Padres' Driscoll homers twice in AFL debut

October 11th, 2019

PEORIA, Ariz. -- There is no scenario more ideal than cranking a home run in your first Arizona Fall League at-bat. In the third inning Thursday, Peoria catcher Logan Driscoll did just that.

What could be sweeter than that? Doing so again -- just slightly to the left of his previous blast -- this time giving the Javelinas a lead in the eighth.

Was this expected for the Padres’ backstop?

“I didn’t really have any expectations,” Driscoll said. “I just wanted to come out and put together a good performance with it being my first day out. Definitely a good experience.”

Driscoll, a Competitive Balance Round B selection (No. 73 overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft by San Diego, played collegiate baseball at George Mason before spending the remainder of the season in the Northwest League with Tri-City. In 162 plate appearances, Driscoll homered three times.

On top of his offensive exploits, Driscoll was behind the dish to catch Adrián Morejon -- the Padres No. 7 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline -- who was also making his Fall League debut Thursday. The southpaw, who made five appearances (two starts) with San Diego during the regular season, tossed two scoreless frames, striking out three while displaying the three-pitch mix that allowed him to rocket up the club’s Minor League ranks.

“It was definitely good to start with my Padres guy [Morejon],” Driscoll said. “I’ve caught Reggie [Lawson] a few times, too. But just getting some exposure to other guys is a great experience.”

For a club brimming with potential at the top of their Minor League ranks, some October baseball in Arizona to continue that development can be precisely what's needed for success at the big league level.

There were Padres all over Peoria during Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Glendale. The third San Diego farmhand to make his AFL debut in the defeat was right-hander Lawson, who worked three innings and yielded just one run on a solo homer while allowing two hits, walking one and striking out a pair.

Driscoll's defensive skills were also on display when he nabbed a runner on the basepaths to end the top of the seventh, albeit in unconventional fashion. With Pablo Abreu (Brewers) straying too far off of the first-base bag with two outs, Driscoll snapped a throw behind the runner and put it right on the money for the inning-ending out.

Despite his two-way excellence, Driscoll and the Javelinas were unable to come away with a victory. With a bright blue afternoon sky, two popups fell in during the ninth, sandwiched around Stuart Fairchild’s (Reds) go-ahead two-RBI double.

Outside of Driscoll’s blasts to right, Peoria’s offensive was held in check.

Other notable performances came from Glendale right-hander Griffin Roberts (Cardinals), who tossed four innings of one-run ball, and designated hitter David Fry (Brewers).

After scuffling in his first full professional season as a starter in 2019, Roberts, St. Louis’ No. 19 prospect, has found his rhythm during the fall and owns a 3.07 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings.

Fry made loud contact on both of his hits -- a single to lead off the second and a double in the fourth. Through nine AFL games, Fry is batting .324 with an .822 OPS.

But while Glendale came out on the right side of the scoreboard, it was hard to ignore the presence of the Padres’ trio of prospects over the game. They may have just arrived in Peoria, but from Day 1, they put their myriad skills on display.