Rookie Allen Cordoba performed well for the San Diego Padres over the first two months of the season last year. After the All-Star break, he saw his playing time drop dramatically. What will 2018 have in store for the Padres young talent?
The San Diego Padres snatched Allen Cordoba out of the St. Louis Cardinals organization in the 2016 Rule 5 draft. As per the MLB Rule 5 draft guidelines, if a player selected does not remain on the selecting team’s active roster for the duration of the following season, he is then returned to his original team.
Essentially, Cordoba was guaranteed a spot on the Padres’ Opening Day roster last season. Allen Cordoba was hardly impressive in Spring Training. In 67 AB, Cordoba slashed .179/.247/.194. Twelve of his thirteen hits were singles and he struck out seventeen times, drawing only six walks.
In only 31 AB in April, Allen Cordoba hit .258 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. His OPS over the first month of the season was a double-take inducing .776. These were the type of numbers the San Diego Padres brass had in mind when they selected Cordoba. Naturally, his April led to an increase in playing time in May.
Allen Cordoba breaks out for the San Diego Padres
San Diego Padres manager Andy Green entrusted Allen Cordoba, a rookie who had previously never played above the Single-A level, with a lot more responsibility once he saw the young prospect beginning to develop.
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Green’s leap-of-faith in an unproven rookie initially had an extremely positive result on Allen Cordoba’s productivity.
In the month of May, Cordoba more than doubled his ABs (65) and put up a ridiculously impressive slash line of .308/.338/.400. He cut down on his strikeouts (12 in 65 AB), as well.
This was a very encouraging sign for the San Diego Padres. Although they were out of the playoff conversation by the end of May, this young, talented group would get valuable experience at the Major League level.
San Diego Padres’ Allen Cordoba sees his production free-fall in June
Unfortunately for the San Diego Padres, after his scorching-hot May, Allen Cordoba proceeded to fall off of the proverbial cliff in June. While having a similar amount of ABs than he did in May (54), Cordoba saw his BA drop to .148, his Ks rise to 12, and his OPS nose-dive to .442.
Once MLB took notice of Cordoba’s exploits, naturally, they adjusted. Allen Cordoba, being the wet-behind-the-ears rookie he was, did not. July saw Cordoba’s ABs drop down to 31. And, as if things couldn’t get any worse after his dreadful June, Cordoba managed to hit just .129 and get on base at a .263 clip.
Things then went from bad to worse for Allen Cordoba. After taking his manager’s initial vote of confidence and impressing just about everyone from San Diego to Flushing, Queens, Cordoba’s poor play after his breakout month of May relegated him to only 21 more AB from August 1st on.
San Diego Padres must let Allen Cordoba develop
San Diego Padres manager Andy Green’s confidence in Allen Cordoba was obviously shattered and the sparsity of his appearances from the All-Star break on last season was indicative of that lost trust.
This year we’ll likely see Cordoba spend the better part of the MiLB season with Double-A San Antonio.Since the Padres fulfilled their Rule 5 Draft responsibility of keeping Cordoba with the big club for all of 2017, they can now send him back down to continue on his path of development.
Allen Cordoba’s performance over the first couple of months last year signifies, to me at least, that the San Diego Padres have a very special talent on their hands. Any player of his age and limited experience will succumb to MLB pitchers’ abilities to study a hitter and adjust.
It’s now up to the San Diego Padres minor league development teams to harness Allen Cordoba’s obvious raw talent and turn him into a future All-Star for the Friars.