The 19-year old Cosme was drafted in the 17th round of the 2014 draft out of Puerto Rico. He has a very loose arm and an above average fastball. In 2015 he was 3-5 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.123 WHI in 57 innings pitched and 12 starts.
The best thing about his season last year is that he made a huge progression in his last four starts. He threw 22 innings during that span, only allowing 15 hits and five runs while striking out 25 batters. There is great ability in this young man’s arm and the Padres obviously see it.
There are issues though. His secondary pitches and his mechanics are his downfall at this point in his brief career. His mechanics are presently slightly out of whack. According to reports he opens up his front shoulder a bit and that creates a difficulty in him repeating his delivery.
Still he is 19 and you cannot expect perfection, and if he had that perfect windup and arsenal, he would not have been attained for Despaigne. The best thing about Despaigne is that he has major league experience and is under team control for the next five seasons. That in itself is invaluable but he hadn’t pitched all that well recently in the starting rotation or in relief for that matter.
The move of Despaigne was totally dictated on the fact the Padres needed a 40-man roster spot with the addition of Fernando Rodney to the team. Somebody had to go, and Despaigne was chosen. The Padres starting rotation is loaded and he really had no chance of cracking it for the 2016 season.
Cosme might not be an ultra high prospect but he has a nice arm and with a little cultivating could be a decent pitcher in the major leagues. He does need some work though and will not be a factor for a least two or three years. That is just fine for the Padres as they wouldn’t have to create a roster spot for him until then. With four rule-five players on the roster currently, the Padres 40-man roster is jammed packed right now. Though Leonel Campos is still on it and is probably very close to losing his spot too.
Here is an extensive scouting report on Cosme from Baseball Prosectus. This report gives you an excellent idea to the kind of arm Cosme has. He needs work. There is no doubting that. However he does have age on his side and a 96 mph fastball too.
Here is some video of his motion and delivery. The video is from 2013 but it gives you an idea of who he is. His windup and delivery reminds me of Ubaldo Jimenez. Their bodies are similar, though Jimenez is taller and his secondary is tremendously more advanced than Cosme.
The Padres are currently building a nice young farm system and by this time next year could be a top 10 system in the league. A great way to overhaul the franchise is by doing it from the bottom up and the team is currently in that process.
Despaigne will have a hard time competing in the American League East. He relies on pin-point accuracy to be successful and pitching against the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees and Rays will be a tough task. He does provide experience and a cheap alternative for the O’s. Cosme is a project. The Padres save a little money and get a decent young arm. Both teams get what they want. Smart trade for A.J. and the building of the farm system continues. This will pay dividends eventually.