A secondary piece coming to the Rays with Corey Dickerson (RF, Rays) in a trade prior to the 2016 season, Padlo has started to show some of the power potential Tampa Bay saw when they added him to the haul for Jake McGee (LHP, Rockies). Padlo is a stocky 6-foot-2 with broad shoulders and a thick lower half. He doesn’t have a ton of wasted movement in his setup at the plate and while he has some length to the stroke, it does generate above-average bat speed. He has some feel for the strike zone, as evident by the 15.7% and 13.1% walk rates he’s posted the last two years respectively, but overall is still a very young hitter. The 21-year old’s pull-centric approach opens up the outer half of the dish to pitchers who are able to locate with their breaking ball, and the spin Padlo will face as he advances is not going to get easier. That combined with the swing and miss in the zone is not conducive to him suddenly hitting for a high average.
Despite there not being a ton of quick twitch to his game, the ability to see pitches and make pitchers throw him strikes at a young age are encouraging signs. Couple that with the average to above-average raw power and his ability to do extra-base damage gives him some value in that corner profile. I did not get a look at him in the field, but he is a better athlete than his wide frame suggests so you’d like to think that he’ll stay at third base for the time being.
Padlo has held his own versus upper level arms thus far in Arizona – while he may not be of the Robles/Acuna ilk in terms of prospect rankings, he shows feel for the game at a young age and the combo of power and on-base ability is interesting. It may be a slow burn for the Rays’ three-bagger, but don’t be surprised it the K rates being to fall a bit and the over the fence pop starts to tick up.