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:

Right-Handed Pitchers Infielders
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
Reiss Knehr
Chris Lincoln Outfielders
Frank Lopez Jawuan Harris
Adrian Martinez Hudson Head
Brayan Medina Grant Little
Mason Thompson Joshua Mears
Tirso Ornelas
Left-Handed Pitchers Junior Perez
Jason Blanchard Jeisson Rosario
Joey Cantillo Agustin Ruiz
Omar Cruz Angel Solarte
Ethan Elliott Dwanya Williams-Sutton
Jesus Gonzalez
Osvaldo Hernandez Utility
Aaron Leasher Matthew Batten
Bodi Rascon Allen Cordoba
Erik Sabrowski Esteury Ruiz
Ryan Weathers
Jared Alvarez-Lopez
Juan Fernandez
Jonny Homza
Blake Hunt
Brandon Valenzuela


Posted by David Jay

David has written for MadFriars since 2005, has published articles in Baseball America, written a monthly column for FoxSports San Diego and appeared on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He may be best known on the island of Guam for his photos of Trae Santos that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.


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