San Diego Padres minor league depth (Starting Pitchers)

Credit: John E. Moore/ Amarillo Sod Poodles

Credit: Jerry Espinoza

Youth with Upside

Frank Lopez– DSL/AZL (1-5) 3.49 ERA/1.394 WHIP- 56.2 IP/22 BB/66 K

At the age of 18, there is a lot to like about this young right-handed pitcher. Lopez features an impressive fastball and is striking out batters at a high rate. The Venezuelan native has struck out 101 batters in his first 84.2 innings pitched at the minor league level. The 2020 season should be the year when he makes his debut in a full-season league.

Osvaldo Hernandez– AZL/High Single-A (0-2) 3.39 ERA/1.179 WHIP- 37.1 IP/11 BB/28 K

Cuban native Osvaldo Hernandez has the ability to stick in the rotation longterm. He mixes pitches well but does need to pound the zone more and stay ahead of hitter to really enjoy longterm success. The southpaw pitched in the AFL to end an injury-riddled 2019 season. Now at full strength, Hernandez could be a prospect to keep an eye on in the future.

Ramon Perez– Short-Season/Low Single-A (3-7) 5.17 ERA/1.479 WHIP- 94 IP/50 BB/103 K

Throwing strikes is an issue for the young pitcher, and the lefty struggled in 2019 at the Single-A level. Perez is a project, but he is still 20 years old, and there is time for him to develop into a more polished pitcher. Expect the Cuban pitcher to begin in Fort Wayne and try to establish strikes early. If all else fails, he might excel in the bullpen.

Manuel Partida– Injured- DNP

Young left-handed pitcher Manuel Partida had a great 2018 season in which he recorded a 2.31 ERA in the DSL. The Mexican pitcher struck out 58 batters in 58 innings and looked to make his debut in the States last year. Tommy John surgery kept him out the entire year, but he is still 19 and could pitch in 2020 with some effectiveness.

Henry Henry– Low Single-A (7-5) 3.32 ERA/1.094 WHIP- 81.1/ 16 BB/80 K

This Dominican pitcher threw the entire season out of the bullpen for the TinCaps. The lanky right-hander was very effective getting ahead of batters and should a slight increase in velocity. It remains to be seen if he will be given a chance to start again, but if he isn’t, Henry has the arsenal to be an effective high-leverage reliever.

Mason Thompson– AZL/High Single-A (0-5) 7.24 ERA/1.829 WHIP-27.1 IP/22 BB/25 K

Blessed with a fastball that tops out at 97-99 mph, Thompson is a really interesting prospect. Several different minor injuries have limited his growth, but there is still time for him at the age of 21 to become a very useful prospect. The big Texan should start 2020 in Lake Elsinore and is capable of breaking out. If he can get his health in order, there is a very high ceiling with him.

Aaron Leasher– High Single-A/Double-A (10-7) 3.60 ERA/1.267 WHIP- 122.1 IP/38 BB/114 K

Flying under the radar is this young left-handed pitcher. The former sixth-round pick in 2017 will not blow you away with velocity, but he is hardly a soft-tosser as well. During the 2019 season, Leasher quietly went about his business and was one of the most useful pitchers in the whole system.

Michell Miliano– AZL (2-0) 5.14 ERA/1.952 WHIP- 21 IP/26 BB/35 K

At 6-foot-3 and armed with a high-velocity fastball, Miliano has a lot of upside in his arm. The issue is that he cannot throw strikes. The Dominican has walked 53 batters in his 64 career innings with the Padres. The 20-year-old also struck out 87 during that time. There are hopes he can start, but the power-pitcher is looking like a project in that regard.

Credit: TinCaps

Gabe Mosser– Low Single-A/High Single-A (7-5) 4.17 ERA/1.343 WHIP- 108 IP/25 BB/110 K

Drafted in the 27th-round of the 2018 draft, Mosser has been an impressive right-handed pitcher. He showed excellent control in Fort Wayne this season and was named to the Midwest League All-Star game. Mosser pitched well after his promotion to Lake Elsinore and looks like a great value pick for the Padres.

Drake Fellows– Has yet to debut

Drafted out of Vanderbilt University this past season, this is a pitcher with big-game ability. There is plenty of velocity from the right-hander who could tighten up his mechanics and really blossom under major league coaching. Expect him to start the 2020 season in Fort Wayne, but he could be a fast riser in the system.

Andrew Mitchel– Has yet to debut

Another newly drafted Friar is this funky left-handed pitcher out of San Jose State. Mitchell will strike batters out but needs to pound the zone more effectively. There is a chance the team uses him out of the bullpen, but he has the stuff to get batters out a third time through the lineup.

Bodi Rascon– AZL (0-0) 0.00 ERA/0.833 WHIP- 6 IP/2 BB/6 K

The Padres drafted high school pitcher Bodi Rascon this past June. The left-handed hurler has great size and could be a great value for the team in the 14th round. He throws in the low 90’s already, and the thought process is that he could add velocity in time. The Texan will look to pitch at full-season ball in 2020, but that may be a stretch.

Efrain Contreras– Low Single-A (6-6) 3.61 ERA/1.176 WHIP- 109.2 IP/32 BB/121 K

Contreras pounds the zone with his fastball. The Mexican right-handed pitcher was very effective in Fort Wayne as he made 23 starts for the TinCaps. With a bit of a reputation as an innings-eater, Contreras is an interesting option for the Padres. The undersized pitcher should start the 2020 season in Lake Elsinore.

Adrian Martinez– Low Single-A/High Single-A (7-4) 3.22 ERA/1.19 WHIP- 81 IP/22 BB/76 K

Mexican right-handed pitcher Adrian Martinez is another pitcher who throws strikes and gets ahead of hitters. He ended his 2019 on a great note, going 4-1 with a 1.88 ERA and striking out 41 batters in 38.1 innings pitched. Not overly flashy, Contreras will likely quietly start the season in the Cal League to begin the 2020 season.

Carlos Guarate– AZL/Low Single-A (6-1) 2.22 ERA/1.212 WHIP- 48.2 IP/13 BB/43 K

This 18-year-old pitched well in the AZL and earned a promotion to Fort Wayne late in the season. He showed well there, and this right-handed pitcher could be a sleeper for the 2020 season. The Venezuelan native has decent size and the mechanics to succeed.

Credit: Amarillo Sod Poodles (John Moore)

Lake Bachar– High Single-A/Double-A (8-4) 3.93 ERA/1.410 WHIP- 132.2 IP/60 BB/ 13o K

Bachar put up a very reasonable season in Amarillo during the 2019 season and is now considered a decent option for the team. The 24-year-old is not young, but his pitching style is effective and advanced in a system full of youth and upside. Bachar will likely go between El Paso and Amarillo in 2020.

Gabriel Morales– AZL/Short-Season (4-1) 2.29 ERA/1.020 WHIP-51 IP/17 BB/60 K

This left-handed pitcher strikes batters out and has a decent amount of ability on the mound. The Venezuelan youngster is still 20 and looks to establish himself in Fort Wayne this coming season. If he can walk fewer batters, Morales might turn into a top 30 prospect in time.

Luis Guiterez- Has yet to debut

Signed this period out of Venezuela was this nifty left-handed pitcher. The 17-year-old will need time to develop, but the future of the staff is already being built with this youngster. For a teenager, he is very reformed with his stuff and should stay in the rotation.

Bryan Medina- Has yet to debut

Medina throws hard and is still only 17 years old. The top pitching prospect out of Venezuela during the last international signing period signed with San Diego and will likely start the 2020 season in the DSL. Medina tops out at 97 mph already, and there is a lot to like about his future.

Miguel Rondon– AZL (3-2) 3.79 ERA/1.388 WHIP- 40.1 IP/13 BB/48 K

Undersized pitcher Miguel Rondon has thrown well for the Padres the past two seasons. The native of Venezuela shows a decent fastball and should begin 2020 in the desert of Tri-City. The 19-year-old is raw, but there is some upside.

Jason Blanchard– Short-Season (1-3) 3.38 ERA/1.094 WHIP- 32 IP/12 BB/ 41 K

This right-hander was taken out of Lamar University last year and made his debut right away for the Tri-City Dust Devils. Though undersized slightly, Blanchard has a strong arm and shows an ability to keep the ball in the yard. In 2020, the 22-year-old should start the season in Fort Wayne.

Martin Carrasco– AZL/Short-Season (4-0) 1.23 ERA/1.023 WHIP- 29.1 IP/6 BB/48 K

From Tijuana Mexico, this pitcher finished the 2019 season well. The right-hander went 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA and two saves in 16 innings pitched in his final ten appearances. Though the 20-year-old spent the entire 2019 season in the bullpen, there is the thought process that he may be a starting pitcher moving forward.

Credit: Tri-City Dust Devils

Ethan Elliott– Short-Season (0-0) 1.77 ERA/0.869 WHIP- 35.2 IP/4 BB/38 K

In the 10th round of the draft last June, the Padres selected this left-handed pitcher out of Lincoln Memorial University in Tennesse. The 6-foot-3 pitcher threw extremely well in Tri-City this season, recording a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts. He threw a total of 127 innings in 2019 between college and the Padres. At the age of 22, Elliott could breakout in 2020.

Ignacio Feliz– Short-Season (2-4) 4.40 ERA/1.465 WHIP- 57.1 IP/27 BB/55 K

There is plenty of upside in this young pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. Feliz needs to refine his mechanics slightly as he can get wild in and out of the strike zone. The right-handed pitcher should start the 2020 season in either Arizona or Fort Wayne. A repeat of Tri-City is also not out of the question.

Jeferson Garcia– AZL/Short-Season (3-3) 5.69 ERA/1.408 WHIP- 49 IP/19 BB/62 K

It will take time for this young pitcher, but he shows an ability to record strikeouts. The right-handed pitcher from Venezuela progressed each season and could be an eventual player out of the bullpen. The Padres will explore him in a starting role, and he could start the season in Fort Wayne.

Conor Lehmann– Short-Season (1-1) 3.03 ERA/1.28 WHIP- 29.2 IP/16 BB/26 K

At 6-foot-7, Connor Lehmann is an imposing force on the mound. The seventh-round pick in 2019 out of Saint Louis will strike batters out and should rise rather quickly in the system. Lehmann spent some time in the bullpen in college and could ultimately be a high-leverage reliever for the team.

Luarbert Arias– AZL/Short-Season (5-1) 3.51 ERA/0.976 WHIP- 56.1 IP/10 BB/64 K

19-year-old Luarbert Arias established himself in 2019. The Venezuelan pitcher features very good control and an ability to record the strikeout. Arias has good size and should see some full-season ball at some point during the 2020 season. He is an interesting prospect with a decent ceiling.


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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.

3 thoughts on “San Diego Padres minor league depth (Starting Pitchers)

  1. Nice work again James, but I didn’t see anything on Jacob Nix or Tom Cosgrove. I realize they both ran into some off field issues, however, both have shown some promise. I understand that both have varying degrees of arm issues, but again, if they can come back, both have been counted on at A+ or higher. I believe Cosgrove was the opening day starter in Lake Elsinore and Nix has made it to the big leagues

  2. Nice article, and very informative, as usual. If I were a team trading with the Padres I would, in addition to the more obvious quality pitchers, prioritize adding Cantillo. On the other hand, I will never understand why they passed on the much more obvious quality pitcher in Libertore and picked Weathers. It was said Libertore was demanding over slot money, and that Weathers could be signed for less-than-slot. Yet the exact opposite was true. Weathers, inexplicably, signed for far more…and, not only was Libertore’s slot cost far less, he even signed for less than that amount. Yet, today, he is a top prospect, even earning the top honors for best curve ball, while Weathers looks more like a middle reliever.

    1. Prospect rankings are subjective and even with an off year Ryan’s numbers matched Matt’s at the same level. The Rays just traded him so perhaps they were warranted in passing on him. 2020 is a big year for Ryan to see if he bounces back. There was a nice article out there if you google search on Weathers about learning a slider and getting in better condition. It was late 2019. The Liberatore v. Weathers debate has a long way to go.

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(Visited 2,427 times, 1 visits today)
James Clark on FacebookJames Clark on LinkedinJames Clark on PinterestJames Clark on Twitter
James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.