In 2020, Major League Baseball got in 60 games plus a full postseason. Minor League Baseball, however, had to sit out the whole year.
Teams were able to keep a couple dozen of their top prospects around at "alternate training sites" but most players in the lower levels (thing Double A and below) basically missed an entire year of professional ball.
Over the winter MLB reorganized the minor league system, cutting several franchises so each big league club has just four affiliates instead of five or, in some cases like the Padres, six to seven.
It was a long and stressful road but this week, the wait finally ends.
All 120 minor league affiliates get going, starting on Tuesday, May 4. The four teams in the Padres organization are familiar to the Friar Faithful. El Paso hosts the Triple A club. After a year in Amarillo, the Padres moved their Double A setup back to San Antonio and at the A-ball level there's been a switch. Fort Wayne is now the High-A team while Lake Elsinore becomes the Low-A club.
On Monday the Padres set the Opening Day rosters for each affiliate. As expected MacKenzie Gore, the top pitching prospect in baseball, is set to open up at El Paso for his first start at the Triple A level. The full list of each team is right here:
El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple A)
MacKenzie Gore (#1 Padres Prospect))
Nick Kuzia (Taxi Squad)
Mason Thompson (#11 Padres Prospect)
Steven Wilson (#17 Padres Prospect)
Luis Campusano (#3 Padres Prospect)
Tyler Malone (Taxi Squad)
Tucupita Marcano (#6 Padres Prospect)
San Antonio Missions (Double A)
Mason Fox (#22 Padres Prospect)
Osvaldo Hernandez (#29 Padres Prospect)
Reiss Knehr (#13 Padres Prospect)
CJ Abrams (#2 Padres Prospect)
Eguy Rosario (#18 Padres Prospect)
Fort Wayne Tincaps (High-A)
Anderson Espinoza (#12 Padres Prospect)
Mason Feole (#28 Padres Prospect)
Tirso Ornelas (#20 Padres Prospect)
Lake Elsinore Storm (Low-A)
Carlos Guarate (#30 Padres Prospect)
Brandon Valenzuela (#26 Padres Prospect)
Joshua Mears (#10 Padres Prospect)
Robert Hassell III (#4 Padres Prospect)
LISTEN: With NBC 7 San Diego's Darnay Tripp and Derek Togerson behind the mic, On Friar will cover all things San Diego Padres. Interviews, analysis, behind the scenes...the ups, downs, and everything in between. Tap here to find On Friar wherever you listen to podcasts.