Let me first start off by saying yes, I know 2019 is far off. I understand you want satisfaction now, but that is not the reality of the current Padres situation. However if you have been a fan of the franchise as long as I have, you realize waiting a few more years for it to be done right is well worth it. And being done right is exactly what is presently being done with the Padres farm system.
A.J. Preller is building a quality group that fans can be excited about and be proud of for years upon years. It can be a rough road, especially for those of us who are damaged from the previous regimes that held fire sale after fire sale. This by no means is a sale. The team is being built, but there is a method to all the madness.
There are tons of cries from Padres fans after the latest trade of All-Star Drew Pomeranz. I too will miss the left-handed pitcher, but at the same time Anderson Espinoza is a player you cannot pass up. Prospects are just that…. prospects. However Espinoza comes with a very high floor. If he remains healthy there is no reason to believe he will not cruise through the Padres farm system and be in San Diego in the next few seasons. Arms like his usually arrive in the major leagues at 20-22 and that puts him right on pace to arrive come 2018 or 2019.
The Padres have no reason no rush any of their young pitchers. In fact they had each split starts at the beginning of the year. I can remember Jacob Nix starting a game and going four innings then Enyel De Los Santos coming in and throwing four innings. At Fort Wayne that was a popular formula for getting each pitcher game time and yet monitor their innings as their young arms develop. Currently the Padres have at least 14 pitching prospects from the ages of 17-21. Each of these prospects are mid to top of the rotation pitchers and it is really going to be exciting once they all start to progress.
The reality of the game says that all will not succeed. In fact some of these guys will never get out of high-A ball. That is just how the game is. Injuries happen and the brutality of the sport can be difficult for some athletes to progress within it. Out of these 12 young pitchers, you have to think a starting staff of five is almost guaranteed for the Padres. In fact the team should easily have more than enough pitching once the wave of pitching talent hits San Diego.
The rotation will be really stacked and that got me to thinking about getting all these names down on paper. Perhaps then all you critics will truly see how special a unit this is going to be. I know, I know. It will be awhile before they are in San Diego. Still I believe this regime intends to keep this nucleus together. Contrary to what some of you believe there is a plan. Once these young pitchers establish themselves in the next few seasons all the naysayers will have nothing to complain about. Oh wait, scratch that. I’m sure they will find something. It is just the Padres way.
All 14 of the following pitchers represent the future of the team. Michael Kelly, Cesar Vargas, Robbie Erlin, and Christian Friedrich were not included, but they could still be factors in 2019. There could also be more additions via trade or even free agency. Then there is the draft and international market. There is also the Tyson Ross situation and what the team intends to do with the pitcher who was once considered the future. Lets take a look at each of these young pitchers I profiled and see what the rotation options could be for the San Diego Padres in 2019. If you don’t get excited after reading this article, then you probably aren’t a real Padres fan.
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