Joey Lucchesi has been nothing short of impressive for the Padres since his debut. But, has the rookie pitched his way into being a must-add off the waiver wire?
Fantasy owners are entering the third week of the season, and this time usually sparks owners to finally make decisions on roster changes. The Padres are not looked at as a fantasy powerhouse, yet Joey Lucchesi continues to force owners to take notice. Should he now be a waiver add?
Lucchesi was the Padres’ fourth-round pick in 2016 out of Southeast Missouri State University. All Lucchesi has done since being drafted is dominate. In 2016, he posted a 1.50 ERA/56 K line over 42 innings at A ball. He followed that performance with a 2.20 ERA/148 K line over 23 starts at both A and AA ball.
After such dominant seasons, he jolted up prospect lists and just missed being a top-100 prospect in all of MLB. Heading into 2018, he was outside of the Padres’ rotation battle, yet the injury to Dinelson Lamet all of a sudden opened the door for him to debut.
After a so-so initial start versus the Brewers, Lucchesi has rolled off three tremendous starts. He has fired off 17 innings, 24 strikeouts, and only one earned run. More impressively, two of those starts came against the Rockies, and one of those starts was at Coors.
Lucchesi lacks top-end velocity, but his fastball sits in the low-90s, he has a solid curveball and controls his changeup well. His pitch mix allows him continued success, combine that with his herky-jerky delivery, and it is easy to see why he excels.
His command is not a huge red flag either. He had one three-walk outing as a pro, but throughout the minors, he only averaged two walks per game.
Joey Lucchesi looks all the parts of a crafty lefty that can be a steady fantasy contributor. Having half his starts at Petco would certainly help his value as well, further building the case that he can be a must add.
The Padres really lack any true definition of an ace, so the team will take whatever quality innings they can get. Lucchesi is easily one of their best five options and an arm that passes the eye test. His success is no fluke.