The San Diego Padres have added another young player to the squad as the team attempts to try to cultivate some talent for the 2017 season. Young infielder/outfielder Patrick Kivlehan was recalled from El Paso and will be in the starting lineup tonight.
A.J. Preller is really pulling out all the tricks as he tries to get this franchise into relevancy. Nick Noonan was optioned to the minors to make room for Kivlehan. Noonan had a rough game last night where he was picked off late in the game and also failed to make a play on a pop out over his head.
Looking at Kivlehan’s numbers you will see that he does have some pop. He hit 25 home runs last year in Triple-A for the Mariners. He only hit .256 and struck out 113 times though. In the PCL you would like to see a higher average from a young player. His plate discipline is an obvious work in progress but it will be exciting to see if this young man can take his game to a whole new level.
Kivlehan plays multiple positions. He has played first base, third base and the corner outfield positions in his minor league career. He has speed and can steal a base for you when you need it. Kivlehan was a fourth-round selection for the Mariners out of Rutgers University. He was a football player in college and took up the game of baseball real late in his collegiate career. That says a lot about his physical abilities as he is still learning the game of baseball.
The 26-year-old right handed hitter is very raw. He will frustrate you with some of the swings he takes as the plate, but in the same regard he will smash mistakes by pitchers and drive balls out of the park. Word is he can be beat with a good fastball so Alan Zinter and the coaching staff will work with him on quickening his swing. He is described as very intense and into each game. That fits Andy Green‘s mold of a player type and Kivlehan could quickly become a favorite of the rookie manager.
Kivlehan could be a late-bloomer like most former football players are. I’m not saying he will be the next Bo Jackson, but he could be more along the lines of Brain Jordan. A hard-hitting safety in the NFL who was a productive major leaguer for the Braves and Dodgers. Like Jordan, Kivlehan has great power and speed. He will strike out but if he can recognize pitches better and lay off balls out of the zone, he might be serviceable. Only time will tell but it is interesting watching new players get an opportunity to play.