Padres News: Who’s on First?

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Jake Goebbert

Sep 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres first baseman Jake Goebbert (4) in the field during the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Goebbert came to the Padres via a trade with the Oakland Athletics for Kyle Blanks last season. Goebbert was never much of a prospect, but he rose through the Houston Astros‘ system quickly. He was drafted in the 13th round by the Astros in 2009 and made it all the way to AAA in 2011. Despite taking less than two full seasons to reach AAA it took a lot longer for him to graduate to the big leagues.

This past year Goebbert made his MLB debut with the Padres. He ended up playing in 51 games, mostly at first base, hitting .218/.313/.317. While his average and slugging percentage both look pretty ugly, his OBP was the highest of any of the other candidates last season. That’s not really saying a whole lot, but that could go a long way for him. If guys like Medica and Alonso struggle, turning to a guy who you know can at least get on base might be the best course of action.

His OBP may still be low compared to the the rest of the league but if you compare it to his average, you can see it takes a lot of work and a good eye to get his as high as he did. His walk rate of 10.4% would have ranked in the top 40 in all of baseball had he gotten enough at bats to qualify. While it’s not ideal for a first baseman to be a light hitting, high OBP guy, if the rest of the options are light hitting & low OBP guys, Bud Black might have to turn to Goebbert.