FORT WAYNE – Josh VanMeter is coming back home. Well, sort of.
VanMeter, the former basketball and baseball standout at Norwell who was taken in the fifth round of the 2013 June major league baseball draft by the San Diego Padres, has been assigned to the TinCaps, according to the scouting website MadFriars.com and VanMeter’s high school coach, Andy McClain.
That’s confirmed, McClain said Friday night. His dad sent it out to everybody today.
VanMeter, whom MadFriars.com projected as the starting second baseman for Fort Wayne, played 44 games last summer for the Arizona League Padres, mainly at shortstop. He batted .278 with seven doubles, two triples, 16 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He came to spring training having added 20 pounds of muscle to his 5-foot-11 frame, bumping his weight to 180 pounds.
According to MadFriars.com, he’s expected to be part of a solid infield that will also include first baseman Jake Bauers, shortstop Franchy Cordero and third baseman Dustin Peterson. Cordero batted .333 last season with the AZL Padres.
In his final year at Norwell, VanMeter was 14-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 115 strikeouts as a pitcher, and he batted .450 with nine home runs and 36 RBI. At the end of the summer, the Padres selected him to play in an instructional league in the Dominican Republic.
In basketball, he averaged 18.6 points and helped lead Norwell to the Class 3A state championship game as a junior. He was also named to the All-Northeast Indiana team.