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 being 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. Coleman 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-handed pitcher 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. 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. 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.
Youth with Upside
Chris Lincoln– AZL Padres/Tri-City (2-0) 1.90 ERA/0.887 WHIP 23.2 IP/6 BB/23 K 2 saves
6-foot-4, right-handed pitcher Chris Lincoln closed in college and should be a high-leverage reliever for the Padres. The 5th-round pick in 2019 saved 13 games for UC Santa Barbara last year. There is a lot to like about his arm and upside. Lincoln should start in Single-A and, at the age of 22, seems to have a very nice future.
Matt Brash– AZL Padres/Fort Wayne (0-0) 1.69 ERA/0.750 WHIP 5.1 IP/0 BB/8 K
Canadian Matt Brash may still pitch in the rotation, but the bullpen seems to be his likely landing spot. There is a lot to like about his arm as he has terrific arm speed and velocity with his fastball. The 21-year-old right-hander will likely start the season in Fort Wayne and is a very interesting prospect.
Sam Ballard– AZL Padres (1-1) 4.13 ERA/1.417 WHIP 24 IP/16 BB/25 K
Ballard was taken out of the 28th-round in 2019. This 22-year-old needs to throw strikes. The left-handed pitcher may still need time to make it onto a full-season squad this coming season. Ballard is a low pick, and it will likely take him time to hone his craft.
Sam Williams– AZL Padres/Lake Ellsinore/Amarillo (2-0) 4.64 ERA/1.212 WHIP 33 IP/7 BB/34 K
This left-handed pitcher had a fantastic 2019 season. The 22-year-old went undrafted out of college but made it to Amarillo in the Texas League. The Padres seemed to have rectified an issue with his mechanics as Williams struggled mightily at Eastern Kentucky.
Blake Baker– AZL Padres (1-1) 2.35 ERA/1.217 WHIP 23 IP/13 BB/34 K 8 saves
Another late-round pick from this past season’s draft is this 21-year-old right-hander. The 25th-round pick recorded eight saves last year in the AZL, showing a real positive fastball. There is a chance the pitcher starts the season as the TinCaps closer. He is flourishing under major league coaching.
Jose Geraldo– AZL Padres (0-1) 3.09 ERA/1.286 WHIP 23.1 IP/8 BB/27 K 2 saves
21-year-old Jose Geraldo has three saves pitching for the Padres in the desert over the past two seasons. The Dominican native has good size, and the right-handed pitcher could be serviceable in time for the Padres. He will look to make the roster in Fort Wayne to begin 2020.
Cody Tyler– Fort Wayne/Lake Elsinore/El Paso (3-3) 3.46 ERA/1.256 WHIP 67.2 IP/13 BB/71 K 5 saves
32nd-round pick Cody Tyler is proving to be a useful lefty for the Padres. The 2018 draft pick made it to El Paso in 2019, which is very impressive. He will likely start in Amarillo in 2020 but could be a factor eventually for the major league squad.
Starlin Cordero– Tri-City (2-0) 4.54 ERA/1.574 WHIP 33.2 IP/23 BB/50 K
This big pitcher throws hard but has no idea where the ball is going. The 6-foot-7 Dominican is still very young and could eventually prove to be serviceable. The 21-year-old right-hander owns a career 4.67 ERA in 123 minor league innings. With 158 strikeouts during that span, there is a lot to love. The 99 walks are the issue that needs to be solved.
Dan Dallas– Tri-City/Fort Wayne (2-2) 3.59 ERA/1.552 WHIP 47.2 IP/27 BB/58 K 2 saves
It feels as though Dallas has been in the system for a long time. The 7th-round pick in 2016 out of a high school in Buffalo is left-handed and has an excellent arm. The 22-year-old saw significant time in Fort Wayne last year and could begin there or start in Lake Elsinore to start the 2020 season.
Seth Mayberry– AZL Padres/Tri-City (3-1) 2.54 ERA/1.341 WHIP 28.1 IP/17 BB/33 K 3 saves
A 39th-round pick in 2018, Mayberry has plenty of work to do to become a top prospect in the system. The right-handed pitcher has good size but will need to throw strikes to continue to move through the system. He will battle for a spot on a Single-A roster this spring.
Wen-Hua Sung– Tri-City (4-1) 3.05 ERA/1.113 WHIP 41.1 IP/14 BB/59 K
This Taiwanese pitcher spent the last two seasons in Tri-City and could eventually be a factor in the bullpen for San Diego. The 23-year-old right-hander may need some more time to develop but has shown flashes of something special in the last year.
Deacon Medders– Tri-City (1-5) 4.84 ERA/1.472 WHIP 35.1 IP/18 BB/43 K 4 saves
Drafted out of the University of Alabama in 2019 with a 20th round pick, Medders could be a real factor for the team eventually. The 23-year-old has good size and could start the 2020 season with the TinCaps.
Jose Quezada– Fort Wayne (6-4) 4.09 ERA/1.564 WHIP 70.1 IP/37 BB/89 K 1 save
This Mexican pitcher may not be the largest pitcher (listed at 5-foot-9), but he does have a great arm. The 10th round pick out of Texas Tech in 2018 could be a factor in Lake Elsinore in 2020. The 24-year-old is a durable strikeout pitcher.
Franklin Van Gurp– Four Teams (3-5) 4.66 ERA/1.463 WHIP 67.2 IP/31 BB/84 K 5 saves
The native of Sint Maarten was acquired from the Giants last year for Alex Dickerson. There is some upside with the right-handed pitcher who has recorded 11 minor league saves throughout his career. He will likely start the season in Lake Elsinore, where the 24-year-old will further his development.
Mark Zimmerman– AZL Padres INJURED
The former 33rd-round pick in 2016 missed all of the 2018 season and only pitched in one game last year at the AZL level. The 25-year-old power pitcher has an uphill battle in front of him, but he could eventually be a decent prospect for the team.
Fred Schlichtholz– Lake Elsinore (1-0) 3.97 ERA/1.552 WHIP 47.2 IP/24 BB/63 K 1 save
Born in Chula Vista and from Coronado high school, this left-handed pitcher was selected in the 13th round in 2017. The 24-year-old has good size but needs to throw strikes to advance in the system. There is time for him to get better.
Minor League Depth and Uncertainty
Kyle McGrath– El Paso (4-3) 7.76 ERA/1.644 WHIP 62.1 IP/20 BB/43 K
McGrath has major league service time, but there is not a lot of upside with him. The 27-year-old is a soft tosser who relies on an unorthodox windup and motion to get outs. He was knocked around last year in El Paso as the PCL is a hitter’s league. McGrath is probably nothing more than organizational depth at this point.
Alfredo Castaneda– DSL Padres (1-1) 4.50 ERA/1.63 WHIP 24 IP/10BB/23 K
19-year-old Alfredo Castaneda played for the DSL last year, and his future is uncurtained. The Mexican native has good size and, after spending two years in the Dominican Republic, seems poised to begin 2020 in the States. He should pitch on one of the AZL teams to start the year.
Hazahel Quijada– Fort Wayne (0-0) 3.38 ERA/1.125 WHIP 2.1 IP/1 BB/5 K
This left-handed pitcher provides depth to the team in the middle reliever department. The 17th round pick in 2018 from UC Riverside has an issue throwing strikes and is trying to rectify that in the lower levels. Quijada has an outside chance of starting the year in Single-A.
Dominic DiSabatino– Tri-City (4-0) 8.03 ERA/1.78 WHIP 24.2 IP/23 BB/13 K
After missing the entire 2017 and 2018 season, this 23-year-old will be looking to further in the lower levels. The right-hander, who was selected in the 20th-round of the 2016 draft battled throwing strikes last year for the Dust Devils. His future is undoubtedly cloudy.
Keegan Collett– AZL Padres (2-0) 4.56 ERA/1.690 WHIP- 23.2 IP/22 BB/36 K
Right-hander Keegan Collett has a big arm but has real issues throwing strikes. The Padres will hope to rectify his mechanics and get some consistency from the 21-year-old native Texan. Look for the pitcher to start in Tri-City with an outside chance of seeing time in Fort Wayne if all goes well for him.
Brandon Komar– AZL Padres/Fort Wayne (1-1) 6.29 ERA/1.485 WHIP- 34.1 IP/15 BB/39 K
There is a chance that Komar is given a shot in the rotation, but he looks to be a reliever in the long run. The 13th-round pick from the 2019 draft out of Madison Area Technical Collge has a lot of work to do, but the 20-year-old is still very young, and his future is cloudy.
Alejandro Lugo– DSL Padres (0-5) 5.24 ERA/1.61 WHIP- 22.1 IP/15 BB/24 K
Signed in May of 2019, this 17-year-old has a decent arm. The Venezuelan native will pitch again in the DSL to begin the 2020 season. There is not much known about this right-handed pitcher who only adds to the Padres organizational depth.
Alan Mundo– AZL Padres INJURED
This Mexican pitcher missed the entire 2019 season with an injury. The 6-foot-2 right-hander has some ability but will need to rebound in the coming years to be a viable prospect in a system that is very deep. His future is uncertain at the age of 19.
Nick Rios– DSL Padres (0-3) 2.41 ERA/1.446 WHIP- 18.2 IP/4 BB/9 K
19-year-old Nick Rios posted great numbers in two seasons at the DSL level. He owns a 1.65 ERA and a 1.255 WHIP 32.2 innings pitched to begin his pro career. There is a chance that he pitches in the States this year for the Padres.
Jessel Soto– DSL Padres (2-1) 2.12 ERA/1.449 WHIP 29.2 IP/14 BB/14 K 1 save
Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Jessel Soto is a prospect that needs another year at the DSL level. The 18-year-old has excellent size at 6-foot-4, but is lean and wiry and needs to add muscle to his frame. There is some ability here.
Luis Eusebio– AZL Padres (2-2) 4.41 ERA/1.356 WHIP 34.2 IP/15 BB/41 K 4 saves
23-year-old Luis Eusebio has been at the rookie-level for three years without emerging. The Dominican pitcher owns a career 4.53 ERA in 131 innings for the DSL and AZL Padres. The right-handed pitcher is probably nothing more than a depth piece at this point.
Omar Fernandez– AZL Padres INJURED
This 20-year-old left-handed pitcher spent the whole 2019 season on the shelf. The Venezuelan native put up decent numbers in his three previous seasons, recording a 3.61 ERA and a 1.245 WHIP in 119.2 innings pitched. Health will be a massive key for him moving forward.
Moises Lugo– AZL Padres/Fort Wayne (5-2) 3.83 ERA/1.250 WHIP 40 IP/8 BB/41 K
Getting a little taste of Single-A baseball was good for this right-handed pitcher. The 21-year-old was roughed up a bit, but he could open the season at the level if he shows well in the spring.
Enrique Page– DSL Padres INJURED
At 6-foot-7, Enrique Page is a large human being. The right-handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic missed the entire 2019 season and has yet to make his professional debut after being signed by the Padres during the last international signing period.
Anderson Polanco– AZL Padres (1-1) 5.73 ERA/1.636 WHIP 22 IP/12 BB/24 K 2 saves
After missing the entire 2018 season, this 22-year-old left-hander was able to get into some action last year. There is some ability here, and he could make a run at full-season ball if all breaks well for him this spring.
Fernando Sanchez– AZL Padres (3-0) 4.64 ERA/1.394 WHIP 33 IP/22 BB/41 K 2 saves
19-year-old Mexican pitcher Fernando Sanchez is a decent option for the team in the long run. The right-hander has saved games and looks to be a reliable middle relief option moving forward. He could see some time in Fort Wayne this year.
Alexuan Vega– AZL Padres (1-1) 6.26 ERA/2.232 WHIP 27.1 IP/24 BB/29 K
The Padres used a 6th-round pick on the Puerto Rican youngster, and it has not looked to be a solid pick. The left-handed pitcher owns a 7.87 ERA in the last two seasons and has struggled to make it out of rookie ball. The 20-year-old has the stiff, but need to figure it out.
Jake Sims– Tr-City (3-2) 5.40 ERA/1.933 WHIP 30 IP/28 BB/50 K
Canadian Jake Sims was selected in the 31st-round in 2018 out of St. Leo College. The right-handed pitcher has a power arm, but struggles with location and throwing strikes. The 22-year-old could be a decent option one day.
Andrew Dean– AZL Padres/Fort Wayne (3-0) 3.19 ERA/1.065 WHIP 31 IP/8 BB/30 K
Left-handed pitcher Andrew Dean may still be a starter to begin the 2020 season. The 18th-round pick in 2019 impressed the Padres this past summer, showing a very good mix of pitches. Dean will likely start the season in Single-A with the TinCaps.
Tom Colletti– 5 Teams (4-6) 5.10 ERA/1.482 WHIP 54.2 IP/20 BB/65 K 4 saves
24-year-old Tom Colletti will likely open the season in Lake Elsinore or Fort Wayne. The right-handed pitcher owns a career 3.58 ERA in 105 innings pitched at the minor league level. Colletti has saved games in the past and could be used in that role moving forward.
Manny Guzman– AZL Padres INJURED
Gusman was injured for most of 2019 and only pitched in two games for the AZL Padres. The 20-year-old Dominican has excellent size at 6-foot-4 but will need to refine his mechanics. There is an outside chance he starts in Tri-City to begin the 2020 season.
Dylan Hoffman– AZL Padres (0-1) 6.00 ERA/1.667 WHIP 6 IP/1 BB/5 K
Trevor Hoffman’s nephew is not much of a pitching prospect. The right-hander will need to get bigger and stronger to be a relevant prospect. At the age of 24, the chances of that happening are really low.
Tyler Mortensen– AZL Padres INJURED
The 26th-round pick in 2018 missed the entire season last year. The 19-year-old left-handed pitcher has the size and enough stuff to get back into prospect relevancy. The native Californian will need to stay healthy to excel in the system.
Eudi Asencio– AZL Padres (2-1) 7.23 ERA/1.661 WHIP 18.2 IP/19 BB/ 12 K
21-year-old Eusi Asencio is not a very highly-touted prospect. The Dominican pitcher owns a career 5.22 ERA in 70.2 minor league innings. The right-handed pitcher may see some time in the AZL, but that is not even a guarantee.
Edwuin Bencomo– AZL/Low & High Single-A (2-1) 4.23 ERA/1.567 WHIP- 44.2 IP/15 BB/48 K
At the age of 20, this Venezuelan pitcher has progressed nicely. The right-handed pitcher owns 16 career saves and is a pitcher who could eventually be used in high-leverage situations. Bencomo should begin the 2020 season in Lake Elsinore.
Carlos Belen– Fort Wayne/Amarillo (2-3) 4.12 ERA/1.256 WHIP 67.2 IP/18 BB/73 K
Converted infielder Carlos Belen throws hard and showed some promise last season in his first taste of pitching. There is a lot to like about his upside, but the 23-year-old Dominican is raw on the mound. He will see some time with the Storm in 2020.
Tom Cosgrove– Lake Elsinore/AZL Padres (1-4) 5.45 ERA/1.667 WHIP 33 IP/13 BB/33 K
Drafted in the 12th-round in 2017, this right-handed pitcher has some ability. He owns a 3.90 ERA and a 1.423 WHIP in 195 minor league innings. Cosgrove will likely play a part in the bullpen rotation between Lake Elsinore and Amarillo this coming season.
Nick Kuzia– 3 Teams (3-3) 4.65 ERA/1.417 WHIP 60 IP/26 BB/62 K
24-year-old Nock Kuzia is an undrafted free agent who has pitched well for the Padres. The right-hander owns a 4.46 ERA in 119 minor league innings. Kuzia should begin the 2020 season at the Single-A level.
Felix Minjarez– Tri-City/Lake Elsinore (3-2) 2.53 ERA/1.219 WHIP 53.1 IP/16 BB/ 54 K 1 save
Minjarez went undrafted out of the Universit of Redlands and ended up with the Padres. The right-handed pitcher owns a 2.19 ERA and a 1.214 WHIP in 82.1 minor league innings. There is an ability to throw strikes and pound the zone with Minjarez, who should begin 2020 with the Storm.