San Diego Padres 2013 draft selection Trevor Gott expected to spend his summer in Eugene, Ore., with the organization's short-season team.
He was there just four games – and headed up, not down.
Gott, the Padres' sixth-round draft choice and former University of Kentucky pitcher, came to Fort Wayne after four outings and 4 1/3 innings for the Emeralds. He has appeared in five games for the TinCaps, and through six innings of work has yet to give up an earned run.
"I thought I was just gonna spend the summer in Eugene, get used to pro ball," said Gott, the 178th overall selection this year. "But, I mean, I can't complain."
Neither can the TinCaps.
Gott has given up just one hit in his five relief appearances. He threw 1 1/3 innings Monday in a 6-5 win against Great Lakes and struck out a batter.
The 6-foot, 190-pound right-hander has transitioned well to his new home, he said. Former Wildcats teammate Brian Adams and Maxx Tissenbaum, who he played with in the Cape Cod League two summers ago, have helped.
"It makes it a lot easier coming in with guys you know that introduce you to guys," Gott said. "You have someone you can talk to right away, so it helped a lot."
Gott had about a month off between his final game for Kentucky and his first for the Emeralds, and he said while that was good for his arm, it took some time to get used to facing hitters again.
The learning curve at the professional level is steep, and the 20-year-old is working with a slightly smaller repertoire as a result. He has yet to use his changeup in a game and has played it safe, sticking to his fastball and slider.
Gott, who received a $200,000 signing bonus according to Baseball America, is also getting used to the rigors of a professional relief slate.
"In college, you've got a couple off days, two or three a week. Here, it's every day," he said. "I have to keep getting my body stronger. I'm not used to playing this much every day. My offspeed command has to get a lot better, too."
That should come with time, Gott said. The reliever thinks he has adjusted well, and he said he loves the Fort Wayne area so far.
"It's been awesome," he said. "The guys have been very welcoming. The competition is a lot better than what I was used to, top to bottom."