Padres: Coronavirus Could Cost Anderson Espinoza Another Year

PEORIA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 21: Pitcher Anderson Espinoza #70 of the San Diego Padres poses for a portrait during photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2019 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PEORIA, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 21: Pitcher Anderson Espinoza #70 of the San Diego Padres poses for a portrait during photo day at Peoria Stadium on February 21, 2019 in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

One of the San Diego Padres most highly touted pitching prospects could miss another year of baseball due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s been a very difficult and sad journey for San Diego Padres prospect Anderson Espinoza.

The 22-year-old Venezuelan was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2014 for nearly $2 million.

In 2015 he put up a 1.23 ERA in 58.1 innings with 65 strikeouts and was a top 20 prospect in all of baseball going into the 2016 season in which he posted a 4.65 ERA in 108.1 innings with 100 strikeouts.

The Red Sox then traded him to the Padres during that 2016 season for Drew Pomeranz.

But then injury struck in 2017 when he underwent his first Tommy John surgery that ultimately cost him all of 2017 season (as he sat out all of the 2017 season before having the surgery in August) and all of 2018.

Before the 2019 season it was reported that Espinoza had a “ruptured graft” from the first TJ that he had, which led to him needing to have the surgery again and obviously cost him all of the 2019 season.

The still young and talented pitcher was hoping to finally make his comeback in 2020 targeting a return mid-season as is pointed out in this article from Dennis Lin of The Athletic (paywall).

But with their likely not being a Minor League season this year, we may have to wait another season before seeing the prized prospect take the mound again.

MLB Pipeline has dropped him all the way down to 28th on the Padres’ top 30 prospect list.

Espinoza’s high velocity, which can sometimes reach 100 MPH, along with his advanced command, plus curveball, and developing change-up are what made him such a highly sought after prospect.

It’s unclear whether or not he’ll come back as a starter or a reliever. Most likely he will start out in a relief role or look something like an opener to limit his innings and work his way back into things.

But again, now it looks like the earliest that might happen is 2021. And it’s like 2022 before we ever see him with the big league team.

Next. MLB Draft: 3 batters to target. dark

He’ll still just be 24 years old at that point. You just hope and pray he’s able to fully recover and get back to the level he was at before when he was considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball.

facebooktwitterreddit