Eric Lance Lauer
- Bats Right, Throws Left
- Height 6' 3", Weight 228 lb.
- School Kent State University
- High School Midview High School (Grafton)
- Debut April 24, 2018
Eric Lauer was the 25th overall pick of the 2016 amateur draft, by the San Diego Padres out of Kent State University. He was the second player selected in Compensation Round A, and the Padres' third first-rounder that year, following Cal Quantrill (#8) and Hudson Potts (#24). His pick was compensation for the loss of Ian Kennedy via free agency. He was the first player from the first round to reach the majors when he made his major league debut with the Padres on April 24, 2018, having only been preceded by third-rounder Austin Hays.
In his rookie season, Lauer went 6-7, 4.34 in 23 starts, logging 112 innings. He followed that up by going 8-10, 4.45 in 30 games in 2019. His 149 2/3 innings were second on the Padres' staff, only behind Joey Lucchesi, and his 138 strikeouts placed him third, after Lucchesi and rookie Chris Paddack. It was a very young starting rotation, composed entirely of first and second-year players, and the young pitchers' inability to pitch deep into games was a recurrent problem. Lauer was a prime culprit, as he had a tendency to use a lot of pitches, leading to a lot of early departures from games in which he had otherwise pitched well. Following the season, the Padres decided to add a veteran starter to help out the kids, and in order to do so, sent Lauer to the Milwaukee Brewers alongside young infielder Luis Urias in return for P Zach Davies and another youngster, OF Trent Grisham.
2020 was basically a lost season for him as he made just 4 appearances for the Brewers during the pandemic-shortened season, pitching 11 innings and going 0-2, 13.09. He bounced back nicely in 2021, with a 7-5 record and a solid 3.19 ERA in 24 games, including 20 starts. He struck out 117 batters in 118 2/3 innings and got to pitch in the postseason for the first time, starting Game 4 of the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves on October 12th. He lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and a hit batsman, but did not figure in the decision as Milwaukee lost the game, 5-4. In 2022, he was considered the team's fifth starter heading into the season, but got off to a great start, going 3-0, 1.82 in his first 5 starts while striking out 42 batters in 29 2/3 innings.