San Diego Padres: Michel Baez another hurricane making landfall in Cali

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 16: Michel Baez #49 of the San Diego Padres throws a pitch in the sixth inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 8-4. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 16: Michel Baez #49 of the San Diego Padres throws a pitch in the sixth inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 8-4. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

It’s taken a few years for San Diego Padres prospect Michel Baez to make an impact in the majors. In 2020, however, he’s looking to make his presence felt in Southern California.

Michel Baez was a highly touted prospect when he signed with the San Diego Padres in 2016 out of Mayabeque, Cuba for a $3M bonus in international free agency.

The Hurricanes also produced his teammate Adrián Morejon, a talented pitcher in his own right. In 2017, his first full season between rookie and A-ball, he posted an impressive 7-2 record and a sparkling 2.54 ERA in 63.1 innings.

More from Call to the Pen

His pinpoint control was also impressive. In his first full season, Baez only yielded 10 walks all year. When I spoke with Michel Baez about his control. This is what he had to say, “I was able to better my control throw consistently working on keeping pitches down in the zone during bullpen sessions. Focusing on that aspect helped me hone my skills. ”

Baez’s fastball is constantly between 95-98 mph  and his changeup is a very effective pitch in his arsenal especially to left-handed batters. “My best secondary pitch without a doubt is my changeup. I have quietly developed it into a go-to pitch.”

His 12-6 curve that he oscillates at 70 mph is also a nearly unhittable pitch.

He was named to Yahoo’s all minor league team at the end of 2017 and was ranked as high as #4 on the San Diego Padres top 30 prospect list.

“Coming out of Cuba I threw 92 mph, but when I defected and arrived in the Dominican Republic I worked a lot to strengthen my legs and shoulders. These such work out added a few miles to my fastball.”

A tough second season

Michel Baez’s second season in 2018 was a rough one for the young Cuban, it was one marred by inconsistency and injury.

His battles with shoulder inflammation took a few mph off his fastball and although he posted a decent 3.69 ERA he still managed to lose 10 games between A-AA.

Things looked grim for the young hurler at the end of his 2018 season.

Making it to the Majors

Baez opened the 2019 season on the injured list at Double-A Amarillo but was a force when he joined the ball club.

“Batters in Cuba made things very difficult for me because they were experienced and I was just coming into my own. Then again I also didn’t possess the fastball I have today. My experiences in Cuba helped me a lot in minors.”

The imposing righty posted a record of 3-2 and an earned run average of 2.00, this earned him a call up in July and he was impressive in the Majors.

San Diego Padres: Another x-factor in the outfield. light. More

In 29.2 innings with the big club, Baez had a record of 1-1 and nearly struck out a batter per inning mostly as a reliever.

This spring Baez has been as impressive as ever. The hard-throwing righty who is battling for a spot in the rotation is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 4 K’s in four innings. Opponents have also only hit .167 against him.

dark. Next. Top 50 Prospects from 2010: Where Are They Now?

If things continue the way they are expected to we could see the young Cuban in the rotation this summer for the San Diego Padres.