The Best Player On The Padres No One Is Talking About


After years of uninspiring baseball and a lack of identity, the San Diego Padres have found their man.

Friar faithful, I give you the new face of the San Diego Padres: Kevin Quackenbush.

Quackenbush is a 26-year-old, 6’4″ righty with a knock-out slider and a curve that induces ground balls at a high percentage. His fastball only tops out in the mid 90s, but the damage is done with his pitch location, not his velocity. Quackenbush racked up some impressive stats in his first major league season finishing the 2014 with a 2.48 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a .212 OBA.

His success at the major league level shouldn’t come as a surprise. Quackenbush has a career 1.16 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 157 games in four minor league seasons. While his strikeout rate was down in his first MLB season (9.3 K/9) when compared to his career MiLB numbers (11.9 K/9), there is an adjustment period for most pitchers to hitting at the major league level.

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The Padres drafted Quackenbush in the 8th round of the 2011 draft. As a talented, home-grown reliever, Quackenbush could quickly replace the aging Joaquin Benoit in the closer role as early as this offseason if AJ Preller continues to deal players in order to be competitive in 2015. Financially and statistically, thrusting Quackenbush into a permant role as the closer for the Padres makes sense. Quackenbush has a history of staying healthy and won’t become a free agent until 2021.

Look for Quack to establish himself as an elite closer in 2015.