Every spring, all 30 MLB teams experience their share of surprises – both pleasant and otherwise. This year’s loaded San Diego Padres are no exception, either.
With a roster that’s largely set after a busy offseason, San Diego has received several surprises early on in Cactus League play, but perhaps none larger than infielder Gosuke Katoh. The former third-round pick of the Yankees has turned heads at every turn, slashing a ridiculous .462/.500/.769 in nine contests.
"“I’ve noticed his hand-eye (coordination) and his at-bats on the back fields,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said earlier this week. “Sliding him over here into games, he’s played extremely well. Loved the at-bats. Love how he stays inside the zone. He’s been super impressive so far."
It’s hard to see where Katoh could fit in the Padres’ plans given their bulk of multi-positional guys on the roster, including offseason signing Ha-Seong Kim, Jurickson Profar and Jake Cronenworth. But his incredible approach at the dish and solid play has turned plenty of heads. Now, it’s a matter of whether or not he can maintain over the final weeks of spring training.