Ben Risinger got an inning on the mound and Ricky Steik was shelled in his debut as Portland rested.…
Padres Scouting Report: William Killian
"He was sent there because we were low on players," Waller revealed. "We had guys in races at all levels at the time. His season was over and by having Killian in Triple-A, we were able to put one of our players on the field and play first base because we were low on players. That put Yamid Haad at first base and his bat in the lineup."
Out of Chippewa Hills High School in Remus, Michigan, Killian made a great first impression when he threw out two baserunners in a June minicamp. It didn't hurt that his dad is an area scout for the Friars.
At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, the switch-hitting catcher was rated the number one prospect out of the state of Michigan. He received $450K to sign and was placed down in Peoria with the Arizona Rookie League team.
Killian was used as the bullpen catcher for Portland and got action in two games. His first at bat was a double play ground out and he got in as a designated hitter in his second game, going 1-for-3 with his first Triple-A hit a single in the fifth inning. He did ground into another double play in his second game. He also led the Peoria team, hitting into five double plays.
Killian opened up his Padres career with a five game hitting streak for Peoria. He was 8-for-19 with a .500 on base percentage through those games. He did not have another hitting streak longer than three games in his remaining 35 games.
His average dropped down under .200 for one game and with eight games to go in his season was hitting but .211. A late rally, where he had hits in six of the last eight games brought his average up to .230.
Killian showed spurts of solid defense. At one point in the season he threw out five straight runners attempting to steal. He did, however, get called for a few passed balls and ended the year with five errors, two coming in one game.
His plate discipline was advanced for his age. While he did strike out three times in a game once, it marked only the fourth time all year that saw him whiff multiple times in a game. During a 22 game stretch, he struck out just five times and ended the season with 21 K's in 40 games. He drew just 11 walks, preferring to put the ball in play and thus his on base percentage was at a slim .293.
From Peoria, he was sent up to Portland. With pennant races still going on and Killian not causing a chain reaction of moves through the system, it was a rare chance for the youngster.
"Killian could get the experience of being in a pennant race," Waller said. "Seeing what Triple-A baseball is like and we thought that would be a huge benefit not only for the club but for Billy as well."
Killian will head to the Instructional Leagues with an eye towards becoming more patient at the plate and continued work on his defense. As he gains experience, his power numbers should thrive. Catchers, historically, take a little longer to develop than positional players. Getting him so young will help that cause as the Padres mold him accordingly. He was the only catcher the Padres selected and with a couple of backstops potentially leaving the organization this coming season it will open up opportunities. He will likely have to prove he belongs in Eugene this coming year.
Denis Savage can be reached at email@example.com
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