This week's First-Year Player Draft has brought back fond memories for Austin Allen.
It reminded him of being the first Division II player to fly off the board to the Padres in 2015. It's even better for Allen, knowing that he's tearing it up in his first season at Double-A.
"It's definitely a good feeling," said the Padres' 27th-ranked prospect, who homered twice and went 4-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored to power San Antonio to a 9-4 win over Corpus Christi on Saturday at Whataburger Field.
Gameday box score
"I've always had confidence in myself and my goal and my dream is to play in the big leagues for a long time and I'm going to keep working until I get there," Allen said. "It just goes to show no matter where you come from, what school, whether it's D-I, D-II, JuCo, D-III -- it doesn't matter. At the end of the day, if you can play, you can play.
"I definitely hope it's an eye-opener for some of those guys at smaller schools that they can have success in baseball if they work hard enough and stay persistent."
Video: Allen goes deep again for San Antonio
The left-handed-hitting catcher ambushed the first pitch he saw from Hooks starter Yoanys Quiala, clearing the fence in left for an opposite-field two-run homer in the opening inning. Allen went yard on another first-pitch offering in his next at-bat in the third.
"[Quiala]'s secondary stuff was working, so I didn't necessarily want to get to two strikes," Allen said. "So I was looking to ambush early, whether it was a fastball or a hanging breaking ball. I was able to get two balls up in my zone and put a good swing on them."
The Florida Institute of Technology product punched a 3-2 pitch to right field for a leadoff single in the seventh and singled again in the ninth to cap his second four-hit game of the season.
"It's always more rewarding when you're able to battle through an at-bat and be able to be on the right side of it," Allen said. "It was definitely fun. I was facing two nasty lefties who were pretty deceptive with their delivery and everything, so it was definitely tough."
Allen slugged two homers in a game once before, going yard twice and driving in a career-high six runs for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore last July 29. He went 4-for-4 for the Missions in a 14-0 romp over Midland on April 29.
The 24-year-old backstop raised his batting average to .333 and his OPS to .998. He's hitting .376 with six homers and four doubles in 19 games since May 18. Allen is second in the Texas League with 14 homers, one behind Springfield's Victor Roache, and is well on pace to surpass his career high 22, set last season in the California League.
Naylor doubled and drove in three runs, while Tatis Jr. reached base four times and drove in a run with a double.
Padres No. 4 prospect Cal Quantrill (5-3) won his third straight start, limiting the Hooks to three runs on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Corpus Christi's Randy Cesar doubled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to a Minor League season-high 31 games. Jamie Ritchie chipped in three hits, including a double, two RBIs and a run scored.