Scouting Padres Prospect Kendall Korbal

The San Diego Padres selected Kendall Korbal in the 21st-round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of Blinn College. After signing, his original contract was torn up when a pre-existing injury showed up and a second contract was issued.

Vital Statistics;
Name: Kendall Korbal
Position: RHP
DOB: November 20, 1988
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

As a result, Korbal automatically became an eligible in the Rule 5, which notes that any player that signs a second contract with a club is eligible.

Of course, Korbal's injury and the lack of information regarding the tall right-hander precluded him from being taken by another team.

The Houston native underwent Tommy John surgery after signing and never suited up for one of the Padres minor league affiliates.

Korbal went 3-2 across seven games with Blinn College this past season. In 31.2 innings, he allowed 37 hits, walked seven and struck out 33 while boasting a 4.83 ERA.

Originally pitching for Arkansas, Korbal transferred to junior college and had signed on to play for TCU in 2010 before being selected and ultimately signed by the Padres.

In 2008, Korbal went 0-5 across 17 appearances, including five starts, with a 5.30 ERA for the Razorbacks. In 35.2 innings, he allowed 35 hits, walked 13 and struck out 23. Among the 35 hits, he yielded six doubles, a triple, and four homers. He held the opposition to a .263 average against.

Korbal has a four-pitch repertoire that features a low-90s fastball with sink. Given the injury, it is conceivable that the 21-year-old comes back throwing even harder. Traditionally, his heater runs in the 90-92 mph range, hitting 93 and 94.

The lanky righty also tosses a tight slider, a curveball and a changeup. The hammer will likely be dropped in an effort to focus on throwing three quality pitches. His slider has solid break and needs a touch of refinement in controlling its depth and his ability to consistently throw it for strikes.

His changeup needs improvement, as Korbal doesn't trust the pitch in off-counts. He will use it ahead in the count with positive results. He will, at times, throw it too hard but it has the makings of a quality pitch.

A fiery demeanor and competitive nature has been the staple of Korbal's collegiate career. He is currently on a rehabilitation program and is itching to increase the pace. That can be a detriment if he pushes himself too hard during the recovery process.

The Padres have a very conservative approach to recovery that Korbal must adhere to. He is expected to be throwing off a mound sometime during the late summer and could return to action late in the year, barring any setbacks.

Conclusion: The 2010 season will be a wash and 2011 will be spent regaining command. Losing what amounts to two years won't be easy on the Texas native. It is conceivable that Korbal returns with a mid-90s fastball. How quickly the command returns will set his timetable. He figures to play a prominent role in relief unless injury opens a door for him to start.

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