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San Diego Padres

Heyman | Padres have prospects to turn around fast

Jon Heyman



USA Today Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias are wowing people at San Diego Padres camp.

Urias is the less-heralded player of the two, but scouts are predicting big things for him now.

“He’s going to rake,” said one.

Tatis looks like everything folks envisioned, and more.

“He’s special,” said one scout. “He can do everything.”

Tatis is only 19 and will start the year in the minors. But the Padres haven’t ruled bringing him up at some point this year. They also believe he has the tools to remain at shortstop — beliefs backed up Wednesday when he made a web gem of a play

Tatis, who came over from the White Sox for James Shields, signed for about $700,000, and Urias for about $200,000 out of the Mexican League. The Padres do a terrific job scouting Latin America, and that will likely pay off.

They are said to be shooting to contend in 2020. But they aren’t ruling out sooner.

The Padres have so many good prospects they are now ranked in the top four by everyone and No. 1 by a few. Some organizations seem to specialize in position players or pitchers. But they have both.

MacKenzie Gore, whom they took No. 3 overall, is the show-stopper of the pitchers. He’s a lefty who’s a very athletic kid and possesses a special repertoire. No less than Eric Hosmer likened him to Madison Bumgarner, who is not exactly a happy memory for an ex-Royal. Even if there’s only one MadBum, a scout declared that Gore is indeed “an ace in the making.”

The Padres also have nice depth in the pitching ranks, with Miguel Diaz, Adrian Morejon, Cal Quantrill (the son of Paul), Jacob Nix, Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi and others. It’s a rather deep roster of prospects. But the stars this spring are clearly Urias and Tatis.

“We’ve had s nice camp,” Padres GM A.J. Preller said. “From our standpoint it’s s confirmation of what we’re trying to do.”

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for FanRag Sports, featuring breaking news, information and his Inside Baseball column, which appears on FanRagSports.com every Thursday. Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009 and is a regular contributor to WFAN in New York, where he appears weekly on the Joe and Evan Show and previously appeared on the Mike and the Mad Dog Show. He also appears on WSCR in Chicago, WBZ-FM in Boston and the Petros and Money Show on Fox in Los Angeles. Heyman comes to FanRag Sports from CBSSports.com, where he worked for five years and wrote the popular Inside Baseball notes column. Before going to CBS, Heyman worked for five years at Sports Illustrated and SI.com, where he was a senior writer and started an Inside Baseball Column. Heyman worked for 16 years at Newsday in New York, where he was the Yankees beat writer, a baseball columnist and finally a general sports columnist. Heyman started his career at the Moline (Ill.) Daily Dispatch, then moved to the Los Angeles Copley Newspapers (Torrance Daily Breeze and Santa Monica Outlook) before going to Newsday. Heyman at one time also served as a national baseball writer for The Sporting News. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, N.M. native grew up in Cedarhurst, N.Y., on Long Island.