Now a few weeks into short-season and rookie ball, let’s check in on how a few recent San Diego Padres draft picks are performing.
Right after this year’s draft, I put out a list of the top five most intriguing names selected by the San Diego Padres. A few names on that list have made an immediate impact in the organization. There have also been a few late-round surprises who are off to hot starts, as they attempt to carve out their role in the system.
Let’s begin with our top-five list and shortstop, Owen Miller. Miller was a third-round pick of the Padres out of Illinois State, where he broke the single-season record for hits in a season (88). Seventeen games into his rookie season with the Tri-City Dust Devils, Miller has continued to hit the ball at a high rate.
Miller is currently hitting .319 (22-69) with one double, one triple, and two home runs. His .365 OBP and .814 OPS also rank near the top of the Tri-City leaderboard. He is currently on a six-game hitting streak, compiling 11 hits in the process. In three of his 17 games played, Miller has chipped in three hits. Left-handed pitchers beware, Miller is slashing .389/.450 against southpaws.
Xavier Edwards is bound to be a fan-favorite, very soon.
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The 18-year-old switch-hitter out of North Broward Prep has played in seven games for the Arizona League Padres, reaching base in every single contest, thus far.
Edwards is 11-26 (.423) through his first seven games, all of his hits have been singles. He is 4-7 against lefties and 6-10 when hitting leadoff. Add in his six walks (just four strikeouts) and Edwards is producing a .515 on-base percentage. The most fascinating aspect of Edwards’ game is his elite speed, swiping six bases already.
Hopefully, everything is ok with Edwards. He hasn’t appeared in a game since June 26th. No one has released any information for his extended absence, as of July 2nd.
Joining Edwards in the Arizona League is 11th round pick, catcher Nick Gatewood. Gatewood is out of Georgia State, and one of a few college picks of San Diego that I was able to catch glimpses of during their college careers. He didn’t flash a lot of power during his sophomore season at Georgia State but exploded for 13 home runs in 199 at-bats this year.
Gatewood has two home runs and five doubles in 40 at-bats for the Arizona League Padres. He will have a lot of success in the lower levels of the minor leagues, however, once he gets to Lake Elsinore, his play will better tell us if he can be a serviceable organizational depth catcher.
More good news came out of the minor leagues this weekend. San Diego Padres first-round pick, LHP Ryan Weathers, reached an agreement to begin his journey as a major leaguer, bypassing his commitment to Vanderbilt.