Once among the finest prospects in baseball, Espinoza has fallen on hard times in recent years because of serious injury troubles. He’s a two-time Tommy John surgery patient who more recently underwent the procedure last April. The 22-year-old’s health woes have prevented him from pitching competitively since 2016, the same season the Red Sox traded him to the Padres for lefty Drew Pomeranz. Espinoza hasn’t even advanced beyond the Single-A level, where he owns a 4.59 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 111 2/3 innings.
Despite the adversity Espinoza has faced over the past few years, FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen ranked him as the Padres’ 17th-best prospect just last week, writing that he still has “front-end stuff.” However, in light of Espinoza’s “below-average control” and the time he has missed, there’s a chance that he’ll only turn into a reliever or a back-end starter (if anything) in the majors.