For the first time in 12 (well, 13) years baseball is a medal sport at the Summer Olympics. As seems to happen with pretty much every sport, San Diego is going to be represented in a few different ways.
Francis Parker High School alum Nick Allen is one of the 24 players (12 position players, 12 pitchers) that will get to wear the USA across their chest in Tokyo. Allen, an infielder and one of the Oakland' A's top prospects, was a part of the qualifying team that went a perfect 4-0 to earn a spot in the 2021 Games.
Allen was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 MLB Draft by Oakland and has become the 3rd-ranked prospect in the A's system. This year at AA Midland he's hitting .333 with five home runs and an .882 OPS. Allen is on a track to make his Major League debut later this year but it might be a good thing he hasn't gotten that callup yet.
Only current big league free agents or players who are not on 40-man rosters are eligible for the Olympic team. Even though he's one of the game's most promising prospects, as a 2017 draftee from high school Allen doesn't have to be protected on a 40-man until 2022.
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Joining Allen on Team USA are a few guys Padres fans will be familiar with.
Patrick Kivlehan first joined the Padres in 2016, playing in five games and hitting his first career big league home run. He's back in the San Diego system this year and around another 5-game stint with the Friars has been tearing up AAA pitching with the El Paso Chihuahuas (3rd in the league with 14 homers and tied for first with 41 RBI).
He played for the U.S. in the 2015 Pan-American Games but says this something he's only ever dreamed of.
"I think it's the coolest thing, from the Opening Ceremony to seeing other athletes you usually only get to see on TV, it's all truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Kivlehan. "I mean, the baseball itself is going to be really cool but everything else that entails being at the Olympics ... I can't wait to experience it."
Catcher Tim Federowicz was traded to the Padres from the Dodgers as part of the now-infamous Matt Kemp deal but he got hurt and never played a game for San Diego.
And then, we have Edwin Jackson. The U.S. Olympic team might be the only club he hasn't played for yet. Jackson made 13 starts for the Friars in 2016, once coming close to tossing the club's first no-hitter (he did toss a no-no for Arizona in 2010). Jackson has pitched for 14 of the 30 MLB teams.
Game one for the U.S.A. is on July 30 against Israel. The full roster looks like this:
Nick Allen; INF; Oakland Athletics; Midland (AA)
Eddy Alvarez; INF; Miami Marlins; Jacksonville (AAA)
Tyler Austin; OF; Nippon Professional Baseball; Yokohama DeNA Baybears
Shane Baz; RHP; Tampa Bay Rays; Durham (AAA)
Anthony Carter; RHP; Mexican League; Saraperos de Saltillo
Triston Casas; INF; Boston Red Sox; Portland (AA)
Brandon Dickson; RHP; St. Louis Cardinals; Memphis (AAA)
Tim Federowicz; C; Los Angeles Dodgers; Oklahoma City (AAA)
Eric Filia; OF; Seattle Mariners; Tacoma (AAA)
Todd Frazier; INF; Free Agent
Anthony Gose; LHP; Cleveland Indians; Columbus (AAA)
Edwin Jackson; RHP; Free Agent
Scott Kazmir; LHP; San Francisco Giants; Sacramento (AAA)
Patrick Kivlehan; OF/INF; San Diego Padres; El Paso (AAA)
Mark Kolozsvary; C; Cincinnati Reds; Chattanooga (AA)
Jack Lopez; UTL; Boston Red Sox; Worcester (AAA)
Nick Martinez; RHP; Nippon Professional Baseball; Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Scott McGough; RHP; Nippon Professional Baseball; Tokyo Yakult Swallows
David Robertson; RHP; Free Agent
Joe Ryan; RHP; Tampa Bay Rays; Durham (AAA)
Ryder Ryan; RHP; Texas Rangers; Round Rock (AAA)
Bubba Starling; OF; Kansas City Royals; Omaha (AAA)
Jamie Westbrook; INF/OF; Milwaukee Brewers; Nashville (AAA)
Simeon Woods-Richardson; RHP; Toronto Blue Jays; New Hampshire (AA)
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