Who better to begin previewing the National League with then the San Diego Padres? The answer is probably just about anyone excluding the Marlins.
Do they still have a giant Taylor Made golf club as their foul pole? Does anyone know? If so, this moves them up a peg in my book. If not, the roster isn’t much to look at. In fact, if I was honestly a Padres fan I would probably be more excited about golf season soon picking up steam or where the San Diego State Aztecs finish in the NIT tournament if they’re lucky enough to make it.
Here’s a closer look at the beauty within the San Diego Padres.
Major offseason moves:
The Padres changed ownership groups last August when the sons of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’ Malley bought the team. You probably didn’t know this because the Padres former ownership group has done little to make them relevant in recent years and they’re probably one of the least most interesting teams in baseball as it stands.
The cupboard isn’t completely bare–and they’ve moved in the fences at Petco! I didn’t know how many more of those 2-1 yawners in the San Diego sunshine that I can take. The truth is, there are two main pieces I really love on the Padres roster, and we’ll get to them after the jump.
The first thing that stands out to me is Chase Headley. Did you know that Chase Headley was a 7.5 FanGraphs WAR player last season? What this means to you, the baseball fan is that there’s a damn good player rotting away at the hot corner for the San Diego Padres. In fact, he’s one of baseball’s best. Headley morphed into the player we always knew he would be last season hitting 31 home runs and driving in 115 while stealing 17 bases. There’s no one else on this roster who could unseat him as the unquestioned centerpiece. Some wonder whether or not the breakout is sustainable. I think Headley is still a 5 WAR guy this season.
The other guy on the roster who I think is in for a Headley-style breakout season is Yonder Alonso. Alonso showed phenomenal flashes down the stretch in the 2011 season when I was watching him closely while a member of the Cincinnati Reds. Last year his power was seemingly nowhere to be found (9 HR, .120 ISO), and his numbers across the board were pedestrian. I think Alonso doubles his WAR to at least 4+ and will benefit from the fences being moved in at his home park. Alonso is from Miami U, the guy can play ball. He’s about to show the world.
It needs to be noted that Yasmani Grandal received a 50-game PED suspension and has temporarily derailed what looked to be stardom. I think he still turns out to be a great offensive catcher and a key cog in getting this team back to respectability. I like Cameron Maybin’s speed and some flashes in his all around game, but he has failed thus far to put it all together. I like Everth Cabrera more than a lot of shortstops around baseball but less than a handful of guys I would want playing for my home nine. I’m not going to say a whole lot about the other guys because they just aren’t worthy of the print.
When Jason Marquis highlights your offseason acquisitions and Freddy “The Rock” Garcia (he looks like the current WWE Champion, kind of), you’re up shit creek without the luxury of a paddle. I hate the fact that Cory Luebke got hurt last year. I drafted him on my fantasy team and I had that rare feeling that the guy was on the cusp of something special. And then he blew his arm out.
I don’t like Edinson Volquez as an ace, he’ll never be that. I think Clayton Richard is more of a three or a four. The rest kind of looks makeshift. Huston Street will save his 30 or so games without being a real issue, but this isn’t a team that will win a lot of games to begin with.
Mevs’ predicted record:
68-94, 5th place in the NL West
There might only be a team or two in baseball whose 2013 I like less than the Padres. That said, I think they have the right manager in place in Bud Black, the right ownership group, and a few really nice cornerstones. A few great prospects that enter the baseball kingdom wearing their garb could really change my feelings about this organization. And it was a great decision to move in the fences.
It’s going to be a long year Padres fans. Derive your enjoyment from watching a special player in Headley and reading up on your prospect pipeline in the minors. I do believe that this team turns it around in the next few seasons.