3 under-the-radar San Diego Padres players off to a good start in 2023

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Diego Padres
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San Diego Padres relief pitcher Steven Wilson
San Diego Padres relief pitcher Steven Wilson / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

2) San Diego Padres reliever Steven Wilson looks like a back-end of the bullpen piece

Steven Wilson had a nice year for the Padres last season, posting a 3.06 ERA in 50 appearances and 53 innings of work. He played a big role for the Padres out of the 'pen, but pitched mostly in lower-leverage opportunities as he accumulated just five holds all season.

This season has been a different story. With Robert Suarez and Drew Pomeranz on the injured list, Wilson has been serving as the main set-up man to Josh Hader. He's been phenomenal in that role.

The right-hander has allowed just one run on four hits in his 10.2 innings of work. He has walked five (which is more than the Padres would want), but he's struck out 13. Wilson already has three holds and a win in his league-leading nine appearances.

Wilson has taken on a larger role and has been dominant in the early going. Whether he sticks in that eighth-inning role when Suarez returns remains to be seen, but it's hard to not be pleasantly surprised with what Wilson has done.