Naylor to play in Don Welke On Deck Classic at Petco

Courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Network.


The San Diego Padres announced have renamed their annual prospect game the Don Welke On Deck Classic in honor of their late vice president of scouting operations, who passed away last week at the age of 75.

This year’s contest will take place on Thursday at Petco Park, when top prospects from the organization will take on prospects from the Texas Rangers’ organization.

In the lineup for the Padres prospects will be OF Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) after he hit .297 with 17 homers and 74 RBIs with the double-A San Antonio Missions. With the Padres landing 1B Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal, Naylor was switched to the outfield. He played 89 games there, as well as 29 at first and 13 at DH.

Naylor is the only one of the three Canucks to start the season at San Antonio. RHP Rowan Wick (North Vancouver, BC), the converted outfielder, was 4-4 with a 2.67 ERA and 14 saves as he walked 41 and fanned 64 in 54 innings splitting time with the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas and San Antonio in 49 games. He was also a September call up and had a 6.14 ERA in eight games with San Diego, walking one, striking out six in 7 1/3 innings.

RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) was 9-6 with a 4.80 ERA in 28 starts. He walked 43 and fanned 123 in 148 innings combined at El Paso and San Antonio.

Welke was in the game for over 50 years, beginning his career in 1965 with the Cincinnati Reds. A pioneer in scouting, Welke possessed an unmatched passion and a keen eye for talent. He was an integral part of the success of the Toronto Blue Jays in the early 1990s, working directly under Pat Gillick as they won consecutive World Series titles in 1992 and 1993

He was instrumental in the Texas Rangers’ World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. In all, he was directly involved in the scouting, signing and acquisitions of Pat Hentgen, John Olerud, Willie Blair, Shawn Green, Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, and Jurickson Profar.