Anybody who has been paying attention to me knows that I am a big fan of San Diego Padres prospect Tommy Medica. All spring long the catcher, turned first-baseman, turned outfielder has done nothing but impress. While there was some obvious position instability during the Cactus League, one thing that stayed extremely stable throughout was his bat.
Medica batted .333 on the spring, and that was after he cooled down somewhat down the spring stretch. Despite playing so well, there was some belief that he would be heading back down to the minors due to being positionally blocked at first base as well as left field, a position he was asked to take a crash course in late in the spring in an attempt to find different ways to get his bat into the lineup.
The Padres’ decision to experiment with Medica in left field has proven to be a wise one, as starting left fielder Carlos Quentin will open the season on the disabled list, opening up a spot for Medica on the opening day roster. The situation also solves the Padres’ problem of having such a productive bat but having nowhere to play him, and if Medica continues to hit as well as he has, don’t be surprised if he forces even more changes down the line.
Medica played extremely well in his short stint at the big league level in 2013, even homering off of Philadelphia Phillies ace Cliff Lee in his first Major League game, proving the MLB stage is not too big for him.
Nobody knows how long Quentin will be on the shelf, but it’s become more and more apparent that he and the outfield do not mix. If Medica does what he’s always done, which is hit at a high level, how can you justifiably take him out of the lineup once Quentin is ready to return?
In my opinion, if Medica is playing at a high level the Padres might want to think about moving Quentin to an American League team where he could DH and leaving Medica in left. Quentin could net the Padres some valuable pieces in return while he could forget worrying about the outfield and just concentrate on hitting for a team.
I’m sure a lot of other Padres fans wouldn’t want to see Quentin go, but it might be the best decision for all parties involved. If Medica plays well, Padres fans should prepare for the possibility of it happening.