With his focus on obtaining proven talent (even if that talent hasn’t translated to San Diego) Preller has not leaned on the team’s farm system this season. Only four first-year players have seen playing time, and none of the four is currently with the team.
Three of the four are injured and the fourth has been sent down to Triple-A.
Statistically, the most productive has been reliever Tom Cosgrove, one of the injured trio. Before going to the IL in mid-June, he was carrying a 0.53 ERA in 17 innings of work, good for a +0.6 WAA.
None of the other three seemed to be on a contributory course when they were either injured or dispatched. Pitcher Reiss Knehr had a 15.88 ERA in six innings, while backup catchers Luis Campusano and Brett Sullivan were hitting .227 and .184, respectively.
Under Preller, the Padres farm system has always been highly touted, although more often than not its products have failed to deliver on their promise. For every Fernando Tatis Jr., there have been a couple of Chris Paddacks or David Weathers or Joey Lucchesis or Dinelson Lamets, guys who arrived with impressive clippings but never broke through.
The difference this year is that Sullivan and Cosgrove have arrived without the clippings.