Anderson Espinoza
23-Year-Old PitcherP
San Diego Padres A+
2021 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Anderson Espinoza in 2021. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a $1.8 million contract with the Red Sox in July of 2014. Traded to the Padres in July of 2016.
Ejected from Thursday start
PSan Diego Padres  A+
July 1, 2021
Espinoza was ejected from his start for High-A Fort Wayne on Thursday after umpires detected a sticky substance on his glove following the first inning, Justin Prince of WFFT Fox 55 Fort Wayne reports.
ANALYSIS
Espinoza could face a suspension if it is determined that he was in fact using an illegal substance. The 23-year-old has mostly struggled in his return to the mound after injuries derailed his 2017-2019 campaigns, posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over 20 innings.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
The expectation is that Espinoza will pitch in games this year for the first time since 2016. He waited to get Tommy John surgery until late in the summer of 2017, even though he first started experiencing forearm issues in spring training of that year. Espinoza was still not ready to pitch in games in the fall instructional league, but was reportedly throwing off the mound. Frontline upside still exists for the 6-foot, 170-pound righty, as he has the potential for three 70-grade pitches, but that is a projection -- he is far from a finished product. Given his slow recovery and obvious workload limitations in his first year back, the Padres will likely hold him back in extended spring training for a month or two before assigning him to High-A. If he pitches well, he should finish the year at Double-A, a la Chris Paddack in 2018. The Padres let Paddack throw 90 innings in his first year back from TJS. That should be seen as the maximum output for Espinoza.
We didn’t see Espinoza pitch in 2017, and likely won’t see him pitch in 2018 either, as he underwent Tommy John surgery in late July/early August. The timetable could have been more favorable if he had gone under the knife when the forearm issue first popped up at the end of spring training, but the Padres exhausted all other options before sending one of their best pitching prospects for TJ. A 6-foot, 160-pound 19-year-old with ace-like stuff, Espinoza was always going to be coddled every step of the way, and that will only be exacerbated after this injury. He might not eclipse 100 innings again until 2020, at which point he could be knocking on the door of the majors, so expect lots of bullpen stints and shutdown periods in the years ahead. Frontline upside still exists, as he has the potential for three 70-grade pitches, but that is a projection -- he is far from a finished product. He should be kept in most dynasty leagues, but the road ahead will undoubtedly be long and arduous.
It is pretty rare for an 18-year-old pitching prospect to become a household name without really producing like a phenom above rookie ball. Espinoza has done just that, going from prized international signee in 2014, to hyped 17-year-old dominating the Dominican Summer and Gulf Coast leagues in 2015. His traditional numbers with Boston and San Diego's Low-A affiliates do not scream future frontline starter, but his FIP was just over 3.00 and he was almost four years younger than league average. He displayed a mid-90s fastball with late life, average command and signs that his curveball and changeup could develop into plus pitches. Espinoza is tricky to evaluate in dynasty leagues, because he could be the top pitching prospect in baseball at the All-Star break, but also carries all of the inherent risk that comes with undersized lower-level arms.
Espinoza, 18, was an international free agent signed in 2014 and made his organizational debut in 2015. The preternatural right-hander with a slight frame used his three-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, changeup) and mid-90s gas to blow away the competition in the Dominican Summer League and then the Gulf Coast League. He allowed five runs, 37 hits, and 12 walks while striking out 61 batters in 55 innings. The Red Sox think so highly of him, they gave Espinoza one start for Low-A Greenville. That start against the most advanced hitters he’s faced was predictably less successful, but Espinoza’s initial dominance has the organization thinking about an aggressive development path for him. He pitched in the Fall Instructional League, facing hitters several years older, and did not look out of place. His delivery is clean and repeatable and he keeps his fastball down in the zone. Espinoza will be a trendy pick in dynasty leagues, and while there is still significant lead time, he looks like he could be worth the wait.
More Fantasy News
Makes return to mound
PSan Diego Padres  A+
May 9, 2021
Espinoza struck out three batters and allowed one hit over two innings in an appearance with High-A Fort Wayne on Thursday. It was Espinoza's first regular-season game appearance since 2016.
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Sent to Double-A
PSan Diego Padres  A+
March 26, 2021
Espinoza was optioned to Double-A San Antonio on Friday.
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Returns to mound
PSan Diego Padres  A+
March 18, 2021
Espinoza completed a scoreless inning of work on only nine pitches in Cactus League action Thursday, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
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Spring debut coming Thursday
PSan Diego Padres  A+
March 16, 2021
Espinoza is expected to make his spring debut Thursday against Oakland, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
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Expected to pitch Monday
PSan Diego Padres  A+
March 15, 2021
Espinoza (finger) is listed among the Padres' available relievers for Monday's Cactus League game against the Brewers, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
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