15) Enyel De Los Santos – RHP
Date of Birth: 12/25/1995
Height/Weight: 6’3”/ 170 pounds
Acquired: Trade with the Seattle Mariners in 2015
The best name in the recent trade that sent RHP Joaquin Benoit to the Seattle Mariners, Enyel De Los Santos is a soon to be 20-year-old reliever. Signed out of the Dominican Republic just last year, De Los Santos started 13 games between Rookie Ball and Low A Ball last season. In Rookie Ball, De Los Santos had a 2.55 ERA in 24 2/3 innings, and a 4.06 ERA in 37 2/3 innings in Low A Ball. De Los Santos also had a K/9 of over 10.00 in both leagues and a BB/9 rate around 2.40 combined between the two leagues.
De Los Santos currently projects as a medium ceiling arm. He throws his fastball in the 89-92 mph range, but hit as high as 93-94 mph during last season. He pairs that with a 73-76 mph curveball that he can throw consistently for strikes, making him a decent two-pitch pitcher. De Los Santos struggles at times with his fastball command, but has the athletic build of a long term Major League pitcher. At only 19 years old, De Los Santos has plenty of time to develop into his body and improve on his pitching repertoire in the long term.
14) Cory Mazzoni – RHP
Date of Birth: 10/19/1989
Height/Weight: 6’1”/ 190 pounds
Acquired: Trade with New York Mets in 2015
Initially drafted by the New York Mets in the second round (71st overall) of the 2011 Draft, Mazzoni was traded to the Padres prior to last season for left handed reliever Alex Torres. Mazzoni spent most of his season in Triple A last year, finishing with an ERA of 3.97 in 34 innings, while also throwing 8 2/3 innings at the big league level, to the tune of an ERA of 20.77. Mazzoni obviously struggled mightily in his short stint in the big leagues, seeming overmatched by big league talent.
Despite his struggles in the Major Leagues, and at the age of 26 no less, Mazzoni still has a good amount of upside for the Padres in the short, and more importantly, long term. Mazzoni initially came up in the minor leagues as a starter, but seems better fit to be a reliever long term, as evidenced by his usage by the Padres in 2015. Mazzoni sits 93-95 mph with his fastball with several good off-speed offerings. Given the depth in the Mets pitching rotation, Mazzoni was viewed as a reliever, and it seems the Padres view him in a similar light, as he was used exclusively out of the bullpen with the Padres in 2015. As a reliever, Mazzoni has the potential upside of a strong set up man or even a closer long term.
13) Rymer Liriano – OF
Date of Birth: 06/20/1991
Height/Weight: 6’0”/ 230 pounds
Acquired: International Signing in 2008 out of The Dominican Republic
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, Liriano is entering his eighth season in the San Diego Padres organization. Despite all that time in the system, Liriano only first saw big league playing time in 2014. In that limited playing time, Liriano slashed .220/.289/.266 in 121 plate appearances over 38 games. Liriano then started, and finished, the 2015 season in Triple A with the El Paso Chihuahas, ending the season with a slash line of .292/.383/.460 and a wRC+ of 128. Liriano has showed some flashes of brilliance over the course of his minor league career, but he has yet to earn the trust or backing of any team executives at the Major League level.
Liriano most recently appeared on Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel’s Top 200 prospect list prior to the 2015 season, ending up in the bottom fifty of that list, showing he still has some upside long term despite his slow development. With a solid overall build, a strong throwing arm, above average power and speed, Liriano has all the tools he needs to succeed as a starting outfielder or, more likely, a fourth outfielder. Liriano has had some struggles at the plate with discipline and approach, but he has been able to make adjustments at each level he has advanced. At worst, Liriano is a strong option to be a fourth outfielder off the bench for the Padres in 2016 and beyond. At best, Liriano does still have some starting potential if he can work out the remaining kinks in his game.
12) Ryan Butler – RHP
Date of Birth: 02/23/1992
Height/Weight: 6’5”/ 220 pounds
Acquired: Drafted in the seventh round (207th overall) in 2014 Draft
Drafted by the Padres in 2014, Butler is a RHP who has split time between starting and relieving over his first two professional seasons. Butler split time between four different levels last season, finishing the year in Double A ball. In 46 2/3 innings at Single A last season, Butler finished with an ERA of 3.66. In Double A, Butler finished with an ERA of 4.76 in only 17 innings. Butler had a K/9 of just under 6.00 in Single A, and just over 3.00 in Double A. At 22 years old, Butler is not as advanced as he should be otherwise, but he does already have a Tommy John surgery under his belt.
Butler certainly has the size and strong pitches to be a starting option in the big leagues. Butler’s fastball sits at 93-97 mph as a starter and he has hit as high as 100 on several occasions. Given his lack of a strong secondary pitch currently, Butler may slot in better as a reliever in the long term based on his injury history and development so far. For now Butler will remain a starter, but could have strong upside as a reliever if the Padres wish to go that route. If he does become a reliever, he could likely be fast tracked to the Major Leagues and contribute sooner rather than later.
11) Tayron Guerrero – RHP
Date of Birth: 01/09/1991
Height/Weight: 6’7”/ 213 pounds
Acquired: International Signing in 2009 from Columbia
Signed out of Columbia in 2009, Tayron Guerrero is a big right hander who has worked exclusively out of the bullpen in recent years. At 6’7,” Guerrero has a substantial amount of size and definitely has the athletic build to be a full time major leaguer in the immediate future. Guerrero split time between Double A and Triple A for the Padres last season, finishing with a 2.76 ERA in 42 1/3 innings in Double A and an ERA of 3.95 in 13 2/3 innings at Triple A. Guerrero struck out nearly 10 K/9, but struggled with a BB/9 of over 4.00 in Double A and over 7.00 in Triple A. At this point, it is pretty clear where Guerrero’s strengths and weaknesses lie in the short term.
As mentioned above, Guerrero’s size alone bodes well for his future as a Major Leaguer. Given his height, Guerrero regularly hits 100 mph with a good feel for his fastball. While Guerrero already has the fastball to be a viable Major League reliever, question marks abound due to his lack of control. With such a large frame, and not the smoothest delivery, Guerrero has trouble duplicating his delivery and being consistent with his strike throwing. He has a strong slider to go along with his fastball but he faces the same problem with consistency. With the trades of Craig Kimbrel and Joaquin Benoit, it appears the Padres are ready to give Guerrero a big league chance as soon as 2016. The possibility of his success in the big leagues is all contingent on his control and whether he can be more consistent with his delivery and command.