David Bednar

Born: October 10, 1994
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 249
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Drafted: 35th Round, 1044th Overall, 2016 (Padres)
How Acquired: Trade (from Padres for Joe Musgrove)
College: Lafayette College
Agent: N/A

San Diego drafted Bednar in a late round from Lafayette College, which isn’t a hotbed of MLB talent.  He was a starter there, posting a 3.84 ERA over three years.  As pro, he’s pitched exclusively in relief.  The Padres moved him up slowly at first, but in 2019 he went from AA to the majors.  He’s almost always had very high K rates and usually hasn’t walked many.  Bednar’s fastball added velocity with the move to relief, going from the low- to mid-90s, topping out at 97.  He has a good curve and added a splitter as a pro.  The Pirates obtained him in the trade for Joe Musgrove.

A-:  1-0-2, 0.00 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9
A:  3-4-2, 3.43 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 21.0 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 10.7 K/9

After Bednar signed, the Padres sent him to short season ball, but after eight games they moved him up to low A, where he got into 15 more.  He was effective at both stops, with very good walk and K rates.

A:  1-1-9, 1.87 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 33.2 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 13.4 K/9
A+:  0-3-2, 3.58 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 27.2 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9

Bednar split the season between low A and high A.  He had little trouble at the lower level.  He got hit harder in high A, but it was the high-offense California League.

A+:  2-4-10, 2.73 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 69.1 IP, 3.8 BB/9, 12.5 K/9

The Padres sent Bednar back to the California League and he pitched well, again considering the environment.  He had a very high K rate.

AA:  2-5-14, 2.95 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 58.0 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 13.3 K/9
MLB:  0-2-0, 6.55 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 11.5 K/9

Bednar pitched well in AA, continuing to miss a lot of bats.  The Padres called him up in September and he continued to miss bats, but otherwise wasn’t as effective.

MLB:  0-0-0, 7.11 ERA, 2.05 WHIP, 6.1 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 7.1 K/9

Bednar served as depth at the Padres’ training site.  He got called up several times and made four appearances in which he mostly got hit hard.

MLB:  3-1-3, 2.23 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 60.2 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 11.4 K/9

When Bednar was acquired, he appeared to need some time in AAA.  He has two options left, but had a spectacular spring and made the opening day roster.  He eventually established himself as the team’s best reliever.  He started the season with his fastball, which sat around 97 mph, and splitter as his main pitches, but he gradually replaced the splitter with a curve.  The splitter is a good pitch, but the curve was devastating, with a whiff rate of nearly 50%.  Over his last 27 appearances, Bednar had an 0.88 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.  For the year he had a reverse platoon split, holding left-handed hitters to a 178/253/278 line, but right-handed hitters didn’t do a lot better at 190/254/357.  After the Pirates traded Richard Rodriguez, Bednar shared 8th and 9th inning duties with Chris Stratton, but he missed about half of September with an oblique strain.

AAA:  0-1-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3.0 IP, 3 BB/9, 12.0 K/9
MLB:  3-4-19, 2.61 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 51.2 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 12.0 K/9

Bednar took over the closer role and, for a couple of months, was as good as any reliever in baseball.  He picked up a number of saves of more than three outs, including an eight-out save against St. Louis.  The workload may have gotten to him, though, as he started showing signs of wear in June.  Bednar finally went on the injured list with a sore back and missed August and the first half of September.  Even with the uneven stretch, for the year Bednar allowed just a 218/281/337 batting line.  His three pitches — four-seamer, curve and splitter — all remained swing-and-miss offerings.

Hopefully, Derek Shelton will exercise more restraint with Bednar in 2023 than he did in 2022.

2023: Major league minimum
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut: 9/1/2019
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2027
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2018
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2020)
MLB Service Time: 2.071
June 11, 2016: Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 35th round, 1044th overall pick; signed on June 14.
September 1, 2019: Contract purchased by the San Diego Padres.
January 18, 2021: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Hudson Head, Omar Cruz and Drake Fellows to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joe Musgrove in a three-team deal; Endy Rodriguez sent from the New York Mets to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Joey Lucchesi sent from the San Diego Padres to the New York Mets.