Padres prospect Luis Patino pitching for Lake Elsinore Storm

Luis Patiño’s intensity on the mound is a difference-maker. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — Any baseball fan has heard the cliché that pitchers needing to have short memories. In a game rife with poor outings and scrutiny from a variety of sources, the expression rings true.

It turns out that Luis Patiño has a very short memory.

Patiño, 19, shot up the MadFriars top 20 prospect list this season and has established himself on the national level as a name to watch. The righty with the high leg kick dominated the Midwest League a season ago and opened the 2019 season in a very talented Lake Elsinore rotation. The transition to a higher league has not been as kind to the young Colombian.

On April 19, Patiño delivered the shortest outing of his career, lasting just one inning in Inland Empire. In that one inning, he walked four batters and allowed three earned runs. The outing was little concerning, especially since walks have never been an issue for the talented righty.

“In [that start] I only threw one inning,” said Patiño a week later. “I looked at the video — [saw] what I did well and what I did badly. Then I kept working and put that in the past.”

Patiño made his next start at the Diamond last Thursday in need of a bounce-back game against a good hitting Lancaster team. Patiño allowed a bloop single to lead off the game. After getting a couple of outs, Patiño caught too much of the plate and allowed a long homer to Ramon Marcelino — who has been one of the hottest hitters in the California League to start the year. A lot of pitchers may have been shell-shocked; instead Patiño went to work.

In the second, he got Lancaster to ground out three consecutive times. Patiño got ahead with the fastball and was able to deploy his slider and change while ahead to induce weak contact.

After pitching another clean inning in the third, Patiño turned it up a notch in the fourth. Patiño threw a nasty slider (initially misidentified by me) to get the strikeout on a foul tip.

After Marcelino touched him for a double, Patiño struck out Casey Golden (a good prospect in the Colorado system) on another off-speed pitch before blowing a way Todd Czinege on a fastball that touched 95 mph, according to scouts in attendance.

Patiño threw up another zero in the fifth and left with a 2-0 deficit. The score didn’t matter — it mattered that the young righty appeared to be back on track.

“Today, I competed and attacked the zone,” said Patiño. “When I attack the zone early, I have a [better] chance for a strikeout or early contact. So I’ve worked [more on these things] and I didn’t try to throw a perfect pitch.”

“[With Patiño] and guys like Gore, Cosgrove and Leasher is that they are all doing a good job of when they give it up, they put a zero on the board and they stop the damage,“ said Storm manager Tony Tarasco after the outing.

“That takes a ton of courage, a ton of toughness to not sob for yourself and be that kind of man to come out and say ‘this happened now, this doesn’t happen again.’”

While Patiño ultimately took the loss, his short memory allowed him to reset and get back on track. His strong outing won’t be on his mind next time he takes the mound.

“I’ll keep working,” said Patiño. “Whether you have a good day or a bad day, that’s in the past now. You need to pay attention to the next start, whether it’s good or bad.

“I’ll pay more attention to the fastball command and work more on my breaking ball. Now I have five days to work before my next start. Let’s go.”

Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

One Comment

  1. […] Watch: Tuesday served as Luis Patino’s California League coming out party. While he’s shown flashes in his last few starts, he put it all together for the first time against Visalia. After the […]

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