Eighth-Rounder Griffin Doersching Brings Power Bat To Padres
The Padres will decline Wil Myers’ option for 2023, and Josh Bell and Brandon Drury will join him in free agency.
That may not be why the Padres drafted two first basemen in the top 10 rounds this year for the first time in the tenure of president of baseball operations A.J. Preller.
But if either fifth-rounder Nathan Martorella or eighth-rounder Griffin Doersching pan out, it could save the organization from another overpay at first base.
Doersching intrigued with his power in his pro debut. He homered eight times in 25 games for Low-A Lake Elsinore and added two more blasts while going 7-for-17 in the California League playoffs.
Doersching is a 6-foot-4, 251-pound righthanded hitter who slashed .227/.349/.511 at Low-A while striking out 37 times against 14 walks. That last bit illustrates player development’s marching orders as Doersching continues his climb.
“He’s got tremendous raw power,” Lake Elsinore manager Eric Junge said. “The swing-and-miss is probably going to be his Achilles heel, but he can really work at at-bat . . . and he can shrink any field.”
Doersching drew comparisons with Luke Voit coming out of the draft. He hit 20 homers in 48 games for Northern Kentucky in 2021 and 15 in 52 games for Oklahoma State in 2022.
Doersching popped onto the Padres’ radar as the club scouted Stillwater (Okla.) High shortstop Jackson Holliday. His father is Matt Holliday, whose brother Josh is head coach at Oklahoma State.
A volunteer assistant coach at OSU, Matt often mentioned Doersching as a “great senior sign” in his conversations with Padres scouting director Chris Kemp.
Doersching signed for $25,000 as a lottery power bat who is moving around better at first base than anticipated after playing mostly DH in the spring.
“It was some of the hardest, furthest balls he’s ever seen hit,” Kemp said. “The kid showed flashes of some stuff and . . . we felt in the eighth round to give a guy like that to (player development) and see if we can shorten up the swing a little bit and maybe unlock something.”
— Nathan Martorella’s pro debut was nothing to sneeze at. The 21-year-old first baseman paired three homers and 21 RBIs with a .322/.421/.511 batting line in 28 games split between the Arizona Complex League and Low-A Lake Elsinore. He struck out 21 times against 16 walks.
— Shortstop Jackson Merrill shined in the Arizona Fall League. Through his first 18 games he hit .292/.338/.403 with one home run and two stolen bases. He had 14 strikeouts against six walks.