Padres Extending Player Development Contract with Chihuahuas Is a Good Thing for El Paso
El Paso is the big winner from the announcement last week that the San Diego Padres were extending their player development contract with the Chihuahuas through the 2018 season. Despite playing mediocre baseball over the last few weeks, the Chihuahuas are currently in first place with a comfortable six game lead over Las Vegas. If the team makes the playoffs, it will be the first time since 1987 that the Padres' Triple-A affiliate has been to the postseason in back to back years. That is a credit to the organization, manager Rod Barajas, and the players.
The Padres built a very powerful offensive lineup in El Paso this season and despite trading away some of their high priced players at the big league level, they have left the Chihuahuas with many of their big bats in Triple-A. Hunter Renfroe, Manny Margot, Austin Hedges, Carlos Asuaje, and Hector Sanchez have all thrived offensively this season. The organization appears committed to keeping these players here until the end of the playoffs. The team will benefit from that move as they try to finish the season with a division championship and win the Pacific Coast League title.
Since the Padres traded away Craig Kimbrel, Matt Kemp, Drew Pomeranz, James Shields, Andrew Cashner, and Melvin Upton Jr., the team has restocked their farm system with elite top prospects like Anderson Espinoza, Josh Naylor, Javier Guerra, Chris Paddack, and Hansel Rodriguez. ESPN's Keith Law recently named the Padres as the second best organization in baseball as far as minor league talent. Many of these young players will be making their way to El Paso over the next few seasons, and the Chihuahuas will remain a team loaded with quality. Fans will benefit the most, since many of these prospects will become future big league regulars and some of them could even be MLB all stars.