Anderson Espinoza is a name you should not sleep on for the 2019 season, as the Venezuelan right handed pitcher is poised to be at full strength following his July 2017 Tommy John surgery. The sky is the limit for this Padres pitching prospect.
When the San Diego Padres flipped Drew Pomeranz to the Boston Red Sox for Anderson Espinoza in July of 2016, there was some disbelief among the baseball community.
The young Venezuelan pitcher, Espinoza, was regarded as one of the best right handed pitching prospects in the game of baseball.
Pomeranz was only recently enjoying success at the major league level. Most felt the Padres had completely gotten the better of the deal. The Red Sox were in a playoff race, so that clearly had a lot to do with the trade. Competitive teams frequently deal prospects as the hopes of a World Title seem near.
Espinoza may have been a “better overall player”, but he was young and had tons of uncertainly attached to his brilliant right arm.
In late 2016 after going 1-3 in eight games with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, Espinoza reported elbow discomfort. He was shut down and told not to throw. The minor league season was close to being over, so it was thought that rest was the remedy for this young hurler. He did not play in the winter of 2016 and reported to the Padres in the spring of 2017 ready to compete for a minor league roster spot.
Espinoza felt better in the spring, but still had some elbow tenderness. The team tried more rest as a last ditched effort to fix his ailing arm, but it did not work. It took all the way until the month of July for him and the Padres to finally come to the realization that elbow surgery was needed. He underwent Tommy John surgery in late July of 2017.
The pitcher was attempting to target late this summer as a return date, but knew 2019 was his best bet. He told EVT in the spring.
He has been spotted in and around the Arizona complex throwing this summer. It is not known if he has progressed enough to throw off a mound at 100 percent. At this point there really is no reason to rush the young pitcher. He will rehab more this winter with a hunger to pitch in 2019.
Anderson Espinoza loves the game of baseball. That has been taken away from him for the over two years. When he finally toes that rubber again, he will pitch with a joy and relief that is impossible to describe. At 20, he has been through a lot in his professional career. The maturity he possesses goes without saying, as Espinoza truly knows the highs and lows of the sport.
2019 will be a huge year for the Padres, as players like Anderson Espinoza will step up seemingly out of no where. The Padres are rumored to be looking for an ace pitcher. They might not have to look any further than their own system. Anderson Espinoza has that kind of ability. The 2019 baseball season can not get here soon enough.