Padres promoting prospect Patiño to Majors
The Padres have already gotten off to a strong 7-4 start in the early going of the 2020 season. Less than two weeks into the abbreviated campaign, the club is about to get a whole lot more electric. San Diego is calling up No. 27 overall prospect Luis Patiño to
The Padres have already gotten off to a strong 7-4 start in the early going of the 2020 season. Less than two weeks into the abbreviated campaign, the club is about to get a whole lot more electric.
San Diego is calling up No. 27 overall prospect
Welcome to The Show, @ElElectrico26! pic.twitter.com/AktwePxafK— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 4, 2020
"I feel blessed," Patiño said through a team interpreter. "It's a day I've been working toward for quite some time and wanting to reach. Here I am. Today's the day. So very excited about that. I'm here with maximum availability and whatever the team may need."
The 20-year-old hurler is considered MLB.com's No. 8 right-handed pitching prospect. He thrives on using a mid-90s fastball that can touch even higher in shorter stints, similar to the ones he'll be charged with out of the gate in the Majors. His slider is considered a plus pitch, and he also features an average curveball and changeup. His solid control of that mix should give him a good chance to start down the line, but for now, his stuff is good enough to help a San Diego bullpen that ranks 25th in the Majors with a collective 5.93 ERA.
"I have very little experience pitching out of the bullpen, but at the same time during that whole Summer Camp and during my time with the taxi squad, that was always an option that my chance here was going to come first out of the bullpen," Patiño said. "So during all these games I was pitching over with the taxi squad, that was my mentality. I was starting those games, but I tried to have a reliever's mentality -- attacking, trying to finish the innings as quickly as possible, making good pitches and being on the aggressive side and the attack from the get-go."
The Padres have been aggressive with Patiño's assignments since they signed him out of Colombia on July 2, 2016. Despite agreeing to just $130,000, he impressed the Padres early and moved stateside one year later. His full-season debut came in 2018 with Class A Fort Wayne at age 18, and his stock took another jump after stints with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and Double-A Amarillo last year when some American pitchers would have been freshmen in college.
The 6-foot-1 hurler posted a 2.57 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP with 123 strikeouts over 94 2/3 innings between those two 2019 stops. He gained some national notoriety at the 2019 All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland's Progressive Field when he struck out three batters over 1 2/3 perfect innings for the National League side and flashed as high as 99 mph on the radar gun -- signs that bode well for his new relief role in the Majors. All three strikeouts came against top prospects in
Along with Adell's pending promotion to the Angels, Patiño will make for six players born in the year 1999 to crack the Major Leagues. The other four are
"It's the same baseball," Patiño said. "It's the same game, whether you're in Colombia, whether you're in the Minors, whether you're in the big leagues. It's the same game. I need to go out there and do what I've always done. I need to throw strikes. I need to attack. I need to make good pitches. I need to get through innings as efficiently as possible. I know that I have a team behind me that is going to work with me and accompany me through all that. It's the same thing. I just have to go out there and give it my best, do what I've done, do what's given me success and I think it'll turn out all right."
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.