The swing adjustments that helped Padres’ outfielder Jorge Ona in 2019

Credit: John Moore/Sod Poodles

Credit: AP Photo

Jorge Ona is a prospect who could breakout in 2020 for the San Diego Padres.

In 2019, San Diego Padres’ minor league outfielder Jorge Ona began the season on fire with the bat. A shoulder injury ended his season in early May, but there is a lot to like about what he showed in his few swings with the Sod Poodles.

Ona produced a .957 OPS in 25 games and 103 plate appearances in the Texas League. The Cuban slugger put up a .348/.417/.539 slash line and hit five homers for Amarillo in a small sample size. Ona was easily one of the best hitters in the league during the month of April and looked poised to breakout.

Not regarded as a quality defender, Ona hurt his throwing shoulder in April. He attempted to avoid surgery with rest and rehab but eventually underwent the knife in late July. The injury is not expected to limit him this spring, though he has yet to really test throwing at a competitive level.

Listed at six feet, Ona is stout and muscular. There is some foot speed to his game, though he does not break on the ball well off the bat while defending. In reality, he looks like a DH in the future. His bum shoulder only further complicates his future on defense. There is still time for him to prove to be a serviceable outfielder, but he has work to do.

Jorge Ona and his bat will guide him to the major leagues one day. During the 2018 season, he made an adjustment with his hands that seemed to unlock something with his swing. There were issues staying consistent with his mechanics, but that is expected when you are talking about young talent.

Take a look at this video recorded from 2018 while Ona played with the Lake Elsinore Storm. At the 1:18 mark (and frankly throughout the whole video), you see Ona with his hands down while loading in his swing. The results were not good with his contact (if he made any) as he took a long stride and swung with an exposed base. In a segment from the 1:58 mark through the 3:00 minute mark, you see Ona with his hands up and the bat almost parallel to the ground on his load. The result is a stable base and less movement out in front of the plate with his lower half. He grounds out hard in both these at-bats. Leverage is an important thing to utilize in Ona. With a muscular base and quick hands, he should show more power in the future if he makes the correct adjustments.

The Padres took notice of his swing, and you saw the same successful load and swing in Ona’s only month in Double-A (I could not find a suitable video). The production was there as the powerful outfielder starts to learn how to utilize leverage with his swing and use the lower half of his body. By using his complete core, one would expect the outfielder to have a boost in power numbers in the coming years.

Ona has always been a prospect regarded for power potential, but we have yet to see it from the 23-year-old outfielder. 2020 could be a massive year for the Cuban slugger. The right-handed hitter is in major league camp this spring and could be a name to keep an eye on in Peoria.

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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.
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