Who is Anderson Espinoza?


A lot has been made of a few of the San Diego prospects who have recently impressed at the big league level. But what about top prospect Anderson Espinoza?

Unlike any other professional sport, baseball is all about prospects. To built a winning team, an organization must develop their prospects effectively and transform them into productive big league players. For the San Diego Padres, this especially holds true due to the fact that they are a rebuilding organization. Young players will soon compose the entire team, as budding stars rise through the ranks of the minor leagues.

The latest report on San Diego’s minor league affiliates is promising. According to MLB.com, they have a reasonably strong system. Many top prospects listed on the site’s rankings have already been called up to the major leagues and have made positive impressions. But one name that hasn’t yet put on a Padres’ uniform still stands out among the prospects.

Right handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza is San Diego’s top prospect. Acquired in a trade with the Boston Red Sox in which the Padres agreed to ship Drew Pomeranz, Espinoza was often dismissed as the beneficiary of a franchise cleaning house. For the Padres though, even if it seems they are cleaning house, they’re doing it with an effective strategy, pinpointing the young players which will help their franchise succeed in the future.

The 18-year-old has a lot of pressure already mounted on his shoulders, so no one can be certain how his career will turn out. But one thing is for certain; he has the capability to become a star pitcher at professional baseball’s highest level. Often compared to Pedro Martinez because of his small stature and very deliberate delivery and consistent command, Espinoza comes to the Padres as a special prospect relinquished by the Red Sox. His three pitches, the fastball, curveball, and changeup are each potent pitches, but his fastball is especially electric. Espinoza is currently with the Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps, and may have several years of work in the minors ahead of him before he makes a direct impact for the Padres.

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Even though this young phenomenon may not be a household name among Padres fans, and may not be for some time, he is still a perfect demonstration of the outline the Padres are following to rebuild their roster. The team realizes that success may be another year away, so it doesn’t hurt them to move large contracts and star players who are doing a 90 loss team little good. Espinoza is especially valuable to the Padres being a pitching prospect, one of very few this team has.

The good news for the Padres though is that  young players are stepping in for the Padres and making their presence known, and with the strength of San Diego’s minor league system, this positive trend will only continue.

This was already made evident when second ranked prospect Manuel Margot had a solid rookie season,  especially when third ranked prospect Hunter Renfroe dominated opposition in the eleven games he started, earning himself NL Player of the week honors in his first full week in the major leagues.

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Now, Espinoza is prepared in line to be the next success story within this organization. This would be welcomed and much appreciated, as the Padres have one of the most inconsistent pitching staffs which has shown no signs of improvement. To complete a multi-year rebuilding process, the Padres will need much more pitching. Espinoza, at worst, is a very good start.