When the Padres selected Loyola Marymount righthander Xavier Esquivel in the 34th round of this year’s draft, I praised the selection in spite of his 7.34 ERA as a senior, saying “that looks to be mostly bad luck,” and saying he has a “nice curveball and a changeup good enough to use in relief” to go with a mediocre fastball.
My ultimate conclusion? “He could at least kick around the lower minors for a couple of years. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.”
The short righty’s making me look good thus far. Across two appearances with Eugene, he’s faced six batters. He struck out the first five, and induced a popup to third against the sixth.
That’s pretty dominating stuff, and Esquivel, 21, already looks to be occupying a prominent setup role for the Emeralds.
Hey, pitchers who can throw three decent pitches for strikes really can find a home in relief sometimes. Esquivel is obviously light years from the major leagues, but like I said, he’s at least got the ability to throw some good innings in the lower minors, and he could do more than that. That’s great value for a 34th-rounder: many draftees there don’t even sign, and those that do are usually gone before they sniff full-season ball.