2018 San Diego Padres Depth Chart
Through a busy 2017 off-season, the Padres finally collected an MVP-caliber talent. Eric Hosmer joined the team after competing for a World Series title during his years in Kansas City. The development of Wil Myers was being met head-on with a player that produced at or above his level of play. The farm system was also developing at a quick pace, sending both Austin Hedges and Hunter Renfroe to the majors ahead of the 2018 season. This off-season work seemed to create a positive buzz around the organization, but a team is only as good as the sum of its parts. The major area that continues to haunt this team is the starting pitching woes. Grasping players and placing them in favorable positions to win is something the team has struggled with. The pitchers also didn’t help themselves out in terms of run affordance. High earned run averages and limited experience going deep in games equates to the losing record the team with post in 2018.
|Catcher||Austin Hedges||Francisco Mejia||A.J. Ellis|
|1st Base||Eric Hosmer|
|2nd Base||Luis Urias||Jose Pirela|
|Shortstop||Freddy Galvis||Javier Guerra|
|3rd Base||Wil Myers||Cory Spangenberg|
|Left Field||Hunter Renfroe|
|Center Field||Manuel Margot|
|Right Field||Travis Jankowski||Franmil Reyes|
There is little to praise with this organization’s pitching staff and rotation. When scrolling through win totals, most of the damage is being dealt by relievers. Tyson Ross left San Diego to join St. Louis and Clayton Richard’s season-long campaign has been tempered by way of injury. By way of production, the team’s best players reside in the bullpen. Craig Stammen and Robbie Erlin are two players that have kept the wheels from falling off. Both reside in a comfort zone when coming in for long-term relief. A change of pace and scenery has forced the team’s hand in starting these guys in the rotation. While this mix-up will take some working in the off-season, the team knows it has a reliable bullpen. Affording their talents the opportunity to slot into their correct roles will greatly improve the outlook for this team from a pitching standpoint in 2019.
The major run producers come at the infield corners with Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer. Myers has battled the injury bug for much of the season, taming his production to career-low ranges. He is barely eclipsing the .250 batting average mark, which is leaps and bounds away from his .275-lifetime capabilities. Hosmer is also stuck in a similar rut, which is something the 28-year-old has yet to face in his career. The tale of these two will be shown in their ability to rebound from a rough season. Freddy Galvis and Corey Spangenberg fill in the rest of the infield. Galvis is the seasoned veteran on the team. He is a bottom-of-the-order talent who can produce when needed. Spangenberg has spent his career within the organization, giving him some pull with the team. His lack of plate knowledge has taken a hit on his development. The major turnaround for this team might be shown once the pitching support comes through.
Two players of promise can be found in the outfield in Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot. Renfroe has been a lifetime Padre and his progressions through the minors gave him enough time to round out his weaknesses. This is a powerful bat that the team has leaned heavily on for production. Margot is the quicker of the two and this prospect came over a few seasons ago from the Red Sox system. The Red Sox organization cut back his professional experience for an extended visit to the minors. Margot is a player who features a complete, all-around game, making him a promising fit for offensive and defensive production. Franmil Reyes has been a late-bloomer for the team. He carries the highest batting average and is near the top on the team in terms of getting on base. His patience is something that is promising for such a young player. Continuing his development through a full off-season of work will help mold this player into an everyday feature.
Due to batting average woes, the batting order is under constant construction. You have your speed guys in Reyes and Margot, which lends some flexibility at the top and bottom of the order. Hosmer, Meyers, and Renfroe are all power players, filling the 3-5 slots on a trade-off and match-up basis. Austin Hedges presents some pop at the catcher position, so he is able to climb to the 6-spot if called upon. The batting order remains solid, but the pitching needs to catch-up to keep this as an effective element of the team.