Padres' pitching prospects set to open season

Padres' pitching prospects set to open season

NEW YORK -- All four of the Padres' full-season Minor League affiliates begin play on Thursday and three of the top pitching prospects in the organization get the call on Opening Day.

Right-hander Donn Roach, the Padres' No. 15 prospect according to, will start for Double-A San Antonio at home against Tulsa.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, rated as the No. 8 prospect in the San Diego system, starts for Class A Lake Elsinore in a game at Rancho Cucamonga.

Class A Fort Wayne begins the season at Great Lakes with right-hander Joe Ross (ranked No. 13) getting a start. Ross is the younger brother of Padres pitcher Tyson Ross, the team's No. 5 starter.

Veteran Tim Stauffer, also a right-hander, gets the start for Triple-A Tucson in a game at Salt Lake City.

Randy Smith, the Padres' vice president of player development and international scouting, said that he is excited and encouraged about the upcoming season for the Padres' highly-regarded system.

"The overall depth we have is better than it's been in a long time," Smith said. "There are a lot of good, young arms in the system. There are a lot of guys who are close to reaching the big leagues."

"We're excited about the clubs we have."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.