About 2 minutes reading time.

20-year-old outfielder Jackson Merrill makes debut for Padres in opener vs. Dodgers

 WBN  |    Mar 20th, 2024 7:18am EDT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Jackson Merrill, a 20-year-old center fielder who had never played above Double-A, made his major league debut for San Diego in Wednesday’s opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers after the Padres selected his contract from Double-A San Antonio.

Slotted ninth in the batting order, Merrill hit a 105.7 mph flyout to center field in the third inning off Tyler Glasnow in his first big league at-bat. He batted .351 (13 for 37) with three doubles, two homers, six RBIs and two stolen bases in 13 spring training games.

Merrill became the fourth player under 21 to make an opening-day start in center field since 1969 after Atlanta’s Andruw Jones in 1998, Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989 and 1990 and Montreal’s Don Hahn in 1969.

The 27th overall pick in the 2021 amateur draft, Merrill started last season at Class A Fort Wayne and batted .280 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs in 68 games, went to the Futures Game and then was promoted to San Antonio, Merrill hit .273 with five homers and 31 RBIs in 46 games with the Missions.

San Diego also selected the contract of infielders Graham Pauley from the Missions and Tyler Wade from the Triple-A El Paso. The Padres optioned catcher Brett Sullivan and right-handed pitcher Woo Suk-Go to the Chihuahuas.

Go agreed to a $4.5 million, two-year contract but wasn’t picked for the series in his home nation after allowing six runs over 4 1/3 innings in five spring training outings.

Wade, 29, agreed to a minor league deal with the Padres on Nov. 3 and hit .294 with (10 for 34) with seven RBIs in 14 spring training games. This will be his eighth major league season following time with the New York Yankees (2017-21), Los Angeles Angels (2022) and Oakland (2023).

Right-handers Glenn Otto (right teres major strain) and Luis Patiño (right elbow inflammation) were placed on the 15-day injured list, and infielder Tucupita Marcano (right knee ACL surgery on Aug. 9) on the 10-day injured list.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb