The San Diego Padres seemed set to be in business for the rest of the season after their explosive 2022 MLB trade deadline. They made a number of big moves to add star players such as Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader, and Brandon Drury. Combine that with the pending return of Fernando Tatis Jr., and the Padres suddenly looked like one of the best teams in the MLB.
Things haven't gone as expected for the Padres since the trade deadline, though. They have actually fallen down in the National League wild card standings, and are just a game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers in the race for the final wild card spot. To make matters worse, Tatis was recently suspended for the rest of the season, meaning San Diego will have to figure out how to get by without him in their lineup.
The Padres clearly have the talent required to make a World Series run, but they may need some help getting there. It's a good thing they still have some solid prospects in their farm system, even after their trade deadline dealings, that can help them later this season in September. With roster expansions nearing, here are three star prospects that could help the Padres in their quest for a playoff spot.
3 prospects the San Diego Padres need to call up
3. Jay Groome
One of the trades the Padres made at the deadline involved them selling veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer to the Boston Red Sox. In return, the Padres landed a solid pitching prospect in Jay Groome. Groome was a former first round pick of Boston's, and he may be ready to make his major league debut in September.
Groome started the season in Double-A with the Portland Sea Dogs, and was good enough to earn a promotion to Triple-A, which is where he's landed in the aftermath of his trade out west to San Diego. Groome's numbers on the season as a whole (4-6, 3.49 ERA, 109 K, 1.33 WHIP) peg him as a potential middle of the rotation starter.
Groome has gotten off to a pretty good start with the El Paso Chihuahuas, as he has a 2.87 ERA in his first three starts for them. Groome has a decent amount of upside as a starter, and getting him some work out of the bullpen for the Padres in the majors could be a nice transition to the majors for Groome. And who knows, he may be able to slot into their starting rotation come the 2023 season if all goes well.
2. Eguy Rosario
As a result of their trade deadline work, the Padres don't have a ton of prospects that are major league ready. But that isn't true for Eguy Rosario, who has put together a very strong season in Triple-A with the Chihuahuas. Rosario seems like a prime candidate to get promoted to the majors in September, and he could end up being a huge help for the Padres off the bench.
Rosario has spent the entire 2022 campaign at Triple-A, and he's never looked better as a prospect. His statline (.293 BA, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 20 SB, .891 OPS) highlights a hitter who put all the pieces together. And it feels like it's time to see whether that success can be replicated in the majors.
Rosario can play all around the infield, but hasn't really found a true positional home yet. He's not going to be starting everyday if he gets called up, and could be used primarily as a situational pinch-runner or pinch-hitter. But getting Rosario some at-bats now wouldn't hurt the Padres, and it could help him cement a role for himself in the majors come next season.
1. Luis Campusano
Luis Campusano has already gotten a brief taste of the majors throughout his career in each of the past three seasons. His numbers have been pretty poor, though, and through his 16 major league games, he has just a .102 batting average. But Campusano is going to need to make the leap to the majors soon, and it feels like September is a great time to give Campusano an extended look against major-league competition.
Campusano has spent pretty much the entire season in Triple-A, and he's reinforced his status as one of San Diego's top prospects (.305 BA, 12 HR, 54 RBI, .853 OPS). Campusano has always been a solid contact hitter, and the hope is that the power will follow soon. But even if it doesn't Campusano figures to offer good enough production from the catcher position where it shouldn't really matter.
Campusano's initial struggles in the majors are a bit concerning, but he hasn't ever really gotten a chance to get himself going. San Diego has a pair of serviceable catchers in Austin Nola and Jorge Alfaro for the time being, so Campusano could focus solely on his hitting if he were called up. Campusano has been knocking on the door for a few seasons now, and it feels like he could finally be ready to help the Padres in their playoff push in September.