Image credit: San Diego Padres
Hudson Potts was a 17-year-old shortstop when the Padres signed him for a below-slot $1 million as the surprise 24th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
This season he will open at Double-A San Antonio as a 20-year-old third baseman who has impressed the organization with every challenge met thus far.
However things shake out, Potts will impact the organization’s future, whether on the field or via a trade.
“Guys like Potts keep getting better,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “I was really pleased with the way he went about his work (at big league camp), the way he attacks challenges, the way he plays the game. His power is impressive. We all feel confident that he’s going to be a really good player for us . . .
“The total package is in him.”
Potts has improved at every step, culminating in his best season in 2018, when he hit .260/.335/.455 with 19 home runs and 63 RBIs in 128 games.
He was an all-star as one of the youngest players in the high Class A California League when the Padres opted to test Potts with a promotion to San Antonio for the final 22 games.
There, Potts’ chief correction was clear: The 6-foot-3 slugger mashed a pair of home runs but struck out 37.1 percent of the time and hit just .154.
He raised eyebrows this spring with a few memorable blasts—both in live batting practice and in Cactus League games—when the Machado signing dropped a giant roadblock in his path.
That is why Potts will bounce around the infield from third base to second base to first base as he continues to refine his approach at the plate.
“It’s impossible to know how things are going to play out,” Green said. “He’s still going to be a third baseman for us. We’ll find out his versatility and we’ll put him in a place to be impactful for us because we really like him.”