Kevin Robert Quackenbush
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 220 lb.
- School University of South Florida
- High School Jesuit High School
- Debut April 25, 2014
Relief pitcher Kevin Quackenbush began playing in the San Diego Padres system in 2011 and made his big league debut with the team in 2014.
He was 7-2 with a 1.93 ERA with 88 K in 58 2/3 IP as a high school junior. He then went 9-4 with a 1.40 ERA and 102 K in 70 IP as a senior and was All-State. Prior to playing professionally, he attended the University of South Florida from 2008 to 2011. He had no decisions with a 10.13 ERA in seven games (one start) in 2008, striking out eight batters in eight innings of work. The next year, he was 2-2 with six saves and a 3.94 ERA in 20 relief appearances, K'ing 39 batters in 32 innings. He was 2-5 with four saves and a 4.54 ERA in 33 2/3 innings in 2010, striking out 49 batters and in 2011, he was 1-2 with 12 saves and a 0.81 ERA in 28 appearances. He allowed only seven walks and 14 hits in 33 1/3 innings, while striking out 45 batters. He was third in the Big East Conference in saves, one behind Tony Zych and Kevin Vance. He tied for 26th in NCAA Division I in saves.
He was drafted by the Padres in the eighth round of the 2011 amateur draft (the scout was Willie Bosque) and began his career that season. He was 2-1 with 18 saves and a 0.64 ERA in 35 appearances split between the Eugene Emeralds (17 G, 0.44 ERA, 9 Sv) and Fort Wayne Wizards (18 G, 0.84 ERA, 9 Sv). He struck out 71 batters in 42 innings. He tied Matt West for 4th in the Northwest League in saves and was third in the Padres chain behind Brad Brach and Miles Mikolas. In 2012, he went 3-2 with 27 saves, 46 games finished and a 0.94 ERA in 52 games for the Lake Elsinore Storm, K'ing 70 batters in 57 2/3 innings. He was a California League All-Star that season (joining Matt Andriese, Christian Bergman and Roenis Elias as the pitchers), leading the league in games finished and saves (6 ahead of Eric Eadington). He tied Nick Schnaitmann for 6th in pitching appearances. Among San Diego minor leaguers, he tied Dustin Pease for third in games pitched and easily led in saves (12 ahead of anyone else). He tied Jason Stoffel and Coty Woods for 9th in all the minor leagues in saves, tied for 5th in the affiliated US minors. MILB.com named him Relief Pitcher of the Year while Baseball America named him the top reliever in the California League. In the Arizona Fall League, he had six saves, a 2.45 ERA, 16 K and only 4 H in 11 IP for the Peoria Javelinas. He led the AFL in saves, double runner-up Chia-Jen Lo.
In 2013, he was 10-2 with 17 saves and a 1.66 ERA in 57 games split between the San Antonio Missions (29 G, 0.29 ERA, 13 Sv) and Triple-A Tucson Padres (28 G, 8 W, 2.91 ERA, 4 Sv). He was third in the Padres chain in saves (behind Mikolas and Roman Madrid) and was 5th in games pitched. Through 2013, he had a 1.15 ERA and 62 saves in 144 minor league appearances. He opened 2014 with the El Paso Chihuahuas (4 Sv, 2 R in 10 IP).
He was then called up to the majors when the 2014 Padres bullpen was short-handed after two 12-inning games in a week. In his debut, he relieved Robbie Erlin with two runners on, a 7-0 deficit and one out. He retired Ian Desmond on a run-scoring grounder then got Nate McLouth on a liner. In the 7th, he fanned Danny Espinosa but then ran into trouble. Jose Lobaton doubled and Zach Walters drew a walk. Denard Span grounded into a force at second. Anthony Rendon smacked a two-run double, but Quackenbush got Jayson Werth to end the inning. Rene Rivera batted for Quackenbush in the 8th. After the one outing, he was optioned back down as Cameron Maybin was coming off the DL.