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BA Grade: 70. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 55. Slider: 60. Changeup: 60. Control: 60. Track Record: Gore led Whiteville (N.C.) High to three state championships and went 11-0, 0.19 as a senior with 158 strikeouts and five walks in 74.1 innings to win BA’s High School Player of the Year award. The Padres drafted him third overall and signed him for $6.7 million to forgo an East Carolina commitment. Gore’s first full season was limited to 16 starts by blisters, but his full ability came out with full health in 2019. He posted a 1.02 ERA at high Class A Lake Elsinore, the lowest ERA by a starter with at least 70 innings in California League history, and earned an invitation to the Futures Game before a late-season promotion to Double-A Amarillo. Among pitchers who threw at least 100 innings in 2019, Gore led the minors in ERA (1.69) and WHIP (0.83). Scouting Report: Gore’s supreme athleticism sets him apart from other pitchers. He brings his knee nearly to his chin out of the windup during a sky-high leg kick, then explodes down and out over the mound to generate tremendous reach and extension. Gore’s fastball ranges from 91-96 mph and gets on hitters quickly because of his nearly seven feet of extension. The result is late, confused swings from batters who think they have his fastball timed up, only to have the ball nearly in the catcher’s mitt by the time they swing. Gore’s slider and curveball are each swing-and-miss weapons at their best, but they are rarely good together and alternate as his better breaking ball depending on the day. His slider comes at hitters from 83-87 mph with tight spin and late break, and he locates it to both sides of the plate to make it a plus offering. His 76-79 mph curveball also flashes plus with tight 1-to-7 snap, though it is less consistent than his slider. Gore’s changeup is his most consistent secondary at 79-83 mph with sink at the bottom of the zone, but he doesn’t use it very often. It’s still a plus pitch when he does. Gore is a superb athlete who repeats his complicated delivery and has plus control. He is a fearless competitor who works quickly, attacks hitters and has an unshakable inner confidence. Gore’s only negative is he struggles holding runners. His pickoff move lacks deception, and at times he rushes through his delivery and loses command when opponents run on him. The Future: Gore has the rare mix of stuff, athleticism, poise and control to be a true No. 1 starter, and few think he’ll be worse than a No. 3. As long as he stays healthy, his major league debut is on the horizon in 2020.
BA Grade: 65. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 55. Track Record: Patiño weighed 150 pounds when he signed for $130,000 in 2016. He rapidly added weight and strength and gained 10-12 mph in two years, resulting in a swift ascent up the system. Patiño began 2019 as the youngest pitcher in the high Class A California League and posted a 2.69 ERA, earning a Futures Game selection and a promotion to Double-A. Scouting Report: The 6-foot Patiño pitches much bigger than his size. His quick arm, powerful legs and twitchy athleticism yield a vicious 94-95 mph fastball that touches 99 and explodes with late life through the zone. He can elevate it for swings and misses or dot it on the corners, leaving batters largely helpless against it. Patiño’s 85-88 mph slider with late, biting tilt is another plus swing-and-miss offering, and he lands his average 82-84 mph curveball early in counts to give hitters a different look. Patiño’s changeup is too firm at times, but it flashes plus with late drop when he dials it back to 85-87 mph. Patiño pitches with energy and exuberance, but he generally maintains his poise and above-average control in tight situations. The Future: Patiño’s stuff is that of a potential No. 2 starter. He’ll head back to Double-A to start 2020.
BA Grade: 65. Risk: Very High Tool Grades: Hit: 70. Power: 55. Run: 70. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55. Track Record: Most teams considered Bobby Witt Jr. the top high school player in the 2019 draft class, but the Padres preferred Abrams. They eagerly drafted him sixth overall and signed him for $5.2 million to forgo an Alabama commitment. Abrams promptly hit .401 in the Rookie-level Arizona League, winning league MVP honors, and earned a promotion to low Class A Fort Wayne before he suffered a season-ending bone bruise in his left shoulder sliding into a base. Scouting Report: Abrams’ lean, athletic frame jumps out, but his hand-eye coordination is what makes him special. He once went 113 consecutive at-bats without swinging and missing and possesses a preternatural ability to find the barrel. Abrams takes easy, rhythmic swings with a direct path to the ball. He has a simple approach and makes adjustments, altogether projecting as a potential .300 hitter. Abrams’ frame has plenty of room to add strength and grow into 20-plus home run power. An elite athlete who can do a windmill dunk, Abrams possesses nearly 80-grade speed and went 14-for-15 on stolen bases in his debut. He has the footwork, hands and athleticism to be a plus shortstop, with many scouts surmising he could be a plus defender at second base or in center field, too. The Future: Abrams has the skills and makeup to move quickly. He’ll open 2020 back at Fort Wayne.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: High Tool Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 50. Run: 60. Fielding: 50. Arm: 40. Track Record: The Padres eyed Trammell with their second-round pick in 2016, but the Reds beat them to it and grabbed him in the supplemental first round. After Trammell won MVP of the 2018 Futures Game and starred again at the 2019 edition, the Padres acquired him from Cincinnati in a three-team trade that sent Franmil Reyes and Logan Allen to the Indians. Trammell scuffled after joining Double-A Amarillo, but he ended on a high note when he hit the go-ahead grand slam in the Texas League finals. Scouting Report: Trammell won Georgia high school football player of the year as a senior and brings that athleticism to the diamond. He is a plus runner who makes game-changing plays on the bases and plays with a high motor. Trammell is a patient hitter adept at working counts, but his swing is often not on time. The Padres made adjustments to his load and posture and saw results in the Texas League playoffs, when he hit three home runs and posted a .998 OPS. Trammell isn’t a natural center fielder despite his speed, and his below-average arm makes him best suited for left field. The Future: Trammell’s athleticism and patience give him a strong foundation. How well he maintains his swing improvements will determine his future.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: High Tool Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 55. Run: 30. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55. Track Record: Campusano failed to make USA Baseball’s 18U national team in high school and used it as motivation to get in better shape. He slimmed down, added muscle and became the first catcher selected in the 2017 draft when the Padres took him 39th overall. Campusano’s first two seasons were interrupted by concussions, but he stayed healthy in 2019 at high Class A Lake Elsinore and won the California League batting title (.325) and co-MVP award. Scouting Report: Campusano is one of the strongest players in the Padres system. He sometimes swings a 40-ounce bat in games and still manages to get the barrel through the zone. Campusano swings hard and punishes pitches over the plate while rarely straying outside the strike zone. He mostly smokes hard line drives, but he is progressively learning to elevate and put the ball over the fence to project as an above-average hitter with above-average power. Campusano’s strong, flexible lower half makes him an agile blocker and he turned his framing from a negative into a positive in 2019. His effort level wavers depending on the caliber of pitcher he’s catching and his plus arm strength is often negated by a tendency to unnecessarily throw from his knees. The Future: Campusano has defensive work ahead, but his bat is special. He’ll move to Double-A Amarillo in 2020.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 45. Track Record: Morejon pitched Cuba to the gold medal at the 2014 15U World Cup with a complete game victory over the U.S., cementing himself as a top international prospect. The Padres signed him two years later for $11 million, a franchise record for an amateur player. Morejon has struggled with arm injuries every year since signing, but he still jumped from Double-A to the majors last year as a 20-year-old. He got hit hard in five appearances before suffering a season-ending left shoulder impingement. Scouting Report: Morejon tantalizes with premium raw stuff. His fastball sits 94-96 and touches 98 mph with startlingly little effort, and when his arm slot is right he snaps off plus low-80s curveballs that draw swings and misses below the strike zone. His traditional changeup flashes plus with fade, and he has a knuckle-change that acts like a splitter. The issue is Morejon often spins out of his rotational delivery, leaving his fastball over the plate and pulling his secondaries out of the strike zone. His delivery also puts tremendous strain on his shoulder and upper arm and is the root of his injury problems. He has yet to pitch more than 65.1 innings in a season. The Future: Morejon has plenty of stuff, but his below-average command and durability draw scrutiny. He'll try to improve both in 2020.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: High Tool Grades: Fastball: 80. Slider: 50. Control: 45. Track Record: The Padres purchased Muñoz’s rights for $700,000 from the Mexican League’s Mexico City franchise when he was 16. He rapidly added velocity as he filled out and touched 100 mph for the first time the following season, beginning an ascent to one of the hardest-throwing prospects in the game. He reached 103 mph as a closer at Double-A in 2018 and made his major league debut at age 20 last year, where he struck out 30 of the 97 batters he faced. Scouting Report: Munoz is the embodiment of a power reliever. His fastball sits 99-100 mph and touches 103, and it plays up with explosive late life. He can elevate his fastball for swings and misses or spot it on the corners, making it a true 80-grade pitch. Munoz is still working to find consistency with his average slider. At its best it features short, late life at 86-87 mph and rolls off the barrel of righthanded hitters. Munoz’s high-effort delivery makes it difficult for him to stay on line to the plate and results in below-average control. He’s also pitched more than 30 innings only once in four seasons and has already had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow. The Future: Muñoz has closer stuff, but his health and control are question marks. He’ll open 2020 where he ended 2019: in the Padres’ bullpen.
BA Grade: 50. Risk: Medium Tool Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 40. Slider: 45. Changeup: 55. Control: 40. Track Record: Baez briefly pitched in Cuba’s major league before leaving the island and singing with the Padres for $3 million in December 2016. After working as a starter in the low minors, Baez made 15 relief appearances at Double-A Amarillo before receiving his first major league callup in July. He settled into the Padres bullpen and held opponents scoreless in 19 of his 24 appearances. Scouting Report: The 6-foot-8 Baez is an imposing presence who repeats his delivery better than most pitchers his size. His plus fastball sits 94-96 mph and touches 99, though inconsistent mechanics cause his velocity to fluctuate. Baez’s above-average mid-80s changeup plays well off his fastball and has become his primary swing-and-miss pitch, drawing whiffs nearly a third of the time he throws it. Baez’s slider and curveball both stalled in their development as fringy to below-average pitches and make him a better fit in the bullpen, where his fringe-average control is less of an issue. Baez has also missed the start of every season with either a back or shoulder injury. The Future: The Padres haven’t given up on Baez as a starter, but his pitch mix, control and health strongly point to a future in relief.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: Very High Tool Grades: Hit: 50. Power: 55. Run: 40. Fielding: 70. Arm: 70. Track Record: Arias ranked as one of the top prospects in the 2016 international class and signed with the Padres for $1.9 million. He shined defensively but scuffled offensively his first two and half years as a pro, but he flashed his vast potential with a .344/.376/.533 slash line in the second half of 2019 at high Class A Lake Elsinore. Scouting Report: Arias is a long, lean athlete with tremendous raw ability. He is a gifted defensive shortstop who plays under control, smoothly ranges in all directions, has reliable hands and owns plus-plus arm that allows him to make jaw dropping throws. Evaluators use words like “special”, “elite” and “unbelievable” to describe his shortstop defense. Arias has a smooth swing that stays through the ball, and his long levers and wiry strength give him surprising plus raw power. The problem is his breaking ball recognition is exceedingly poor and has resulted in a nearly 30 percent career strikeout rate. Arias hits breaking balls in the zone, but flails at ones below the zone. Once he minimized his movements at the plate, he recognized pitches better and took off in the second half. The Future: How well Arias improves his plate discipline will determine whether he hits enough to play everyday. He’ll be just 20 years old at Double-A Amarillo next year.
BA Grade: 55. Risk: Very High Tool Grades: Fastball: 55. Slider: 50. Changeup: 60. Control: 60. Track Record: Weathers is the son of longtime big league reliever David Weathers and was a multi-sport athlete who led Loretto High to the state championship game in both basketball and baseball as a senior. The Padres drafted him seventh overall in 2018 and signed him for $5.23 million. Weathers started his first full season strong at low Class A Fort Wayne, but he went on the injured list for arm fatigue in mid-May and didn’t have the same stuff when he returned. Scouting Report: At his best, Weathers demonstrates an advanced feel for pitching with a three-pitch mix. He pounds the lower third of the strike zone with a 90-93 mph fastball to both sides of the plate and keeps hitters off balance with a potential plus mid-80s changeup with heavy fade. His low-80s slider flashes average with good shape and break, and he ties it all together with plus control and an advanced feel for sequencing. Weathers’ fastball often sat 87-89 mph after his injured list stint, however, and his conditioning became a concern after he gained 20 pounds during the year. The Future: The Padres openly acknowledge Weathers needs to get in better shape to reach his mid-rotation ceiling. They have challenged him to do so in 2020.
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