San Diego Padres Options at First Base
Jun 29, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres first basemanTommy Medica
(14) comes off the bag to get the throw to first as Arizona Diamondbacks center fielderEnder Inciarte
(5) reaches safely during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
#5 Tommy Medica-Career: .246/.308/.417, 12 HR; 2014: .233/.286/.408, 9 HR
If the Padres want to stay in-house, Tommy Medica would be the logical choice. Both times Yonder Alonso went down he was tabbed as the starting first baseman. When I sat down to write this, I thought back to all the clutch hits Medica had and figured his numbers were held back by his early struggles, but the deeper I looked it appeared that he didn’t have a very good 2014.
Even if you take out his tough first stint in the majors to start the year, he still only hit .244/.296/.426. His biggest issue was the strike out. Medica struck out in 29% of his plate appearances, which would have put him at the 3rd highest in the National League if he qualified behind only B.J. Upton and Ryan Howard. Next to a double or triple play, the strike out is the worst kind of out, because it accomplishes nothing. In just under a third of his plate appearances, Medica accomplished nothing.
If Medica can learn to put the ball in play more often, he might be an alright candidate to play first on a team with a deep lineup. Unfortunately there’s nothing to suggest he won’t continue to strike out and the Padres lineup isn’t deep enough to sustain someone like Medica. He’ll definitely be under consideration to play just because he’s on the roster, and 27-years-old entering what should be his prime, but I hope he’s far down the list of options and is only used as last resort.