Hudson Potts found out the hard way how a bad start can impact his statistics just five weeks into the season. But the 18-year-old let it roll right off his back, knowing he'd soon turn things around.
Now he has.
The No. 12 Padres prospect tripled and tied his career high with four hits while plating two runs to help visiting Class A Fort Wayne roll past Lansing, 10-2, on Monday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Potts began the year in a 3-for-28 slide before recording his third multi-hit effort in the last 11 games, including the second four-hit game of his career.
Gameday box score
"I obviously wanted to do the best that I can, but I knew I did everything to prepare myself for the games. I just wasn't getting the results," the Southlake, Texas native said. "It was a little bit of a slow start, but I never gave up and I knew eventually it would come. I trust my ability.
"I got to know a lot of my current teammates in Instructional League last year and during Spring Training. Some have played in a full-season league already, so they've talked to me how long a grind it is and just to stay with it. I know the results will come, so I never got too down or anything. I made a few small tweaks here and there, but mostly kept the same approach."
Those tweaks proved advantageous Monday. Potts laced a single to right field in the first inning and followed with a triple to right in the third. Jack Suwinski followed with a triple to plate the third baseman.
The TinCaps loaded the bases in the next inning and Potts delivered a two-run single to left to make it 8-1. He singled to center in the seventh, then grounded to third in the eighth.
"It's a big confidence-booster, but I have been feeling pretty comfortable at the plate," Potts said. "There's just something a little off that's causing me to not see the results. Some days you feel more comfortable in the box than other days. I'm seeing the ball well, and tonight I was hitting my pitch and tonight the hits fell. Hopefully it continues for me moving forward."
The Padres selected Potts out of Southlake Carroll High School with the 24th pick in last year's Draft. Only 17 at the time, he batted .280/.338/.366 with 15 extra-base hits, 42 runs and 27 RBIs in 59 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League and Class A Short Season Tri-City.
"I think about it every day, to be honest. It's crazy," Potts said of playing professionally. "I think back to how much fun we all had playing ball in high school, so when I'm struggling or getting upset, I'll try and bring that joy back. I'm still good friends with my high school teammates and I know any of them would love to be in my spot. I'm very lucky and very fortunate. Growing up, I always wanted to do this and now I'm doing it."
Padres No. 7 prospect Jorge Ona hit a three-run homer and sixth-ranked Fernando Tatis Jr. tripled on a three-hit night and scored three times.
Jerry Keel (2-2) allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks over seven innings for Fort Wayne.
Top Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in a run and Bradley Jones hit his team-high seventh homer for the Lugnuts.