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Patiño headlines crop headed to Rays in Snell deal

Padres also sending Wilcox, Hunt, Mejia to reigning AL champions
Luis Patiño compiled a 5.19 ERA in 11 appearances, including one start, for the Padres this season. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
@brianjstultz
December 28, 2020

The Rays have made a deal for some important future batterymates. The reigning American League champions finalized a trade on Tuesday to acquire No. 23 overall prospect Luis Patiño from the Padres along with fellow right-hander Cole Wilcox, catching prospect Blake Hunt and big league backstop Francisco Mejia in exchange

The Rays have made a deal for some important future batterymates.

The reigning American League champions finalized a trade on Tuesday to acquire No. 23 overall prospect Luis Patiño from the Padres along with fellow right-hander Cole Wilcox, catching prospect Blake Hunt and big league backstop Francisco Mejia in exchange for 2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell. The trade was first reported by The Athletic late Sunday night.

The 21-year-old Patiño made his Major League debut on Aug. 5 and appeared in 11 games, making one start, over the latter part of the abbreviated season. In that time, San Diego's No. 3 prospect posted a 5.19 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 14 walks over 17 1/3 innings. Seeing action in the postseason, Patiño allowed one earned run over 2 2/3 innings in three appearances.

That followed a 2019 season in which the Colombia native earned MiLB Organization All-Star honors after putting up 2.57 ERA and fanning 123 batters while holding opponents to a .198 average over 94 2/3 innings across two levels.

Wilcox, a third-round pick in this year's Draft out of the University of Georgia, has all the stuff to become a star. At 6-foot-5 and 232 pounds, he's a big presence on the mound and has a fastball that can reach triple digits to go with a sneaky slider. Whether he will be a starter or reliever in the pros has yet to be determined.

The 69th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Hunt is a sturdy backstop -- 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds -- who's come along defensively in recent years. At the plate in 2019, his first full Minor League season, the 22-year-old from California put up a .255/.331/.381 slash line with five homers, three triples, 21 doubles, 35 RBIs and 40 runs scored in 89 games with Class A Fort Wayne.

The addition of Patiño increases to seven the number of Top 100 prospects in the Rays system, as ranked by MLB Pipeline. The others are shortstop Wander Franco (No. 1), left-hander/designated hitter Brendan McKay (No. 12), infielders Vidal Brujan (No. 41) and Xavier Edwards (No. 67), righty Shane Baz (No. 86) and southpaw Shane McClanahan (No. 99).

Brian Stultz is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianjstultz.