Michel Baez No. 3 Padres Pitching prospect, ETA 2019, Age: 22
Apart from the Padres’ international spending spree, Michel Baez was signed out of Cuba for $3 million.
Baez certainly makes his presence felt on the mound, standing at 6’8″ and 220 pounds, and delivery that allows for downward tilt on his pitches, Baez certainly knows how to make opposing hitters feel uncomfortable in the batter’s box. Oh yeah, Baez also throws a 100 MPH fastball.
Last season was Baez’s first year pitching in pro-ball and boy was he impressive. Pitching in both Rookie Ball and in Low-A, Baez was able to strikeout 82 hitters and only walking eight in 63 innings pitched.
He made his season debut pitching in High-A Lake Elsinore last night and allowed an unearned run in five innings while striking out two. It will be exciting to see that kind of numbers Baez puts up this year.
It’s always exciting to have a big guy throwing 100 MPH in your minor league system, but almost all of them have trouble commanding the strike zone.
Baez’s command will dictate how long it will be till we see him in a Padres uniform. His ceiling seems to be a front-end pitcher in the rotation. If for some reason his command is spotty, he could certainly become a valuable piece in the Padres’ bullpen which could lead to him being a closer.