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Top 50 Rays Prospects: No.18, Kevin Padlo

One of the best prospects the Rays have at the hot corner came over in the trade that also brought Corey Dickerson to the Rays.

No.19, 3B Kevin Michael Padlo, 21 yrs old

Born: July 15th, 1996, in Murrieta, CA

Height/Weight: 6’2” 205 lbs Bats/Throws: R/R

Signed: by the Rockies after being selected in the 5th round of the 2014 draft

Twitter handle: @KevinPadlo

Twitter profile statement:Professional baseball player for Tampa Bay Rays”

Baseball America Rankings

  • Ranked as the 14th best Rockies prospect post-2014
  • Ranked as the 18th best Rockies prospect post-2015
  • Ranked 10th best Northwest League prospect post-2015
  • Ranked as the 19th best Rays prospect post-2016
  • Was not ranked among the top 30 Rays prospects post-2017

DRB Writers ranking

  • High: 14th
  • Low: 30th

Kevin Padlo: Abilities

  • Above-average raw power
  • Strong arm
  • Good walk rates
  • Hits to all fields with plenty of fly balls

Grades for ‘16 (Pipeline): Hit: 50 | Pwr: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Fld: 50 | Overall: 45

  • Abilities notes: Padlo has all of the tools needed to be an every day 3B in MLB with power to spare. He may never win a batting title, but he should show a much better average than he’s shown us of late once he develops fully.

Joined the Rays by way of....

Trade, and Darby Robinson has the layout of the trade here.

The trade made a lot of sense on both sides since the Rockies had an abundance of power and the Rays had an abundance of pitching. Sending Jake McGee and German Marquez (one of my favorites) to the Rockies hurt, but Corey Dickerson was a good get, Kevin Padlo should add further value to the Rays’ side of the ledger.

Coincidentally, the Rays shipped Dickerson to the Pirates in return for Tristan Gray who is likely to become big competition for Padlo at the hot corner. Seems like the Rays are doubling up on finding a long-term solution at third base.

Latest Transaction: activated 3B Kevin Padlo from the 7-day disabled list July 12th, 2017

Note - That was the second time Padlo was activated from the DL as he also spent some time there earlier on in the season (in May).

Facts, Honors, and Awards

“The best of the best go out there. The competition will be great. I’m just trying to get some more at bats because I missed quite a few this year,”

  • In the AFL, Padlo hit .259/.323/.341 with 8 BB, 22 SO, 3 DB, 2 TR, and made 3 errors.
  • Good friends with Yankees 2B/SS/OF Tyler Wade,


Kevin Padlo 2017

GP 69
GP 69
PA 259
AB 237
Hits 51
Doubles 13
Triples 4
Home Runs 6
RBI 35
SB (CS) 5 (5)
AVG 0.215
OBP 0.321
SLG 0.380
OPS 0.701
BB% 13.6 %
SO% 21.8 %
ISO 0.165
BAbip 0.259
wOBA 0.327
wRC+ 106

Stats Notes: Padlo has continued hitting with power, averaging an extra base hit every 10 ABs, as he normally has. But he has managed to maintain a high walk rate (13.6 %) while cutting down on the strike outs (21.8 %) by a 5% margin. Another positive was his .828 OPS, 11 BB, 12 SO vs LHP, albeit over a small sample size of 58 AB.

Interesting Comparison: Todd Frazier

Both Padlo and Frazier are 3B with RHB and stand in at 6’2” to 6’3” 205 to 225 lbs. To make their HiA level comparison, we’ll pro-rate (double) Padlo’s stats to the same PA Frazier managed (414).

Frazier managed 12 HR, 8 SB, 9.9 % BB%, 20.3 % SO%, .169 ISO, .333 BAbip, .368 wOBA, 128 wRC+

Padlo managed 12 HR, 8 SB, 13.5 % BB%, 23.2 % SO%, .168 ISO, .272 BAbip, .331 wOBA, 109 wRC+

There are two caveats to note here (aside from the pro-rating), the first being that Padlo was still recovering from a broken hamate bone which impacted his season, and he played the HiA level a full year and then some younger than Frazier. Both of these facts tend to put things in Padlo’s favor, and he could well surpass Frazier’s output in the years to come.

Notes for 2018 and beyond

Here’s the thing - whatever you do, try not to judge Kevin Padlo based on what he did in 2017. It’s a hard thing to do, because it’s the most recent data we have to work with, but it really doesn’t represent where we expected him to be to this point. Knowing that injury played a large part in his struggles, let’s flip the page on that season and look for a healthy 2018 season to put him back on track.

With this in mind, it’s important to look back at where things stood before the 2017 season began. Padlo was known to be a high-end 3B prospect with every day potential, one that would drive the ball hard all over the field and over the fence. While he was never expected to hit for high average, he was expected to achieve high slugging and become a run producer in the lineup, ideal for the 5th or 6th spot in the lineup.

That’s what we focus on and hope returns to form in 2018.

While not a burner, Padlo has enough speed to run the bases well and to chip in with the occasional steal. That speed also gives him good range at third base. He needs to cut down on errors and improve his overall skillset there, but it’s expected that he’ll become at least average defensively once MLB ready.

Since Padlo was slowed by injury and the Rays are facing a backlog of promotions (due to pending promotions of a trio of infield prospects), it’s possible that Padlo begins the year in HiA and gets promoted fairly quickly to AA if things go well. However, if he shows well enough this spring and the Rays give him the benefit of the doubt, they may opt to get Padlo out of the pitching friendly environment the FSL provides and promote him to AA to begin the year.

Expect to see a power surge and high slugging to return for Padlo in 2018, as few in the organization have his power and fly-ball abilities. With enough contact, he should put himself right back into the top 20 Rays prospects by season’s end and on the map for AAA in 2019.

Kevin Padlo: Spotlight Videos

Recap and links of previously listed DRB Top 55 Rays Prospects

*Note: rankings were adjusted and reflect recent additions to the system - it is now a Top 55 list