San Diego Padres’ right-hander Chris Paddack was named the 2018 MiLB pitcher of the year on Friday. This is a huge accomplishment for a player returning from Tommy John surgery. Paddack headlines a very deep Padres farm system.
If you haven’t heard by now, the San Diego Padres have one of the deepest farm systems in all of baseball.
Contributing to this depth are the many talented pitching prospects that are scattered throughout their rich farm system.
None of these prospects, however, might be more talented and have a brighter future than Chris Paddack.
Coming to the Padres in the Fernando Rodney trade, Paddack missed all of 2017 because of Tommy John surgery. Many fans forgot about him as he plummeted down to the bottom of most Padres’ top 30 prospects lists. It was essential for Paddack to have a strong 2018 campaign in order for him to get his name back out there.
Dominant would be the perfect word to describe just how good Chris Paddack was in 2018. In 17 starts between Lake Elsinore and San Antonio, Paddack pitched 90 innings with a 2.10 ERA and a 0.822 WHIP. Paddack also won seven games while striking out 120 batters and only walking eight. Yes, you read that right, only eight walks throughout the entire season.
He completely exceeded expectations and cemented himself as one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. Prior to the 2018 campaign, Paddack was not even close to being ranked in the MLB.com Pipeline top 100 prospects. Now, he sits comfortably at #35 and should only continue to rise while he ascends through the minor leagues. A serious argument can be made that Chris Paddack is the best pitcher in the Padres’ farm system instead of left-hander McKenzie Gore, something that nobody would have even dreamt about at the beginning of 2018.
The 22-year-old Texas native’s dominant campaign was good enough to earn him the MiLB Pitcher of the Year award, and rightfully so. There are very few pitchers throughout the minor leagues that put up numbers even close to Paddack’s, and it should be no surprise that he won this award.
Chris Paddack himself looks like an ace in the making, something that the Padres have not had in a very long time.