Former first-round pick of the San Diego Padres has been impressive since a promotion to AAA El Paso.
Those that follow the San Diego Padres farm system may not have written Cal Quantrill off this season, however, the energy and enthusiasm surrounding him have noticeably decreased. With the likes of MacKenzie Gore and Luis Patino in the lower minors, along with the continued success of now major leaguers Brett Kennedy and Jacob Nix, Quantrill seemed to get lost among the seemingly endless amount of pitching prospects in the system.
The right-handed prospect also dropped to 10th on the latest MLB Pipeline rankings of Padres top prospects and out of the Top 100, overall. Since the beginning of the season, reports from national evaluators were mixed, with some not trusting his breaking pitches enough.
You start to get a really good feel for a prospect once they reach Double-A and Quantrill put up less than stellar numbers while with the Missions this season.
He logged 117 innings across 22 starts, posting a 5.15 earned run average and a 1.48 WHIP. While he continued to show his ability to miss bats (101 strikeouts) and limit walks (38), Quantrill was hit hard and often. Of the 135 hits Quantrill gave up, 12 were deposited over the fence.
The season appeared to be slipping away from him during the month of July, in which he went 0-2 with an 8.51 ERA in five starts. He gave up 36 hits, six home runs, and 10 walks in 24.1 innings of work. Keep in mind, Quantrill pitched just 37 innings in his rookie season and 116 in 2017 as he continues to build up his strength and endurance following Tommy John surgery while at Stanford.
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On August 5th, he was rewarded with a promotion to the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas, after Brett Kennedy, Jacob Nix, and Walker Lockett were all called up to the big leagues. He’s made two starts since the callup, putting in impressive performances in both outings.
His first start against the Round Rock Express was dominant. Routinely hitting 95 mph with his fastball, Quantrill gave up two earned runs on seven hits while refusing to issue a single free pass in the outing. He struck out four hitters before ending his evening. He looked strong and poised as he worked the entire plate and largely remained out of troublesome situations.
Just a few days ago (August 12th) he made his second start and was even more impressive. Again throwing six innings, Quantrill limited Sacremento hitters to one run on six hits, this time striking out six.
There has been some talk among fans of whether or not Quantrill should get a call-up to the bigs at some point this season. Seeing as he is at 129 innings, a quick promotion doesn’t appear likely. However, his continued dominance in a few more AAA starts will be a huge positive moving to 2019 as he looks to compete for a major league rotation spot.