If you are looking to glimpse some of the young Padres’ talent at Petco Park, then you will want to check out the Padres On Deck Game which will feature many young players in the system.
The newly renamed Don Welke On Deck Classic is a great way for fans to witness the future of the San Diego Padres first hand.
Last year, Jacob Nix started the game for the Padres on the mound. Fernando Tatis Jr. played shortstop and batted third, as the Padres earned the 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers minor leaguers in the late game. Michel Baez and Adrian Morejon each pitched for the team as well, and both Cuban hurlers pitched well in front of the home crowd. All these players were viewed in Petco Park while wearing a Padres uniform, and that is an exciting sight for fans of this franchise.
This game was cultivated in 2016, as a way to energize the fan base about the future of the franchise.
That first matchup with the Rangers featured two games, in which Josh Naylor homered in both contests only months after being acquired from the Marlins. It took place after the season and was truly a groundbreaking experience for fans of the team.
2018 has not been a great year for the major league team. There have been positives, but frustration has been voiced by some of the fans as they are growing tired of supporting a losing team. Something has to give.
Witnessing the fruits of the system firsthand definitely helps the cynical fan. Trusting the process is not an easy thing to do for the diehard Friar faithful.
On Thursday, in front of a home crowd, this next group of prospects will get an opportunity to play under the lights in a big league stadium. These men will get to experience what it is like to play at this level and that will help many of them in the long grind that they are currently on. This should not be ignored. This opportunity is big for many of these teenagers that might never sniff a major league field. That is the cruel reality of the sport. Not everyone will be successful in accomplishing their dream.
Chris Kemp spoke to the media Thursday before the game. Here is what I learned from him about the experience.
Here is Kemp’s reaction after asked who will be the shortstop of the future? “It is a dogfight, we do not shy away from competition. We talk about it daily. We want our guys competing. It is healthy and it creates winners.” The Padres have structured their team with multiple players at virtually every position. This is an exciting time to root for the San Diego Padres and the On Deck game gives an excellent glimpse into the future.