Batten’s bat providing consistency in Chihuahuas lineup

by | Jun 1, 2020 | 0 comments

With some of baseball’s top prospects in the El Paso Chihuahuas’ lineup, it is easy for a guy like Matthew Batten to get lost in the mix. Batten’s power numbers might not jump out at you and his style of play is not exactly flashy, but the utility man does all the little things right.

Batten, 23, was a 32nd round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in 2017. You will not see his name on any of baseball’s publications for top prospects in 2019, but he is quickly rising through the Padres farm system and turning a lot of scouts’ heads in the process.

The Quinnipiac College standout is hitting .352 this season with the Chihuahuas and is flying under the radar with players like Luis Urias, Ty France, Josh Naylor, Austin Allen, and others in the lineup throughout the year.

“Each day I get to go out there and play,” said Batten. “It’s nice to have some of those guys in the lineup that draw a lot of the attention. It helps me get a few more pitches to hit.”

The Padres’ farm system was ranked No. 1 is baseball this season by multiple media outlets. The San Diego front office has also made splashes in free agency the past couple years making Batten’s road to the big leagues a little more challenging.

“With guys like that, as a coach, you try to explain to them to forget about the labels,” said Chihuahuas manager Edwin Rodriguez. “You need to forget about the prospects, non-prospects and you just keep playing.”

That is what Batten has done all season long. He has delivered in big situations with his bat and his glove.

“For me, he’s the MVP of the team. Everywhere I put him, whether it’s first, second, short, left field, third base, he plays everywhere,” said Rodriguez. “Offensively, he has the ability to put the bat on the ball. He always makes contact.”

Batten played for Rodriguez last season in Single-A Lake Elsinore, but has made major adjustments to his swing since arriving in El Paso last month.

“I’m just putting in a lot of work with Morgan {Burkhart} and Lance {Burkhart} here has helped me tremendously,” said Batten. “I had a few different tweaks I had to make and I can see them, especially right now, starting to unfold and help me produce a little bit.”

The Chihuahuas will play a double-header on Monday in Fresno. El Paso is currently 31-18, 4.5-games up on Las Vegas for first place in the PCL Pacific Southern Division.


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