It is always a blessing to have good friends in life. The type of friends who are there to encourage you, pick you up when your down and help lead you to make good decisions. Jeremy Baltz is a player who benefited from having good friends in his life. This Padres prospect, like Padres scouting director Billy Gasparino, grew up playing soccer but opted for playing baseball at the age of 9. “I played soccer and all my friends were playing baseball, so I kind of quit soccer to play baseball,” and baseball ended up being his sport. His early memories of baseball were “Little League, T-ball, the all-starts teams in Little League where everyone’s dream was to get to Williamsport, and playing for State Finals in Little League.”
Living in New York, Jeremy was a Yankees fan and of course, his favorite player was and is Derek Jeter. Jeremy was impressed by “the way he carries himself. He was one of the best players in the game and always has been. You never see him dog it on a ground ball, you always see him running hard, diving into the stands and making that extra effort. He carries himself the proper way and he’s an unbelievable role model.”
Jeremy played basketball and baseball at Vestal High School and was actually drafted out of high school by his favorite team the Yankees in the 45th round of the 2009 MLB draft, but Jeremy opted for college instead. He was recruited by Binghamton University, LeMoyne University, and St. John’s but he knew that St. John’s presented the best opportunity to play top caliber baseball, so Jeremy opted to go to St. John’s. In 2009, Jeremy hit .396 with 24 home runs and 85 RBI’s and was named the Louisville Slugger Freshman Player of the Year for his outstanding season. 2011-2012 saw Jeremy continue to hit for an average, but not the same power as his freshman season. His proudest accomplishment in his career came in college “with my St. John University team beating North Carolina in the Chapel Hill Regional and making it to the super regional. We lost to the National Champs 2 years ago in Arizona.” All the while, Jeremy continued to hit for a high average for St. John’s.
In 2012, the San Diego Padres drafted the St. John’s star with their 2nd round pick (68th overall) and assigned Jeremy to A- Eugene, where he hit .281 with 5 home runs and 43 RBI’s and a promotion in 2013 to A Fort Wayne. Jeremy started the 2013 season working to improve his overall game. He told us “I really wanted to work on my defense; covering ground in the outfield, my arm, everything to do with the outfield position and my plate discipline when I am hitting. Trying to cut back on strikeouts and improve on my walks and getting on base.” After hitting .268 with 5 homers for A Fort Wayne, the Padres promoted him to the A+ Lake Elsinore Storm where he finished the season hitting .308 with 10 home runs and 54 RBI’s. He started the 2014 season on the DL and has struggled so far this season, but we are confident Jeremy will turn it around.
When he leaves the game, Baltz plans on coaching somewhere. “I love the game and I want to say when I am done I want to coach and continue to stay with the game.”
Jeremy started out as a kid loving soccer, but switched to baseball because all of his friends were playing baseball. Jeremy followed his friends and it paid off for him. With a strong work ethic and a dedication to the game, we will soon hear the name Jeremy Baltz over the loud speakers at Petco Park.