San Diego Padres minor league depth (Starting Pitchers)

Credit: John E. Moore/ Amarillo Sod Poodles

Credit: USA Today Sports

Minor League Depth and Uncertainty

Jerad Eickhoff– MLB (3-4) 5.71 ERA/1.303 WHIP- 58.1 IP/18 BB/51 K

The major league veteran will be in spring camp on a minor league contract. There is a possibility he makes the team, but it would take an amazing outing in the spring. The curveball specialist will probably help guide the pitching staff in El Paso to start the 2020 season.

Anderson Espinoza- Injured- DNP

Two Tommy John surgeries leave a massive cloud of doubt over the head of Anderson Espinoza. The Venezuelan right-handed pitcher is still 21 years of age. He will miss most if not all of the 2020 season but could once again surface in 2021 as a relevant prospect.

Brett Kennedy– Injured- DNP

Kennedy essentially missed the entire 2019 season with a lat strain that developed in March. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher was outrighted in October and was unclaimed. He will provide depth at the Triple-A level and could factor at some point again for the Padres.

Cole Bellinger– Injured- DNP

Tommy John surgery in 2019 puts some doubt into this youngster’s future. The right-handed thrower was never a high-velocity pitcher, so he will need to re-invent himself if he wishes to advance in the system. You may see him in 2020, but there is no rush for this 20-year-old.

Jerry Keel– Triple-A (10-7) 6.78 ERA/1.764 WHIP- 151.1 IP/60 BB/114 K

In 2019, the Padres took this big lefty out of Cal State Northridge. The ninth-round pick has had a respectable minor league career reaching Triple-A last year. Keel is close to major league action and would have probably made his debut already if it were not for the Padres crazy depth.

Sam Keating– Short-Season/Low Single-A (3-8) 7.79 ERA/1.688 WHIP- 69.1 IP/29 BB/40 K

Keating has not lived up to the hype of his fourth-round selection. The 21-year-old still has time to get back on track, but there are some reasons to be concerned moving forward as he has allowed 176 hits in 143 innings pitched throughout his minor league career.

Jesse Scholtens– Double-A (5-7) 5.40 ERA/1.480 WHIP- 125 IP/40 BB/129 K

25-year-old Jesse Scholtens is on the verge of major league service time. The right-handed pitcher is not a hard thrower, but he gets the job done. The former 9th-round pick out of Wright State University made it the Texas League in 2019 and should see plenty of action in El Paso this coming season.

Manuel Avila– DSL (4-2) 6.00 ERA/1.500 WHIP- 48 IP/15 BB/27 K

At this point, this 18-year-old is minor league depth. The undersized right-handed pitcher will probably repeat the DSL level as he needs a lot of work to be considered a serious prospect in the system.

Jose Garcia– AZL/DSL (5-3) 3.41 ERA/1.34 WHIP- 58 IP/12 BB/55 K

Left-handed pitcher Jose Garcia has quietly put up solid numbers for the Padres. The native of Venezuela owns a 2.91 ERA in 102 innings pitched between the DSL and the AZL Rookie League. He throws strikes but is 21 years old and undersized.

Jesus Cisneros– DSL (1-1) 5.00 ERA/1.22 WHIP- 18 IP/4 BB/15 K

At the age of 19, this young Venezuelan pitcher is minor league depth for the San Diego Padres. The skinny youngster needs to improve and will likely start the season in the DSL once again.

Luis Crisostomo– DSL (2-2) 4.96 ERA/1.324 WHIP- 45.1 IP/14 BB/29 K

Crisostomo has good size at 6-foot-2 and could eventually factor to some degree at the lower levels of the system. The right-handed pitcher got knocked around pretty hard in the DSL this past season and will likely repeat the level.

Jairo Iriarte– DSL (1-2) 3.31 ERA/1.387 WHIP- 35.1 IP/14 BB/21 K

This Venezuelan youngster just turned 18 and has some ability. The right-handed pitcher was able to maintain a 3.31 ERA last year in the DSL and could see some action in the States this spring.

Dwayne Matos– DSL (2-3) 3.74 ERA/1.161 WHIP- 45.2 IP/6 BB/31 K

Matos is a strike-thrower, and that bodes well for him, possibly advancing in the system. The 19-year-old Dominican threw well in the DSL last year and could see some time in the AZL this spring and even play at Tri-City if all things break correctly for him.

Mauricio Rodriguez– DSL (2-2) 9.82 ERA/1.773 WHIP- 22 IP/5 BB/22 K

After an impressive 2018 season in the DSL when the right-handed pitcher recorded a 2.70 ERA at the age of 17, he regressed in 2019. The Venezuelan native throws strikes generally but will need to refine his mechanics.

Edgar Martinez– AZL (3-3) 4.40 ERA/1.47 WHIP- 43 IP/10 BB/54 K

Cuban pitcher Edgar Martinez is a bit undersized, but he has a decent arm. The right-hander throws strikes and racks up the strikeouts but is still a little raw. Fourteen earned runs in his last four starts clouded his overall numbers a bit. You could see him in Fort Wayne at some point in 2020.

Angel Acevedo– Short-Season/Low & High Single-A ( 1-12) 6.41 ERA/1.609 WHIP- 91.1 IP/35 BB/92 K

21-year-old Angel Acevedo is a right-handed pitcher with some upside. The Venezuelan native made it to Lake Elsinore in 2019 and could open the season in the rotation there. A relief role also may be in his future as he needs to refine some of his offspeed.

Jason Reynolds– Short-Season (2-4) 8.64 ERA/1.800 WHIP- 25 IP/20 BB/28 K

This right-handed pitcher may eventually be a relief pitcher, but he did spend some time starting last year for the Padres. The 32nd round pick needs to throw strikes to advance further. It remains to be seen if he can do that. Reynolds could surface on any roster in 2020.

Nick Thwaits-Short-Season (4-3) 4.66 ERA/1.517 WHIP- 58 IP/18 BB/47 K

Drafted in the 15th round of the 2018 draft, this right-handed pitcher is progressing well. The 20-year-old throws a lot of strikes and has good size to him. Reliving could be an option, but the Padres will likely allow him to progress in the rotation.

Cullen Dana– Short-Season/Low Single-A (3-4) 4.87 ERA/1.444 WHIP- 44.1 IP/15 BB/29 K

Despite being roughed up to end his season, Dana is still a player who could develop into prospect status in time. The left-handed pitcher will need to refine his mechanics to progress in the system. The former 30th round pick should begin in Fort Wayne and could eventually be a lefty specialist in the bullpen.

Jesus Gonzalez– AZL/Low Single-A (4-3) 4.86 ERA/1.380 WHIP- 50 IP/14 BB/48 K

This Venezuelan pitcher is a bit undersized, but he has an exciting arm. The 18-year-old southpaw progressed to the point where he is ready for Single-A baseball. There is a lot to like about his future, which could turn out to be very positive.

Caleb Boushley– High Single-A (5-4) 3.61 ERA/1.251 WHIP- 102.1 IP/16 BB/104 K

As a 33rd round pick, this right-hander has shown a lot. The 26-year-old spent the entire 2019 season with the Storm and did an adequate job as a starting pitcher at the end of the season. Boushley should get a taste of the Texas League in 2020 for the Padres.

Reiss Knehr– High Single-A (3-5) 5.43 ERA/1.492 WHIP- 66.1 IP/28 BB/83 K

Reiss Knehr started a handful of games at the end of the year for Lake Elsinore. The right-handed pitcher provides an ability to strikeout batters but struggled with command at points in the Cal League. Knehr will likely begin 2020 in Lake Elsinore with the Storm.

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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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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.