Padres Minors: How is Tommy Medica Doing in El Paso?

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Courtesy: AP Photo
Courtesy: AP Photo

The San Diego Padres upgraded their team in a big way this past off-season. The teams offense was completely upgraded with the additions of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks. With all those upgrades Tommy Medica was left out in the cold. Medica who has a propensity for the dramatic wasn’t even close to making the major league squad.

Medica hit .233 last year for the Padres in 102 games and 240 at bats. He powered nine home runs and drove in 27 batters. He also struck out 75 times. That needs to improve if he wants to stick in the major leagues.

Unfortunately for Tommy Medica, he is exactly what the Padres have an excess of. Right-handed power hitters who strike out too much are a common theme in the Padres line-up. Kemp, Upton, Middlebrooks, Myers and Gyorko (when he is in the line-up) all fit that bill to a tee. A left-handed presence is needed in the line-up.

Tommy Medica brings the flexibility of being able to play the outfield as well as first base. In El Paso this season Medica has played eight games in the outfield and eight games at first base. In 17 games for the Padres Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, Medica has gone 24-71 ( .338 batting average) with three doubles, two triples and one home run while driving in 10 runs. He has struck out 16 times so far and hasn’t earned a walk yet.

The fact he hasn’t walked yet is exactly what limits Medica’s growth. He has to be more patient at the plate. He has a lot of ability and can really drive the ball well, however his frequency to chase and not stay within himself is alarming.

At the age of 27, Medica is supposed to be in the prime of his baseball career. He is stuck in the minors and probably will not be given another shot until the Padres make a trade. Jedd Gyorko is currently taking Medica’s roster spot and has slumped badly so far this season. The Padres are heavily invested in Jedd Gyorko, he will be given an extra long leash to correct his issues.

Medica was the San Diego Padres 14th round selection out of Santa Clara University in 2010. He was never considered a highly touted prospect, but due to his work ethic and character, has made himself into a decent major leaguer. Medica still needs to refine his approach at the plate.

With the stacked outfield in San Diego and in El Paso, Medica might be of interest to another team. Rymer Liriano and Hunter Renfroe are both in El Paso as is Yeison Ascencio. The Padres are stacked in the outfield position right now. Problem is Renfroe, Liriano, Ascencio, Medica, Kemp, Upton, and Myers are all right handed hitters. A.J. Preller obviously has a disdain towards left-handed ball players.

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