The backfields at Peoria Sports Complex will get more active on Wednesday morning when the Padres’ minor league minicamp opens with 27 pitchers and 25 position players getting in work with nearly as many player development staff.
While the full minor league camp won’t open until March 1, mini-camp – which continues a nearly year-round operation that gives different players at multiple levels access to the organization’s facilities and instructors – provides an opportunity for younger players to get an early start on their work and get more one-on-one instruction than is possible once nearly 240 players are in the big league and minor league camps.
In the last two years, the club used the camp to evaluate some older minor league free agent signees and players who might be on the bubble for roster spots. However, with more home-grown talent now ready to fill most of the El Paso and San Antonio rosters, this year’s minicamp will feature only two players – righty Chris Huffman and lefty Jerry Keel – who finished last year above Single-A.
While the top-ranked prospects in the upper minors are all getting their first taste of big league camp, MacKenzie Gore, Michel Baez, Adrian Morejon and virtually every other player who appeared on top 30 lists over the winter will be on the other side of the complex.
The pitching group will be an equal mix of starters and relievers, giving some younger arms who won’t have the chance to amass big inning totals during the season a chance to work with the coaching staff. That includes Eric Junge, who replaces Mark Prior as pitching coordinator this season, long-time instructor Gorm Heimueller, and Steve Lyons, who takes on the title of Director, Pitching Development after five years as a special assignment scout for the club. Lyons (no relation to long-time big-leaguer “Psycho” Steve Lyons) spent over a decade as a pitching coach for the Indians system.
Position players will be under the tutelage of Chris Kemp, who was appointed field coordinator after Luis Ortiz joined Prior in the Dodgers organization this winter, and his staff.
The full minicamp roster is below.
|Right Handed Pitchers||Catchers|
|Avila, Pedro||Campusano, Luis|
|Baez, Michel||Fernandez, Juan|
|Bolanos, Ronald||Greene, Marcus|
|Guerrero, Jordan||Homza, Jonny|
|Henry, Henry||Hunt, Blake|
|Huffman, Chris||Kennedy, A.J.|
|Martinez, Adrian||Almanzar, Luis|
|Munoz, Andres||Arias, Gabriel|
|Paddack, Chris||Barley, Jordy|
|Patino, Luis||Ilarraza, Reinaldo|
|Reyes, Gerardo||Lopez, Justin|
|Rodriguez, Hansel||Potts, Hudson|
|Scholtens, Jesse||Rosario, Eguy|
|Smith, Austin||Ruiz, Esteury|
|Thompson, Mason||Zunica, Brad|
|Left Handed Pitchers||Carter, Tre|
|Allen, Logan||Easley, Nate|
|Cosgrove, Tom||Gettys, Michael|
|Gore, MacKenzie||House, Mason|
|Hernandez, Osvaldo||Olivares, Edward|
|Keel, Jerry||Ona, Jorge|
|Leasher, Aaron||Ornelas, Tirso|
|Margevicius, Nicholas||Reed, Buddy|
|Morejon, Adrian||Rosario, Jeisson|
|Perez, Ramon||Suwinski, Jack|