Padres call up third-best prospect in Luis Patiño

Feb 20, 2020; Peoria, Arizona, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Luis Patino poses for a portrait during media day at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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The San Diego Padres are calling up their third-best prospect in right-handed pitcher Luis Patiño for Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers.

According to multiple sources, the Padres are calling up Luis Patiño, who is the 27th overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He is considered one of the best right-handed pitching prospects in all of baseball.

The corresponding move has not yet been announced.

The plan appears to involve Patiño coming out of the bullpen and slowly ramp up to be part of the starting rotation eventually. His stuff is electric with a fastball flirting with 100 mph with a wipe-out slider and a changeup that is a work-in-progress. He dazzled at the MLB Futures Game last year in Cleveland.

San Diego signed Patiño to a free agent contract out of Colombia when he was 16 years old. In three minor league seasons, he has pitched at four different levels with a 2.35 ERA in 50 games. In 87 innings for High-A Lake Elsinore last year, he posted a 2.69 ERA with 11.7 strikeouts-per-nine-innings. The 20-year-old earned a promotion to Double-A before the end of the season and allowed just one earned run in two starts for Double-A Amarillo.

Patiño fits nicely into what the Padres need in the bullpen. Drew Pomeranz has been the best non-closer reliever, and he is a lefty. Adding Patiño to the mix with nasty stuff from the right side will add an excellent weapon into the Padres’ holster as right-handed batters hit .163 against him in 2019. Of course, he eventually projects as a starting pitcher, and he may start a game before the end of the year, but for now, he will be at Jayce Tingler’s disposal from the bullpen. This will be an excellent opportunity for the 20-year-old to get his feet wet before taking on the massive expectations of being a top-line starter in the rotation.

This move is another exciting sign of things to come for Padres fans. The future is starting to look more like the present, and Patiño is the start of the next wave of great Padres pitching prospects.

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