San Diego Padres: Spring Training rotation breakdown

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 29: Chris Paddack #59 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Petco Park July 29, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 29: Chris Paddack #59 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Petco Park July 29, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images.
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. /

First Starter: Chris Paddack

The San Diego Padres have placed an abundance of hope in the farm system of prospects that they have stockpiled and, on the pitching side, the greatest hope for them is Chris Paddack.

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Paddack is an impressive pitcher due to his unbending poise and his assertive style of pitching. Similar to Lamet and Richards, Paddack approaches the strike zone vertically – establishing the lower half and then attempting to finish off the batter with high heat. Or conversely, to raise the eye level of the batter and finish him off with a change-up or curveball in the lower half.

The fastball is not necessarily the fastest, yet the method by which the Padres’ ace delivers the pitch, allows the ball to seem sped up. He is assertive on the mound in that he attacks the strike zone, aggressively attempting to throw strikes.

While it is true that this practice should allow him to pitch deeper in each of his starts, it also creates the opportunity for more hits on weak contact. Paddack is particularly threatened by this because he does not feature very much variety.

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The change-up and curveball simply cannot match up to the excellency his fastball offers. This is not to say that he should adopt a new style of pitching, but rather slightly adapt. When behind in the count batters will attack anything near the strike zone, thus in 1-2 or 0-2 counts Paddack might be best served to utilize the waste pitch.

As his four-seamer jams opponents, inducing weak contact; change-ups and curveballs low in the zone could produce groundballs or even strikeouts.

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Paddack certainly has the make-up of an ace level pitcher. If he is able to hone his impressive capabilities and smooth out some of the kinks, his potential is boundless.