A look at the San Diego Padres’ minor league depth at the relief pitcher position.
Andres Munoz made his debut last season for the San Diego Padres.
The Mexican right-hander, with the ability to throw 102 mph consistently, should remain with the major league club for the 2020 season. Behind him in the system, several men could be relevant prospects in time for the Padres.
Here is a look at the group. Keep in mind that a lot of successful relievers in the major leagues are usually former starting pitchers who fall into the role by default. Luckily for the Padres, they are loaded with pitching at both ends of the spectrum.
Cream of the Crop
David Bednar– Double-A (2-5) 2.95 ERA/1.115 WHIP 58 IP/18 BB/86 K 14 saves
At 25, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future of Bednar. The 35th round pick recorded 39 saves in his three seasons in the system with an ERA of 2.70 and a 1.117 WHIP. With 303 strikeouts in 219.2 minor league innings, Bednar flashes stuff capable of a high-leverage reliever at the major league level. The right-hander may not make the team out of the spring, but he should factor in some degree in 2020 for the Padres.
Dylan Coleman– 3 Teams (4-3) 3.18 ERA/1.441 WHIP 34 IP/17 BB/ 39 K 1 save
Selected in the 4th round of the 2018 draft out of Missouri State, Coleman has been slowed by injuries in his brief minor league career. The right-handed pitcher threw 34 innings last year, recording one save and striking out 39 batters. The power pitcher started for the most part in his collegiate career, but the Padres look to keep in a relief role. At the age of 23, he could rise through the system quickly. Health is a big factor for him moving forward.
Hansel Rodriguez– AZL Padres/Lake Elsinore (5-1) 2.35 ERA/0.946 ERA 30.2 IP/7 BB/40 K
Acquired from the Blue Jays for Melvin Upton Jr. in July of 2016, this Dominican pitcher could eventually be a relevant pitcher for the Padres. The 6-foot-2 right-hander is capable of advancing far in the system, but he must throw strikes and continue to stay healthy. Rodriguez should be in Amarillo in 2020 at some point. There is a lot to like about his arm.
Evan Miller– 3 Teams (3-3) 3.47 ERA/1.139 WHIP 62.1 IP/23 BB/69 K 15 saves
This right-hander made it to El Paso in 2019 and will be in major league camp during the spring. The 24-year-old recorded 15 saves last year and will be a decent option at the end of the game for the Padres eventually. The former 22nd-round pick is close to making it to the majors. He will likely open the season in El Paso but could see some time at Petco in 2020.
Elliot Ashbeck– Lake Elsinore/Amarillo (6-3) 2.93 ERA/1.073 WHIP 104.1 IP/24 BB/103 K
26-year-old Elliot Ashbeck is a grinder. The right-handed pitcher has quietly put up a 2.80 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP in 251 minor league innings. Ashbeck pounds the zone and keeps the ball in the ballpark. The 16th-round pick in 2015 battled through Tommy John surgery and is a pitcher focused and determined. Ashbeck should start the year in Amarillo but has an outside chance to make it to the majors in 2020.
Travis Radke– Lake Elsinore/Amarillo/El Paso (4-2) 2.64 ERA/1.409 WHIP 71.2 IP/24 BB/76 K
There is a lot to like about this left-handed pitcher. Radke shows a great work ethic and is well-regarded among his teammates. In his five minor league season, he has recorded a 3.24 ERA and a 1.246 WHIP in 283 innings. Radke mixes his pitches really well and attacks hitters in the box. The 26-year-old aggressive pitcher is close to major league action and could conceivably make the team out of the spring with an excellent showing.
Jean Cosme– Lake Elsinore/Amarillo (4-1) 4.15 ERA/1.427 WHIP 47.2 IP/20 BB/53 K 3 saves
Acquired from the Orioles for Odrisamer Despaigne in early 2016, this right-handed pitcher is showing some promise. The former starting pitcher battled injuries in 2017 and 2018 but looked productive in 2019, recording a 4.15 ERA in 47.2 innings pitched. Cosme needs to throw strikes to indeed prove valuable in the Padres’ system. He should start the 2020 season in Amarillo.
Jordan Guerrero– Lake Elsinore/Amarillo (2-3) 2.38 ERA/1.13 WHIP 53 IP/20 BB/ 57 K 5 saves
23-year-old Jordan Guerrero throws hard and records strikeouts. The large right-handed pitcher has a bit of an issue throwing strikes, though. The 6th-round pick from 2015 was very effective in Lake Elsinore last year and could be a real factor for the Sod Poodles in 2020.
Blake Rogers– Lake Elsinore/Amarillo (2-2) 5.20 ERA/1.6012 WHIP 83 IP/34 BB/86 K 3 saves
Drafted in the 37th-round, not much was expected from this right-handed pitcher. At the age of 25, Rogers is not a young prospect, but in time he could prove valuable for the Padres. The University of Oklahoma product is working his way up the ladder and could see some time in El Paso this coming season.
Dauris Valdez– Amarillo (2-0) 4.23 ERA/1.428 WHIP 55.1 IP/28 BB/68 K 1 save
This big Dominican is blessed with a high-velocity fastball. Valdez gets knocked around a bit as his fastball is straight, and he needs work on his offspeed selections. There is still a lot to like about his arm and ability on the mound. The 24-year-old is close to major league service time.
Kyle Barraclough– MLB (1-2) 5.61 ERA/1.752 WHIP 33.2 IP/21 BB/40 K
Journeyman pitcher Kyle Barraclough signed with the team this winter. He will battle for playing time in the spring and could open the season in the minor leagues. There is not a lot of upside here, but the veteran is capable of reclaiming some of his former glory in San Diego.
Miguel Diaz– Amarillo/El Paso (2-2) 3.86 ERA/1.286 WHIP 30.1 IP/10 BB/40 K
25-year-old Miguel Diaz has a plus arm but has battled a series of injuries thus far in his professional career. The Dominican is capable of being a dominant reliever, but he will need to keep his health in check. Diaz could factor for the Padres in 2020 to some degree.
Steven Wilson– Lake Elsinore/El Paso (3-3) 2.67 ERA/1.109 WHIP 64 IP/26 BB/85 K
This 25-year-old right-handed pitcher will be in major league camp this season after an effective 2019 season. The 8th-round pick from 2018 could see some time with the major league club at some point in 2020 as he shows a plus arm and an ability to get outs consistently.
PAGE 2 LINK BELOW