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Blake Tekotte

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Blake Aaron Tekotte

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Blake Tekotte is a centerfield prospect in the San Diego Padres organization. His cousin Jake Whitesides played for nine years in the minors.

Tekotte hit .306 as a high school sophomore, .519 as a junior and .529 with 11 homers and 20 steals as a senior. He was All-State the last two years. He also played quarterback and punter on the football team, making second-team All-State as a punter. He started as a freshman at the University of Miami, hitting .286; he also hit .286 in the 2006 College World Series. He improved to .333 as a sophomore and stole 15 bases in 23 tries. That summer, he posted a .256/.327/.376 line for the Brewster Whitecaps with 22 steals (caught just once) and 30 runs in 43 games. He led the Cape Cod League in swipes, was third in runs and made the All-League outfield. His junior year, he batted .353 and scored 81 runs. He tied Jemile Weeks for 11th in NCAA Division I in runs and made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference outfield.

He was selected by the Padres in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft. Tekotte was the 6th collegiate hitter San Diego took in their first 7 choices in 2008, following Allan Dykstra, Logan Forsythe and James Darnell and preceding Sawyer Carroll and Jason Kipnis.

Tekotte was signed by scout Rob Sidwell for $361,000 and began his career by hitting .285 with a .379 OBP and slugging .456 in 47 games for the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League in 2008. He scored 43 runs. Baseball America rated him as the #11 prospect in the NWL, between Charlie Blackmon and Ryan Flaherty. He was rated higher than outfield mate Daniel Robertson, the league MVP. Blake then fell to .258/.345/.396, but with 83 runs, 24 doubles, 5 triples and 13 homers in 134 games for the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League in 2009. He was 7th in the Midwest League in runs, 8th in steals (30 in 42 tries) and led the circuit's outfielders with 292 putouts.

In 2010, he started the year with the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League, where he hit .310/.419/.522 with 17 doubles and 8 homers in 59 games to earn a promotion to the AA San Antonio Missions in mid-year. In the Texas League, he hit .250/.324/.444 in 67 games, for a combined batting line of .276/.367/.478. He showed good power, hitting 25 doubles, 8 triples and 18 homers. He also scored 85 runs and stole 28 bases.

In 2011, he began the season back at San Antonio hitting .373 in his first 22 games, with a resounding .663 slugging percentage. By mid-May, he was in the major leagues making his debut with the Padres on May 25, making an out as a pinch-hitter. In his first start, against the Washington Nationals on May 28th, he went 2 for 3 with a walk. He played only 19 games for the Padres, hitting .176 with no homers and only 1 RBI. He finished the season in San Antonio with a .285 average in 106 games, with 27 doubles, 19 homers and 67 RBI. In 2012, he spent the bul of the season in AAA with the Tucson Padres, where he hit only .243/.284/.402 in 89 games, seriously tainting his prospect luster. He also played 11 games in the big leagues, but only hit .133 with no extra-base hits. On November 7, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in return for P Brandon Kloess.

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