San Diego Padres
(Updated: February 27)
The Padres have missed the playoffs over the last 12 seasons with their previous winning record coming in 2010 (90-72). They have two World Series appearances in the teams 50-year history with five total postseason trips.
San Diego ranked 28th in runs (617), 24th in HRs (162), and 28th in batting average (.235). Their pitching staff finished 21st in ERA (4.40) with 36 saves and five shutouts.
In the offseason, San Diego made a big splash by signing 3B/SS Manny Machado, which gives then a key piece in the development of their offense. The Padres also signed 2B Ian Kinsler, SP Garrett Richards and RP Aaron Loup. They lost C A.J. Ellis, SS Freddy Galvis, and 2B Corey Spangenberg.
Their offense now has three strong bats in 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Manny Machado and OF Wil Myers plus four players that have upside (C Francisco Mejia, SS Luis Urias, OF Manuel Margot, and OF Hunter Renfroe). 2B Ian Kinsler will add stability at the top of the lineup.
San Diego still has plenty of question marks in the starting rotation until Dinelson Lamet and Garrett Richards recover from their TJ surgeries. Both Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer should improve this year, but they will be asked to be one and two starters, which is above their skill set at this point of their career.
I don’t have any trust in the Padres’ bullpen to grade above the league average. Their best chance for upside may lie in the right arm in Jose Castillo.
The Padres will miss the playoffs again in 2019, but they have a foundation of players that points to more wins in the near future. After adding Manny Machado in late February, I sense that San Diego will be in the World Series in the next three to five seasons.
Kinsler finished with a done season with short at-bats (163) after the All-Star break after his trade to Boston, but he did pick a World Series ring. His K rate (12.0) remains low while offering a league average walk rate (7.5) in most seasons. His CTBA (.277) has been extremely weak over the last two years. Ian still has a fly ball swing path (42.0 percent – 44.2 in his career). His HR/FB rate (7.8) regressed for the second straight seasons while never being higher than 12.5 percent in his career. Kinsler lost his way vs. LH pitching (.191 with one HR and four RBI over 136 at-bats). With the Angels with starting at-bats, he only hit .219 with 37 runs, 11 HRs, 26 RBI, and eight SBs over 324 at-bats. Aging veteran bat who has a 15/15 skill set at this point of his career. His approach suggests a rebound in batting average, but he needs to hit the ball harder to add value in runs and RBI. Not the worst dart based on his low ADP (394) while not expected to be an edge in any category.
Machado reached free agency at the perfect time of his career and his future major league team. Manny will enter 2019 at the prime of his career after stringing together four straight seasons with 33 HRs or more. Last year he had his best overall season while setting a career high in batting average (.297) and RBI (107) plus a rebound in his value steals (14). His K rate (14.7) was the best of his career along with his walk rate (9.9). Over the last three seasons, Manny posted a high AVH (1.800 or better) supporting his high value in power. His rebound in batting average came as result of a better approach and a higher CTBA (.356). Machado had almost equal success against righties (.298 with 26 HRs and 77 RBI over 447 at-bats) and lefties (.297 with 11 HRs and 30 RBI over 185 at-bats). His swing path will deliver fly balls (over 42.0 percent in each of his last three seasons) while his HR/FB rate has been between 15.1 and 17.6 percent over his last five years in the majors. My theme for 2019 when building my rosters in the high-stakes market will be players that are in the lineup every day with a healthy resume. Manny has over 600 at-bats in each of his last four season while qualifying at shortstop. Draft him with full confidence in 90+ runs, 30+ HRs, 90+ RBI, and double steals while expecting help in batting average. His growth in approach gives him a chance at a .300+ BA with a run at 40+ HRs.
Update: The move to San Diego does restrict some of hs upside in power.
Hosmer rarely lives up to Fantasy owners expectations in his career. Over his last two seasons in Kansas City, he hit .292 with 50 HRs, 198 RBI, and 11 SBs over 1,208 at-bats. His bat lost value in all categories in his first season with the Padres. Eric had fewer RBI chances (378) with regression in his CTBA (.329) and average hit rate (1.574). He had the highest K rate (21.0) of his career while still delivering a favorable walk rate (9.2). Hosmer had a tough time vs. lefties (.179 with four HRs and 24 RBI over 223 at-bats). His best value came in May (.274 with four HRs and 20 RBI over 106 at-bats). Eric will never offer upside in HRs without losing his ground ball swing (60.4 percent – 54.3 in his career). He had strength in his HR/FB rate over the last three seasons (21.4, 22.5, and 19.4). He has an ADP of 171 in the 15-team high-stakes market. At best, a neutral player in all five categories. San Diego should be improved offensively in 2019 pointing to a .280 player with 80+ runs, 20+ RBI, and 80+ RBI while adding some speed.
After two strong seasons (.251 with 179 runs, 58 HRs, 168 RBI, and 48 SBs over 1,166 at-bats), Myers battled an oblique injury and a left foot issue last year leading to 79 missed games and two trips in the DL. In April, June, August, and September, Wil only had four HRs and 16 RBI. He only gave Fantasy owners one month of value (July – .278 with seven HRs and 23 RBI over 97 at-bats). Myers finished with a high K rate (27.4) for the second straight season. He tends to offer an edge in his walk rate (8.8 – 9.9 in his career). His HR/FB rate (17.5) has been in a tight range over his last three seasons (2016 – 18.7 and 2017 – 17.9). Wil can’t help in batting average without correct his risk in strikeouts even with a high CTBA over his last three years (.353, .357, and .362). A rare 30/20 skill set which will be found in the seventh round in most drafts in the 15-team high-stakes market (ADP – 112). I view him as a buying opportunity while getting some extra credit for his third base qualification.
The Padres didn’t commit to Renfroe in 2018, which led to ten games at AAA (.220 with two HRs and four RBi over 41 at-bats) and minimal at-bats in the majors in April and May (.241 with two HRs and 11 RBI over 58 at-bats). He did miss time in May with an elbow injury. After the All-Star break, Hunter hit .253 with 19 HRs and 43 RBI over 229 at-bats highlighted by a great August (.302 with nine HRs and 17 RBI). His K rate (24.0 showed growth with a slight uptick in his walk rate (6.8). His average hit rate (2.030) has been electric in each season in the majors while offering a CTBA (.340) with more underlying upside. Renfroe offers a high fly ball swing path (42.8 percent – 44.1 in his career). His HR/FB rate (20.3) gives him a 30+ HR upside. His ADP (181) is a bit high for his possible playing time risk. Next step: .270 with 80+ runs, 30+ HRs, and 80+ RBI. Over six season in the minors, he hit .286 with 83 HRs, 305 RBI, and 24 SBs in 1,812 at-bats.
Over six years in the minors, Mejia hit .293 with 54 HRs, 313 RBI, and 18 SBs over 1,925 at bats. He handled himself well at AA in 2017 (.297 with 14 HRs and 52 RBI over 347 at-bats) with almost repeated value in 2018 at AAA (.293 with 14 HRs and 68 RBI over 427 at-bats). His walk rate (6.5) is below league average with strength in his K rate (16.1). His average hit rate (1.608) has been better over his last two seasons with a bounce in his CTBA (.363) last year. In his brief experience in the majors, Francisco hit .174 over 69 at-bats with three HRs and nine RBI with weakness in his K rate (29.0). Upside bat who lacks an edge with his glove. The Indians shipped to San Diego last summer, which suggest his future at catcher is in question. Last year Mejia saw time in the outfield with some experience at 3B in 2017. With 450 at-bats, Francisco should add value in batting average with 60+ runs, 15+ HRs, and 60+ RBI. His ADP (249) is favorable for a C2.
Over five seasons in the minors, Urias hit .306 with 17 HRs, 169 RBI, and 35 SBs over 1,756 at-bats. He has more caught stealings (38) than steals (35) in his career with a high on-base percentage (.397). Luis will take plenty of walks (10.7) with a low K rate (11.8). With a full season on his resume at AAA (.296 with eight HRs and 45 RBI over 450 at-bats), Urias should earn a starting job in the majors this year. His game has no upside in speed, but Urias has sneaky underlying power when he adds more loft (50 percent or higher ground ball rate in each season in the minors) to his swing and gains experience with San Diego. If he handles major league hitting early in the year, Luis could very well bat second in the batting order. For now, a two-category player (BA and runs) with a free look on draft (ADP – 381) in the high-stakes market.
Over his first two seasons in the majors, Margot hit .254 with 21 HRs, 90 RBI, and 28 SBs over 964 at-bats. He’s been unable to match his minor league resume (.287 with 29 HRs, 234 RBI, and 164 SBs over 1,841 at-bats), which paints to Manuel being an edge in batting average with a 10/40 skill set. His K rate (17.0) was career best, but Margot doesn’t take enough walks (6.2 percent – 8.1 in the minors) to hit leadoff at this point of his career. He struggled against both lefties (.238 BAA) and righties (.249 BAA) with no month of value in 2018. Manuel had fewer than ten runs scored in five of six months with no month with more than three HRs. His HR/FB rate (5.5) came in a weak area with a slight uptick in his swing path (fly ball rate – 37.1). At this point in his career, Margot looks to be a bottom of the order hitter with questions about his value in all five categories. His ADP (264) is still too high for me even if I leave myself chasing speed late in drafts. A possible neutral hitter with double HRs and 20+ SBs if he secures 500+ at-bats.
Hedges hit .222 over the last two seasons with 32 HRs, 92 RBI, and seven SBs over 690 at-bats. His K rate (27.6) is much too high while offering a below-par walk rate (6.4). Austin was a disaster over the first month (.173 with two HRs and ten RBI over 75 at-bats while striking out 30 times. He missed the next seven weeks with a right elbow injury. Over the last three months of the season, Hedges hit .255 with 12 HRs and 26 RBI over 212 at-bats with a correction in his K rate (23.7). His HR/FB rate (15.1) has strength with a high fly ball rate (43.7). This year he’ll compete for at-bats with Francisco Mejia. Nice power source at catcher with low value in runs and batting average.
Tatis is one of the next big offensive players in baseball. Over his three seasons in the minors, he hit .280 with 200 runs, 42 HRs, 143 RBI, and 63 SBs over 1,059 at-bats. His walk rate (10.2) has top of the upside, but he does need to clean up some of his strikes outs (25.5 percent). He broke his left thumb in July, which required surgery and ended his season. His CTBA (.414) continues to rise with strength in his average hit rate (1.772). Fernando showcased his potential on the minos in 2017 when he hit .278 with 22 HRs, 75 RBI, and 32 SBs over 486 at-bats at age 18. The Padres should start him out at AAA, but he looks close to the majors. Stash and cash player with a future 30/30 skill set.
Over four seasons in the minors, France hit .274 with 42 HRs, 263 RBI, and 15 SBs over 1,661 at-bats. His bat made a nice step forward in 2018 between AA and AAA (.267 with 22 HRs, 96 RBI, and three SBs over 509 at-bats). His walk rate (9.1) grades well with a favorable K rate (16.4). Ty has a declining CTBA (.324), but a rising average hit rate (1.735). With only 94 at-bats in his career at AAA, France looks to be about a half season away from the majors unless the Padres can’t fill their void at third base in 2019 with their current options in the majors.
Pirela spent some part of five seasons at AAA with reasonable success (.306 with 28 HRs, 142 RBI, and 30 SBs over 1,107 at-bats). He had a good approach at AAA (K rate - 12.0 and walk rate - 7.1). Jose played well in his first chance at regular at-bats in the majors in 2017 (.288 with ten HRs and 40 RBI over 312 at-bats). Last year Jose lost his power swing (AVH – 1.385) with a sharp decline in his CTBA (.312). His K rate (18.8) did improve with a weaker walk rate (6.3). In 2018, his at-bats declined in every month (123, 98, 91, 45, 43, and 38) while offering no month of value. Pirela has no Fantasy upside after the addition of Manny Machado.
Early in his minor league career, Cordero had the appearance of being a free swing light hitting batter. Over seven seasons in the minors, he hit .281 with 47 HRs, 252 RBI, and 104 SBs over 2,149 at-bats. His K rate (26.3) invites job loss risk while taking a below-par number of walks (6.9 percent). Francy played well over his limited at-bats in three years at AAA (.314 with 18 HRs, 65 RBI, and 18 SBs over 430 at-bats), but he did strike out at a higher level (28.3). Over his first 96 at-bats with the Padres in 2018, Cordero hit .281 with six HRs and 15 RBI plus 34 Ks. His season ended in June due to a right elbow injury that required surgery. A streaky bat that offers a nice combination of power and speed. His high CTBA (.393) helps his floor in batting average while showing strength in his average hit rate (1.848) over the last two seasons. A possible option in centerfield or a platoon player for Hunter Renfroe.
Greg Garcia (IF) – Garcia will be the Padres’ top utility infielder in 2019. Over the last three seasons with St. Louis, he hit .252 with eight HRs, 52 RBI, and six SBs over 636 at-bats. Greg hit .281 over seven years in the minors with 27 HRs, 221 RBI, and 65 SBs over 2,177 at-bats. May surprise short-term if given a starting opportunity due to an injury.
Travis Jankowski (OF) – Jankowski offers speed off the bench for San Diego. Over his four seasons for the Padres, he hit .242 with eight HRs, 42 RBI, and 60 SBs over 847 at-bats. His best season in the minors produced 71 SBs in 2013, which is the reason a Fantasy owner has to follow him closely if given a starting opportunity.
Franmil Reyes – Reyes gave San Diego plenty of power over his half season of playing time (.280 with 16 HRs and 31 RBI over 261 at-bats). His walk rate (8.4) was about league average with a high K rate (28.1). Over seven years in the minors, Franmil hit .268 with 84 HRs, 429 RBI, and 34 SBs over 2,625 at-bats. Massive man (6’5” and 275 lbs.) who has youth on his side (23). If San Diego moves Wil Myers back to third base, Reyes would have a much better chance of earning starting at-bats.
The Padres have no complaints about the path of Lucchesi early in his career. Over 41 games in the minors over three seasons, he went 11-10 with a 2.25 ERA and 212 Ks over 187.2 innings with great command (K rate – 10.2 and walk rate – 1.9). Joey made San Diego’s rotation out of spring training. Over his first nine starts in the majors, Lucchesi had a 3.23 ERA and 48 Ks over 47.1 innings, but he did allow eight HRs. He missed five weeks with a hip injury. Joey had a 4.57 ERA over his last 82.2 innings with 97 Ks and 15 HRs. Most of his failure came in four starts (21 runs, 34 baserunners, and nine HRs over 13.2 innings). Lucchesi allowed 22 of his 23 HRs to RH batters. His AFB (90.4) is below average. He has a plus changeup (.228 BAA) and success with his show me curveball (.214 BAA). Batters did have success vs. his four-seam fastball (.266 BAA and 14 HRs over 305 at-bats). His command points to more upside across the board while drawing Fantasy owners attention due to his ability to strike batters out. With a full season of starts, Joey looks to be on a path for a sub 3.50 ERA with 180+ Ks while offering value in WHIP. Priced (ADP – 207) to pay off as long as he cleans up the damage in home runs.
Lauer tried to backdraft Joey Lucchesi in 2018, but he lacked the command (3.7) to make an impact in the majors. Over his three seasons in the minors, Eric went 9-10 with a 2.93 ERA and 195 Ks over 178 innings. His K rate (9.9) was favorable with a better walk rate (2.8). You could say that last year was really his AAA season the minors. Lauer made four starts at AAA (2.53 ERA and 22 Ks over 21.1 innings) before getting called up to the majors. Eric struggled in four of his first seven starts, which led to a 7.67 ERA, 61 baserunners, and six HRs over 29.1 innings. He pitched much better over his next eight starts (2.93 ERA and 36 Ks over 46.1 innings). Lauer struggled in his next three games (14 runs and 24 baserunners over 11 innings) before landing on the DL for the month with a forearm issue. He finished up the year with a 1.07 ERA over his last 25.1 innings with 25 Ks. Eric struggled with both RH (.282 BAA) and LH (.293 BAA) batters. His AFB (91.2) has weakness while adding in a slider, curveball, cutter, and changeup. Some work to do, but Lauer know how to pitch which will shine brighter in his second season in the majors. His ADP (593) makes him a free swing in 2019. Very playable at home especially if he throws more strikes and does a better job keeping the ball in the park. Possible sub 3.75 ERA and 150+ Ks with 30 starts.
Erlin had a pretty impressive minor league resume over his first four years in the minors (9-5 with 3.18 ERA and 196 Ks in 169.2 innings. His walk rate (1.7) was in an elite area. His arm struggled badly over three seasons at AAA (15-10 with a 5.55 ERA and 197 Ks in 235 innings) due to an issue with his left elbow that ended up having TJ surgery in May of 2016. Robbie was unable to pitch at any level in 2017 giving him almost two seasons to recover from his elbow issue. Last year he struggled in his first two spots starts (11 runs and 16 baserunners over seven innings) with weakness in June (4.50 ERA and three HRs over 12 innings in relief). The Padres gave him ten starts over the last two months of the season (5.11 ERA and .294 BAA). Erlin only pitched into the six innings once last year. His walk rate (1.0) was elite with a low K rate (7.3). His AFB (90.3) was a career low. Batters struggled to hit his changeup (.218 BAA) and curveball (.186 BAA). Robbie had more success with his four-seamer (.239 BAA) than his sinker (.348 BAA). Tough to trust his durability, but his command does give him a chance to surprise in the starting rotation. Erlin was a much better pitcher in relief (.205 ERA and 44 Ks over 52.2 innings). More a start-to-start play than a draft and hold.
Paddack has outpitched his draft value (8th round in 2015) in each season in the minors. He missed half of the 2016 and all of the 2017 seasons with a right elbow injury that required TJ surgery. Over three season in the minors, Chris went 13-6 with a 1.82 ERA and 230 Ks over 177.2 innings. Hix walk rate (1.0) is incredibly low while offering impact value in Ks (11.7 per nine). Batters only have 123 hits against him in his career. Paddack has a fastball that can reach the mid-90s with a plus changeup. His curveball continues to improve. With only seven starts on his minor league resume at AA, Chris should still start the year at AAA with the majors not being that far off. His next step is adding more innings to his resume. San Diego should push him to about 135 innings in 2019 with a good chance to reach the majors early in the year. Future ace with electric value expected in all areas. Worth a bench spot in deep leagues due to the Padres lacking talent in their starting rotation.
Over four seasons in the minors, Allen went 24-20 with a 2.75 ERA and 378 Ks over 360.1 innings. His K rate (9.4) has strength with more upside when he shaves offs some more walks (3.0 per nine). Logan has improved in each season in the minors leading to his best season in 2018 (14-6 with a 2.54 ERA and 151 Ks over 148.2 innings). He made four success starts at AAA (4-0 with a 1.63 ERA and 26 Ks over 27.2 innings. Allen has a low 90s fastball with a plus changeup and a developing curveball. H should start the year at AAA while being a quick call away from the majors. Growing pains should be expected while being positioned to deliver 180+ innings in 2019. Player to follow this spring and early in the year.
Strahm was a slow mover in the Royals’ system due to TJ surgery in 2013. In 2016 with his first shot at starting for a full season in the minors over 18 starts (22 games), Matt had 3.43 ERA with 107 Ks over 102.1 innings. He had the best walk rate (2.0) of his career at AA, but his K rate (9.4) was a career low. Over five seasons in the minors, Strahm had 3.22 ERA with 304 Ks over 251.1 innings. His arm has been dominated out of the bullpen in majors (2.52 ERA with 107 Ks in 93 innings) even with a huge step back in his command (4.7 walks per nine). His AFB (93.5) is regressing slightly with batters hitting .202 against it last year. Matt had success with all three of his secondary pitches (changeup – .156 BAA, slider – .114 BAA, and curveball (.200 BAA). His stuff was dominated against righties (.149 BAA). Strahm will get a chance in the starting rotation in 2019, and he looks poised to handle the job. I view him as a possible target based on his ADP (431) in the high-stakes market. On the verge of a sub 3.50 ERA with 150+ Ks if he keeps a full time starting job.
Last year Dinelson blew out his right elbow in March leading to TJ surgery in April. Lamet has a 2.99 ERA over 298.1 innings in the minors with 336 Ks. His walk rate (3.8) was a problem in the minors with more risk in the majors (4.3). After eight starts at AAA in 2017 (3.23 ERA and 50 Ks over 39 innings), Dinelson received the call-up to the majors. Over his first 19 starts with the Padres, he allowed three runs or fewer in 15 games while posting a 4.15 ERA and .205 BAA. Unfortunately, four disaster outings (24 runs and 35 baserunners over 16 innings) masked some of his hidden upside. His best run came over ten starts (2.44 ERA, .185 BAA, and 66 Ks over 59 innings) after the All-Star break. Two poor starts (ten runs and 17 baserunners over 10.1 innings) to end the year pushed his ERA to 4.57. Lamet dominated RH batters (.155 BAA) while needing work against lefties (.263 with 35 of his 54 walks over 213 at-bats). His AFB (95.3) has plus velocity with batters hitting .260 against it. His slider (.141 BAA) is elite. Dinelson barely threw a changeup (about five percent of the time) with losing value (.333 BAA). The Padres hope to have him back midsummer making him a tough player to draft in 2019. A Fantasy owner should expect minimal innings with his name sitting in the free agent pool in most formats.
Yates looked the part of a reliable closer in 2018 when he pitched the best ball of his career. He posted a 2.14 ERA and 90 Ks over 63 innings while converting 12 of his 13 saves chances. His K rate (12.9) was above his career average while setting a career low in his walk rate (2.4). Kirby did an excellent job cleaning up his home runs (0.9 per nine). He dominated RH batters (.137 BAA) with success as well vs. lefties (.135 BAA). Over the last three months of the year, Kirby had a 3.72 ERA, 49 Ks, and ten saves over 29 innings, but he did allow five HRs. His AFB (94.0) was in line with his career resume. Kirby has an improving split-finger fastball (.170 BAA), and batters struggled to hit his four-seamer (.185 BAA). Tempting skill set with the K rate to offer impact value in ERA, WHIP, and Ks if he repeats his command. With a full season in the 9th, 40+ saves should be expected.
Over the last two seasons, Stammen went 10-6 with a 2.94 ERA and 162 Ks over 1591. Innings highlighted by an impressive 2018 season (2.73 ERA and 88 Ks over 79 innings). Last year he had an elite walk rate (1.9) with a career-best K rate (10.0). Craig had three disaster games (ten runs and 11 baserunners over 2.2 innings). Stammen pitched well vs. righties (.199 BAA). HIs AFB (91.7) matched his career high. Batters struggled to hit his slider (.191 BAA), curveball (.191 BAA), and sinker (.235 BAA). A veteran arm that doesn’t have age on his side. More of a seventh-inning option than a closer in waiting.
Over six seasons in the minors, Castillo went 15-9 with a 3.34 ERA and 227 Ks over 237.1 innings. He had a shot at starting early in his career before being converted to the bullpen in 2016, which led to a rise in his K rate (11.0). Last year he threw the ball well at AA and AAA (2.05 ERA and 39 Ks over 26.1 innings), which led to his call up to the majors. Jose finished with better command (2.8 walks per nine) with San Diego with strength in his K rate (12.2). He dominated both RH (.189 BAA) and LH (.133 BAA) batters. His AFB (94.8) came in over the league average while offering a plus, plus slider (.123 BAA). Live arm with closing upside if he repeats his first-pitch strike rate (70) and command.
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