According to AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, the Padres plan to promote Jacob Nix, and he’ll be making his major-league debut this week. Robert Murray of The Athletic confirmed the news today thanks to his own source.
Nix, 22, is perhaps best known for suffering the collateral damage of the fallout between Brady Aiken and the Astros following the 2014 amateur draft. After the club failed to come to an agreement with Aiken, the number one overall selection, they didn’t have the leftover draft pool money necessary to sign Nix (their fifth-round selection) on the terms they’d originally had in place with him. Ultimately, the two were unable to reach a new agreement, and the right-hander re-entered the draft the following season. He ultimately ended up signing with the Padres after they selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft.
Since then, Nix has risen quickly through the minor-league ranks. Through his first three professional seasons, he met limited resistance despite unspectacular strikeout rates and an average ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio, posting FIP figures south of four at each level of the minor leagues. Though a groin strain delayed his start to the 2018 season, the righty went on to post a 2.05 ERA across nine starts with the Friars’ Double-A affiliate. He twirled a scoreless outing at Triple-A as well, and the club evidently feels he’s ready to help their depleted rotation at the major-league level.
MLB Pipeline ranked Nix as the Padres’ 14th-best prospect in their most recent rankings. The publication praises his ability to generate easy velocity by way of a “fluid delivery and smooth arm action” that allows him to touch 97 MPH on the radar gun. They also describe his curveball as a second plus pitch, but adds the disclaimer that his inability to miss bats could hold him back at the major-league level. His ceiling looks to be that of a number three starter, according to MLB Pipeline, though they do believe he’ll stick in the majors; his floor is described as that of a back-of-the-rotation starter.