We look ahead to the future a little bit and predict what the San Diego Padres starting rotation could look like in a couple of years.
Obviously we’re excited about the 2020 season finally starting up and getting to see the San Diego Padres play again.
But in all honesty, not a lot of people are going to take this season that seriously. And for a team like the Padres, while I think they can be competitive, for me it’s more about player evaluation and getting a better idea of who could be part of the future.
Certainly, in 2021 I expect this team to be serious playoff contenders, and I expect that to be the case for the next several years.
I think most fans are looking at that 2022 season for when we could see this team not only content for a spot in the postseason, but make a deep run in October.
And a while back I gave my predictions for what the lineup and rotation could look like in 2022.
Bleacher Report recently wrote an article looking at the five-year plan for each teams’ starting rotation.
That got me thinking again about what the Padres rotation could look like at the point, but honestly, it’s a fool’s errand trying to predict what a rotation will look like in five years.
So I decided to go with the 2023 season, which is just three years into the future.
MacKenzie Gore – At this point Gore will be 24-years-old and should have significant time in the big leagues. I fully expect him to be the ace of this staff and someone who has made his presence felt on a national stage.
Chris Paddack – Paddack will be the old guy by 2023 even though he’ll just be going into his age 27 season. I think he’ll be the workhorse of the group and a nice number two in this very deep rotation.
Luis Patino – This is the one that could go in several different directions, but mainly I think most people believe he’ll only go higher. I’ll safely predict he’ll be he number three starter in this rotation in 2023 even if he might have ace-type stuff.
After these top three I think it gets a little tricky. Joey Lucchesi and Dinelson Lamet could be entering their final years before becoming free agents.
Depending on how the next two seasons go, I could very easily see them getting traded or extended. With both of them being 30 at that point, I think it’s much more likely both of them are traded before the 2023 season.
So that leaves a long list of prospects to choose from.
Adrian Morejon – All indications from summer camp are that Morejon looks really good and I think we get a chance to see him compete at the big league level this year. We know he just needs to stay healthy and the stuff is there to be a middle of the rotation starter.
Ronald Bolanos – Like Morejon, I think this could be a big year for Bolanos if we get to see him throw extensive big league innings. He threw nearly 20 innings for the Padres in 2019, so there is no reason to hold him back. But I really like the upside of him and think he’ll be a staple in a big league rotation by 2023.
I really wanted to put Cole Wilcox in here because I’m very high on him and think he could be a quick mover. But then I remember he was just a sophomore at Georgia and threw just 81.2 innings there.
It’s still possible the 2020 draft pick makes his way to the majors that season, but 2024 is much more likely.
It was also recently reported that Ryan Weathers had a major uptick in velocity. If that can continue with his plus offspeed pitchers he already possesses I could see him becoming a mainstay in the rotation by then.
Let us know in the comments below who you think/hope will be in the starting rotation for the Padres come 2023.