Lake Elsinore, California
Obviously, when U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wrote “speak softly and carry a big stick,” he was describing an idea that was to be put in place, and not Lake Elsinore Storm’ third baseman Hudson Potts. The big right-hander out of Southlake, Texas, does not have a booming voice or a grandiose personality, rather he lets his bat do the talking for him.
There is a different sound that comes off the bat of Potts when he makes contact with a baseball.
It is a definitive, cracking sound that lets you know it is time to tune into the batters box. A warning to the field, the ball is coming. Hard. That is not a normal sound, but Potts is not exactly normal.
In 2016, the Padres were unconventional with their second of three first-round picks, taking a 17-year-old, soon-to-be Texas A&M Aggie shortstop named Hudson Sanchez (after the draft, Hudson took his stepfather’s last name, Potts, legally) with the 24th overall pick. To most around baseball, this pick received scrutiny, but the Padres believed in one of the youngest players in the draft, his make-up, and his ability to succeed in professional baseball, and so far the results are showing.
With the Class-A Fort Wayne TinCaps last year, Potts became one of two 18-year-olds, the other being Padres’ top prospect Fernando Tatis, since 1987 to hit at least 20 home runs in a season, hitting 14 of them in his final 65 games. This year, he was able to see action in eight Major League spring training games, homering twice in eight at-bats. He was one of four teenagers to do so at the Major League level with Tatis, Kansas City Royals prospect Nick Pratto, and Toronto Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr being the others, but Potts was the only one to do so multiple times.
“It was definitely a lot of fun and cool being around those guys,” Potts spoke about his brief MLB experience this spring. “Hearing everyone talk, it was pretty cool.”
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 24, 2018
This year, as one of the younger players in the California League, Potts has continued his dominance to the tune of a .344 average with three home runs and a .991 OPS through his first 16 games.
“I’m just trying to be more comfortable in the box and knowing myself more. What pitches I want to attack and being more knowledgeable on what approach I want to take in each game,” Potts said when talking about his end to last season and early season success. “I’ve learned a lot in the past year and a half, every year in pro-ball so far. I just want to continue to learn and get comfortable.”
It is easy to forget Potts’ age. He does not behave like a normal 19-year-old in anything he does. That includes the way he hits baseballs, and hopefully for years to come, he will continue to carry a big stick