The Padres announced that they have promoted young catcher Luis Campusano to the majors. He’ll serve as their designated hitter against the Athletics on Friday, Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets. In other moves, San Diego transferred left-hander Jose Castillo to the 45-day injured list and placed righty Luis Perdomo on the 10-day IL with forearm discomfort.
The 21-year-old Campusano is one of many standout youngsters in the San Diego organization. Thanks in part to a consistently elite farm system, the Padres have finally begun to realize their vast potential this season. The club has stormed to a 23-16 record, good for the No. 1 wild-card spot in the National League, as it seeks to break a 13-year playoff drought.
While the Padres have been a pleasant surprise as a whole, they’ve received little production from their catchers, who rank toward the bottom of the majors in offense. As a result, general manager A.J. Preller has made a few notable changes to the position in recent days. Leading up to Monday’s trade deadline, the Padres shipped out the light-hitting Austin Hedges and acquired both Jason Castro and Austin Nola. So, it’s unclear how much time Campusano will receive behind the plate in 2020 (or at DH, for that matter, as the Padres also landed Mitch Moreland during an aggressive deadline), though the right-handed swinger at least looks capable of serving as a long-term weapon for the team.
A second-round pick of the Padres in 2017, Campusano reached High-A for the first time a season ago and slashed .325/.396/.509 with 15 home runs and nearly as many walks (52) as strikeouts (57). Since then, the likes of ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel (No. 33), FanGraphs (40), Keith Law of The Athletic (42), MLB.com (52) and Baseball America (85) have all ranked the 21-year-old among the game’s 100 best prospects. McDaniel, the most bullish of the bunch, wrote that Campusano “has a plus arm” behind the plate and “plus contact skills” as a hitter, though he could trade some contact for more power as he progresses.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.