San Diego Padres: Hope You Aren’t Ignoring Hudson Potts

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

San Diego Padres prospect Hudson Potts has earned himself a promotion and should be on your radar.

Hudson Potts struggled last season in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A first-round pick of the San Diego Padres back in the 2016 MLB draft, Potts reached base in just 29% of his at-bats, struck out nearly 27% of the time, and drew a walk in only 4.4% of his trips to the plate. Then again, he was just a teenager playing in full-season ball.

Still at the young age of 19, Potts has spent the majority of this season with the Lake Elsinore Storm of the Advanced-A California League. He was the third-youngest player in the league. Despite his age, Potts slashed .281/.350/.498 with a .847 OPS.

Comparing those numbers to last season, Potts increased his batting average by nearly 30 points, his on-base percentage by 57 points, his slugging by 50 points, and his OPS by 116 points.

Take a look at his monthly splits since the start of the 2018 season. Other than his batting average, Potts has progressively increased each statistic as the season has moved along.

Best of all, his strikeout rate has dropped a touch, down to just under 25% while his walk rate has nearly doubled from last season (8.2%). Not to mention, he has 35 doubles in 106 games with 17 home runs.

Just a few days ago, the Padres promoted Potts to the Double-A San Antonio Missions. In his first game with the team, Potts went 0-2, however, he did draw two walks, stole a base, and scored a run. Keep an eye on how the teenager performs in the Texas League, playing against competition much older than he is.

Do the San Diego Padres have a future third baseman in Hudson Potts?

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There wasn’t much talk at the trade deadline but there was some grumbling about possibly addressing the need for a third baseman on the roster. Christian Villanueva has played well, and greatly improved his defense, but struggles tremendously against right-handed pitchers. Having him play one more season in the hot-corner shouldn’t hurt anything or block anyone.

The future of the position is Hudson Potts, hopefully. He’s still very young and is just beginning the hardest jump in the minor leagues, transitioning from High-A to Double-A ball.

With just a few more weeks remaining in the 2018 minor league baseball season, get out to San Antonio to catch Potts and the Missions or watch him on MiLB.TV and judge for yourself. Many of the scouting reports on Potts have always pointed out that he doesn’t have a “carrying tool” that will allow him to become an everyday major league ballplayer. He’s quickly changing that perception. Let’s see if it sticks.

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The Missions are 23-23 in the second half of the season and are currently 4.5 games behind the division-leading Corpus Christie Hooks and Frisco Roughriders.