The Padres endured their sixth straight losing season in 2016, finishing in a tie with the Reds for the National League's worst record at 68-94. The club managed to make the most of its situation, however, as they used the second half of the season to audition many promising young players while adding even more high-ceiling prospects, via trades, the Draft and international signings, to an already deep farm system. As a result, the Padres enter the 2017 season with MLBPipeline.com's fourth-best system.
Last September brought the arrivals of highly touted outfielders Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, MLBPipeline.com's Nos. 23 and 42 overall prospects, respectively. Both players fared well in their first big league exposure, especially Renfroe, who blasted four home runs in 11 games en route to NL Rookie of the Month honors, and will be key to the Padres success moving forward. Many of the Padres' other top prospects also made progress, a group that includes Jacob Nix, Luis Urias, Michael Gettys and Dinelson Lamet.
• Padres' Top 30 Prospects list
San Diego's struggles also made it one of baseball's biggest sellers in 2016, and the Padres netted a slew of promising youngsters through trades, including right-handers Anderson Espinoza (No. 25 overall), acquired from Boston for Drew Pomeranz in July, and Chris Paddack, as well as first baseman Josh Naylor and shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. The Padres also made a haul in the Draft, selecting right-hander Cal Quantrill (No. 97 overall) with their first of five picks on Day One.
Meanwhile, no team made a bigger splash during the 2016-17 international signing period than the Padres, who spent roughly $60 million -- including penalties and taxes -- to land some of the top international amateurs. Cubans left-hander Adrian Morejon ($11 million) and outfielder Jorge Ona ($7 million) both have impact potential and could develop quickly, and the organization also has high hopes for shortstops Luis Almanzar and Gabriel Arias and outfielder Jeisson Rosario.
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2016 preseason list to the 2017 preseason list.
Jump: Fernando Tatis Jr., OF (2016: NR | 2017: No. 8)
Fall: Javier Guerra, SS (2016: No. 2 | 2017: No. 26)
||BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
||ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WSH
||CLE, CWS, DET, KC, MIN
||CHC, CIN, MIL, PIT, STL
||HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX
||ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average.
Hit: Manuel Margot (60)
Power: Hunter Renfroe (60)
Run: Buddy Reed (70)
Arm: Michael Gettys (70)
Defense: Manuel Margot (70)
Fastball: Anderson Espinoza (70)
Curveball: Adrian Morejon (60)
Slider: Dinelson Lamet (60)
Changeup: Chris Paddack (65)
Control: Adrian Morejon (55)
How they were built
Rule 5 Draft: 1
Breakdown by ETA
Breakdown by position
Here's a look at the Padres' preseason Top 10 prospects from each of the past seven years (click here to see a larger image):
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.