San Diego Padres: Update On The System’s Top Pitching Prospects

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JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Baseballs and a bat sit on the field of the Miami Marlins during a team workout on February 23, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Baseballs and a bat sit on the field of the Miami Marlins during a team workout on February 23, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres
ST. LOUIS, MO – APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images) /

In April we took an in-depth look at the San Diego Padres top pitching prospects. With the recent promotions of Jacob Nix and Brett Kennedy, let’s revisit some of those top prospects and also take a look at the new players that enter our list.

Luis Patino No. 9 Padres Pitching Prospect, ETA 2021. Age: 18

Luis Patino has quickly opened the eyes of many, ever since being signed out of Colombia. Last season was his first year pitching in pro ball and his numbers were very impressive. In 13 starts, Patino was able to compile a 58/18 K/BB ratio, all while holding a 2.25 ERA in 56 innings between the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona League.

Patino stands six-feet and192 lbs but has the strength and demeanor of someone much larger. He has shown the ability to flash a 98 MPH fastball and compliments its nicely with a mid-80s slider. The changeup is still a work in progress and could be a crucial pitch for him to develop as all his other offerings seem to play as “power pitches.”

This season, Patino has been able to produce more of that same success, pitching in Low-A and holding his own as a ripe 18-year-old. In 66 innings, Patino holds a 2.43 ERA and boasts a 77/18 K/BB. Patino has shown he’s been able to avoid big innings by limiting walks and averaging a 1.05 WHIP. That’s a very mature characteristic for an 18-year-old pitcher to possess.

Although Patino seems to be handling Low-A ball just fine at the age of 18, he still has ways to go before we see him in a Padres uniform. This is just his second full year of pro ball, and I’d imagine the Padres are looking to let the young player grow into his innings. It’ll be interesting to see if he will still be able to sustain such great command of the strike zone as he progresses through the upper levels of the minor leagues.

Anderson Espinosa: No. 8 (Previous Rank No. 5) Padres Pitching Prospect, ETA Late 2020, Age: 20

Acquired by the Padres in the messy Drew Pomeranz trade with the Red Sox in 2016, Anderson Espinosa will spend the entire year rehabbing due to Tommy John surgery in June of 2017.

He has yet to throw a pitch for the Padres with an affiliated team, but the stuff is there for this young man.

Espinosa’s arsenal includes a heavy fastball that has the ability to hit 100 MPH, a respectable changeup, and a work in progress curveball. Once the Padres’ number one pitching prospect, Anderson Espinoza’s biggest question mark is his health.

Espinoza will need to have a big year next season if he plans to be apart of the Padres’ future plans. The Padres continue to be flooded with tons of pitching prospects, and Espinoza may get passed up.

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