Name to Remember: Padres Infield Prospect Esteban Quiroz

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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 RosterResourceGreg 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.

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  1. OldSaltUSNR

    Here’s another name to remember: Luis Urias

    Urias will be the starting second basemen for the Padres, not Greg Garcia, Jose Pirela, or Carlos Asuaje. Stating that “second base may be the most shallow position in the Padres organization” is a little bit ignorant, and I say that without even a bit of pejorative intent.

    The Padres have the deepest farm system in baseball, period. They have a half dozen infield prospects in the MLB top 200, and in particular, at SS, who would be in the “top 10 prospects” in over half the team’s systems in MLB. Any one of those SS could easily slide in over at second base, and like Urias, frequently do. The Padres have been fielding TWO Arizona fall (i.e. rookie) leagues the past two years. They simply don’t have enough teams and slots to give all of these prospects a place to play. And again, these are very high quality prospects, across the board.

    Here’s another name to remember: Owen Miller.

    He was a second round draft pick, and signed last June just out of college. had a chance to take a look at him in short-season “A” (“Dust Devils”, Pasco, WA) a few weeks after he signed. I immediately noticed both his 60-level mobility and play making on defense, at a 60-level hit tool as well. All he did in half a season was put out a .336/.386/.460/.846 slash line while playing in short season A, low A, and a cameo appearance in the AA playoffs. Miller is in no way even considered the Padres top 2 or 3 infield prospect talent (though that may change for 2019). He could start next season at either single A or AA, again, less than a half season out of college.

    I really hope Esteban Quiroz is a real find for the Padres, and think he’ll so well. He will have to be something really special to stand out in the Padres stacked farm system. They aren’t “shallow” anywhere in the roster, at this point, though as AJ Preller says, you can never have enough pitching. Plus, given that “prospects” become “suspects” about 8 times out of 10, we’re happy to see Quiroz is joining the Padres party.

    Reply
    • Joe Orsatti

      Good Evening!
      I appreciate your comment. I actually didn’t know about Owen Miller, and upon researching him, he’s a very underrated prospect. In looking at the depth chart, and who would start at second, bench etc. I was under the assumption that Urias would be playing shortstop, as Galvis departed as a free agent. Nevertheless, it’s still early in the offseason and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Padres go out and acquire a shortstop.

      You are completely correct in that infield is not even close to the most shallow position. I made the claim under the impression that the Padres, who seem motivated to move Myers, could eventually move Tatis to third, allowing Urias to remain at short. I will admit, though, my claim was certainly overblown, as I failed to recognize that there are other obvious guys at third base like Potts or France who could prevent that from happening.

      Thank you again for reading and taking the time to comment, I always love hearing other perspectives, as they help me in making my pieces as accurate and informative as possible!

      If you are interested in other Padres prospects, be sure to check out Robbie Podorsky. Day three pick in 2017 and has proven to be an excellent hitter and boasts borderline elite speed.

      Reply
      • Christopher Nystrom

        Jason Vosler, whom the Padres also just picked up (from the Cubs) is also in the mix to compete for a starting job at 3B.

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