Do Not Sleep on Padres’ Pitching Prospect Anderson Espinoza

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Credit: MiLB

Anderson Espinoza is a name you should not sleep on for the 2019 season, as the Venezuelan right handed pitcher is poised to be at full strength following his July 2017 Tommy John surgery. The sky is the limit for this Padres pitching prospect.

When the San Diego Padres flipped Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza in July of 2016, there was some disbelief among the baseball community.

The young Venezuelan pitcher, Espinoza, was regarded as one of the best right handed pitching prospects in the game of baseball.

Pomeranz was only recently enjoying success at the major league level. Most felt the Padres had completely gotten the better of the deal. The Red Sox were in a playoff race, so that clearly had a lot to do with the trade. Competitive teams frequently deal prospects as the hopes of a World Title seem near.

Espinoza may have been a “better overall player”, but he was young and had tons of uncertainly attached to his brilliant right arm.

In late 2016 after going 1-3 in eight games with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, Espinoza reported elbow discomfort. He was shut down and told not to throw. The minor league season was close to being over, so it was thought that rest was the remedy for this young hurler. He did not play in the winter of 2016 and reported to the Padres in the spring of 2017 ready to compete for a minor league roster spot.

Espinoza felt better in the spring, but still had some elbow tenderness. The team tried more rest as a last ditched effort to fix his ailing arm, but it did not work. It took all the way until the month of July for him and the Padres to finally come to the realization that elbow surgery was needed. He underwent Tommy John surgery in late July of 2017.

The pitcher was attempting to target late this summer as a return date, but knew 2019 was his best bet. He told EVT in the spring.

He has been spotted in and around the Arizona complex throwing this summer. It is not known if he has progressed enough to throw off a mound at 100 percent. At this point there really is no reason to rush the young pitcher. He will rehab more this winter with a hunger to pitch in 2019.

Anderson Espinoza loves the game of baseball. That has been taken away from him for the over two years. When he finally toes that rubber again, he will pitch with a joy and relief that is impossible to describe. At 20, he has been through a lot in his professional career. The maturity he possesses goes without saying, as Espinoza truly knows the highs and lows of the sport.

2019 will be a huge year for the Padres, as players like Anderson Espinoza will step up seemingly out of no where. The Padres are rumored to be looking for an ace pitcher. They might not have to look any further than their own system. Anderson Espinoza has that kind of ability. The 2019 baseball season can not get here soon enough.

6 thoughts on “Do Not Sleep on Padres’ Pitching Prospect Anderson Espinoza

  1. James, thank you for the update on Espinoza. The way Paddack has come back from Tommy John, seemingly better than he was before the surgery, has me dreaming on how great Espinoza can be if everything goes right in his recovery.

  2. When teams swap prospects and proven veterans it is usually the team receiving the veteran that makes out better. One side is taking all the gamble and the other side getting something close to a sure thing.
    So going forward the Padres should be very willing to trade prospects on two conditions:
    1) do not trade ML-ready players, trade players 2 or more years away. Make the other team assume the proper amount of risk.
    2) the acquired veteran has to be a very good to elite player. Trading for Chris Archer-type players, or signing guys like Hosmer, is worse than pointless, it is actually counter productive.
    A template for SD might be the Kimbrel trade, which fulfilled both above conditions. We part with a package of prospects, none of whom are close to ML ready, and get back an elite player. That trade was good for both sides.
    But look more closely at Boston’s side. The players they gave up were all non-essential, making it an even better trade for them.
    Asuaje was a utility guy, expendable. Guerra is a SS, blocked by an All star. Allen was 19 year old LP with control issues, years away. Margot was blocked by better players.
    Two years later only Allen still seems interesting.
    When we start trading prospects we should keep this in mind.

  3. At this point in time, the Padres should not pursue an “ace” pitcher. We can have an all rookie, 1 year veteran pitching staff next year, and do fine. These young pitchers need to develop in the majors, like Lucchesi and Lauer did this year. Trading great prospects for the ace, gives somebody our young talent and takes away a spot in the rotation from Espinosa, Paddack, Allen, Quantrill, etc. I have 3 rookies in my Padre rotation for 2019; Luccesi, Lauer, and Nix. That leaves only two spots open.

    1. I agree with not rushing to grab an ace because we can let the young esters fight it out to see if we have one in house or we can always trade for an ace at the deadline

    2. If they can get a younger ace type with a few years of team control & playoff experience then they should absolutely try to bring him in.

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