In his first taste of major league baseball life, San Diego Padres’ infield prospect Ty France is soaking it all up and absorbing all he can.
There is a great feeling around Peoria these days. In the Padres’ locker room this spring, there is a feeling of confidence like no other time in the history of this franchise.
The youthful Padres have solid veteran leaders around the clubhouse and you are starting to get a sense from the national media that this team is becoming very interesting. Players like Fernando Tatis and MacKenzie Gore get all the attention, but the Padres have shown they can produce relevant prospects who are generally ignored. Outfielder Franmil Reyes was never on a top-30 prospect list for the team but has proven his worth.
Ty France is another name who flies under the radar. “Growing up, I’ve never really looked at myself as that number one prospect. I have kind of always had that chip on my shoulder. That has gotten me to where I am today,” said France on Wednesday. He plays with intensity and always seems to have something to prove. If you play the game of baseball in that manner, you will have success.
The major league locker room might have been a little surreal for the SDSU Alumnus at first. He has settled recently as he gains more knowledge about the game. “It’s been a couple of weeks now so it’s getting to feel a little more real. The first couple of weeks were about getting my feet wet and learning the big league way. It’s been a lot of fun,” said France.
Learning the big league way is not easy, but thankfully a certain veteran has helped the rookie settle. “I have been kinda following around Greg Garcia a little bit. He is new to the organization, but he’s been a great mentor. Somebody, I can look up to. He’s taken me under his wing and I’m grateful for it.” said France as he motioned down the row towards Garcia’s locker. Later on in the day, Garcia talked about France to EVT and what he has seen from the young player. Garcia said, “He does it the right way”. A few weeks back Garcia indicated to EVT that rookies need to take the initiative and it appears France has done that.
“Know who I am as a player and roll with that.” on goals for 2019.
Ty France is a grinder. He works very hard. Nothing has been handed to this young player and he has the work ethic to prove that. “If you come out and play your game and perform, then good things will happen,” said France with a serious look. He takes his craft seriously. You get a sense that he is only scratching his potential in the game of baseball.
Playing the game can be hard for some players. They get caught up in the business side of the game. France enjoys playing baseball and it is really as simple as that. France said, “It’s just a game. A lot of guys look at it like its a job. To me, I am still that little kid in the backyard who is playing a game”.
In closing, we spoke a little bit about his former coach Tony Gwynn and what he meant to France. “He was the man. He was the best. Not just as a coach, but as a person. He taught me so many things in the short time that he was there. I would like to give him some credit that I am where I am because of him. I can’t really put it into words what he meant as a coach and as a person,” said France.