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.”