Padres pair powers Peoria to Fall League win

Gettys, VanMeter both homer in Javelinas' 12-2 victory over Mesa

Padres pair powers Peoria to Fall League win

MESA, Ariz. -- Michael Gettys and Josh VanMeter each homered in the Peoria Javelinas' 12-2 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox.

Gettys, the Padres' No. 10 prospect and a 2016 Midwest League All-Star, posted a .305 batting average while splitting his season between Class A Fort Wayne and Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. His strong offensive season carried into Saturday night, when he hit a solo home run in the third inning to extend the Javelinas lead to 3-0.

"I was just looking for something up," Gettys said. "My timing is a little off still because, I mean, I've only played three games in the last month, but I was just trying to see something up and I just kind of reacted."


Gettys' batting average increased more than 70 points from the .231 he posted in 2015 with Fort Wayne, a feat he credits to developing a new approach.

"Just more mental," the 20-year-old from Gainesville, Ga, said. "Just, not worrying about bad games, not worrying about stats. Just going out there and playing, having fun."

The Javelinas led 9-2 in the eighth inning, when VanMeter homered to right-center field off of Cubs prospect Ryan McNeil.

"He walked the guy before and I was trying to get a good pitch to hit," VanMeter said. "I was pretty selective up there and got my pitch and didn't miss it and was able to do some damage."

The Javelinas had two on and two outs when VanMeter stepped to the plate. He has 17 home runs in his four Minor League seasons, 14 coming in 2016.

The 21-year-old from Ossian, Indiana, went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBIs Saturday. He also showed some defensive skill in the second inning, making a leaping catch at second base to snare a line drive.

"The game starts with defense. Play defense and you're most likely gonna win," VanMeter said. "I made a couple nice defensive plays and then, just to be able to put the ball in play, hit the ball hard and come away with some good results ... felt really good."

The two prospects met shortly after the Padres selected Gettys in the second round of the 2014 Draft and have been roommates during their stints together in the instructional league and with the Lake Elsinore Storm.

"I know him really well," Gettys said. "He's a good person, a good guy and a good teammate."

VanMeter, whom the Padres drafted in the fifth round in 2013, said the chemistry between the two drives them as competitors.

"We're good friends. We were roommates while we were in instructs," VanMeter said. "We get along really well and it's nice to have someone here that you can push each other with that's in the same organization."

Gettys was on first base following a walk when VanMeter stepped to the plate in the eighth.

"I was just going when he hit it. I mean, he's been swinging it well this whole time, he's been crushing it," Gettys said. "He's one of our best hitters and it was good to see him do that."

The offensive surge led by the two Padres' prospects gave Peoria its second win of the Fall League season, improving the club's record to 2-1-2. Mesa fell to 2-3.

Trisha Garcia is a sports journalism graduate student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.