Anderson Espinoza
20-Year-Old PitcherRP
San Diego Padres A+
Out
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 9/30/2018
2018 Fantasy Outlook
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. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a $2 million bonus with the Red Sox in July of 2014.
Out until fall instructional league
PSan Diego Padres  A+
Elbow
April 3, 2018
Espinoza (elbow) is throwing from 90 feet but is not expected to pitch in games before the fall instructional league, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
The Padres will wait for Espinoza to throw from at least 120 feet before he starts mound work, but it's clear that they are not rushing his recovery. He had Tommy John surgery in late July, so a return in the fall instructional league would make sense. In addition to missing all of 2018, Espinoza will have his workload monitored carefully in 2019 as well, so he is unlikely to reach the majors until at least 2020.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
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
Expected to miss 2018 season
PSan Diego Padres  A+
Forearm
July 29, 2017
Espinoza (forearm) is expected to be sidelined through the end of the 2018 season after he undergoes Tommy John surgery next week, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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Set for Tommy John surgery
PSan Diego Padres  A+
Forearm
July 28, 2017
Espinoza was diagnosed with a torn UCL on Friday and will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, Dennis Lin of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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Playing catch in Arizona
PSan Diego Padres  A+
Forearm
June 21, 2017
Espinoza (forearm tightness) recently started playing catch again in Arizona and could be pitching in games in late July if he does not encounter further setbacks, Kyle Glaser of Baseball America reports.
ANALYSIS
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Shut down again
PSan Diego Padres  A+
Forearm
April 28, 2017
Espinoza was shut down from throwing again after experiencing mild soreness in his right elbow, Jeff Sanders of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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Unlikely to return until May
PSan Diego Padres  A+
Forearm
April 18, 2017
Espinoza (forearm tightness) is expected to start a throwing program this week and is unlikely to return to game action until May, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Jeff Sanders reports.
ANALYSIS
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