Padres On Deck: Top Prospects on Display Saturday at Petco Park
Tatis, Esteury Ruiz, Potts, Morejon, Baez among top-30 prospects in Padres On Deck Game
By Bill Center
The Padres will be offering another sneak peek into the club’s future Saturday night at Petco Park.
The event is the second Padres On Deck Futures Game matching young players from the Padres Arizona Instructional League program with those from the Texas Rangers.
The game starts at 5:40 p.m. Complimentary tickets are available here.
“This is a great opportunity for our young prospects to get a taste of the Major League environment while letting our fans get a look at promising players they’ve probably only read about or heard about,” said Sam Geaney, the Padres Director of Player Development.
“There’s a huge benefit for us and the players,” continued Geaney. “It’s cool from a lot of angles. It gives them a taste of what awaits them if they continue to work hard and develop. There is clearly bonding between the players in this visit to San Diego and throughout the Arizona Instructional League program.”
The Padres roster for their On Deck Game visit includes half of their Top-30 prospects with most of those expected to play Saturday night.
Right-hander Jacob Nix, the Padres’ №15 prospect, is expected to start the game for the Padres. Also expected to pitch are young Cuban prospects Adrian Morejon and Michel Baez — the club’s Nos. 6 and 7 prospects, respectively.
Among the players expected to see action today are infielders Fernando Tatis Jr., Esteury Ruiz, Hudson Potts, Gabriel Arias, Justin Lopez, and Eguy Rosario; outfielder Jorge Oña, Tirso Ornelas and Jeisson Rosario and catcher Luis Campusano.
Each is a Top-30 prospect.
“This has been a fun year,” continued Geaney. “There has been a lot of cool development at every level of the organization. We’re very excited about these players and others who advanced in the organization this season.”
Most of the players at Petco Park tonight spent this past season playing at Single-A Fort Wayne, Short-Season Single-A Tri-City and in the Arizona Rookie League.
Although Saturday’s game is open to the public, the Padres and Rangers prospects have been in San Diego since Thursday night. The teams play a pair of seven-inning games at Petco Park Friday afternoon which are closed to the public.
“Everyone we’ve brought to San Diego will be playing Friday,” said Geaney. “We want everyone to get a taste.”
This is the third straight year that the Padres brought players from the Arizona Instructional League to Petco Park.
“In 2015, we ran a less publicized version,” said Geaney. “We did it during the middle of the Instructional League and played after the Padres last home game. We returned to Arizona for another week and learned it was tough to keep everyone motivated for that week after visiting Petco Park.”
Last year the Padres and Rangers were at Petco Park under the current format.
“Geographically, it works for us,” said Geaney. “Not only is it a chance to visit and play in a Major League facility, this trip takes them out of their comfort zone. Many of these players have been in Arizona the past four months. We don’t want to spoil the kids, but we want to give them a taste of what awaits them.”
“And the Rangers as partners seem to be a good fit. It’s a big commitment and investment.”