San Diego Padres outfield prospect Michael Gettys has been on a roll in the Australian Baseball League.
After the San Diego Padres left outfielder Michael Gettys off the 40-man roster, leaving him unprotected entering the Rule 5 draft, odds seemed likely that at least one franchise would take a flyer on the potential of Gettys and his raw tools. That didn’t happen, meaning the former 2nd-round pick gets to return to the organization in 2019, likely with the AAA El Paso Chihuahuas.
To prepare for 2019, Gettys ventured all the way to Australia to play his offseason ball in the Australian Baseball League, a league that is very familiar with Padres prospects, including Buddy Reed and Gabriel Arias who both put him big seasons in ABL.
After 26 games, Gettys is one of the most productive hitters in the ABL, hitting .305 with a .391 OBP and a 1.012 OPS. Of his 29 hits, 16 have gone for extra bases, including six home runs, eight doubles, and two triples. He has continued to strike out at a high clip (30% rate), but has also earned his fair share of walks (10), and flashed his wheels (four stolen bases).
Gettys has double-digit home run totals in each of his last three seasons and has logged 106 stolen bases over his 543 career minor league games with the Padres, but it is his large strikeout totals that continue to hold him back from being a more talked about prospect (37% K-rate in 2017, 34% last season).
More San Diego Padres prospects are calling Australia home this winter.
Melean hit .203 with a home run in 16 games, showing more with his glove than his bat in Australia. His highlight play above isn’t the only impressive play of his you will find from his brief stint in Canberra. As for Lopez, the second base prospect hit .173 with three of his 13 hits going for doubles. He racked up 28 strikeouts and walked just once.
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Lastly, two recently signed relief arms are in the midst of successful ABL seasons. Todd Van Steensel, a native of Australia, has made 13 appearances for the first-place Sydney Blue Sox, posting a .138 ERA and 1.08 WHIP across 13 innings. He has converted seven of his eight save opportunities and recorded 18 strikeouts. The 27-year-old RHP isn’t a prospect anymore and has spent the last two-plus seasons in Double-A.
Mr. World Traveler Ryan Bollinger, signed a few weeks ago by the Padres, made a second-straight trip to Australia this offseason, this time as a reliever. Bollinger is 1-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 17 innings of work. He has yet to surrender a home run and has a 25/3 K/BB ratio. Bollinger, also 27, has been called up to the major leagues before (with the New York Yankees) but has yet to see action on the big stage. I suggest reading up on his world travels by checking out his story here.
Stay tuned as we continue our trip around the San Diego Padres winter ball scene, including what many of the top prospects are up to in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter and like us Facebook!