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Sunday, October 21st, 2018
Padres Unveil Opening Day Roster for 2018 TinCaps
Sunday Apr 01, 2018 12:00am

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – MLB.com says the San Diego Padres have the best farm system in all of baseball. Fans in Fort Wayne, and around the Midwest League, are about to find out why. On Sunday, the Padres unveiled the TinCaps’ initial 25-man roster, which is loaded with elite prospects.

Left-handed starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore headlines what is not only one of the most talented teams in Minor League Baseball, but also one of, if not, the youngest. Gore, 19, was the third overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. MLB.com rates him as the No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in the game right now, and the second best prospect in San Diego’s system, just behind shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who had a record-setting season in Fort Wayne a year ago. Gore is one of 11 players on the team who are currently teenagers. (Last year the average age for a player in the Midwest League was 21.)

“This will be similar to what we had last year,” said Anthony Contreras, the team’s third-year manager. “We have lots of guys with incredible talent, but for most, this will be their first full season of professional baseball. So like we saw last year, there will be growing pains, but 2017 also proved that if you trust in your routines, work hard, don’t get too high or too low, and act as a professional, things should work out well.”

The TinCaps are coming off an improbable trip to the Midwest League Championship Series. After having the worst record in the league in the first half of the season, Fort Wayne rallied to win the MWL’s Eastern Division title.

Including Gore, the TinCaps have a total of seven players who are currently ranked as “Top 30” Padres prospects (see list below). The roster also features 11 players who’ve previously spent time in Fort Wayne, such as outfielder Jack Suwinski and infielder Reinaldo Ilarraza—regulars in last year’s lineup.

Fans will have their first chance for an up-close look of the 2018 TinCaps on Wednesday, April 4 (5-8 pm) for Meet the Team Night at Parkview Field. Fans can watch the team practice and afterward players and coaches will sign autographs on the ballpark’s concourse.

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