Joey Lucchesi, the 2016 4th round draft pick of the Padres, has been promoted to the Padres AA affiliate, the San Antonio Missions, after Brad Wieck and Michael Kelly were promoted from San Antonio to AAA El Paso. The news was first reported by MiLB.com.
Lucchesi will rejoin Eric Lauer only a couple days after Lauer himself was promoted out of the Storm rotation. The Padres already have two 2016 draft picks in AA, with Cal Quantrill likely to find his way there before the end of the year as well.
Lucchesi has found success in the Cal League, with a 5 K/BB rate in 78.2 IP, averaging 10.9K/9, and a 2.52 ERA. However, Lucchesi is old for the A+ level (24 years old is about a year older than average for the league) and has some work to do on giving up the long ball. San Antonio and the Texas League will reveal much more about Lucchesi’s future as a starting pitcher than anything he has done thus far in his professional career.
For the lefty to project as anything more than a back-of-the-rotation starter, if that, he needs to prove that his success in Lake Elsinore isn’t only due to his funky delivery which gives his pitches extreme deception. Hi-A hitters may not be able to catch up to deception, but AA, AAA, and MLB hitters surely will.