MLB.com released their top 10 dark horse candidates to win the AL and NL Cy Young awards in 2020 and the San Diego Padres had two players on the list.
It feels like that streak could be coming to an end over the next decade with all the young pitching talent the Padres have.
I get Paddack’s inclusion on this list as he had a great start to his rookie season and looks primed to become a top of the rotation pitcher in 2020.
The reason for including Paddack on this list, according to MLB.com, is because of his 33.3 percent chase rate, which ranked 10th among 112 pitchers who threw at least 1,000 out-of-zone pitches in 2019.
They also state that he slowed down in the second half last year, which could have been due to him not being far removed from TJ surgery. But he should be at full strength and ready for a big season in 2020.
Lamet is the curious inclusion on this list. Not that he doesn’t have the talent to get it done, we just haven’t seen it on a consistent basis at the big league level like we have with Paddack (granted it’s only been one year for Paddack).
They also think Lamet will be at full strength after recovering from his own TJ surgery.
But their big reason for including him on this list is because of his curveball-slider combination, which hitters hit just .116 against last year.
And when batters did swing at Lamet’s offspeed pitches they whiffed nearly half the time.
As is mentioned in the article, he still has some room to improve with his fastball command, but his offspeed stuff is good enough to dominate any lineup on a given night.
It’s still a long shot that either of them win the NL Cy Young in 2020 — that’s why they are dark horses. But the talent is certainly there for both of them to break out and win the award.
And that’s what is so exciting about this upcoming season. The Padres have several talented players that are just waiting to break out.