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San Diego Padres

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  1. 1. 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: 55/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, Campusano hit his way from the alternate training site to the majors and homered in his debut, but a wrist injury quickly ended that stint. Austin Nola's broken finger pushed Campusano onto the Opening Day roster in 2021, but struggles at the became a drain on his playing time and ultimately pushed him back to Triple-A El Paso. He had 15 homers and a .906 OPS in 81 games for the Chihuahuas before an oblique injury ended his season.

    Scouting Report: Campusano's bat remains his calling card. He is an immensely strong hitter who makes loud contact from foul pole to foul pole and projects as a middle-of-the-order threat who hits for both average and power. He has demonstrated excellent strike-zone control at his best, although he's been too aggressive during his time in the majors. Defensively, Campusano is an athletic backstop who's improved his blocking significantly since joining the system. Improving his framing has long been a point of emphasis, but Padres officials were pleased with the strides he made last year. He has above-average arm strength, although accuracy remains inconsistent. Something of an introvert, Campusano has to work to assert himself in game-planning alongside fellow pitchers. Maturity questions also persist following a 2020 arrest for felony marijuana possession, although prosecutors ultimately dropped the charges.

    The Future: With Nola under team control through 2025, Campusano has time on his side to develop into the Padres' long-term answer at catcher. He'll try to force his way into the team's plans in 2022.

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

  2. 2. 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: 55/Very High

    Track Record: Merrill didn't attend many of the top showcase events during the summer of 2020 and was subsequently viewed as a popup prospect when he emerged last spring. The Padres, however, were on Merrill well before he tied a school record with 13 homers and were happy to select him 27th overall. Merrill signed for a below-slot $1.8 million to forgo a Kentucky commitment and held his own during his pro debut in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League until a minor hip flexor injury ended his season. He returned healthy in time to participate in instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Merrill had a huge growth spurt and added nearly 30 pounds in the months leading up to the draft. The added strength gave him plus raw power, which is now his main selling point. Merrill's solid bat speed and feel for hitting intrigued the Padres over multiple workouts, where they tested him against the type of high-velocity pitching he did not see regularly in Maryland's prep circuit. He is still rather raw against spin and will need to learn to turn on pitches to unlock his power potential, but he has the raw ingredients to hit for both average and power. Merrill could very well outgrow shortstop, but he has the average speed, soft hands and above-average arm strength to at least start his career at the position.

    The Future: Merrill will make his full-season debut at Low-A Elsinore in 2022. At worst, the Padres see him developing into a multi-positional, lefthanded hitter in the mold of D-backs utilityman Josh Rojas.

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

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

    BA Grade: 60/Extreme

    August Update: Lesko has been paving his way as the top pitching prospect in the 2022 class for years now. His track record of performance on the travel circuit and with Buford High in Georgia is exceptional, and he was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2021 as an underclassman after posting a 0.35 ERA over 60 innings with 112 strikeouts. He pitched his way into consensus top pitching prospect status in the 2022 class—college or high school—this spring and was looking like a top-five pick before suffering an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. When healthy, Lesko showed a unique combination of power and polish, with three pitches that have flashed plus and two which consistently reach that grade. His arsenal is headlined by a fastball routinely in the mid 90s that touches 97, with impressive riding life that plays nicely at the top of the zone. While the velocity is impressive, Lesko's touch and feel for the pitch and his ability to locate it in the zone at will is extremely advanced and the combination of velocity plus command remind many scouts of Josh Beckett at the same time. His best secondary offering is a low-80s bugs bunny changeup that routinely earns double-plus grades and is one of the best changeups the industry has seen from a high school pitcher. He sells the pitch with fastball arm speed and will double and triple up on the pitch for swings and misses in the zone and below it to both lefthanded and righthanded hitters. It's an elite out pitch presently with no projection necessary. His curveball is less consistent, but also flashes plus at its best. The pitch is a high-spin breaking ball (2,700-3,000 rpm) that varies in shape but shows depth and hard finish when he breaks off a good one. All his stuff comes together with clean arm action and a highly polished delivery that one scout described as “poetry in motion.” Lesko is a standout athlete and would be a strong prospect as a shortstop and hitter if he didn't pitch, and he still has some projection remaining in a lean frame.

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

  4. 4. Adrian Morejon | LHP
    Adrian Morejon
    Born: Feb 27, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 224
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2016.
    Signed By: Chris Kemp/Trevor Schumm/Felix Feliz.
    Minors: 0-1 | 2.70 ERA | 20 SO | 2 BB | 14 IP

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: The Padres' biggest prize from their 2016-17 international spending spree, Morejon became a prospect to watch on Cuba's junior national team and signed with the Padres for a franchise-record $11 million. Various injuries have since limited him to 196.1 innings over five years as a pro, including an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery last April after he opened the year in the Padres' starting rotation.

    Scouting Report: Morejon has premium stuff from the left side that includes a 94-96 mph fastball that can touch 99 with ease, albeit with scattershot command. Morejon pairs that offering with a sweeping, 79-82 mph curveball, two variations of a changeup—a traditional one with sink and run and a diving knuckle-change that gets swings and misses—an emerging slider and a sinker he began throwing in 2021. Morejon has spent most of his big league time in the Padres bullpen, which might be his ultimate landing spot if he can't shake the durability concerns that have dogged him since he signed. He has now spent time on the injured list with injuries to his forearm, triceps, elbow and shoulder at various points and has yet to pitch more than 65 innings in a season.

    The Future: Morejon will be slow-played as he returns from surgery and is tentatively slated to return to the mound in the second half of the 2022 season. The Padres continue to dream of developing him as a starter, but that goal is a long way off.

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

  5. 5. 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: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: Zavala was regarded as one of the best pure hitters in the 2020-21 international signing class and signed with the Padres out of Venezuela for $1.2 million. Zavala made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League after signing and did not disappoint, hitting for both average (.287) and power (25 extra-base hits in 55 games) while showing remarkable plate discipline for his age with nearly as many walks (32) as strikeouts (36).

    Scouting Report: Zavala has long possessed a knack for finding the barrel with a smooth, whip-like swing. He doesn't have the brute strength of some 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 to go with his above-average hitting ability tools. Zavala is bilingual and a heady player, leading the Padres to believe he will adjust quickly as he faces more advanced pitching. Zavala is only an average runner, but his advanced instincts help compensate for his speed and the Padres view him as a true center fielder. His above-average arm strength allows him to play all three outfield positions.

    The Future: Zavala will make his U.S. debut in the Arizona Complex League in 2022. He and Victor Acosta give the Padres two, low-level prospects who could blossom into everyday regulars, if not more.

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

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

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    August Update: One of the more impressive performers and biggest risers in the country this spring, Snelling is a strong and physical lefthander whose football background is apparent when you see him standing on the mound. Listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Snelling has broad, tapered shoulders and a thick and muscular lower half. Last summer, Snelling pitched around 90 mph and touched 94, but this spring his velocity has ticked up a bit and he's consistently been in the 90-95 mph range, touching 96, and held that velocity throughout his outings. His best secondary offering is a spike-grip curveball with excellent spin. The pitch ranges from the mid 70s to the mid 80s and features plenty of sweeping action at times and two-plane break with sharp and late vertical bite at others. The breaking ball consistently draws plus grades and is one of the better breaking balls in the prep class. On top of his natural feel to spin the baseball, scouts have been impressed with his ability to land the pitch with consistency. Snelling will throw a changeup in the low 80s as well, but he uses the pitch infrequently and it needs refinement to become an average third pitch. While Snelling was plenty physical last summer, scouts thought his body looked more streamlined this spring and he has shown enough touch and feel for scouts to project future plus control. Snelling has a connected delivery and clean arm stroke, and his athleticism helps him repeat everything consistently and spot his fastball/curveball combination to an advanced degree.

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

  7. 7. 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: 45/High

    Track Record: Lizarraga ranked as Mexico's best pitching prospect in the 2020-21 international class and signed with the Padres for $1 million. His advanced feel for pitching led the Padres to challenge him with an assignment to the Arizona Complex League where, at age 17, he was the second-youngest player in the circuit. Lizarraga finished the season on an impressive run—11.1 innings, one run, six walks, 18 strikeouts—after a three-week reset following two deaths in his family just days apart.

    Scouting Report: Long, lean and athletic, Lizarraga is a projectable teenage righthander who is a good bet to add strength and velocity as he fills out. His fastball presently sits 90-94 mph and he pairs it with an upper-70s curveball that has average potential. He rounds out his arsenal with a fading changeup he throws with conviction and confidence to give it above-average potential. Lizarraga walked more batters than expected in his pro debut, but the Padres expect his control to improve to average in pro ball.

    The Future: Lizarraga was essentially a high school junior when the Padres jumped him over the Dominican Summer League to start his career in the U.S. His career can break a lot of different ways, but his three-pitch mix gives him the foundation to stick in a starting rotation.

  8. 8. 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: 45/High

    Track Record: Iriarte stood 6-foot-2 and weighed 160 pounds when he signed with the Padres for $75,000 in 2018 out of Venezuela. He had a growth spurt and packed on muscle after signing and now stands an imposing 6-foot-5, 200 pounds. Iriarte showed well in the Dominican Summer League after he signed and was pitching in the Arizona Complex League in 2021 when the Padres pushed him to Low-A Lake Elsinore after the Storm lost multiple players to Covid-19 protocols. Iriarte wasn't ready for the assignment and got hit hard, but still showed enough to emerge as a sleeper.

    Scouting Report: Iriarte's fastball sat 85-87 mph when he signed but now sits 95-97 after his explosive growth spurt. His fastball plays up with carry through the top of the strike zone and his 86-87 mph changeup with late fade has the makings of a future plus pitch. Iriarte's 83-85 mph slider could become above-average and gives him the three-pitch mix to be a starter. Iriarte's stuff is mostly potential at this point and he is still very raw as a pitcher. He got shelled for 25 hits and 27 earned runs in nine innings at Lake Elsinore and has a long way to go. His control is fringy and needs work.

    The Future: The Padres see Iriarte as a starting pitching prospect who just needs reps. His stuff could make him a hard-throwing reliever if his control doesn't come.

  9. 9. Eguy Rosario | 2B
    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: .287/.367/.507 | 22 HR | 21 SB | 485 AB

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Rosario signed with the Padres for $300,000 on his 16th birthday and has generally been among the youngest players in his league every year. As such, he was overmatched in his early years, but he showed signs of life in the High-A California League in 2019 and had a breakout year at Double-A San Antonio in 2021. He led Double-A Central in doubles (31), tied for second in hits (118) and finished fifth in stolen bases (30), leading the Padres to add him to the 40-man roster after the season.

    Scouting Report: Rosario is surprisingly twitchy and athletic despite his round, stocky build. He has a short, quick righthanded swing and is best when his approach is aimed at shooting balls from gap to gap. He showed off his strength gains with the first double-digit homer campaign in 2021, but he is susceptible to pulling off balls when he tries to generate power. Rosario is an above-average runner who has improved his ability to put that speed to good use on the bases. He is playable at shortstop, but his range and actions fit better at second base or even third, where he can show off his nearly plus-plus arm.

    The Future: Rosario best profiles as a utility infielder. He'll start 2022 at Triple-A El Paso.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 45. Power: 45. Run: 55. Field: 50. Arm: 60

  10. 10. 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: 50/High

    Track Record: Groome was considered 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. Groome missed all of 2018 and most of 2019 after having Tommy John surgery and saw his full-season return delayed when the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 minor league season. He finally had a full, healthy season in 2021 and was inconsistent across outings but still rose to Double-A Portland.

    Scouting Report: Groome's best stuff never fully came back following surgery, but his arsenal remains plenty potent. His fastball sits at 90-94 mph and touches 95-96 and he commands it to all quadrants of the strike zone. Though Groome's fastball lacks elite spin rates, hitters don't seem to pick it up, resulting in late swings and swings and misses. His formerly elite curveball has not regained its bite since surgery but still works as an average offering. He's developed a slider that flashes above-average and an average changeup he can use below the zone. Groome has ballooned from 220 to 250 pounds, and his conditioning and stamina are issues. He often dominates early in outings only to fall apart after a few innings. He has reverse splits and dominates righthanded hitters while struggling against lefties.

    The Future: The visions of Groome as a top-of-the-rotation starter have faded, but getting through a healthy 2021 represented a step forward. He could still emerge as either a back-of-the-rotation starter or a late-inning reliever if he remains healthy.

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

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

    BA Grade: 45/High

    August Update: The Woodbury, Minn., native began his trek up draft boards last summer while competing in the Cape Cod League. In six starts, Mazur posted a 3-0 record, punching out 34 in 29 innings while only surrendering six walks. He transferred to Iowa from South Dakota State for 2022, and the lanky, 6-foot-3, 175-pound righthander has dazzled this spring. Mazur's 7-3 record in 15 starts includes 98 strikeouts in 93.2 innings pitched. In a year where Tommy John surgery has cast a cloud over some of the top pitching prospects in the class, the Hawkeye's ace began to draw bigger scouting crowds with each start, impressing with his pitching maturity and ability to command a four-pitch mix. Mazur's delivery is a loose, free and easy motion that he repeats well, releasing the ball from a three-quarter slot. Mazur's fastball sits 92-94 mph and gets up to 97, and he likes to move it around the zone. He pitches inside just enough to keep hitters honest and guessing. Mazur complements his fastball with an above-average offspeed mix that baffles both lefthanded and righthanded hitters. Mazur's 76-79 mph curveball is sharp and traditional in its break. The 12-to-6 action has frozen its fair share of bats this spring, and it's a weapon he will use any time in the count. His slider plays well off his curve, as it is similar in shape out of the hand except for the darting three-quarter action that runs away from righthanded hitters. Mazur will mix in a solid-average changeup to lefthanded hitters. It sits in the 82-84 mph range with occasional downward fade. He does have a tendency to slow his arm speed down to take velocity off of it. The results are positive when properly executed, but it may have to be fine tuned at the next level. Mazur has a solid foundation with his command that should only get better. He will have to work hard to add size and strength to his frame. With projection left, scouts believe his best days are ahead and he could move quickly as he adapts to the pro game.

  12. 12. Robert Suarez | RHP
    Robert Suarez
    Born: Mar 1, 1991
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: A.J. Preller.
    Minors: 0-0 | 6.75 ERA | 6 SO | 1 BB | 4 IP

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Suarez posted 1.71 ERA in 47.1 innings in the Mexican League in 2015 but had never been part of an MLB organization when he signed with Softbank in Japan after the season. He missed all of 2017 after having Tommy John surgery and moved on to Hanshin, where he had a 1.16 ERA and 45 saves in 2021 and did not allow a home run in 62.1 innings. Suarez exercised his option to become a free agent and signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Padres right before the lockout began in December.

    Scouting Report: Suarez has an imposing presence on the mound and aggressively goes after hitters with his plus-plus fastball. His fastball lives at 96-97 mph and touches 101 with late explosion and ride, and he throws it in all quadrants of the strike zone. Suarez developed an 88-92 mph split-changeup in Japan that flashes plus and has become his go-to secondary offering. He relied on a short, tilting slider early in his career, but it's now mostly a chase pitch. Suarez attacks the strike zone with plus control and posted a career-low walk rate of 1.2 per nine innings in 2021.

    The Future: Suarez will step right into the Padres' bullpen in 2022. He has a chance to emerge as a high-leverage option quickly.

  13. 13. Michel Baez | RHP
    Michel Baez
    Born: Jan 21, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 237
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2016.
    Signed By: Trevor Schumm/Jake Koenig.
    Minors: 5-3 | 5.01 ERA | 56 SO | 23 BB | 47 IP

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Baez briefly pitched in Serie Nacional, Cuba's major league, as a teenager and signed with the Padres for $3 million in 2016 after he left the island. He reached the majors in 2019 and became a part of the Padres bullpen, but he regressed in 2020 and had Tommy John surgery during 2021 spring training. He returned to the mound in April with rehab appearances at Low-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio.

    Scouting Report: Baez is physically huge at 6-foot-8, 220 pounds and possesses the high-octane stuff expected from a pitcher his size. His fastball sits 95-96 and touches 99 mph, although his inconsistent mechanics cause his velocity to fluctaute. His mid-80s changeup is an above-average pitch that plays well off his fastball. Baez's slider and curveball are both well below-average pitches and he struggles to keep his long limbs in sync, resulting in fringe-average control. He is also injury-prone and has missed time every season due to shoulder, back or elbow injuries.

    The Future: Baez will fit in the Padres bullpen with his fastball and changeup. He could be back there during the 2022 season.

  14. 14. 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: 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 in the 28th round in 2017. The late-blooming Vela spent his first two professional seasons in the Rookie levels and came back from the coronavirus shutdown in tip-top shape. Finally sent out to full-season ball in 2021, Vela posted a 3.90 ERA and averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings as he climbed from Low-A to High-A.

    Scouting Report: Vela's fastball has ticked up from the added strength gains 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 is still raw, but he gets swings and misses when he locates it. Vela's curveball with 1-to-7 break flashes plus and is among the best curves in the system, while others prefer his deceptive, side-spinning changeup that shows above-average potential. Even with below-average control, Vela's arsenal plays against hitters on both sides of the plate. He limited lefties to a .135 batting average and righties to a .216 average in his full-season debut.

    The Future: Vela is likely to settle into a middle relief role, but the Padres are in no hurry to pigeonhole him. He'll see Double-A San Antonio in 2022.

  15. 15. 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: 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. While inconsistent in his full-season, Knehr was the darling of the Padres' 2020 instructional league and pitched his way to the majors in 2021. He appeared both in the rotation and out of the bullpen for the Padres' injury-ravaged staff and logged a 4.97 ERA in 29 innings.

    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 big-league time nibbling around the strike zone and was too reliant on his upper-80s cutter, the worst pitch in his arsenal. His changeup gets hit when he overcooks it, so he is working to choke off a bit more velocity. Knehr has tinkered with a curveball to add a bit more differential in his pitch speeds. His control has long been fringy.

    The Future: Knehr will likely open 2022 in Triple-A El Paso's rotation. He projects to be a long reliever or spot starter and will again be in the callup mix in 2022.

  16. 16. Raymond Kerr | LHP
    Raymond Kerr
    Born: Sep 10, 1994
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Jordan Bley (Mariners)
    Minors: 5-0 | 5.08 ERA | 67 SO | 36 BB | 45 IP

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Track Record: Kerr pitched Lassen (Calif.) JC to the verge of a conference title in 2017 and followed with a star turn in the Alaska Baseball League. He led the summer league with a 1.13 ERA and finished third with 48 strikeouts while touching 93 mph from the left side, leading the Mariners to sign him as an undrafted free agent for $5,000. Kerr initially worked as a starter, but he moved to the bullpen full-time in 2021 and vaulted to Triple-A. The Padres acquired him after the season as one of two prospects for Adam Frazier.

    Scouting Report: Kerr's stuff ticked up in relief to make him one of the minors' hardest-throwing lefthanders. His fastball averages 97 mph and touches 101 mph out a low arm slot that makes for a tough angle on hitters. The ball gets on batters quicker than they expect out of his low-effort delivery, resulting in late swings and misses. Kerr's sweeping 80-84 mph slider flashes average with late downward bite and is effective against lefties, while his changeup is a well below-average pitch he rarely uses. Kerr is an excellent athlete who throws down vicious dunks on a basketball court, but his control is just fringy.

    The Future: Kerr is on track to be a hard-throwing, lefthanded middle reliever. He should make his major league debut in 2022.

  17. 17. Matt Waldron | RHP
    Matt Waldron
    Born: Sep 26, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Signed By: Kyle Bamberger (Cleveland).
    Minors: 5-10 | 6.26 ERA | 96 SO | 39 BB | 114 IP

    BA Grade: 45/High

    Track Record: Cleveland drafted Waldron in the 18th round in 2019 and signed him for $5,000 before trading him to the Padres in the 2020 deal that sent Mike Clevinger to San Diego. Waldron started toying with a knuckleball during 2021 spring training and the low-spin floater intrigued the Padres, who convinced him to feature the weapon. Waldron rode the knuckler to a solid early showing at High-A Fort Wayne and a promotion to Double-A San Antonio before shoulder soreness sidelined him in August. He returned in the Arizona Fall League.

    Scouting Report: Previously, Waldron's repertoire was rather nondescript for a minor league righthander: a 92-94 mph fastball with a fringy slider and a fringy changeup. The introduction of his knuckleball, however, gives Waldron a chance to stand out. He throws two varieties of the floater, a low-80s one and a low-70s version. He moved to throwing his knuckleball 80% of the time as the season progressed. His control of his knuckleball is fringy, and the pitch tends to get hit as it flattens out late in games.

    The Future: Waldron should return to Double-A to start 2022.

  18. 18. 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: 50/Very High

    Track Record: A relative unknown until a breakout senior year of high school, Mears went viral during 2021 spring training with a 117 mph home run off Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez in a Cactus League game. While he was overmatched for much of his stay in big league camp, Mears' power continued to play at Low-A Lake Elsinore for his first full professional season, at least when he was in the lineup. Mears missed time with a shoulder injury, a concussion and also spent time on the Covid-19 injured list. Even his push to make up for lost time at instructional league was halted when he fouled a bunt attempt off his face and broke his nose.

    Scouting Report: Checking in at a chiseled 6-foot-3, 242 pounds, Mears has 80-grade raw power and hits titanic home runs with remarkably little effort. The question is whether he will make enough contact to get to his power. Mears struck out in 39% of his plate appearances at Lake Elsinore with a lot of swings and misses in the strike zone, although he doesn't chase much and draws enough walks to be valuable even as a low-average hitter. Mears has surprising speed for a big man, prompting the Padres to give him exploratory looks in center field last year. His long-term landing spot is likely right field, where he projects to be an average defender with an average arm.

    The Future: Mears has the build, bat speed and plus-plus raw power that are easy to dream on. He'll head to High-A Fort Wayne in 2022 to see if he can stay healthy and get to his power in games against better pitching.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 30. Power: 70. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50.

  19. 19. Matt Batten | SS
    Matt Batten
    Born: Jun 22, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 180
    Minors: .291/.384/.453 | 11 HR | 18 SB | 320 AB

    BA Grade: 40/Medium

    Midseason Update: A 32nd-round pick in 2017, Batten continued his storybook rise with his first big league callup this summer after a dominant stint at Triple-A El Paso. Batten can play all around the infield, conducts good at-bats and has some of the best instincts and awareness of any player in the Padres organization, to the point most believe he has a future as a coach or scout when his playing career ends.

  20. 20. 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: 40/Medium

    August Update: A 16th-round pick out of Gonzaga in 2021, Jacob confounds batters with a funky, low-slot delivery that helps all of his stuff play up. His fastball sits 86-88 mph, he has above-average command of his slider and his changeup is a plus pitch. Jacob has extreme confidence and poise and attacks the strike zone like someone who throws much harder. He is comparable to former Padres prospect Adam Cimber and has emerged as a callup option down the stretch.

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

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    Track Record: Rojas showed early on in the scouting process that he was one of the top pure hitters in the 2021-22 international signing class. He signed with the Padres when the signing period opened on Jan. 15, 2022.

    Scouting Report: The Padres added one of the most talented lefthanded hitters in 2021 when they signed outfielder Samuel Zavala and they added one of the best leftthanded bats from Latin America signed in 2022 with Rojas. He performs well in games with the ability to track and recognize pitches well for his age from a quiet, balanced swing that's quick and compact. His feel for the barrel leads to a high contact rate with extra-base damage and a chance for future above-average power. An average runner with a plus arm, Rojas showcased in the outfield and the infield, but he's exclusively an infielder now. Some scouts think he has a chance for shortstop, though second base and third base could be future destinations.

    The Future: While Rojas is still far from the big leagues, his offensive aptitude should translate to quick success in pro ball. He will likely make his pro debut in 2022 in the Dominican Summer League.

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

    BA Grade: 50/Extreme

    August Update: An athletic righthander with a still-projectable, 6-foot-5, 200-pound frame, Williams was a candidate to make a jump this spring. He never got that chance after having Tommy John surgery in December of 2021, which ended his 2022 season before it started. When healthy, Williams has shown a solid three-pitch mix including a fastball in the low 90s, a low-80s slider and a mid-80s changeup with good command. He'll have just 37.2 collegiate innings under his belt on draft day, but scouts will have to decide where he fits in the draft based on that small sample and his most recent looks during fall ball. At the time, Williams ran his fastball up to 95 mph with a slider that flashed plus and the athleticism and frame to project more velocity in the future.

  23. 23. Jackson Wolf | LHP
    Jackson Wolf
    Born: Apr 22, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'7" Wt.: 200
    Minors: 7-10 | 4.37 ERA | 142 SO | 50 BB | 130 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    August Update: Wolf is a funky lefthander with fringe-average stuff, but everything plays up with the unique angles on his pitches and his above-average command. He spins two average breaking balls that will help him be effective against lefties at higher levels and has a chance to be a long relief option.

  24. 24. Tirso Ornelas | OF
    Tirso Ornelas
    Born: Mar 11, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2016.
    Signed By: Chris Kemp/Bill McLaughlin.
    Minors: .288/.354/.408 | 7 HR | 7 SB | 451 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: The Padres purchased Ornelas' rights from the Mexican League for $1.5 million and pushed him quickly up their system. He stumbled at high Class A Lake Elsinore in 2019, batting .220 with one home run and while being demoted at midseason. Ornelas showed signs of breaking out with a new swing at the end of the year and carried it forward in the Mexican Winter League in 2020, but his time there was cut short when he broke his forearm diving for a ball in the outfield.

    Scouting Report: Ornelas is a physical lefthanded hitter with exceptional strike-zone recognition and above-average raw power. His swing got long, slow and steep during his 2019 struggles, so the Padres reset his hand position to get him quicker to the ball. Ornelas is not particularly twitchy so he needs to keep his swing short. He swings at the right pitches and has the strength to drive the ball when he stays on plane and finds the barrel. Ornelas moves well for his size and is playable in right field. His arm strength previously flashed above-average but has regressed.

    The Future: Ornelas' swing improvements were a promising first step. They need to hold for him to rise in 2021.

  25. 25. Nerwilian Cedeno | 3B/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: 40/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. Many believed Cedeno was primed for a breakout season in 2021, but he suffered a meniscus tear before spring training and didn't get on the field until late August. He hit .241/.354/.537 with 11 extra-base hits in 19 games in the Arizona Complex League after he returned and was a full participant in instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Cedeno boasts a line-drive approach and solid bat-to-ball skills as a young switch-hitter. He's a better hitter from the left side and does a solid job of not chasing out of the strike zone, although he swings and misses in the zone a bit much. Cedeno's strong forearms have the Padres believing he'll develop more power as he matures. He is an average runner with an average arm and has the potential to be an average defender across the infield. He primarily plays shortstop now but figures to settle in as a third baseman or an offensive-minded second baseman

    The Future: Cedeno will still be young for the league when he makes his way to Low-A in 2022.

  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: 40/High

    August Update: Bergert is in his first year back from Tommy John surgery and has shown premium arm strength with a fastball up to 98 mph. His slider flashes above-average and his changeup and curveball both flash average. Bergert's control is below-average because his arm slot and delivery are inconsistent, but that should improve the further he moves away from surgery.

  27. 27. Efrain Contreras | RHP
    Efrain Contreras
    Born: Jan 2, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Mexico, 2017.
    Signed By: Emmanuel Rangel/Bill McLaughlin.
    Minors: 0-5 | 5.74 ERA | 64 SO | 25 BB | 54 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: The Padres purchased Contreras' rights from the Mexican League's Veracruz franchise for $50,000 in 2017 and quickly realized they had a steal. Contreras finished eighth in the Low-A Midwest League in strikeouts in his pro debut in 2019 and drew high praise from general manager A.J. Preller at instructional league in 2020, but he walked off the mound at the end of instructs with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Despite not pitching in an official game in two years, Contreras was added to the 40-man roster in November.

    Scouting Report: A stout, stocky righthander with an advanced feel for pitching, Contreras was trending toward becoming a back of the rotation starter before his elbow injury. He locates three pitches for strikes in his 92-95 mph fastball, average downer curveball and fading, above-average changeup in the mid 80s. While none of his pitches are plus, they all play up with how he mixes and commands them. His fastball gets carry up in the zone and his curveball breaks sharply downward, giving him the north-south profile teams covet.

    The Future: Contreras was progressing through his throwing program over the winter in hopes of returning to games in 2022. He'll be just 22 on Opening Day and has time to recapture his momentum.

  28. 28. Kevin Kopps | RHP
    Kevin Kopps
    Born: Mar 2, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Steve Moritz.
    Minors: 1-2 | 4.14 ERA | 60 SO | 34 BB | 55 IP

    BA Grade: 40/High

    Track Record: Kopps missed all of 2018 at Arkansas after having Tommy John surgery and struggled during the shortened 2020 season, but he rebounded with a historic season for the Razorbacks in 2021. He went 12-1 with 11 saves, 131 strikeouts and an NCAA-best 0.90 ERA in 89.2 innings as a super reliever and won the Golden Spikes Award. As a sixth-year senior who was already 24 years old, Kopps fell to the Padres in the third round of the draft. He signed for a below-slot $300,000 and finished the year in Double-A San Antonio's bullpen.

    Scouting Report: Kopps relies overwhelmingly on one pitch: a gyro-like cutter/slider in the mid-80s with downward break. He throws nearly 75% of the time and batters still struggle to hit it even when they know it is coming. Kopps locates the pitch extremely well and batters have trouble identifying it with the way it tunnels off of his 88-82 mph fastball. Kopps occasionally mixes in a below-average curveball that sits in the mid-70s and has toyed with a fringe-average changeup, but his slider is what determines his success.

    The Future: Kopps will turn 25 before Opening Day and doesn't have much development left. He'll likely start the year in the upper levels and could crack the Padres bullpen by the end of the season.

  29. 29. Cole Cummings | 1B
    Cole Cummings
    Born: Jun 20, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 205
    Minors: .226/.354/.380 | 12 HR | 9 SB | 358 AB

    BA Grade: 40/High

    August Update: An undrafted free agent signed by the Padres last year, Cummings has emerged as organization's best pure hitters in the lower levels. He has a sound swing, an advanced approach and is getting stronger to impact the ball more. He is a fringy defender at first base and needs to improve, but his bat is real and gives him a chance to rise.

  30. 30. Henry Baez | RHP
    Henry Baez
    Born: Oct 12, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 175
    Minors: 1-4 | 3.82 ERA | 41 SO | 13 BB | 31 IP

    BA Grade: 45/Extreme

    August Update: Baez has some of the best arm strength in the organization and generates naturally carry on his plus fastball. His breaking ball and changeup are both works in progress and his control is below-average, but his youth and fastball make him intriguing.

View Players 11-30

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