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Minor League Discussion

To be clear don't see starter quality in Mateo ....  and even very marginal as the 1st back-up ... BUT on the 2021 Padres he may have a very valuable role as the 13th position player. Part because of no real completion but more because the core 8 position players will play almost every day (not a lot of platooning needed) ... then a DH (Moreland) and a back-up catcher. If the Padres go with a "quality" back-up OF and a "quality" back up INF might end up with limited versatility. Mateo can be that 2nd back-up INF and OF embodied in one player with the ability to play SS and CF.

Keep in mind that if you pull a DH for the field due to injury ... loose the DH ... and that may come into play if they choose us to the first back-up INF or OF as the RHH option to complement Moreland. Mateo gives some protection for either option. (Should keep that in mind if using the back-up catcher as DH ... if so, maybe three catchers which would take out one back-up INF or OF ... making INF/OF versatility in one player even more useful).

Considerations working for Mateo (and resigning Profar) and working against Garcia (INF only), Allen (OF only), Ona (corner OF only).

Mateo would not play much (maybe PR, maybe defensive replacement late in games for resting starters) ... given his minor league history hitting ... might be OK with that.

 

Linked to the Mateo dissertation ... Padres have no real 2021 better options sitting in AAA/AA positioned to move up ... worse if the don't resign Profar.

Almonte and Allen are out of options but neither could hold ML roles as OF only types. Ona is a corner OF only and really needs minor league time to get his ABs. Then ?????????? Don't see any of them as the #1 back-up OF.

Same lack of back-up INF coming ... Garcia as #1 back-up INF ... then ?????? in AAA/AA for middle INF.

Padres may need to focus on upgrading #1 back-up INF and #1 back-up middle INF ... leaving Mateo in that #2 back-up role for both.

Padres may need to focus on upgrading #1 back-up INF and #1 back-up middle INF ... leaving Mateo in that #2 back-up role for both.

Exactly.  Kind of why Profar could be so key; this season he's both of those #1 backups.

Remember this may be an all time bad (for players) Free Agency year.  The Padres decisive moves to upgrade looks even better here.  You're San Fran or Colorado.  What the #(%# do you do heading into 2021?   You've got 2 juggernauts positioned much better than you JUST IN YOUR DIVISION.  Not saying they're going to wave the white flag (like Dbacks did)... but it's going to inform their decisions; chasing 1 team a mile ahead of you is one thing, chasing 2...

Even with expanded playoffs likely again next season, the economic uncertainty will provide the cover, but the distance from also ran status to the top 7-8 teams in MLB (that Padres are now clearly one of), will be the real reason many teams choose to "tank" by slashing payroll.  I think you'll see it at all but the very top tier of FA... the Betts deal is NOT representative of what the market will be.

Padres $ situation aside, they should have plenty of decent bench options out there cut loose from other teams.  Not to mention another even lower tier of FA forced to take minors deals.

Dennis Lin
The Padres' instructs players will participate in a quad league with prospects from the Mariners, Royals and Rangers organizations. There also will be weekly games against Dodgers minor leaguers.
Josh Norris
The instructional league is going to be massive this year, especially in Arizona, where all 15 teams are participating. Here’s the full inter-squad game schedule (teams might have other workouts or intrasquads slated) for that state. baseballamerica.com/stories/2020-a

Thanks for finding that.... Great news!   This pertinent info was in the article:

The number of games each team plays will vary—some teams won’t begin playing games until as late as Oct. 14 and the Athletics, White Sox, Reds and Indians will all wrap up on Oct. 31.

But everyone will get between 17 games (the Cubs) and 40 games (the ambitious Padres who doubled up for two games on six different days) against outside competition. The games will provide needed innings and at-bats for minor leaguers, especially for those who did not get invitations to the alternate sites during the MLB season.

LOOVVVE "the ambitious Padres".  Love that Preller (& owners) are willing to spend a little bit more $ & risk injuries to actually DEVELOP some young guys missing out at a critical time.  Getting 40 instructs games in is about 1/3 of a full season Minors schedule; likely a very big roster.  Will be interesting to see if it's all younger guys or (I expect) more of an all-star league across all levels.

I expect a large mix of players across all levels. Big complex that handles everyone in a normal ST for the minor leaguers ... so room. Then the games don't reflect the "inter-squad" work probably on all the fields.

Probably see prospects being shuffled in and out of the "games" so many get that exposure. Also, could see the clubs agree that some games are for lower level prospects and other games for upper level prospects.

Because of the trade of so many minor leaguers and the upcoming expected shrinkage in the number of minor league teams, this truly is a showcase into 2021.  Those that show well could make jumps over where they would have been assigned; those that are a little older or on the bubble, are going to be playing for their careers in the organization.  There still are international signees to come on board in January and those signed for last year, never got to play, so expect they'll be significant cuts at the lower levels from the Dominican through Tri-City and then a lot of patching and filling with minor league FA's to fill some holes where our current players haven't shown well.  I hope MadFriars has extensive coverage of the instructional league so we get a peek at who may be coming up in the next few years.

From what I can tell the Padres have probably a significant excess of "bodies" to fill A+ and lower (especially if they eliminate SS Tri-Cities and cap AZ at 50. Just virtually none are AA material yet.

On the other hand, might be a big shortage of AAA/AA "bodies" ... especially in field positions. That is still assuming everyone who could return ... will return vs retiring or going to another organization as a minor league FA.

Fine line for the Padres to walk in jumping a prospect to AA if not ready ... considering the "best prospects" seem to already making a jump to A/A+. Padres will probably be on the hunt for a lot of journeyman minor league FA just to create fill in AAA/AA for 2021 and let the lower prospect develop on their timeline.

I guess Preller could target some AAA/AA bodies as he works to deal some of the out of option players .... they would serve to support AAA/AA rosters and provide some emergency call up protection since given the 40 man after the FA depart and the out of option players depart after ST ... no rostered 40 INF and only Ona as an OF.

Small stuff on the fringe ... but over a full season of 162 games ... has some importance to get right.

Quote from fenn68 on September 21, 2020, 1:20 pm

I expect a large mix of players across all levels. Big complex that handles everyone in a normal ST for the minor leaguers ... so room. Then the games don't reflect the "inter-squad" work probably on all the fields.

Probably see prospects being shuffled in and out of the "games" so many get that exposure. Also, could see the clubs agree that some games are for lower level prospects and other games for upper level prospects.

Sounds like you're right!  UT said "54" players?!  Sounds insane, but more the merrier, and essentially 2 teams worth to accomodate the 6 days where they play 2 games; basically split squads.

https://theathletic.com/2099849/2020/09/30/the-bell-road-bonanza-four-teams-six-weeks-and-a-whole-lot-of-prospects/

My favorite line from this article: No organization has scheduled more games this fall in Arizona.

--

San Diego Padres

In July, after it became official that there would be no minor-league season, farm director Sam Geaney indicated that the Padres intended to make the most of whatever developmental opportunities might await them later in the year.

“Based on when the timing is right or when the conditions in the world are right, I know that we are going to be aggressive on getting our group back together,” Geaney said at the time.

Now, the Padres are following through on that promise. More than 50 players will convene on San Diego’s side of the Peoria Sports Complex. Besides playing in games in the quad league, Padres prospects will face their Dodgers counterparts on a weekly basis (Los Angeles’ complex is a short drive away.) No organization has scheduled more games this fall in Arizona.

Names to note: Almost all of the prospects who spent time at the Padres’ alternate training site will be in Peoria. The roster includes infielders C.J. Abrams, Tucupita Marcano and Reginald Preciado; catcher Blake Hunt; pitchers Justin Lange and Cole Wilcox; and outfielders Robert Hassell III and Owen Caissie. Another outfielder, Hudson Head, will be in Arizona rehabbing a hamstring injury. The two exceptions, lefties MacKenzie Gore and Ryan Weathers, are part of the Padres’ 40-man postseason bubble. Other players to note include shortstop Yeison Santana, right-hander Mason Thompson and second baseman Esteury Ruiz.

Who to watch: Scouts wouldn’t be surprised if Abrams is a top-five prospect in baseball a year from now, if not No. 1. In the absence of formal games, the shortstop should have benefited from spending his summer training alongside major leaguers and other talented prospects. A jump to Double-A next season seems possible.

— Dennis Lin