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From BR Bullpen
William Dion Venable
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 205 lb.
- School Princeton University
- Debut August 29, 2008
 Biographical Information
Venable hit .244/.352/.372 in 2003 for Princeton University and followed with a .344/.379/.438 line in 2004. Will was taken by the Baltimore Orioles in the 15th round of the 2004 amateur draft but did not sign. Returning for his senior year at Princeton, he hit .385/.437/.636 and led the Ivy League with 9 home runs, tying two Harvard sluggers. He was second in the Ivy League in average behind Matt Kutler and made the All-Conference outfield alongside Kutler. He was the second all-Conference player in both basketball and baseball, following Chris Young. Will was selected by the San Diego Padres in the seventh round of the 2005 amateur draft.
In 2006, Venable led Padres farmhands with 160 hits and tied Luis Cruz for the most doubles (39). He hit .314/.389/.477 for the Fort Wayne Wizards and was named the Padres Minor League Player of the Year. He scored 86, drove in 91, stole 18 bases in 23 tries and tied Jeff Baisley for the Midwest League lead in runs. He was second to Erik Lis in the MWL batting race and made the All-Star team in the outfield alongside Jay Bruce and Cameron Maybin. He was left off of the Baseball America top 20 prospect list for the Conference, presumably due to his being older than the average player. They did rank him the #5 prospect in the Padres chain.
For the 2006 West Oahu CaneFires, Venable hit .330/.390/.473. He led Hawaii Winter Baseball in average, was second to John Otness in OBP and third in slugging. His 10 doubles led HWB and he tied Yoshiyuki Kamei for third in hits (30). In the outfield, he was error-free. Baseball America named him the #11 prospect in the league.
In 2007, Will batted .278/.337/.373 in 134 games for the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League. He then put up a line of .292/.361/.464 in 120 games for the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League in 2008. He was called up to San Diego in late August and hit a triple in his major league debut on August 29, 2008. He played 28 games in center field for the Padres, putting up a line of .264/.339/.391, giving him an inside track on a starting job in 2009.