San Diego, CA- Jim Callis of MLB.com has released his new Top 100 prospects based on performances this season and the 2014 MLB Draft. The San Diego Padres have one prospect in the Top 50 and overall four in the Top 100.
Here’s a summary of the four San Diego Padres involved. You can access the full list here.
#26 – Austin Hedges (C)
Even coming out of high school, Hedges was known as an elite defender behind the plate. He quickly has become the best defensive catcher in the Minor Leagues, though his bat isn’t as advanced as his glove.
Hedges is the complete package behind the plate, with quiet hands, good footwork and a strong arm. Though he’s struggled offensively against more advanced pitchers in the Texas League, he is not an all-glove, no-bat player. Hedges’ balanced swing produces line drives to all fields, and he has good raw power. Like most catchers, he is a below-average runner.
The San Diego Padres have pushed Hedges aggressively, and he has responded well. Though he still has plenty of room for improvement, he’s well on his way to reaching his projection as an everyday catcher in the Major Leagues. - Jim Callis
#59 – Max Fried (SP)
Fried was the top high school pitcher selected in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He spent his first full professional season with Class A Fort Wayne, where his 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings ranked second among starters in the Midwest League. Fried’s progress was delayed this year, however, as he missed the first three months of the season due to forearm soreness.
All three of Fried’s pitches project to be at least Major League-average offerings. His fastball sits in the low 90s, and it routinely touches 95 mph. Scouts believe Fried will fill out his wiry frame. His power curveball is his best offspeed pitch, and his changeup has improved since his amateur days.
Fried has a good pickoff move, and he earns high marks for his athleticism. He has had some control problems as a professional, but he should be able to straighten those out as he gets more experience. - Jim Callis
#69 -Matthew Wisler (SP)
Wisler reached Triple-A El Paso as a 21-year-old this year after blowing through the low Minors.
Wisler throws his fastball in the low-to-mid 90s, with good movement. His slider is his best secondary pitch, and he also throws a changeup and a curveball. Wisler commands all of his pitches very well, walking 2.2 batters per nine innings in his first two full Minor League seasons.
Wisler earns praise for his poise and work ethic. Though he has been challenged by the older hitters and the difficult pitching environments of the Pacific Coast League, the San Diego Padres remain excited to see how good he can be. - Jim Callis
#78 – Hunter Renfroe (OF)
Renfroe has quickly earned a promotion to Double-A San Antonio in his first full professional season. His above-average raw power is his most impressive skill, and he’s showed it off in the Minor Leagues. Renfroe’s swing has some length to it, and he’ll have to prove he can adjust to more advanced pitching.
Renfroe has a strong arm, and he profiles well in right field. He earns praise for his athleticism and baseball instincts. - Jim Callis
We could very well see three of these prospects in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres at some point in 2015. Matt Wisler is expected to be called up at some point before this season is over and he is expected to be the Padres number five starter in the rotation next season. Austin Hedges and Hunter Renfroe are continuing to develop at the plate in Double-A San Antonio and are expected to be in the Major Leagues by the second half of next season.