TinCaps’ speedster Mallex Smith. Mandatory Credit: Emily Jones-MiLB.com
While the Padres at the Major League level are making no cases of their own, some minor league prospects are going to their own Midsummer Classic. As reported by Bill Center of Friarwire, Fort Wayne TinCaps’ center fielder Mallex Smith, RHP relief pitcher Tayron Guerrero, and fellow reliever Nick Mutz will represent the TinCaps on the Eastern Division team for the Midwest League All-Star Game. It will be played June 17th in Comstock Park, Michigan.
This is good news for the Low-A affiliate team, and Smith certainly seems to be the real deal. The fifth round pick for the Padres in the 2012 draft, he is hitting close to .300 with a .396 on-base percentage. More importantly, he is making like Billy Hamilton and has stolen 42 bases in 57 attempts to lead all of minor league baseball. He is also only 21-years-old and has drawn 33 walks to help complement his OBP.
While the importance of such statistics is not a sure indicator of future success, there is a lot to be said about the mental side of such accomplishments. Success breeds success, and as these players go through the minors, they will have plenty of ups and downs. An All-Star game, MVP award, or even a championship can often help them get through the mental lows and long bus rides.