Espinoza was signed by Boston for $1.8 million during the 2014-15 international signing period, a record for a Venezuelan prospect, doubling the amount that Francisco Rodriguez received in 1998. His immediate success against full-season competition caught the Padres' attention, and they acquired him for Drew Pomeranz during the 2016 All-Star break. But Espinoza's 2017 season was over before it began, as he opened the year on the disabled list with right forearm tightness before undergoing Tommy John surgery in August. He had worked his way back and seemed poised to return in earnest early in the 2019 season before it was announced that he underwent a second Tommy John surgery in April.
Though he may be small in stature, there's nothing diminutive about Espinoza's stuff when healthy. His smooth delivery and lightning-quick arm produce a heater that can touch triple digits, though he typically works in the 94-95 mph range with late movement. Espinoza's curveball shows plus potential but lacks consistency at times in 2016, while his changeup, thrown with fastball-like arm action as well as considerable sink, gives him a true chance for three plus pitches. Beyond the stuff, Espinoza repeats his mechanics well and demonstrates advanced control and command for a hurler his age.
With Espinoza's second TJ surgery comes yet another setback in his once promising career. He'll still be 22 when he returns in 2020, but he also hasn't thrown a competitive pitch since '16, and has never pitched above the Class A level. On top of that, the right-hander will forever face questions about his durability, and it's only to fair to wonder whether he might be ticketed for a bullpen role upon his return.
San Diego Padres recalled RHP Anderson Espinoza from Lake Elsinore Storm.
RHP Anderson Espinoza assigned to Lake Elsinore Storm from Padres Extended Spring Training.
RHP Anderson Espinoza assigned to Padres Extended Spring Training from Lake Elsinore Storm.
San Diego Padres optioned RHP Anderson Espinoza to Lake Elsinore Storm.
San Diego Padres selected the contract of Anderson Espinoza from Lake Elsinore Storm.
Lake Elsinore Storm activated RHP Anderson Espinoza from the 60-day disabled list.
Lake Elsinore Storm placed RHP Anderson Espinoza on the 60-day disabled list.
Lake Elsinore Storm activated RHP Anderson Espinoza from the 7-day disabled list.
Lake Elsinore Storm placed RHP Anderson Espinoza on the 7-day disabled list.
RHP Anderson Espinoza assigned to Lake Elsinore Storm from Fort Wayne TinCaps.
RHP Anderson Espinoza assigned to Fort Wayne TinCaps.
San Diego Padres traded LHP Drew Pomeranz to Boston Red Sox for RHP Anderson Espinoza.
RHP Anderson Espinoza assigned to Greenville Drive from GCL Red Sox.
RHP Anderson Espinoza assigned to GCL Red Sox from DSL Red Sox2.
Boston Red Sox signed free agent Anderson Espinoza.