The Padres signed Nick Noonan to a minor league contract recently and count him in as a player who couldn’t wait for the Padres to come calling. He grew up in San Diego cheering for the Padres and now with an invite to Spring Training it was a chance to fulfill that dream.
More from Padres News
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
- This veteran DH target seems ideal for contending Padres roster
Noonan plays second base, third base and shortstop. In parts of two seasons, Noonan hasn’t yet lived up to his first round Draft Pick billing from 2007 when the Giants picked him. In 22 at-bats with the Giants in 2015, he managed only 2 hits and overall he has a .197 average with 1 career home run.
For Noonan, getting back to San Diego was an exciting possibility:
“We had season tickets when I was younger. We went to Jack Murphy [Stadium] and then when it was Qualcomm [Stadium], then the first season at Petco Park ,”
He counts getting a chance to see the Padres battle the Yankees in the World Series as a childhood highlight as well:
For being only 26, he already has 9 professional seasons and thus provides a contrast of experience compared to even top prospect Hunter Renfroe who is 24 but still a lot of learning to do about being a professional baseball player.
“I think, right now, I’m one of those guys who will always be fighting for that big league roster spot, looking to make the team and prove I can stick there.”
Noonan has a chance to compete for one of the coveted utility positions the Padres will be filling along with Skip Schumaker, Jose Pirela, and Alexi Amarista. A chance to play in hometown family and friends is a rare luxury, and one Nick Noonan is hoping to make come true in 2016.