Padres’ Allen Cordoba looking to prove early 2017 was not a fluke

Credit: USA Today Sports

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Credit: USA Today Sports

What happened to San Diego Padres’ infielder Allen Cordoba?

At one point during the early part of the 2017 season, San Diego Padres’ infielder Allen Cordoba was the future.

Long before most had even heard of Fernando Tatis Jr., Allen Cordoba looked to solidify himself as the future of the organization at the shortstop position.

Fans enjoyed Cordoba’s style of play, and the Panamian youngster produced admirably. Making his debut with San Diego, Cordoba produced a .775 OPS in March/April of 2017. In May, Cordoba went 20-for-65 (.308), producing a .738 OPS and a .338 on-base percentage in 23 games. Not stellar numbers by any means, but intriguing for a player making his debut in the major leagues after never playing above the Single-A level. The Padres selected the youngster from the Cardinals in the fall of 2016 during the Rule 5 Draft.

That magical month of May was never reproduced by Cordoba, though, as he slumped in June to the tune of a .442 OPS (8-for-54) and produced a .489 OPS in July (4-for-31). His playing time became sporadic, and an injury shelved the right-handed hitter towards the end of the year, The Padres kept the infielder on their 40-man the entire season, and he was allowed to stay with San Diego. That mission was accomplished, but his growth was stunted a bit.

The game of baseball is about confidence, and Cordoba was picked apart towards the end of his time in the Major Leagues. This weighed heavily on the youngster as he slumped in 2018 playing for the Lake Elsinore Storm. After spending a year in the majors, most thought Cordoba would destroy Cal League pitching. A car accident before the season and injuries all year were obstacles for the 24-year-old in 2018. He ended his season with a .543 OPS for the Storm in 45 games.

Before the start of the 2019 season, Cordoba was removed from the 40-man roster and placed on waivers by the Padres. No one claimed him. The Panamanian was quickly signed by San Diego and responded with a productive season for Lake Elsinore in 2019. A .779 OPS in 105 games showed that there is still real potential in his bat. There are leadership qualities on display from the Latino as he has many stories to tell his younger counterparts. Cordoba is looked upon as a guide for many of the young players coming up through the system.

In recent seasons, Cordoba has played all over the diamond for the Storm. Towards the end of his tenure with the Padres, at the major league level, he played some left field for Andy Green. The Panamanian has good speed and is learning the nuances of the outfield. He has played some center field in the minors and could be a versatile player when it is all said and done. The early displays of Allen Cordoba might never be seen again, but it is hard to believe the natural skill he showed is not worthy of a consistent major league spot one day. Only time will tell if this happens.

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