Padres top prospect Chase Headley still isn’t sure if he’s going to start the year in San Diego or in Triple-A Portland. On defense, he’s learning how to play a new position, but at the plate, he said he has already learned the approach he wants to bring with him to the big leagues.
"I’ve put on 25 to 30 pounds since I came out of college, but the biggest thing is learning what pitch you can drive rather than going up there and hitting a pitch that you can put in play but not hit for power," Headley said. "Strikeouts are a product of seeing a lot of pitches."
Headley struck out more frequently last year than he did in 2006, but he also increased his average by 39 points and his slugging average by 146 points.
|CHASE HEADLEY MINOR LEAGUE STATISTICS 2006-2007
Headley has been a third baseman his entire career, but with Kevin Kouzmanoff at third base in San Diego, the Padres are trying to get Headley in the lineup as a left fielder.
Bench coach Craig Colbert said Headley has the ability to play left field, but is seriously short on game experience there.
"For Chase, the only way he can learn is to play left field under live conditions," Colbert said. "Hitting him fungoes can teach him some things, but it’s hard to simulate a guy throwing 90 (mph) and the ball coming off the bat."
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