Heading towards the 2016 season, the Padres farm system looks immensely different than it did two years ago, and quite different than even last year. New general manager A.J. Preller gutted the farm system following the 2014 season, trading away quite a bit of talent in order to hopefully field a winning roster at the big league level. The Padres were able to acquire Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Maurer, and Will Middlebrooks for quite a bit of talent at both the big league and minor league level. Following the trades that brought all those players to San Diego, the Padres had lost two top ten prospects, including Matt Wisler and Trea Turner, several other big league talents, such as Yasmani Grandal, Joe Ross, Jesse Hahn, and other prospects at the minor league level, including Mallex Smith, Max Fried, and Burch Smith, not to mention several others.
Obviously in hindsight that strategy failed miserably, but Preller and company have saved a least a little face with the moves so far this offseason. In trading away Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit and Yonder Alonso, the Padres have rebuilt their farm system at least somewhat, with the additions of Javier Guerra, Manuel Margot, Logan Allen, Carlos Asuaje, Enyel De Los Santos, and Jose Torres. The Padres farm system may not be as good as it was prior to the flurry of trades last offseason, but the team has definitely recovered well with intelligent trades and strong draft picks.
As with all the lists we will be putting out, the rankings are based upon in-person evaluations, video evaluations, extensive readings of other scouting reports, and conversations with scouts.
One little missed detail: Liriano missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm. His MLB call-up and poor hitting in 2014 can be traced back to the lack of playing time the previous year. What REALLY concerns Padres brass is the strikeouts.