in the third round, No. 91 overall, and sign him for an above-slot $800,000 signing bonus. Williams continued rehabbing after being selected and did not pitch in live games, but he flew out to the Padres' complex in Arizona every other weekend to throw bullpens while continuing to work toward his degree at Duke.

    Scouting Report: Before his elbow reconstruction, Williams sat 94-98 mph with a high-spin fastball that played up with carry at the top of the strike zone. His three-pitch mix also includes a wipeout slider that projects as a plus pitch and a fading, mid-80s changeup. Athletic on the mound, Williams still has room on his lean frame to get stronger and add more velocity as he moves further away from surgery. He throws strikes with above-average control and has solid command of all of his pitches. Williams's build, arsenal and control are that of a no-doubt starter, but if something stalls in his rehab, his stuff would also be rather loud in a relief role.

    The Future: Williams is expected to be ready for spring training and could push for a spot in Low-A Lake Elsinore's rotation to start the year. He could move quickly up the organizational depth chart if his pre-injury form.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 55

  16. 16. Lamar King | C
    Lamar King
    Born: Dec 7, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 215
    Minors: .111/.273/.111 | 0 HR | 0 SB | 9 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: King is the son of Lamar King, a former NFL first-round pick who played defensive end for five years for the Seattle Seahawks. The younger King emerged as one of the top prep catchers in his class during national travel ball tournaments and was committed to Georgia Tech before the Padres drafted him in the fifth round and signed him for $502,800. He played just four games in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League in his pro debut while focusing on development away from live games.

    Scouting Report: Built like a rush defensive end like his father, King's loud, pull power from the right side is his carrying tool. He has above-average power and could grow into more, but his swing is long and a bit stiff and will need to be ironed out in pro ball. While size typically works against catchers, King is an average runner, is quick in small spaces and sits well behind the plate. He has above-average arm strength, but his hands and receiving need work as evidenced by some of his defensive struggles in instructional league.

    The Future: King is raw and has a lot of development ahead, but he has enough projectable tools to potentially click as an offensive-minded catcher with an impact bat. He'll likely open 2023 back in the ACL.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 55. Speed: 40. Fielding: 45. Arm: 55.

  17. 17. Joshua Mears | OF
    Joshua Mears
    Born: Feb 21, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 230
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Federal Way, Wash., 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Justin Baughman.
    Minors: .217/.305/.486 | 22 HR | 4 SB | 323 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Mears went viral during 2021 spring training with a 117 mph home run off Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez in a Cactus League game. His power continued to play at Low-A Lake Elsinore for his first full season, at least when he was in the lineup. Mears missed time to a shoulder injury, a concussion, the COVID list and a broken nose on a bunt he fouled off his face in the fall. He returned to hit 22 home runs while rising to Double-A in 2022, including 11 in 47 games after spending several weeks in the middle of the season at the Padres' complex to attempt to retool his swing.

    Scouting Report: Mears stands a chiseled 6-foot-3, 242 pounds and destroys baseballs with his plus-plus raw power. He doesn't chase much and draws walks with a good eye for the zone, but he misses too many pitches in the heart of the plate and struggles with high-carry fastballs and breaking balls below the zone. He has a career 39% strikeout rate and will have to make major strides with his swing to be even a well-below average hitter. Mears has surprising speed for a big man and is playable in center field. His long-term landing spot is likely right field, where he projects to be an average defender with an average arm.

    The Future: No one in the Padres system has as much raw power as Mears, but there are real questions if he'll ever make enough contact to showcase it. He'll return to Double-A San Antonio to start 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 30. Power: 50. Speed: 45. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  18. 18. Reiss Knehr | RHP
    Reiss Knehr
    Born: Nov 3, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Fordham, 2018 (20th round).
    Signed By: Jake Koenig.
    Minors: 4-4 | 6.88 ERA | 92 SO | 55 BB | 88 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

    Track Record: A two-way player at Fordham, Knehr intrigued the Padres as a pitcher and signed for $80,000 after they selected him in the 20th round in 2018. Knehr was the darling of the Padres' 2020 instructional league and pitched his way to the majors in 2021, appearing both out of the rotation and out of the bullpen for the Padres' injury-ravaged staff. He was an up-and-down arm again in 2022, faring far better in the majors (3.95 ERA in 13 2/3 IP) than he did at hitter-friendly Triple-A El Paso (6.88 ERA in 87 2/3 IP).

    Scouting Report: Knehr packs a dangerous 1-2 punch with a high-spin, 93-95 mph fastball and an upper-80s changeup with horizontal break that has improved to become a plus pitch. He is still figuring out his mound presence and pitch usage, however. Lauded in the minors for an aggressive, bulldog mentality, Knehr spent much of his initial big-league time nibbling around the strike zone and was too reliant on his upper-80s cutter. His changeup gets hit when he overthrows it, so he continues to work to choke off velocity. Knehr added an average curveball in 2022 to add a bit more differential in his pitch speeds and he threw that pitch 20 percent of the time in the majors. His control took a step back in 2022 and is firmly below-average.

    The Future: Knehr will again be in big-league spring training with a chance to win a job. He projects to be a swingman and is ready to fill that role now.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 50. Slider: 50. Changeup: 60. Control: 45

  19. 19. Noel Vela | LHP
    Noel Vela
    Born: Dec 21, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 165
    Signed By: Kevin Ham.
    Minors: 7-10 | 4.35 ERA | 125 SO | 67 BB | 110 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Vela drew little attention in high school and was committed to Texas-Rio Grande Valley, but the Padres took a chance on him and signed him for $125,000 as a 28th-rounder in 2017. The late-blooming Vela spent his first two full professional seasons in the rookie levels, came back from the coronavirus shutdown in top shape and finally ventured into full-season ball in 2021. He impressed as one of the breakout pitchers in the Padres system and continued his ascent in 2022, rising to Double-A while pitching a career-high 109.2 innings.

    Scouting Report: Vela's fastball has ticked up from the added strength gains as a pro to become an above-average weapon. His four-seamer now sits 91-95 mph and plays up with carry at the top of the strike zone. His fastball command remains raw, but he gets swings and misses when he locates his heater. Vela's curveball with 1-to-7 break flashes plus and has been among the best curves in the system, while others prefer his deceptive, side-spinning changeup that shows above-average potential. Vela has below-average control because he tends to rush his delivery, but his stuff plays against hitters on both sides of the plate.

    The Future: Vela appeared out of the bullpen in roughly half his appearances after his promotion to San Antonio. Without improvement of his command and control, Vela might have to settle for a middle relief role.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 40.

  20. 20. Jakob Marsee | OF
    Jakob Marsee
    Born: Jun 28, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Minors: .240/.429/.410 | 2 HR | 15 SB | 100 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Marsee lettered in baseball, football and basketball at Allen Park (Mich.) High and became a two-year starter at Central Michigan, where he hit .345/.467/.550 as a redshirt sophomore while showing elite contact skills. The Padres drafted him in the sixth round and signed him for an underslot $250,000 bonus. Marsee quickly rose to Low-A Lake Elsinore after signing and hit .254/.419/.463 as the leadoff hitter on a Storm team that went on to win the California League title.

    Scouting Report: A blue-collar, baseball rat, Marsee wears out pitchers with a discerning eye at the plate, plus contact skills and the ability to handle velocity. He presently has below average power and needs to learn to drive and lift the ball. More power could come with some weight gain b he was up from 180 pounds to nearly 200 late in the year b but the Padres will press upon the need for Marsee to remain athletic. He's an average runner with an average arm, but his knack for good reads and quick first steps gives him a chance to stay in center field. He has plus makeup and has shown the ability to outperform his tools.

    The Future: Marsee's advanced approach at the plate could help him move quickly up the Padres system. He'll head to High-A Fort Wayne in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 40. Speed: 50. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  21. 21. Nathan Martorella | 1B
    Nathan Martorella
    Born: Feb 18, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 224
    Minors: .322/.421/.511 | 3 HR | 0 SB | 90 AB

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: An unsigned 30th-round pick of the Red Sox out of high school, Martorella started all three years at California and hit .388 during conference play in 2022, best in the Pac-12. The Padres drafted him in the fifth round and signed him for an underslot $325,000. Martorella rose quickly to Low-A Lake Elsinore after signing and finished his pro debut batting in the middle of the Storm lineup as they went on to win the California League title.

    Scouting Report: A strong, physical lefthanded hitter who gets into a low crouch similar to former Padres slugger Phil Plantier, Martorella manages the strike zone well but hasn't yet developed a ton of feel to hit. His swing is fueled by brute strength rather than true bat speed or barrel accuracy, but he still hits the ball on the ground too often to showcase his average power consistently. Limited defensively to first base, Martorella is an average defender who has good footwork around the bag and soft hands. He is a bottom-of-the-scale runner.

    The Future: Without positional flexibility or a ton of athleticism, Martorella will go as far as his bat takes him. He'll open 2023 at High-A Fort Wayne.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 50. Speed: 20. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  22. 22. Garrett Hawkins | RHP
    Garrett Hawkins
    Born: Feb 10, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 230
    Minors: 5-8 | 4.74 ERA | 120 SO | 30 BB | 93 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: A native of Biggar, Saskatchewan, Hawkins didn't get to pitch much at the University of British Columbia due to Canada's Covid-19 protocols, but he impressed in the draft league in 2021 to become a late riser. The Padres drafted him in the ninth round and signed him for $75,000, about half of slot value. Hawkins made his full season debut at Low-A Lake Elsinore and stood out as one of the California League's top pitchers before getting hit hard after a promotion to High-A Fort Wayne.

    Scouting Report: Hawkins cuts an imposing figure at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds. His big frame and incredibly long arms generate significant extension down the mound, allowing his 93-96 mph fastball to get tons of swings and misses in the strike zone. It's a naturally back-spinning pitch with carry and finish from an over-the-top slot. Hawkins is heavily reliant on his plus fastball that is far-and-away his best pitch. His split change-up flashes above-average but is inconsistent and his slurvy, downward breaking ball is a below-averaging offering. Hawkins has good control of his long limbs and has a long track record of throwing strikes, but his walk rate spiked after his promotion to Fort Wayne.

    The Future: Hawkins' fastball plays now, but how well he develops his secondaries will determine whether he ends up a starter or reliever. He'll begin 2023 back at Fort Wayne.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 45. Changeup: 55. Control: 55

  23. 23. Alek Jacob | RHP
    Alek Jacob
    Born: Jun 16, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 190
    Minors: 5-1 | 2.68 ERA | 77 SO | 15 BB | 57 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Jacob's fastball sat just 85-89 mph as a starter at Gonzaga, but the Padres scouted him closely because their analytics team identified his changeup as a potential outlier. He struck out 323 batters in 288.1 collegiate innings and won West Coast Conference pitcher of the Year as a senior, leading the Padres to draft him in the 16th round and sign him for $75,000. Jacob immediately moved to the bullpen after being drafted and didn't allow a run in 13 appearances in his pro debut. He followed by rising three levels up to Triple-A in his first full season in 2022 and finished the year in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: Jacob's two-seam fastball remains well below-average at 85-89 mph, but it plays well off his plus, plus 70-74 mph changeup with heavy fade and sink. He hides the ball well in his delivery and pounds the strike zone with a whip-like stroke out of a sidearm slot. Jacob's sweepy, low-70s slider is a solid offering that he commands well, as he does with all of his pitches. He varies his delivery to disrupt hitters' timing and attacks the zone with plus control and the confidence of someone who throws much harder.

    The Future: The Padres have had success developing soft-throwing relievers such as Adam Cimber and Eric Yardley into big leaguers. Jacob could be the next to make the leap in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 30. Slider: 50. Changeup: 70. Control: 60

  24. 24. Isaiah Lowe | RHP
    Isaiah Lowe
    Born: May 7, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 220

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Lowe attended little-known Combine Academy in remote Lincolnton, N.C., but Padres scouts found him and considered him one of the best, if least-known, prep pitchers in the draft class. They considered him a fourth or fifth-round talent and ultimately took him in the 11th round and signed him for an above-slot $400,000 bonus to forgo a Wake Forest commitment. The Padres opted to work with Lowe on the backfields after signing and did not have him pitch in the Arizona Complex League.

    Scouting Report: Lowe is exceptionally strong with a sturdy lower half in his 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame. His four-seam fastball has been up to 97 mph with good carry at the top of the zone out of his three-quarters arm slot. He generates good extension in his delivery that allows his fastball to further jump on hitters. Lowe's primary secondary offering is a sweeping slider with horizontal break that projects to be an above-average pitch with more development. His changeup is a work in progress, but he has demonstrated feel for it to be an average pitch. Lowe throws strikes with average control, although he has yet to face high-level hitters on a consistent basis.

    The Future: Lowe is raw and will need time, but his physicality and three-pitch mix give him a good foundation to work from. He'll make his pro debut in 2023.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  25. 25. Zimo Qin | LHP
    Zimo Qin
    Born: Jul 3, 2005
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 198

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: The first ever Chinese international amateur signed by the Padres, Qin hails from Major League Baseball's China Academy. He landed on the Padres' radar while pitching in the United States for the West team at Perfect Game's national showcase after the draft. The Padres pegged Qin as a top-five-round talent, signed him for $90,000 on July 30 and got him on a mound in the fall instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Qin has added a considerable amount of velocity as he's matured, improving from 78-80 mph early in his days at the academy to 87-88 mph while pitching in the United States and up to 92 mph once the Padres' development staff got their hands on him. He rounds out his four-pitch mix with a big-bending curveball that sits 72-74 mph, a slider that sits in the upper 70s and a change-up in the low 80s. He has a classic, overhand delivery with a Clayton Kershaw look to it and wide enough shoulders to project more mass and more velocity as he continues to fill out a 6-foot-1 frame.

    The Future: Raw and projectable, Qin will still be just 17 on Opening Day in 2023. He has the early traits of a potential back-of-the-rotation starter but has a long way to go.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55. Curveball: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50

  26. 26. Ryan Bergert | RHP
    Ryan Bergert
    Born: Mar 8, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 205
    Minors: 4-10 | 5.84 ERA | 129 SO | 42 BB | 104 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

    Track Record: Bergert pitched mostly in the bullpen as a freshman at West Virginia in and saw his move to the rotation as a sophomore cut short after four starts due to the pandemic. He continued to trend upward in the Northwoods League but had Tommy John surgery after the summer, wiping out his junior season. The Padres had second-round grades on Bergert before surgery and remained a believer, drafting him in the sixth round and signing him for $500,000, nearly double the recommended slot amount. Bergert got back on the mound for his first full season in three years in 2022 and struggled statistically at High-A Fort Wayne but flashed promising stuff.

    Scouting Report: Bergert has a well-rounded four-pitch mix he is progressively regaining feel for. His fastball sits 92-93 mph and touches 96 mph with east-west movement, although it stays true at times and gets hammered when he doesn't locate it up in the zone. His mid-80s slider, upper-70s curveball and mid-80s changeup all flash above average and were more effective pitches than his fastball in his return. Berget's arm slot and delivery were inconsistent in his first full year back from surgery, leading to fringe-average control. The Padres hope his control will improve the further he moves away from surgery.

    The Future: The Padres believe Bergert is ready to take a significant step forward in his second year back from surgery in 2023.. He should start the year at Double-A San Antonio and will look to accumulate innings.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Curveball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 45

  27. 27. Yendry Rojas | SS
    Yendry Rojas
    Born: Jan 27, 2005
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 185

    BA Grade/Risk: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: While his older brother, Kendry, signed with the Blue Jays in 2020 as a pitcher, Rojas made a name for himself in the 22 international class as one of its best pure hitters. The Padres signed the younger Rojas for $1.3 million just before his 17th birthday and sent him to the Dominican Summer League, where he demonstrated advanced plate discipline with more walks (26) than strikeouts (23) while hitting .279/.373/.357.

    Scouting Report: Rojas hasn't yet shown in-game power, but the Padres believe he has a chance to be a five-tool player. He has a quiet, balanced swing that's quick and compact and complements his ability to track and recognize pitches. His feel for the barrel produces a high contact rate and extra base power that could result in more balls over the walls as he physically matures. An average runner with a plus arm, Rojas saw time in the outfield as an amateur but is exclusively an infielder now. He has a chance to be a shortstop, but second base and third base could be future destinations.

    The Future: Rojas is far from the big leagues, but his offensive aptitude could convince the Padres to push him aggressively. He'll make his stateside debut in 2023 and has a chance to be a bat-first infielder.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 50. Speed: 60. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  28. 28. Kobe Robinson | RHP
    Kobe Robinson
    Born: Mar 3, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 160
    Minors: 1-0 | 3.57 ERA | 31 SO | 12 BB | 23 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 45/Extreme

    Track Record: The Padres first got eyes on Robinson when he was a raw high school senior with an 86-88 mph fastball and a skinny, projectable frame. They followed him closely as he moved on to Chattanooga State (Tenn.) JC and decided to draft him in the 13th round in 2021 after he touched 99 mph in the MLB draft league. Robinson was limited to just 22.2 innings at Low-A Lake Elsinore by minor injuries in 2022, but he got back on the mound in the Arizona Fall League and spent the offseason training in Atlanta.

    Scouting Report: Robinson is raw as a pitcher but has a lot of intriguing traits. His fastball sits 92-96 mph with plus life and explodes out of his loose arm. His hard, mid-80s slider is developing but flashes above-average and he has flashed a promising changeup with bottom and fade, although he rarely throws it. Robinson's control is fringy and both his command and quality of his offspeed pitches are inconsistent. He should improve with more reps on the mound.

    The Future: With under 30 innings on his pro resume so far, Robinson will look to build innings as a starting pitcher in the lower levels in 2023. Long-term, he profiles as a reliever with his fastball and slider combination.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 45. Control: 40

  29. 29. Angel Felipe | RHP
    Angel Felipe
    Born: Aug 30, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 190
    Minors: 5-6 | 3.63 ERA | 84 SO | 36 BB | 62 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Felipe signed with the Rays on the last day of the 2014-15 international signing period for $115,000 but struggled with his control and never advanced past the Class A levels in six seasons in Tampa's system. The Padres liked Felipe's tall frame and big fastball and signed him as a minor league free agent in 2022. Felipe took off with a fresh start and dominated as the closer at Double-A San Antonio before receiving a late promotion to Triple-A El Paso. He allowed just one home run in 62 innings all year and was added to the 40-man roster after the season.

    Scouting Report: A former shortstop as an amateur who simply outgrew the position, Felipe has been working to repeat a whip-like delivery since moving to the mound. His four-seam and two-seam fastballs both sit 97-98 mph and touch 101, with his two-seam the better and more frequently used of the two offerings. His mid-80s slider is a potential plus pitch with tilt and bite when he stays on top of it and his upper-80s changeup with sink and fade is a potential above-average offering, although he needs to continue to refine his command and consistency of both pitches. Felipe has long had below-average control, but he improved his strikethrowing as the season progressed last year.

    The Future: Armed with the best fastball in the system, Felipe will be in big league spring training and have a chance to break camp with the Padres. His command will have to continue to improve if he's going to be more than an up-and-down reliever in the bullpen.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 80. Slider: 55. Changeup: 55. Control: 40

  30. 30. Tom Cosgrove | LHP
    Tom Cosgrove
    Born: Jun 14, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Minors: 8-2 | 3.72 ERA | 82 SO | 28 BB | 56 IP

    BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

    Track Record: Cosgrove led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in strikeouts as a junior at Manhattan and was drafted in the 12th round by the Padres. He was infamously arrested alongside Jacob Nix in the fall of 2019 in a home break-in near the Padres' spring training complex while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery but was never charged. Cosgrove moved to the bullpen after returning from surgery and thrived after a mechanical change in 2022, rising to Triple-A and earning a spot on the Padres 40-man roster after the season.

    Scouting Report: A 6-foot-2 lefthander, Cosgrove's stuff was largely vanilla until he dropped his arm slot to three quarters at the suggestion of new Padres pitching development director Rob Marcello in 2022. The change added angle to his 92-95 mph fastball to make it an average pitch and altered his breaking ball from a 12-to-6, hammer curve to a sweeping, 79-82 mph slider. The changes made him particularly tough on lefties, who he held to a .136/.240/.273 line in 2022. Cosgrove also has a seldom-used changeup that is not a major part of his arsenal. He has fringy control but puts the ball over the plate enough to be effective.

    The Future: Cosgrove will compete for an Opening Day bullpen spot in spring training. He projects to be a low-leverage reliever who handles lefties.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 30. Control: 45

View Players 11-30

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