San Diego Padres: Matt Szczur Provides Value and Depth
The San Diego Padres are fortunate to have Matt Szczur. Whether its pinch-running, pinch-hitting or guarding the outfield, Szczur can do it all. Andy Green was spot-on in identifying Szczur’s worth and rewarding him with a roster slot to start the 2018 season.
Matt Szczur is a versatile piece for the San Diego Padres. A complete athlete on the field, Szczur brings with him a lot of tools he acquired while playing wide receiver, running back, wildcat quarterback, and return specialist for the Villanova Wildcats football team.
The Friars acquired Szczur from the Chicago Cubs in the middle of 2017 season for Double-A pitcher Justin Hancock. Now, Szcur finds himself on the Padres’ 25-man roster, backing up Wil Myers and Jose Pirela at the corner outfield spots.
Matt Szczur is having a decent stint with the San Diego Padres
Ever since making the team, Szczur has shown promise in the limited opportunities that he has had. In 176 at-bats, Szczur is hitting .227 with .357 OBP. He has 15 runs driven in and has homered three times. The strength in his game lies in drawing walks, 32 of them in total last season. With the Friars severely lacking in this department, Szczur provides a tough at-bat for opposing pitchers at the end of a game.
These are not all-star numbers, however, they are resourceful numbers. He also provides versatility in the outfield. In 2017, he logged 44 games in left field, 15 in center, and 20 in right. He isn’t the left-handed bat that San Diego was looking for during the offseason, but he’ll do until Franchy Cordero and/or Travis Jankowski (injury) prove they are ready for major league duty.
Yesterday, against the Brewers, Szczur’s first opportunity came in the seventh inning when he pinch ran for Wil Myers. He went 1-for-1 and scored a run in a losing effort by the Padres.
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Matt Szczur will not get many starts in this star-studded San Diego Padres lineup, but he will have his chances to make a big impact in the late innings of games for the Friars.