7:00 AM ETKeith LawESPN Senior Writer CloseSenior baseball analyst for Insider
Was special asst. to Blue Jays GM
Wrote for Baseball ProspectusThe minor league season began on Thursday, which means it’s time to check in on the most loaded rosters across the four levels of full-season ball.Keith Law’s Impact 20: Prospects ready to rock MLB in 2019Vlad Jr. is the headlining act, but he’s far from the only rising star to watch in the majors this season.Law: Brennan Malone, Jack Leiter standouts at prep showcaseSome of the top pitching prospects impressed at the National High School Invitational, but the big bats struggled.1. Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres, High-A): You would expect at least one affiliate from the No. 1 farm system in the game to show up on the list. This year it’s San Diego’s High-A affiliate in Lake Elsinore, which features three of the Padres’ top 10 prospects as well as several more guys good enough to draw you to the ballpark.Their rotation includes lefty Mackenzie Gore (No. 7 overall, No. 2 Padres prospect), right-hander Luis Patiño (No. 50 overall, No. 6 Padres) and the resurgent Mason Thompson, whose stuff came back with a vengeance this spring after a 2018 season that disappointed in both stuff and results. The infield includes Esteury Ruiz (No. 22 Padres), acquired in the same deal that brought over Matt Strahm in 2017, as well as Gabriel Arias and Eguy Rosario. Shortstop Javy Guerra is on Lake Elsinore’s Temporary Inactive List as he converts to pitching, where he has been throwing up to 99 mph with some natural cut. Their outfield includes Tirso Ornelas (No. 10 Padres), who has one of my favorite swings in the entire minor leagues, and Jeisson Rosario (No. 17 Padres), while their primary catcher is Luis Campusano (No. 18), whose 2018 season ended early due to a concussion but has at least everyday player upside.