Padres News: AAA Closer Jon Edwards PTBNL in Venable Trade


What is the value of a platoon-level outfielder with two months left on his contract?

For a team like the Texas Rangers, currently on pace to make the playoffs as the second wild card team in the AL, it turns out to be a low-level catcher and a hard-throwing AAA outfielder-turned-reliever.

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Jon Edwards, the reliever, was confirmed late last week as the player to be named later in the trade that sent San Diego Padres outfielder Will Venable to the Rangers, joining backstop Marcus Greene, Jr. as the newest members of the Padres’ organization.

Edwards, a right-handed pitcher, has split his time between Texas and their AAA club in Round Rock the past two seasons, pitching a total of 20 games at the major league level compiling a 5.02 ERA with 15 Ks in 14.1 innings. In Round Rock, he has put up a 1.91 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 47 innings. He has collected 20 saves this season.

Featuring a 95 mile-per-hour fastball and a slider, Edwards has added a quality curveball to his repertoire. He has shown the ability to consistently miss bats in his career, averaging 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Edwards’ main issue to date has been wildness, averaging six walks per nine innings in the minors. He has improved that rate significantly this season, allowing only 8 free passes in 31.2 innings for Round Rock, an average of 2.3 BB/9IP. If Edwards can continue to consistently pound the strike zone, and bring the same kind of effectiveness to the major league level, he can certainly contribute to the Padres’ bullpen.

Part of Edwards’ success this season may be a new perspective on life. This past offseason, Edwards was diagnosed with, and beat, testicular cancer.

Edwards was initially drafted as a High School outfielder in the 14th round of the 2006 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He played five years as a position player, but never reached any higher than A ball. He pitched his first two innings as a professional in 2011, and in 2012, he climbed the ranks from Rookie ball to Double A, earning three promotions in a single season.  Because he began pitching so late in his career, he has considerably less wear-and-tear on his arm than most pitchers his age.

The 27-year old will begin his Padres career with the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Padres Triple A affiliate.

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