Padres Select; CJ Abrams, Jose Azucar; Kyle Tyler DFA

The Padres set their opening day roster on Thursday, announcing that potential client CJ Abrams and defensive player Jose Azucar They were selected in the Major League roster. Padres mode Fernando Tates Jr. In the 60-day casualty list designated as right-handed workers Kyle Tyler For the task in a pair of corresponding movements of 40 men.

A top potential player, Abrams has been ranked among the 15 most talented athletes by Baseball America, The Athletic, FanGraphs, ESPN, and MLB Pipeline. ESPN’s Kelly McDaniel is the most upbeat of the group, placing fourth among the sport’s prospects. Reports praise his blazing speed, athletic performance and excellent hitting tool, though evaluators also suggest that Abrams has a chance of reaching average strength or better at his peak.

San Diego originally picked Abrams with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft of a high school in Georgia. He didn’t have much professional experience in the game. Abrams spent the second half of his first professional season in rookie ball, with a late cameo in Low-A. The pandemic wiped out the 2020 minor league season, and the brothers pushed him to Double-A Amarillo to start the 2021 season.

Abrams handled the aggressive task well, coming in at .296/.363/.420 with a pair of home runs and 13 stolen bases over 183 plate appearances. He demonstrated his advanced ball-playing skills with a hitting rate of 19.7% which is a few points below the league average, despite the fact that he was smaller than nearly every arm he encountered. Unfortunately, Abrams was denied the second half of the cast after he fractured his left shin and injured his MCL in a field collision in early July.

There is no doubt that there is some risk on the pads in propelling Abrams straight to the major leagues. He played all 44 games over the rookie ball due to the pandemic and injury last season, and none of that time happened in Triple-A. However, there is little doubt that he has electrophysiological capabilities, and the front office in San Diego clearly feels he can at least keep his head above water early on while continuing to evolve into a long-term staple.

Abrams played exclusively on the center court during his minor league period. Evaluators were divided over his short-term viability, but the general consensus is that he will be a solid defender at second base. Given his elite running ability, Abrams will likely be an extra defender on the field as well, and he’s been getting some work on the grass this spring. Presumably he will need more than a few weeks to become fully comfortable reading balls flying off the bat, but there is no doubt that he is athletic enough to develop into a long-range option.

It remains to be seen how first-year captain Bob Melvin will release the 21-year-old early on. He sees some action at both short base, second base and on the field. Jake Kronworth The second rule is the reason, but Tates’ injury was strong Ha Seung Kim In the initial short function. Kim, as a respected member from South Korea, struggled during MLB’s junior season. Melvin can give a regular short haul to either Abrams or Kim, and the pads are set to count on a mix of gorexson brovarAnd the Brent Rucker And the Matt Petty in the left field.

The Padres are not linked with keeping Abrams on the big league roster going forward, as he will still have all three minor league option years. However, San Diego wouldn’t have gotten him out of camp if they didn’t feel he was up for the challenge, and they definitely would love for Abrams to stay in the big leagues. If so, it will be controllable until 2027 and will not reach judging eligibility until after the 2024 campaign. Future optional assignments, if necessary, may push those tracks back.

As a top potential client, Abrams qualifies for what’s called an odds-enhancing incentive in the new collective bargaining agreement. Depending on his finishes in Rookie of the Year and MVP voting for the first three MLB seasons, Padres could stand to gather some additional draft options if he’s superior.

Azocar isn’t anywhere close to Abrams’ potential caliber, but he will likewise make his major league debut when he enters a game. Signed by the Tigers as a free-wheeling agent from Venezuela in 2012, he spent eight seasons in the Detroit farm system and made his way to Double-A. After reaching free agency in the minor league, he entered with the Padres on a minors deal last winter.

The 25-year-old split last season between Amarillo and Triple-El Paso. Over 544 board appearances, he made .281/.341/.438 with nine Homer and 32 rifling. Azucar has not hit more than 10 players in a minor league season and has well below average strength, but evaluators have long considered him an over-runner and solid defensive player. It can play all three outdoor locations and gives the team a true fourth type in the back Trent Gresham in the center area.

Tyler just arrived with San Diego in concessions two weeks ago. He’s bounced an oath from Angels to Red Sox to Padres on the wires for the past month, and he thinks he’ll be back on the concessions in the next few days. He made his league debut last season, throwing 12 1/3 comfort innings over five games with six hits and runs each. Tyler still has the remaining three options.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.