is having a great spring for the Padres so far. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
He currently leads all Padres hitters in AB, Hits, Home Runs, RBI’s, Batting Average, Slugging Percentage (min 10 AB) and OPS. Throw in tied for the team lead in Stolen Bases at 2, and we’re talking a sure lock for the Opening Day starting lineup, right? Turns out, we’re talking about Tommy Medica, who is hoping for a Jedd Gyorko-like 2014 Spring Training to stay with the big league club. If you recall, Gyorko started 2013 Spring Training as an exciting prospect with power, but his good spring, coupled with the injury to Chase Headley opened the door for the opening day start, which then paved for the way for Gyorko to lead all rookies in home runs last year.
For the record, Medica is 14 for 28 with 2 Homers and 6 RBI. He also only has 2 strikeouts(Venable has 6) and 2 walks through the Monday, March 10th game.
While still way too early to make any decision on where he might stand in the 2014 season, a blistering spring start like he is off to is never bad. Last year he raked in AA San Antonio, hitting 18 homers with 57 RBI en route to a .296 BA. This after hitting .330 in 2012 with another 19 HR’s and 87 RBI in Advanced A ball in Lake Elsinore. All this not to throw out his 2013 line with the Padres:
So at the very least he wasn’t Anthony Rizzo‘d by his San Diego call-up. (18 for 128 with 1 HR in his 2011 call-up with the Padres).
The problem right now is that he plays first base, and Yonder Alonzo is the penciled in starter. While Alonzo hasn’t been amazing, he also hasn’t done anything to disprove that idea, and does have successful big league experience.
A little more seasoning in the minor leagues can never be a bad thing, and I’m sure the Padres are thinking about the big picture here too financially. If you bring him up too early for too long you start the arbitration clock, he might develop bad habits trying to do too much, etc.. He is however just 25 years old, but turns 26 in April and one wonders if he is already ready. For a team that surely will be needing all the offense they can muster to keep up with hopefully a much improved pitching staff, Tommy Medica just may be the right medicine.
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