Jonathan Mayo

Ranking the 12 prospects the Padres dealt

Ranking the 12 prospects the Padres dealt

As A.J. Preller has worked tirelessly to remake the San Diego Padres' big league roster, he has not been afraid to send prospects or young players away to get the Major League pieces he desires. Once the Justin Upton trade becomes official, a total of 12 players who appeared on the the Padres' Top 20 list at some point in 2014 will have been dealt.

The Padres still have three of the their top four prospects from before the overhaul in catcher Austin Hedges, Matt Wisler and Hunter Renfroe. Of course, there's still plenty of time for that to change, with the new GM deserving a moniker for this activity. "Preller the Seller" has a nice ring to it, no?

Pleskoff on Braves prospects

Below is a look at the dozen young players -- in order of their most recent ranking on the Padres' Top 20 list -- who Preller has swapped for big league talent.

Max Fried, LHP -- Braves (Upton deal, Friday)

Top Prospects: Fried, ATL

The No. 3 prospect on the Padres' Top 20 (and No. 68 on the overall Top 100) at the time of the trade, Fried will slide into the same spot on the Braves' list once the deal is official. A former high school teammate of Lucas Giolito, the top prospect in the Nationals system, Fried was the top high school pitcher taken in the 2012 Draft (No. 7 overall). After a solid, albeit unspectacular, first full season in 2013, Fried got hurt in '14, pitching just 10 2/3 total innings and ending with Tommy John surgery in August. That means he'll miss most of next season, but once he gets back healthy, the Braves will be getting one of the better left-handed arms in the Minors, one who fires fastballs that sit in the low 90s. He also has an outstanding power curve and a changeup that was improving before he got hurt.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 1 | 2014 preseason: 3 | 2014 midseason: 2 | Time of trade: 3

Trea Turner, SS -- Nationals (Wil Myers deal, Friday)

Turner's big night

As a 2014 Draftee, Turner can't be officially moved until the summer. But the Padres' No. 5 prospect might be the best who changed hands in this deal. Taken No. 13 overall out of North Carolina State, Turner has as much speed -- he's given an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale -- as just about any prospect in baseball. He knows how to use it, as evidenced by his 23 steals in 69 professional games during his debut. Turner is more than just a one-tool player, as he has a good feel for hitting and excellent on-base skills that will make him an outstanding catalyst at the top of a lineup. He also has the tools to stay at shortstop long-term, making him an even more valuable asset.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: NR* | 2014 preseason: NR* | 2014 midseason: 5 | Time of trade: 5
* Hadn't been drafted yet

Jace Peterson, INF -- Braves (Upton deal, Friday)

Peterson's diving stop

A supplemental first-round pick (No. 58 overall) in 2011, Peterson made his big league debut in '14 and spent a good amount of time in the big leagues (thus graduating off of prospect lists because of service time). He only amassed 58 plate appearances but did see time at both second and third base with the Padres. While the left-handed-hitting infielder didn't show much with the bat during his time in San Diego, he's always hit as a pro, with a .287/.381/.411 line in the Minors. A two-sport star in college, Peterson is a terrific athlete who maximizes his average speed with an aggressive approach on the basepaths that allowed him to steal 93 bases combined in '12 and '13. He's a line-drive hitter with good bat speed, albeit without much power. He didn't play shortstop in the big leagues in '14, but he has some ability there, though he might profile best at second base -- a spot he could get a chance to play in Atlanta.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 10 | 2014 preseason: 7 | 2014 midseason: NR* | Time of trade: NR*
* Graduated from list

Jesse Hahn, RHP -- A's (Derek Norris deal, Thursday)

Hahn's terrific start

Tommy John surgery at the outset of his professional career certainly slowed the 2010 draftee's progress, though he pitched well when he finally got going in the Rays system in '12. Tampa Bay traded him to San Diego in January 2014 as part of a seven-player deal, and he ended up making 14 appearances, all but two as a starter, in the big leagues last season, finishing with a 3.07 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. Hahn has a plus fastball that sits in the mid-90s, and he can reach back for more than that at times. He'll complement the fastball with both a curve and slider, and he will even show a solid changeup, giving him the chance to have four pitches that are at least average.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 17 | 2014 preseason: 13 | 2014 midseason: 7 | Time of trade: NR*
* Graduated from list

Joe Ross, RHP -- Nationals (Myers deal, Friday)

Top Prospects: Ross, WSH

The younger brother of current Padres starter Tyson Ross, Joe has a dream of pitching in the same rotation with his brother, but that will have to be put on hold. The Padres' first-round pick in 2011 (No. 25 overall), Ross was ranked No. 8 on the organization's Top 20 list. He reached Double-A in '14, at age 21, in a season that really saw him turn his upside potential into production consistently for the first time. Ross can get his fastball up into the mid-90s, and he throws it downhill from his 6-foot-4 frame. His power slider complements the fastball very well, and those two pitches alone would be enough for him to pitch out of a big league bullpen. If his changeup can continue to improve, though, he has the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter down the road.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 14 | 2014 preseason: 9 | 2014 midseason: 9 | Time of trade: 8

Zach Eflin, LHP -- Dodgers (Matt Kemp deal, Thursday)

Top Prospects: Eflin, PHI

The 33rd overall pick of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Eflin has pitched well the past two years in full-season ball. In 246 2/3 innings between Class A Fort Wayne and Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, he compiled a 3.28 ERA and a 179-to-62 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Eflin has good all-around stuff, but his best tool is his control. He has averaged 2.3 walks per nine innings over the past two years, and he works his low-90s fastball effectively to both sides of the plate. His changeup is his best secondary offering, and he also throws a short slider with cutter-like action. Still just 20 years old, Eflin has all the tools necessary to develop into a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter in time. The Dodgers flipped Eflin to the Phillies in the Jimmy Rollins trade.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 13 | 2014 preseason: 11 | 2014 midseason: 11 | Time of trade: 9

Dustin Peterson, 3B -- Braves (Upton deal, Friday)

Top Prospects: D. Peterson, SD

The younger brother of Mariners prospect D.J. Peterson, Dustin was taken in the second round in 2013 -- 38 picks after his brother. Ranked 10th on the Padres' list at the time of the trade, Peterson scuffled a bit in his first full season, stumbling particularly in the second half. While Peterson struggled with plate discipline, he does have good bat speed and power potential. He's fairly athletic, though he made the move from high school shortstop to professional third baseman. Some feel he might be best suited for second base or the outfield when all is said and done. Most feel Peterson will make adjustments and his bat will carry him up the ladder regardless of what position he ends up playing regularly.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: NR | 2014 preseason: 15 | 2014 midseason: 13 | Time of trade: 12

Jake Bauers, 1B -- Rays (Myers deal, Friday)

Top Prospects: Bauers, TB

A late bloomer in high school, Bauers came on strong with his bat his senior year, making enough of an impression for the Padres to draft him in the seventh round in 2013. Ranked No. 14 on the Padres' Top 20 at the time of the deal, Bauers continued to show off his natural hitting ability during his first full season. As a teenager in the Class A Midwest League, Bauers hit .296/.376/.414, showing an advanced approach at a very young age. He's a first baseman only, albeit a good one, but scouts think he'll grow into his power more as he matures to better profile at the position.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: NR | 2014 preseason: NR | 2014 midseason: 16 | Time of trade: 14

Burch Smith, RHP -- Rays (Myers deal, Friday)

Top Prospects: Smith, TB

Smith rocketed through the Padres' system initially, making his big league debut in May 2013, less than two years after being a seventh-round pick in the '11 Draft. His progress was derailed in '14 by a forearm injury that kept him off the mound for all but 5 1/3 Triple-A innings. He did return to pitch as a reliever in the Arizona Fall League. When he's healthy, he has a fastball that sits in the low-90s, and he can reach back for more at times. He has an excellent changeup and solid curve to go along with his cutter-like fastball, and he's had good control of all three pitches in the Minors, though he struggled with his command during his big league stint. The 24-year-old right-hander still has the chance to be part of a starting rotation, though his stuff would play up in relief should the Rays move him to the bullpen.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 9 | 2014 preseason: 8 | 2014 midseason: 18 | Time of trade: 16

Joe Wieland, RHP -- Dodgers (Kemp deal, Thursday)

Wieland earns first MLB win

Drafted by the Rangers in 2008, Wieland was acquired by the Padres at the '11 Trade Deadline in exchange for Mike Adams. He made his Major League debut the next year and appeared to be on his way to establishing a permanent big league role before undergoing Tommy John surgery. After a long recovery process, Wieland returned to action in '14 and got back to the big leagues in September. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, with his fastball typically sitting around 90 mph. His curveball is his best secondary pitch and he also mixes in a solid changeup and slider. His four-pitch arsenal and above-average control give him a chance to fit as a starter in the Major Leagues.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: 7 | 2014 preseason: 10 | 2014 midseason: 19 | Time of trade: 17

R.J. Alvarez, RHP -- A's (Norris deal, Thursday)

Alvarez's MLB debut

A breakout season made Alvarez a hot commodity this year, and he was traded twice within five months. He was first included in the package the Padres acquired from the Angels in exchange for Huston Street before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, then the A's nabbed him in the Norris deal. In between trades, he made his Major League debut for the Padres and finished off a Minor League season that saw him post a 1.25 ERA and strike out 61 batters in 43 1/3 innings. Alvarez is a power reliever with a good fastball-slider combination. His fastball reaches 95 mph, and his slider has swing-and-miss potential. He has the stuff and moxie to pitch in high-leverage innings.

Top 20 ranks:2013 postseason: 10 (LAA) | 2014 preseason: 7 (LAA) | 2014 midseason: NR | Time of trade: 20

Mallex Smith, OF -- Braves (Upton deal, Friday)

Smith's RBI infield single

There is no question that Smith can run. One of the fastest players in pro ball, Smith led the Minors with 88 stolen bases in 2014, a year after stealing 64 in his first full season. He understands that his job is to get on base, and he isn't afraid to draw walks or bunt for base hits. He uses his speed in the outfield as well, and it allows him to make up for mistakes as he continues to improve his reads and routes. Speedsters like Smith don't always hit when they move to the upper levels, and Smith will have to prove he's more than a one-tool wonder as he advances, though he did perform well in the Arizona Fall League.

Top 20 ranks: 2013 postseason: NR | 2014 preseason: NR | 2014 midseason: NR | Time of trade: 20

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.