Padres' youth showing it belongs in Majors

Padres' youth showing it belongs in Majors

SAN DIEGO -- There's been a lot of talk about the Padres' future lately. That future -- some of it, at least -- is quickly becoming the present.

Three Padres rookies did all the damage against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on Saturday night, as the Friars wrapped up their first series victory of the season. Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe each went 2-for-4, and 21-year-old shortstop Allen Cordoba picked up his first Major League hit before scoring the decisive run in a 2-1 victory.

"We just bond really well together, we mesh really well, we all enjoy each other's company in the clubhouse," Renfroe said of the young roster. "That translates out onto the field when we play well. Our inexperience here doesn't mean too much. We can adjust and adapt and learn every day and become better."

Margot didn't quite match his performance from Friday's home opener, when he went deep twice. But he came close.

The Padres' top prospect opened the bottom of the first with a hustle double and scored three batters later when Renfroe ripped a two-bagger into the left-field corner. Margot doubled again in the second, plating Cordoba, who had singled to lead off the frame.

Margot's RBI double

"It's fun to watch young guys succeed on the baseball field," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I think the fans feel that way about it. It's clearly energized in the ballpark right now, and the guys are playing with that energy the fans are giving them."

In the second inning, Green took a glance at the Petco Park scoreboard and noticed Cordoba's Appalachian League stats on display. (The 21-year-old shortstop had never played above Rookie ball before the Padres selected him third in December's Rule 5 Draft.)

"You have to find some humor in that," Green said with a grin.

To be fair, those Rookie ball numbers are rather impressive. Cordoba, who was making his first Major League start, won consecutive batting titles while in the Cardinals' organization and hit .362 with Johnson City last season.

But it's safe to say he never got to face anyone of Madison Bumgarner's caliber.

"I knew he was pitching, so at first I got a little nervous," said Cordoba through a team interpreter. "I thought I was going to end up on the bench today. After that, I started to prepare, and I knew I was going to get a hit, because I was starting to get that energy."

Cordoba's first Major League hit

Cordoba isn't alone in his confidence. To a man, the Padres' youngsters are a buoyant bunch. And this much is clear: They feel as though they belong.

"You see all these big-name guys -- [Clayton] Kershaw, Bumgarner -- that have all done so well in this league," Renfroe said. "Everybody has so much respect for them. You put them on a pedestal coming up through the Minor Leagues, like these guys are untouchable.

"You get here, and they're just human beings that have to throw the ball over the white part of the plate. Once you get that out of your mind, that's the biggest thing: knowing that you can get in the box with them."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.