260 to the Show Report: Patino Debuts Among 35 Former Fort Wayne Players in MLB So Far this Season
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Through the first two weeks of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, 35 former Fort Wayne TinCaps (and Wizards) players have appeared, including pitcher Luis Patiño. The 20-year-old right-hander made his MLB debut with the TinCaps' parent club, the San Diego Padres, on Wednesday, becoming the 189th Fort Wayne alum to reach the big leagues since the franchise was founded in 1993.
Patiño is the youngest player in all of MLB so far in 2020. Two years ago, as an 18-year-old and the youngest pitcher in the Midwest League, Patiño proved to be one of the most impressive pitchers Fort Wayne has ever had. Across 17 starts and 83 1/3 innings, he recorded a 2.16 ERA with 98 strikeouts and only one home run allowed. With data available back to 2006, that's the fifth lowest season ERA recorded by a Fort Wayne pitcher who logged 80-plus innings. By that standard, his rate of 10.58 strikeouts per nine innings ranks sixth. To put it another way, he struck out roughly 30% of the batters he faced. The league hit just .216 against him (the fifth lowest AVG for a Fort Wayne pitcher in this range). Meanwhile, his 0.11 home runs allowed per nine innings ranks third. For more context, Patiño is the only TinCaps pitcher to throw more than 33 innings in a season at the age of 18. At the moment, MLB.com rates him as the 28th best prospect in all of baseball. (Fellow 2018 TinCaps pitcher MacKenzie Gore is slotted at No. 5 and could be the next alum to crack the majors this year.)
On the other end of MLB's age spectrum, at 38, 2001 Fort Wayne Wizards left-handed pitcher Oliver Pérez-now a reliever with the Cleveland Indians-is among the four oldest players currently in The Show. In spite of his age, he's tossed four scoreless innings.
Regardless of experience, Fernando Tatis Jr. is considered one of the most exciting players in the game today. At just 21, he's off to one of the best starts for any player this season. He already has four homers and four stolen bases for the Padres in 13 games, posting a 1.047 OPS (league average is .708). Tatis' instant stardom in the bigs isn't surprising to Fort Wayne fans that saw him achieve a franchise record for home runs in a season, with 21 in 2017.
San Diego's top two starting pitchers are both former 'Caps in Chris Paddack (2016) and Dinelson Lamet (2015). Elsewhere in the National League, Max Fried (2013-14) is emerging as the Atlanta Braves' ace.
Looking at local connections, Josh VanMeter (2014-15; Ossian, Ind.) has appeared in seven games for the Cincinnati Reds, while Matt Wisler (2012; Bryan, Ohio) has thrown 5 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for the Minnesota Twins, who are tied with the Chicago Cubs for the most wins in MLB. The Cubs have used a pair of TinCaps in the bullpen: Colin Rea (2012-13) and Brad Wieck (2015), who's now on the Injured List.
Of the 35 former Fort Wayne players in the majors, nine have appeared with the Padres. The other 26 have popped up with 15 different clubs. There were initially 65 Fort Wayne alumni on the Summer Camp rosters for 21 teams.
Note: Fort Wayne was known as the Wizards from 1993-2008 before rebranding as the TinCaps in 2009.
Former Fort Wayne Players in Major League Baseball in 2020 (through Aug. 6)
- Catcher Austin Allen (2016) - Oakland A's
- Outfielder Franchy Cordero (2014-15) - Kansas City Royals
- Infielder Ty France (2016) - San Diego Padres
- Infielder Jedd Gyorko (2010) - Milwaukee Brewers
- Catcher Austin Hedges (2012) - San Diego Padres
- Outfielder Travis Jankowski (2012) - Cincinnati Reds
- Outfielder Hunter Renfroe (2013) - Tampa Bay Rays
- Outfielder Franmil Reyes (2014-15) - Cleveland Indians
- Outfielder Mallex Smith (2013-14) - Seattle Mariners
- Infielder Eric Sogard (2007) - Milwaukee Brewers
- Infielder Fernando Tatis Jr. (2017) - San Diego Padres
- Infielder Trea Turner (2014) - Washington Nationals
- Infielder/Outfielder Josh VanMeter (2014-15) - Cincinnati Reds
- Right-Handed Pitcher Anthony Bass (2009) - Toronto Blue Jays
- Right-Handed Pitcher David Bednar (2016-17) - San Diego Padres
- Right-Handed Pitcher Ronald Bolaños (2017) - Kansas City Royals
- Left-Handed Pitcher Max Fried (2013-14) - Atlanta Braves
- Right-Handed Pitcher Trevor Gott (2013) - San Francisco Giants
- Right-Handed Pitcher Brandon Kintzler (2005) - Miami Marlins
- Right-Handed Pitcher Corey Kluber (2008) - Texas Rangers
- Right-Handed Pitcher Dinelson Lamet (2015) - San Diego Padres
- Left-Handed Pitcher Eric Lauer (2016) - Milwaukee Brewers
- Left-Handed Pitcher Wade LeBlanc (2006) - Baltimore Orioles
- Left-Handed Pitcher Joey Lucchesi (2016) - San Diego Padres
- Left-Handed Pitcher Nick Margevicius (2018) - Seattle Mariners
- Right-Handed Pitcher Phil Maton (2016) - Cleveland Indians
- Right-Handed Pitcher Chris Paddack (2016) - San Diego Padres
- Right-Handed Pitcher Luis Patiño (2018) - San Diego Padres
- Left-Handed Pitcher Oliver Pérez (2001) - Cleveland Indians
- Right-Handed Pitcher Cal Quantrill (2016) - San Diego Padres
- Right-Handed Pitcher Colin Rea (2012-13) - Chicago Cubs
- Right-Handed Pitcher Joakim Soria (2006) - Oakland A's
- Left-Handed Pitcher Brad Wieck (2015) - Chicago Cubs
- Right-Handed Pitcher Matt Wisler (2012) - Minnesota Twins
- Right-Handed Pitcher Eric Yardley (2014) - Milwaukee Brewers
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Midwest League Stories from August 7, 2020
- 260 to the Show Report: Patino Debuts Among 35 Former Fort Wayne Players in MLB So Far this Season - Fort Wayne TinCaps
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