Potts, who turned 18 in October, wasn’t considered to be a potential first-rounder, although San Diego clearly was intrigued by Potts’ offensive potential. Shortly after the draft, J.J. Cooper said that Potts could have been a backup plan, after Puerto Rican shortstop Delvin Perez was taken one spot before Potts. His under-slot deal helped the Padres give Mason Thompson and Reggie Lawson over-slot deals later in the draft.
The infielder has impressive size (currently listed at 6’3 and 205 lbs) and played shortstop, third and second base last season in the Arizona League, before earning a promotion to Tri-City. Potts has some gap power now but as he gets stronger, his power should start to develop. While is very young, Potts also made solid contact and showed a good eye at the plate. His large frame could end up leading to a move to third, or perhaps the corner infield.
In his first pro season, Potts flashed power, swatting 12 doubles in Peoria, including a couple that hit the wall. His overall .280/.338/.366 batting line was impressive, considering the fact he was one of the youngest players in the AZL and was five years younger than the average player in the Northwest League.
The first-round pick answered a few questions for MadFriars, prior to his start in the Padres’ Future’s Game at Petco Park.
MadFriars: What were your thoughts on participating in your first instructional league?
Hudson Potts: It was good. It was fun. The instructs have been a good experience, I am learning a lot of new stuff and meeting new people throughout the organization and some of the guys who played for the Padres and learned a lesson from each one of them.
Were there any specific coaches or instructors you worked more in-depth with?
Potts: I worked with (outfielder and baselining coordinator) Tony Tarasco on baserunning -- that’s who I was closest to on the performance side. Trevor Hoffman talked to all of us but he’s working with pitchers but he talked about work ethic and being a teammate.
You had a solid season in the Arizona League before moving up to Tri-City. I know the Arizona League can be a little weird with no one in the stands. How did you handle all of the new surroundings?
Potts: (laughs) It was a little weird but it was fun. It was fun to just go out there every day and learn something new. I learned how to handle your body over a long season and how to prepare.
After moving up to Tri-City, you played a lot of shortstop but also bounced around the infield. Is there one position you feel more comfortable at?
Potts: I’m more comfortable at shortstop, just because I have played there all the time. I am getting more comfortable at third - I am getting better there and I don’t think about the differences too much. Overall, I’ll just play wherever the organization asks me to. Right now, it’s just short and third. It doesn’t really matter to me where I play.
Can you talk about your experience about being drafted and the process you went through?
Potts: I enjoyed it. The whole experience, sharing it with my family and friends, it was awesome.