The Padres announced they’ve selected reliever Alek Jacob onto the big league roster. San Diego optioned José Castillo to Triple-A in a corresponding move. They already had an opening on the 40-man roster after designating Nelson Cruz for assignment a few days ago.
San Diego selected Jacob in the 16th round of the 2021 draft. A $75K senior sign out of Gonzaga, Jacob moved quickly up the ladder thanks to strong minor league performances. He traversed three levels last season. He struggled at year’s end in Triple-A but was dominant in High-A and Double-A.
Over the winter, Baseball America named the 6’3″ righty the #23 prospect in a relatively shallow San Diego farm system. The outlet praised a plus changeup and excellent control but noted well below-average fastball velocity that sits in the mid-upper 80s.
Despite lacking overpowering stuff, Jacob has thrived with Double-A San Antonio this year. Over 27 1/3 innings, he carries a 1.32 ERA. He’s striking out just under 30% of opponents and has induced grounders at a huge 56.1% clip. Already 25, Jacob is older than the standard Double-A prospect. Still, there’s little arguing with that kind of production, and he’s earned his first MLB look as a long relief option for skipper Bob Melvin.