Sep 10, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres first round selectionMax Fried
smiles after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres had high hopes for Max Fried when they used the 7th overall pick on him in the 2012 draft. After 2 seasons of minor league ball, he has certainly opened some eyes, earning himself a spot on all the major publications top 100 lists. He finds himself 53rd on Baseball America, 43rd by MLB.com and 55th by Baseball Prospectus, and ScoutingBook.com had this to say about him:
"“A quality left-hander who looks close to MLB ready, San Diego pitcher Max Fried should see Petco sooner rather than later. Fried’s fastball doesn’t exceed 92mph very often, though he can add a bit more when he really needs it and gets more outs thanks to its sinking nature than its velocity, anyway. His cutter and change are average pitches already, and should be better than average by the time he’s anchored into the Padre rotation.”"
He may not be in the upper echelon of top prospects right now, but for a 20 year old whose highest level was low A ball that isn’t too bad.
The Padres were really excited to see what he could do at the next level of the minors, pegging him to be a part of the Lake Elsinore Storm’s pitching staff in High A. Unfortunately for Fried and the Padres, Fried suffered a forearm issue before the season began that was listed as forearm soreness. This soreness has prevented Fried from pitching this entire season, but on Thursday he made his long awaited return to the pitching mound.
Fried was assigned to Rookie ball with the AZL Padres where he spent the 2012 season, and he showed the rust that a pitcher normally would after missing the first 3 months of the season. In his one inning of work he allowed a run on 3 hits whil striking out one batter, but despite the stuggles Fried wanted to focus on the positives.
This is just the first of many hurdles Fried is going to have to go through to get back into the form that all scouting publications raved over. Hopefully he can sharpen his skills get up to Lake Elsinore to finish out the 2014 season.