As the San Diego Padres’ big leaguers were scheduled to begin Cactus League play on Saturday, 50 minor league prospects will report to minicamp to begin preparations for their 2020 season.
The participants – a slightly smaller group than has been involved in the pre-spring training work in recent years – will get more individualized coaching than will be possible when almost 200 players report for full squad work on March 10. The Padres will have more than 25 managers, coaches and instructors from the player development group in uniform to work with the minicamp group.
Panamanian shortstop Reginald Preciado, who was among the club’s highest-profile July 2 signees last year and won’t turn 17 until May, will be the youngest participant. He’s joined by hard-throwing Venezuelan righty Brayan Medina as the only 2019 international free agents invited to participate.
At the other end of the age spectrum, utility player Matthew Batten – who turns 25 this summer and has already logged almost 400 plate appearances in Triple-A – is also in camp early. The late-round pick out of Quinnipiac University arrived in Peoria last spring with more strength and an impact-focused approach at the plate that impressed the organization. He logged time at five different positions and even threw seven effective innings of relief for El Paso.
Only Allen Cordoba, who spent the 2017 season on the big league roster as a Rule 5 selection, has more upper-level exposure than Batten.
CJ Abrams, Joshua Mears and Hudson Head, the trio of high school position players from the top of last year’s draft class will all be in camp as well. Both Abrams and Head were shut down at the end of last season, but were active in time for the Don Welke Classic. All three are in the mix to open the 2020 campaign with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
Minicamp provides a unique opportunity for players to showcase themselves to the front office and other teams’ scouting departments. Of the 52 players who participated last spring, 12 are currently in big league camp. Four pitchers who got underway last year in the program went on to make their big league debuts.
The full roster is below:
|Luarbert Arias||CJ Abrams|
|Dylan Coleman||Jordy Barley|
|Efrain Contreras||Justin Lopez|
|Drake Fellows||Carlos Luis|
|Mason Fox||Tucupita Marcano|
|Carlos Guarate||Reginald Preciado|
|Jordan Guerrero||Eguy Rosario|
|Henry Henry||Yeison Santana|
|Frank Lopez||Jawuan Harris|
|Adrian Martinez||Hudson Head|
|Brayan Medina||Grant Little|
|Mason Thompson||Joshua Mears|
|Left-Handed Pitchers||Junior Perez|
|Jason Blanchard||Jeisson Rosario|
|Joey Cantillo||Agustin Ruiz|
|Omar Cruz||Angel Solarte|
|Ethan Elliott||Dwanya Williams-Sutton|
|Aaron Leasher||Matthew Batten|
|Bodi Rascon||Allen Cordoba|
|Erik Sabrowski||Esteury Ruiz|