Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
James Needy (RHP)
6’6″ – 230 lbs.
2013 Stats: 3.76 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 4.13 FIP (A – Lake Elsinore)
Needy has been around the Padres system for a long time now. Without the setbacks that have beset him throughout his pro career, there is a pretty good chance that the San Diego native would have been pitching in his hometown by now. In his first Spring Training, Needy was participating in fielding practice when he tore ligaments in his knee. He missed the entire 2010 season due to the resulting surgery. In 2011, Needy didn’t pitch as well as he felt he could as a result of tentativeness and back problems following his recovery.
In 2012, Needy cam back with a vengeance. He pitched at three different levels, making it all the way to AAA with a combined 1.79 ERA. In 2013 Needy started 27 games at Hi-A Lake Elsinore. While pitching with the Storm, Needy worked with Pitching Coach Brian Lawrence on how to use his big frame to get ahead in the count and pitch to (often groundball) contact. It appears that Needy is back on track following a few setbacks. With a strong showing in AA this season, it shouldn’t be too long before Needy is finally pitching at home again in San Diego.