Padres’ Jay Beshears Hits The Ground Running In Pro Ball


The Padres drafted an overachieving Duke infielder in 2022 and went back to the well in 2023.

Third baseman Graham Pauley was the first of those picks. He went from 13th-rounder in 2022 to the organization’s minor league player of the year the following season.

Padres area scout Jake Koenig filed similarly strong reports on second baseman Jay Beshears in 2023. San Diego drafted him in the sixth round and signed him for slightly under slot.

“Duke is definitely a place that we regard highly,” said Chris Kemp, the Padres’ vice president of amateur and international scouting.

“The types of kids they produce under coach (Chris) Pollard and the overall makeup of the kids, Jake and our group have really taken a liking to what they do.”

Beshears had only one year at Duke to make an impression after transferring from Northwestern.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound infielder hit the ground running against Atlantic Coast Conference competition, hitting .333/.438/.587 with 15 home runs in 59 games.

“For whatever reason, Jay was not an ultra-famous guy going into the spring,” Kemp said. “. . . But he works professional at-bats. He’s short to the ball and uses the whole field.

“He’s got a professional body that stands out. He started checking a lot of boxes when we started getting under the hood.”

Beshears opened his first full season at Low-A Lake Elsinore this year but quickly hit his way to High-A Fort Wayne. The 22-year-old hit .320/.489/.454 with two homers and more walks (31) than strikeouts (27) in 28 games in the California League.

Beshears kept hitting in the Midwest League, going 9-for-26 while continuing to bounce between shortstop and third base with the TinCaps.


— The Padres’ first pick in the 2023 draft, high school outfielder Dillon Head, was the linchpin in the trade that brought two-time batting champ Luis Arraez to San Diego. Head plus 2022 draftees Jakob Marsee and Nathan Martorella and Korean reliever Woo-Suk Go were sent to the Marlins.

— Shortstop Leodalis De Vries missed nearly two weeks with a non-throwing shoulder issue stemming from a diving play in the field. The 17-year-old was hitting .170/.267/.264 with 24 strikeouts in 13 games to start his career at Low-A Lake Elsinore.

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