Sizing up the Padres relief prospects part II

In part one of our look at the San Diego Padres relief prospects, looked at those with the highest ceilings and who needs to make their move. In part two we eye the relievers closest to the majors, the sleepers, and where the jury is still out.

Closest to the majors:

Brandon Gomes

A mid-90s fastball and a plus splitter has Gomes on the fast track. His ability to change speed effectively with the same arm speed has hitters bowing out without a fight. He has closer-type stuff and applies knowledge gained quickly, adapting as necessary to the league and hitters he faces. He is ready with three above-average pitches snd simply needs an opportunity.

Mike DeMark

Pitching with confidence is one thing DeMark does well. He also throws each pitch with a purpose and believes the next pitch could be his last. His aggressiveness working inside has really aided his game. His fastball has late life and his slider has become a plus offering over the last two years. What he must do to really open eyes is cut down on his walk totals. If he can do that, hitters don't get enough good wood to cause him trouble. The walks, however, will not be tolerated.

Evan Scribner

A plus curveball and sinking fastball make him a tough man to hit when both pitches are working. If, however, he loses the hammer, hitters will sit on the fastball with positive results. He has a rubber arm that can bounce back well and understands the importance of working ahead. His arm angle also offers a different look.


Rafeal Arias

A mid-90s fastball with a plus slider and a closer type mentality is a recipe for success. Not able to hit the side of a barn when he first came to extended spring, Arias has developed into a strike thrower that works ahead in the count and mixes his pitches well. He needs to find a third pitch that can really keep hitters guessing.

Matt Lollis

Armed with a low-90s fastball and a projectable body that promises even more life in the tank, Lollis could move quickly. He uses his height to his advantage but will sometimes fall towards the plate, flattening out his pitches. When he stays tall and throws with a downward angle, his fastball has late life and his curveball maintains a sharp and consistent break. When he isn't standing as tall, his curveball will hang in the zone and the fastball stays straight.

Eugenio Reyes

Blessed with a mid-90s fastball, Reyes is in the early stages of developing command. He has not mastered location to a point where he can be successful, and that starts with finding a repeatable delivery. He has a curveball that needs work and could become a slider down the road. Still – mid-90s and young is a good recipe.

Nick Schumacher

Besides his funky delivery, Schumacher added a cutter that has progressed to the point where it is a plus pitch. Armed with a four-pitch repertoire, Schumacher has excellent command of his pitches and gets great drop on a changeup that is becoming a strikeout pitch. He does need to improve his curveball.

Jeff Ibarra

A lefty with life on his ball, Ibarra needs to work on filling out an extremely thin frame to realize his potential. He has a sharp slider that wreaks havoc on left-handed hitters and is a true swing-and-miss pitch.

Eduardo Perez

Acquired as part of the Greg Maddux deal, Perez does not have an overpowering fastball, coming in at 90-91 mph. He does have quality secondary pitches that could make him an ideal long man. Developing a killer instinct will go a long way towards making that happen.

Rob Musgrave

Moved out of the starter's role, Musgrave found his command and an increase in velocity. His changeup also became the weapon it was the season before – a plus pitch that is a hazard to right-handed hitters. The addition of a cutter really made the rest of his stuff better. Musgrave does need a pitch to combat left-handers. The hope is he tightens up the curveball so it can be that pitch.

The jury is still out:

Colt Hynes

The southpaw has gotten it done at every level since signing but lacks high-end velocity. He does induce ground balls from a near sidearm delivery and is one of the better performers with inherited runners. If he can get better against left-handers, he has a more certain future.

Nick Vincent

A strike thrower that rarely makes mistakes, Vincent gets by on guile more than stuff. He pitches consistently down in the zone and has a sneaky fastball due to deception. He really needs to improve his changeup to combat lefties that swatted .322 off him.

Zach Herr

Another pitcher that works 88-90 mph, Herr is able to command his fastball to setup an above-average curveball. He does, however, have trouble keeping right-handed hitters under wraps because of the lack of a changeup. If he can add the third pitch, he can keep hitters off-balance and from sitting on the fastball or curve.

Eric Gonzalez

A funky delivery gives Gonzalez some deception on all of his pitches but he must get ahead to work in his above-average slider. He is, however, a bit too predictable and doesn't expand the zone often enough. If he can make hitters chase, Gonzalez can make some noise.

David Erickson

Drafted in 2009, the right-hander has a three-pitch repertoire but does not have that one plus weapon. He attacks hitters and doesn't give in, going after them with his best stuff. He has a fastball that consistently moves downward and can get a lot of ground ball outs. That is the path to his success, as it is unlikely he will be a strikeout pitcher.

Ryan Hinson

A left-hander with some interesting arm action, he has a lot of work to do mechanically. He loses his plane to the plate by not standing up tall enough and all of his pitches flatten out. If he can make adjustments and locate his pitches better, Hinson could be a nasty left-handed specialist.

Talk about this story on our subscriber-only message boards

Join on Twitter at

MadFriars Top Stories