Tatis, hurlers forecast sunny days in San Diego
This offseason, MiLB.com is taking a look at the most outstanding campaigns by players in each system across Minor League Baseball and honoring the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in their organization.Since the Padres' last winning season -- 2010, the year
This offseason, MiLB.com is taking a look at the most outstanding campaigns by players in each system across Minor League Baseball and honoring the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in their organization.
Since the Padres' last winning season -- 2010, the year they traded
"We're pleased to have seen an accumulation of talent over the last two or three years in the organization. It's a testament to our scouting staff -- professional, amateur and international," said Sam Geaney, who's been the Padres' director of player development since October 2014. "It's a talented group and we're proud of the work our development staff has done to see steps forward. But it starts with the talent we're given."
A lot of that talent is in pitching. Ignoring those honored below,
There's also plenty of middle infield talent. As
On top of those riches, San Diego has outfielders ready to establish themselves as everyday big leaguers (
Looking for results? Three Padres affiliates played postseason ball. Triple-A El Paso and Class A Fort Wayne reached their respective Championship Series, and Double-A San Antonio reached the semifinals.
Padres Organization All-Stars
"[His production is] a pretty good bet to continue going forward," Geaney said. "I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge it's a good place to hit, but he's hit since we've had him."
Over 750 2/3 innings, the 2015 fourth-round pick allowed six passed balls, although he threw out 21 percent of potential basestealers.
"We saw strides," Geaney said, crediting Allen's work with catching instructor John Nester. "I think you find times to get him a DH at-bat and then he's in a better position to last through the rigors of catching, but his arm strength definitely improved, his release has gotten better and we expect there will be smaller continued adjustments."
First baseman --
"It was a very aggressive assignment for him in 2016 to go out and play a full season," Geaney said of the 2015 15th-rounder. "It made sense to challenge him and we did it knowing ... there was a possibility he was going to have to repeat the level. He's always been a good worker, but a year of professional baseball under his belt paid dividends. He's also a guy who ... learned the value of a walk."
Second baseman --
"Just a very natural pure hitter. He's very athletic and he runs well," Geaney said. "He improved a lot defensively with his throwing and angles to the baseball since we've had him. He acclimated very well to a new team in his first year playing in the States. He's fun to be around and he loves to work. He's very much a Padre."
Third baseman --
"[Acquiring Villanueva] was very much an upside play on a guy who's still very talented, still quite young," Geaney said. "He was one of our best players in El Paso. He's a former shortstop, very athletic, and he did a good job at third base."
"I was there during his first few games in Double-A. It very much looked right. He looked like he belonged at that level as an 18-year-old kid who would have been in high school and Draft-eligible [this year] had he been born in the States," Geaney said. "With all players, but especially in Fernando's case, we're asking ourselves, 'Are they at appropriate levels? Are they being challenged?' It got to the point where it was not much of a challenge for Fernando the last couple weeks in the Midwest League."
• On the blog: Tatis promotion had ripple effect
Tatis notched 18 total bases and three steals in his first 14 games with San Antonio, then hit .350/.391/.550 with five runs scored in five playoff games. The Dominican-born son of an 11-year Major League veteran also played winter ball games in his home country.
This year, he batted .326/.369/.603 with 17 dingers, 21 doubles and 15 steals. The 23-year-old speedster's 18 triples tied for tops in the Minor Leagues, even though he played only 93 games in the PCL.
"He's one of the fastest players in all of professional baseball. He's one of the best athletes we've got," Geaney said. "The nuts and bolts of learning the center field position came very easily to him. There's still work to be done, to continue to get him in the strike zone a little more, to get him on base a little more. But it's been a pretty rapid ascent for a guy who was in low-A, playing shortstop two years ago."
"It's a strong Triple-A performance, and the more opportunities he has at the Major League level, the better chance there is that things are going to click and he's going to get closer to mimicking the performance," Geaney said.
Right-handed starting pitcher --
"He throws strikes. He's very intelligent.," Geaney said. "Going forward, we can see him in a variety of roles. He definitely has value as a starter and he put himself on the radar for us, and I imagine for other organizations, with his strike-throwing."
Left-handed starting pitcher --
"Joey probably separated himself a little more than anyone else, if we're talking pure performance," Geaney said. "There is some funk to how he does things. He has a unique look and delivery, but you can't mistake his stuff for just deception."
Lucchesi also turned in seven scoreless innings in his lone postseason start.
Relief pitcher --
Josh Jackson is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB.