Ranking the San Diego Padres’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014

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Ranking the San Diego Padres’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing is going to come easily for anyone in the National League West this upcoming season as it appears at least that most every team will be improved. The San Diego Padres could find themselves as the odd man out if they do not hit the ground running for the first few months of the season. It is possible that some of their top prospects could have something to say about the outcome of the Padres season before it is over.

As most teams do the Padres have a little bit of everything in their minor league system. While they don’t rank in the top few farm systems in the game, they certainly have their share of top prospects that should make a lot of noise when they hit the big league scene.

They also have a few players that are playing in 2014 with huge question marks attached to their status in the top ten. Which way they go, to the big leagues or down the rankings will be determined on how they play. There is even one of the top ten that could be the best backstop the Padres have had in quite a while when he arrives on the scene.

This is the top ten as they stand after their 2013 seasons and before the preseason. Feel free to voice an opinion on any of these guys or mention someone not on the list that you believe deserves to be. Here they are without further delay.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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10 – Jace Peterson

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David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Peterson is a solid defensive shortstop and climbed from the 12 spot to 10 with a solid 2013. He is very likely headed for a steady everyday shortstop role somewhere within the next few seasons though he is seemingly blocked in San Diego.

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9 – Burch Smith

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Smith is a right hander with a great potential fastball that saw him rise from 20 to 9 this past season. He still needs work on accompanying pitches to move higher and faster however.

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8 – Adys Portillo

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Portillo has a load of potential wrapped up in his right arm still. If all goes well he could get a shot in 2014 from the big league club at some point. He does have some work to do however.

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7 – Joe Wieland

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Wieland is a righty going through some rehab after 2013 but he still has the potential to be a solid mid-rotation guy which the Padres badly need now and will continue to in the future. If all goes well he could see a chance in 2014 as well.

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6 – Hunter Renfroe

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Renfroe is debuting on the top ten after his 2013 season and there are still a lot of ifs about this outfield prospect. What they know however is very promising indeed after a nice debut in professional ball.

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5 – Matthew Wisler

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Wisler is a righty that jumped a few spots to the five hole. He has great stuff and had a very good showing with lots of strikeouts per not that many walks in 2013. Look for him to make a splash in a couple of years for sure, if it takes that long.

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4 – Rymer Liriano

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Liriano is a great outfield prospect that is expected to bounce back nicely in 2014. Every system has a ton of outfield prospects but Liriano is the top man in the Padres system for a reason.

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3 – Casey Kelly

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This righty dropped a little and is bound to drop further after missing 2013 with Tommy John surgery. As usually is the case, he could bounce back as good as before and if he does could see a chance at the majors if all goes well.

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2 – Austin Hedges

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Hedges is the real deal when it comes to catchers. He has a rocket arm, is great defensively behind the plate and swings a great bat as well. Not only does that have him as the second ranked Padres prospect but the second best catching prospect in the land as well. It will probably be 2015 but look for big things from Hedges when his time comes.

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1 – Max Fried

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Fried jumped one spot to number one and the lefty has shown great promise in the last season plus. His mid-90s fastball will couple with potentially great curveball and changeups to make his arsenal respected around the league. If he keeps his command and grows a little more over the next year, the big leagues will be his in 2015.

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