The Padres’ farm system is one of the finest collections of high-ceiling talent among all 30 teams, highlighted by Austin Hedges, the top-ranked catching prospect in the minor leagues; Max Fried, one of the more projectable left-handed pitchers; and the criminally underrated right-hander Matt Wisler.
The organization addressed its lack of power-hitting prospects last June when it selected Mississippi State outfielder Hunter Renfroe in the first round of the draft. Meanwhile, fellow outfielder Rymer Liriano will make his highly anticipated return to the field next year after Tommy John surgery cost him the entire 2013 season.
The Padres also have a pair of right-handed pitchers looking to return to the major leagues next year. Burch Smith finished 2013 with a strong showing in the rotation after he was rushed to the majors earlier in the year, and Casey Kelly—who also missed the entire 2013 season after Tommy John surgery—will try to regain the form that helped him reach the majors in late 2012.
And for what it's worth, I still consider Joe Ross to be a high-ceiling pitching prospect and believe he's poised for a breakout performance next season.
Here’s a look at the San Diego Padres’ top 10 prospects for 2014.