The Padres went into last Tuesday with a major roster crunch. With one of the best farm systems in the game, one would expect them to lose some legitimate prospects in the up-coming Rule V Draft, but not only did A.J. Preller manage to protect all of his top prospects, but added another to the cupboards.
Around noon on Tuesday, it was announced that the Red Sox acquired right-handed reliever Colten Brewer from the Padres in exchange for second baseman Esteban Quiroz. Exactly who is Quiroz? The little known minor leaguer was described by most outlets as an infielder who spent an injury shortened 2018 season with Double-A Portland and wouldn’t be Rule V eligible for a few seasons. Unfortunately, many left out the fact that his plate discipline borders on elite, and despite the fact that he’s only 5’7″, he has 20-home run power potential.
Over 104 plate appearances in Double-A, he slashed .299/.413/.598 with seven home runs and a 13:19 ratio for walks to strikeouts. Furthermore, to refute the argument that his sample size wasn’t large enough, over 2,277 plate appearances in the Mexican League, he slashed .289/.396/.432 with a cumulative 48 home runs and 34 stolen bases. He managed to walk 298 times compared to just 331 strikeouts.In their recent acquisition of Esteban Quiroz, the @Padres got a diamond in the rough, according to @OrsattiJoe.Click To Tweet
My projections for the 2019 season have him slashing .250/.356/.444 with a 12.27% walk rate, a 14.048% strikeout rate and a 162-game home run rate of 22. Some may be thinking that there is obvious bias that went into this projection, as I have written about him four times over the past year, but I’m not alone this season as FanGraphs has him slashing .252/.334/.401 while reporting that based on his bat, he has the chance to play second base every day.
I would imagine Quiroz will begin the 2019 season at Triple-A El Paso, and should have a field day with the Pacific Coast League. Furthermore, he finds himself in an organization that can give him a legitimate opportunity, as second base may be the most shallow position in the Padres organization. According to RosterResource, Greg Garcia is slated to begin the 2019 season platooning with Jose Pirela and other than Carlos Asuaje, they lack viable alternatives in case of injury, while lacking any can’t miss second base prospects over the age of 20. Barring the signing of a legitimate free agent, Quiroz could actually be starting at the cornerstone by the end of 2019.
While Brewer is certainly no slouch, as I have him projected to post a solid 3.74 ERA next season, the Padres definitely got the better end of the deal here.