The San Diego Padres are the subjects of this week’s installment of Under the Radar Prospects in which five players from an organization are identified as ones to watch for in a team’s system. Among the five players this week is a talented backstop that had a fantastic showing in the DSL, a utility player that has a fun combination of plate discipline and power, a first baseman that hits, and two starting pitchers producing positive results.

Graham Pauley, 3B – San Diego Padres

In the 13th round of the 2022 draft, the Padres selected Graham Pauley. A utility player capable of playing most defensive positions, Graham has been an above-average hitter throughout his brief professional career. Pauley has displayed a penchant for getting on base and discovered a power stroke during his first full season in 2023 as he hit .308/.393/.538 with 23 HR and and despite below average speed, he managed to steal 22 bases over 127 games. The newfound power for Pauley didn’t come at the cost of his contact ability as he only struck out 16.9% of the time with a 10.9 BB%.

Pauley has impressed the Padres brass enough that he has risen rapidly through their system and actually managed to make the Opening Day roster in 2024, despite his highest level being Double-A. Pauley played in 13 games, hitting .125/.125/.313 with 2 HR over 32 plate appearances and was over matched by big league pitching as he struck out 46.9% of the time. Pauley was optioned to Triple-A in early May. Since the demotion, Pauley has rediscovered his ability to get on base and hit for power. Over 25 games, Pauley is hitting .267/.420/.535 with 6 HR and a 20.5 BB% over 112 games.

Romeo Sanabria, 1B – San Diego Padres

The Padres selected Romeo Sanabria in the 18th round of the 2022 draft; originally he was going to be a catcher, but the Padres gave up on that experiment after seven games in the Complex League. When Sanabria returned in 2023, he was moved to first base and has flourished offensively. He decimated the Complex League over a 50 game stint as he hit .359/.443/.617 with 8 HR. He was promoted to Single-A where his power dissipated, but still hit .283/.424/.434 over 67 plate appearances.

The 22-year old Sanabria is back at Single-A to begin the 2024 campaign and is doing very well, hitting .323/.433/.523 with 6 HR over 187 plate appearances. He is drawing walks at an excellent clip while his strikeouts numbers are respectable. Since the start of the 2023 season, Sanabria has the 3rd highest wRC+ in the Padres system.

Yoiber Ocopio, C – San Diego Padres

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