2017 Fantasy Baseball, San Diego Padres Team Preview
Offseason. What offseason? The big “all in” winter of 2014/15 seems an eternity ago and another rebuild is in process.
The Padres let “ace” Tyson Ross walk away, replacing him with Jhoulys Chacin and Trevor Cahill, while Derek Norris’ departure has opened the catching spot for Austin Hedges. But make no mistake, the inactivity all seems to preclude a 100 loss season.
2B Schimpf / Spangenberg / Asuaje
C Hedges / Bethancourt
Top Draft Picks (Studs)
There’s only one name which stands out and that is Wil Myers (1B).
Myers does come with a word of warning though. Before 2016, staying healthy proved to be a difficult task for Myers and his red hot first half of the year didn’t carry through to the second half.
The speed held up throughout the season and his power did seem reasonable considering his minor league numbers. However, none of his numbers scream of a power increase. A .259 batting average was about right. But his HR/FB rate helped boost his first half numbers and when they stabilised, his homers dropped.
Can I see a repeat? Yeah. Do I think it’s set in stone? Nah. But if you’ve got big power early and need a first baseman, Myers could be a very solid option outside the elite group and the steals could give you nice roster flexibility later in the draft.
High Upside (Sleepers)
The Padres lineup doesn’t look much, but their outfield could have some sneaky late pick upside. Hunter Renfroe (OF) has raw power but you feel he will need to get off to a good start to the year to avoid more Triple-A time.
But I’m looking at Alex Dickerson (OF) as my Padres sleeper. Yes, Renfroe will likely become a trendy sleeper in drafts and be snapped up so early that almost all the value will be drained out of him.
Dickerson on the other hand is 27, so hardly a prospect. But he’s been a career .309 hitter in the minors with a .368 OBP. Across 524 minor league games, Dickerson has hit 58 homers with 26 stolen bases. Across 150 games, that equates to around 16 homers and 7 steals a season.
Not much for the minors I hear you cry. But in 2016, Dickerson hit 10 homers and stole 5 bases as a Padre. His average was only .257 but his OBP remained solid at .331 and this was done in just 261 at-bats.
Given his contact and line drive rates and the fact he will take a walk, he makes for an ideal candidate to lead off for the Padres. If Solarte and Myers do hit second and third, there’s the potential for 80+ runs too.
High Downside (Busts)
It’s difficult to call someone a bust when you use one of your last picks of the draft on someone. But outside of Myers and possibly Brandon Maurer, that’s pretty much all you’ll be doing. But there is someone you might be tempted by late in the draft who will most likely tank.
That guy is Ryan Schimpf (2B).
People will see the 20 homers Schimpf hit as a major leaguer in just 89 games and think a 40 home run campaign is on the cards. But it came at a .217 average. Schimpf averaged 26 homers across 150 games in the minors, has a career .249 average in the minors and is 29.
His average spiked to .355 in Triple-A last year which led to his call up to San Diego. Prior to that, Schimpf had never got close to .300. Considering his .157 average against lefties last year too, the best Schimpf can hope for is a platoon role.
Seeing as 20 home runs is the new norm, do you really want to throw away your average for a platoon guy who might hit few extra home runs than the average Joe? Didn’t think so.
The closer role appears to belong to Brandon Maurer (RP). But since his conversion to a bullpen role, he’s hardly been dominant. Two years ago, I loved the idea of Maurer closing. But the lack of strikeouts when compared to other low end closers and the lack of save opportunities will significantly limit Maurer’s value. He’s nothing more than a late pick if you really need the saves.
Outside of Maurer, Kevin Quackenbush (RP) and Ryan Buchter (RP) seem likely to step in to fill the closer role but neither of them excites and quite frankly, I’m avoiding the while Padres pitching staff.
Impact Minor Leaguers
Having already had a taste of the bigs, Manny Margot (OF) looks close to regular major league action. In 10 games for the Padres, Margot mustered a .243 average and failed to take a walk. Although a tiny sample size, that’s something he will need to improve upon.
His average in the minors is .288 over his fledgling career and his quick hands and approach at the plate will stand him in good stead going forward. His power is negligible but his legs are where he will earn your attention.
Primed to steal around 30 bases a year, even a late season call up could pay dividends if you are looking for steals without destroying your average. Margot should be the Padres leadoff hitter of the future, but unless they go with him as the everyday center fielder to start the season it would make sense to iron out the final few creases at Triple-A first.
Ryan Schimpf had one pitching appearance in his minor league career, earning a save in 2015 for the Buffalo Bisons. Schimpf achieved this without giving up a run, despite walking three hitters and not recording a strikeout.
Article written by Jaime Steed for TheFantasyFix.com.