The San Diego Padres have called up first baseman Tommy Medica from double-A San Antonio. I find this Interesting, given the timing here as the Padres double-A affiliate just advanced to the Texas League finals and would be going in without one of its better run producers. There has been no official word as of yet from the Padres, but the buzz on Twitter is he will be with the Padres on their road trip and Medica, via his own Twitter account, responded with the following:
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“the childhood dream is finally coming through, #Padres”
The San Diego Padres selected Tommy Medica in the 14th-round of the 2010 MLB Draft (424th overall) out of Santa Clara college. Medica, 25, who stands at 6′-1″ and 215 pounds, is an offensive-minded first baseman. He was a catcher for Santa Clara, but he’s only played a hand full of games behind the plate, and one professional game in the outfield. The Padres moved him to first after he seriously injured his throwing arm, dislocating his shoulder and tearing the labrum off the bone. With his arm issues, he would have trouble moving forward as a catcher, thus the move to first. He’s DH’d 27 times this year between two Padres affiliates and played 53 games at first base. He is not considered a good defender, but his bat could make his defense respectable given his offensive potential. But what does that matter when all you’re doing is producing? He, like many other very productive minor league players, may have been somewhat overlooked due to his lack of defensive tools, depth and his age in the Padres system.
With a team starved for offensive production and a musical chairs of injuries to the team’s core, the Padres will be able to view Tommy Medica at the MLB level to see if he belongs in the Padres future. With Yonder Alonso — the likely current and future of the Padres at first — down with a finger issue, the door opened for Medica on the 40-man roster. With Alonso mending, and future outfield spots in question, they can continue to look at first baseman/outfielder — Kyle Blanks in the outfield and first base, along with Medica and bench player Jesus Guzman.
Given internal fondness for Alonso, his potential and the trade that brought him here (the Mat Latos deal), as he seems to fit the mold of playing PETCO Park into an advantage by spraying the ball from gap-to-gap as a pure hitter, I don’t see Medica pushing over Yonder. Having said that, with a plethora of injuries to the Padres current roster, now is the time for prospects to come up with expanded rosters to determine what players will be the future, trade bait or reserve players moving forward.
Tommy Medica has a triple slash line of .330/.406./623 with 37 2B, 5 3B, 19 HR and 87 RBI for high-A Lake Elsinore in 2012. This year, Medica has hit .296/.370/.593 with 22 2B, 3 3B, 20 homers and 65 RBI in less than 300 at-bats.
Tommy Medica is athletic, but the outfield seems out of the question. He came up with a good arm, but since moving him from catcher to first because of his injury, his only standout tool is his bat, which will be what determines if he can remain on the MLB level. He’s a right-handed gap hitter with a quick bat who can display good power to all fields at times, and he could be a perennially run producer.