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Nick Margevicius Steps Forward In Pro Ball

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Lefthanders Eric Lauer and Joey Lucchesi were the first starting pitchers from the 2016 draft to reach the majors. The Padres selected them in the first and fourth rounds, respectively.

The second player from the 2017 draft to reach the majors was lefty Nick Margevicius, who had an even lower profile as a seventh-rounder out of Rider. The 22-year-old made his major league debut on March 30 following an unexpected invitation to big league camp.

"We didn’t necessarily have enough time to get in the way,” farm director Sam Geaney joked. "He literally had one full season in the minor leagues with us.

"I think we take pride in giving players access to everything they could possibly need to get better, and he’s taken full advantage of it. It’s him going home in the offseason and finding ways to improve his secondary stuff. He got himself in the best possible shape."

In fact, the only pitch Margevicius has retained since his days at Rider is an 89 mph fastball. He spotted the pitch well in allowing three runs through his first 16 innings in the big league rotation.

Margevicius has altered his changeup grip to increase deception. He added a curveball before the 2018 season, while "labbing” with his father in the streets back home to develop a slider prior to 2019.

In a system filled with premium arms, Margevicius never ranked among the Padres’ Top 30 Prospects. His gains as a professional, however, allowed him to strike out 146 batters against 17 walks in 135 innings at two Class A stops last year and emerge as a surprise winner in this spring’s rotation free-for-all.

"I took full advantage of all the resources I had,” Margevicius said. "I wasn't that great coming out of college, because I didn't have the availability of all the stuff we have here—strength and conditioning coaches, the training room, all the coordinators and coaches we have access to.

"I'm not here if I'm not taking advantage of all of the resources in the organization. They do a great job. They really do.”

FATHER FIGURES

— Third baseman Ty France has begun playing second base this year at Triple-A El Paso. Blocked at the corners by Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer in San Diego, France was also catching bullpen sessions this spring with an eye on potentially adding the position to his résumé.

— High Class A Lake Elsinore lefthander MacKenzie Gore had allowed two earned runs through his first 16 innings in the California League. His first full year as a pro was interrupted three times by a bothersome blister, but Gore appeared healthy to start 2019.

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