Paddack dazzles on mound for Padres

No. 34 overall prospect fans seven over four scoreless innings

The Padres acquired Chris Paddack from the Marlins for Fernando Rodney in June 2016. (Matt York/AP)

By MiLB.com Staff | March 9, 2019 12:04 AM

Through a pair of Cactus League starts, Chris Paddack had showed why he belonged at Major League camp. On Friday, he left no doubt as to why he was one of the Minor Leagues' most dominant pitchers last season. 

The fifth-ranked Padres prospect fanned seven over four scoreless frames, allowing three hits without issuing a walk, in the Padres' 6-5 setback to the A's at Hohokam Stadium. Paddack lowered his spring ERA to 2.08 and has racked up 14 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.

Chad Pinder cracked a double off the 23-year-old right-hander with two outs in the first, but Paddack whiffed Khris Davis to end the threat. He struck out the side in the second and got A's No. 9 prospect Sheldon Neuse looking to begin the third for five consecutive punchouts.

MLB.com's No. 34 overall prospect worked around back-to-back two-out knocks from Robbie Grossman and Franklin Barreto in the third and delivered a 1-2-3 fourth to finish his outing.

Working back from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season, Paddack broke out last year. With Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, the Texas native posted a 2.24 ERA in 10 starts, striking out 83 over 52 1/3 innings. That prompted a promotion to Double-A San Antonio, where Paddack held opponents to a .177 batting average with a 1.91 ERA, even though his strikeout numbers dipped (37 in 37 2/3 innings).

With 90 innings under his belt at that point -- he never pitched more than six innings or threw more than 86 pitches in a start -- the former Marlins prospect was shut down. Nonetheless, his season earned him an Organizational All-Star nod and the Top Starting Pitcher MiLBY Award as well as an invitation to Spring Training, where he's clearly taking advantage of the opportunity.

A team with starting pitching needs, like the Padres, will look to its farm system for help, so it's entirely possible Paddack could pitch meaningful innings for the big club this summer. In fact, he pined for the Opening Day gig after the start. 

"March 28. Against the Giants," he told MLB.com. "[Madison] Bumgarner. That would be something special. I've dreamed about that as a kid.

"We have a lot of great guys, a lot of studs in this organization," Paddack said. "Like I said, I have no control over that. But I'm going to show them I'm ready and give them the hardest decision of their lives to make."

Greg Deichmann, Oakland's 11th-ranked prospect, smacked a go-ahead, two-run homer off Luis Perdomo in the eighth. Earlier that inning, A's No. 5 Austin Beck plated a run with an infield single.

Padres No. 11 Josh Naylor delivered an RBI double and scored twice, while 14th-ranked Xavier Edwards singled in his lone at-bat.

"This team is something special. It's not just me," Paddack said. "It's all the guys in that clubhouse. We have something special. It's going to be fun for the city of San Diego to see some winning baseball. And not only that: We're going to have a playoff push this year. If not, the next few years for sure."

Blue Jays (ss) 11, Pirates 0

Toronto prospects launched five homers against the Pirates. No. 11 prospect Anthony Alford got things started with a leadoff shot in the second inning. He repeated the feat in the fifth but not before second-ranked Bo Bichette clubbed a two-run blast in the fourth that sailed past the left-field deck and found a home among the cars.

Jonathan Davis and Billy McKinney, Toronto's 14th-ranked prospect, joined the fun in the fifth with two-run homers. No. 9 prospect Sean Reid-Foley got the start and tossed four hitless innings. The 23-year-old right-hander's four-strikeout day was a promising contrast to his first two spring appearances, during which he surrendered five earned runs and struck out one in five innings. Box score

Blue Jays (ss) 5, Pirates 2

In Friday's other game between the Jays and Pirates, this one in Dunedin, fourth-ranked Bucs prospect Oneil Cruz picked up his first spring hit in style, smacking a solo homer in the seventh inning. One frame later, 12th-ranked Jared Oliva doubled in his first Grapefruit League at-bat. Top overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 0-for-3 with a walk for Toronto, lowering his spring average to .211. Danny Jansen, ranked third in the Jays system, also went hitless in three at-bats. Box score 

Marlins 10, Mets 3

Mets No. 2 prospect Andres Gimenez was 2-for-3 and hit his first spring homer. Marlins No. 3 prospect Monte Harrison went 1-for-2 with a stolen base, while Austin Dean (No. 27) finished 1-for-3 to raise his spring average to .316. Box score

Orioles 4, Red Sox 2

No. 4 prospect Darwinzon Hernandez started for the Red Sox and allowed a hit and a walk while striking out four over three scoreless innings. No. 22 prospect Bobby Poyner relieved Hernandez and gave up one run on three hits and a walk with one strikeout in two frames. Travis Lakins, Boston's 17th-ranked prospect, followed Poyner and yielded two runs on two hits in one inning. No. 13 prospect Mike Shawaryn worked the seventh and was reached for one run on two hits and a walk. Orioles No. 25 prospect Drew Jackson singled in all three of his at-bats and scored a run. Box score

Cardinals 3, Nationals 2

Top Nationals prospect Victor Robles reached base three times out of the leadoff spot to raise his spring average to .381. No. 19 prospect Tanner Rainey allowed one hit in an inning of scoreless relief. Box score

Brewers 6, Diamondbacks 3

Top Brewers prospect Keston Hiura ripped a two-run homer on the only pitch he saw, going yard for the first time this spring. D-backs No. 11 prospect Andy Young -- acquired from the Cardinals in the Paul Goldschmidt trade -- went 2-for-3 to triple his spring hit total, launching a solo homer off righty Junior Guerra. Box score

Rays 5, Twins 5

Alex Kirilloff, the Twins' No. 2 prospect, went 2-for-2 after coming on as a pinch-hitter to raise his average to .278. Luis Arraez (No. 17) picked up his second hit in 13 at-bats and drew a walk. LaMonte Wade (No. 22) tied the game in the eighth with a sacrifice fly, his fourth RBI of the spring. Rays No. 9 prospect Brandon Lowe stayed hot, doubling and scoring in the fifth. He's batting .435 with a 1.263 OPS this spring. Box score

Royals (ss) 8, Reds 3

Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee, with only two spring at-bats entering Friday, went 3-for-3 with a two-run double in the fifth inning and a stolen base. Nicky Lopez (No. 8) and Meibrys Viloria (No. 19) both went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Lopez also stole his third bag of the spring. Reds No. 17 prospect Keury Mella struck out one in an inning of hitless relief. Box score

Offseason MiLB include

Rockies 11, Rangers 10

Rockies No. 2 prospect Colton Welker knocked a bases-loaded, RBI single to left, giving Colorado a walk-off win. Top Rockies prospect Brendan Rodgers doubled and scored on a double by seventh-ranked Tyler Nevin. On the mound, No. 13 prospect Justin Lawrence struck out one in an inning of hitless relief. Rangers No. 19 prospect Diosbel Arias walked and scored a run in the eighth. Box score

White Sox 15, Angels 8

Top Angels prospect Jo Adell went 1-for-3 with an RBI single to bring his spring average to .364. Jahmai Jones (No. 4) and Matt Thaiss (No. 8) both were 1-for-3, the latter scoring a run after doubling in the fourth inning. Jake Jewell, the club's 26th-ranked prospect, recorded one strikeout in a hitless frame. White Sox No. 8 prospect Micker Adolfo singled in his only at-bat. Box score

Cardinals (ss) 6, Astros 3

Cardinals No. 4 prospect Dakota Hudson turned in his best outing of the spring. The right-hander delivered four scoreless innings, fanning four and allowing one hit -- an infield single by Yuli Gurriel in the fourth. He walked Robinson Chirinos with two outs but fanned Abraham Toro to escape. Third-ranked Andrew Knizner went 2-for-5 with an RBI single and two runs scored and No. 8 Dylan Carlson smacked a two-run double, walked and scored a run. Top Astros prospect Forrest Whitley served up an opposite-field homer to Matt Carpenter in the fifth. That was the extent of the damage done against MLB.com's seventh overall prospect, who allowed two hits and a walk while striking out six over three frames. Box score

Tigers 6, Yankees 5

Tigers No. 5 prospect Daz Cameron continued his strong spring, homering off Masahiro Tanaka in the third. The 22-year-old owns a .333/.391/.714 slash line in Grapefruit League play. Daniel Woodrow (No. 22) smoked a run-scoring double and stole a base, while 29th-ranked Dustin Peterson contributed an RBI single and No. 15 Sergio Alcantara walked and scored a run. On the mound, 11th-ranked Kyle Funkhouser allowed two runs on four hits in his lone inning of relief. Spencer Turnbull (No. 19) fared better as he fanned three and allowed one hit in two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Box score

Braves 5, Phillies 4

Cristian Pache drilled a two-run long ball in his first at-bat of the game. The Braves' No. 4 prospect upped his average to .412 with a 1.239 OPS. Ray-Patrick Didder (No. 30) tied the game with a solo homer in the seventh and scored the winning run in the ninth after Phillies shortstop Phil Gosselin committed an error. Braves No. 21 prospect Chad Sobotka struck out one in a perfect. Phillies No. 28 prospect Edgar Garcia entered with two outs in the third and walked Freddie Freeman before striking out Ronald Acuna Jr. The right-hander retired the side in order in the fourth with two more punchouts. Box score

Cubs 9, Mariners 3

Mariners No. 24 prospect Nick Rumbelow was solid out of the bullpen, striking out three over a pair of one-hit innings. Cubs No. 20 prospect Trent Giambrone doubled and drove in a run with a groundout. Box score

Royals 7, Dodgers 4

Royals No. 10 prospect Kyle Isbel singled and scored on Whit Merrifield's fifth-inning homer and 14th-ranked Kelvin Gutierrez knocked in a run with a base hit in the eighth. No. 27 prospect Arnaldo Hernandez was burned by homers form A.J. Pollock and Joc Pederson, yielding three runs on four hits and a walk with one strikeout in two innings. Dodgers No. 7 prospect Dennis Santana was tagged for four runs on three hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings, knocking his Cactus League ERA up to 7.94. Box score

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More