Analyzing San Diego Padres Hitters For 2020 – 60-Game Season Update

Daniel Port takes a look at San Diego's lineup for 2020.

San Diego hitters were defrocked a bit in 2019 after the heavenly hype that laid at their feet in spring training. Some of that was because the fantasy community got caught up in the excitement of the Manny Machado signing and Fernando Tatis Jr.‘s debut. We allowed that excitement to mask deep, glaring lineup flaws. The other side of the coin is several players didn’t live up to their preseason projections. Aging veterans failed to rebound, several young guys failed to make the leap, and the additions didn’t live up to their contracts. Still, this team showed signs it could be ready to turn the corner, as we saw good things from Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes, and Tatis. While Reyes is gone, Tatis and Renfroe remain, and if Machado can rebound while a few young players make the leap, then the Padres lineup could hold real-life and fantasy value.

(Last Updated: 7/8/2020)

 

60-Game Season Update

 

Trending Up

In the offseason, the Padres added both Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham to their already crowded outfield. This put the playing time of Wil Myers and Franchy Cordero into question. But, the designated hitter essentially solves that problem, allowing new manager, Jayce Tingler, to include all four outfielders in his lineup on any given day. Josh Naylor could also factor into the DH conversation, though I doubt he’ll see more at bats than the four other outfielders.

Another possible use of their DH slot may be to give Francisco Mejia a break from catching. His defensive struggles have been well-documented since reaching the majors; meanwhile, Padres have a defensive stalwart in Austin Hedges that could be behind the plate. While it may be a bit unconventional, getting Mejia out from behind the plate could give him the opportunity to flourish in the batter’s box.

 

Trending Down:

While the shortened season may not actively hinder Eric Hosmer, I am far less interested in rostering him and other “accumulators” during a season when volatility will decide managers’ seasons. His consistent but boring style of ball just won’t win you a 60-game fantasy season.

 

Projected Lineups

SD Lineup v RHP

 

SD Lineup v LHP

Original March Edition

Roster Changes

 

 

Hitter Previews

 

Catchers

 

Francisco Mejia (Catcher | Batting 7th)

2019: 27 Runs, 8 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB, .265/.316/.754 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 31st

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank) Not Available Yet

 

Francisco Mejia headed to the Padres in 2018 in the Brad Hand trade with Cleveland. Long heralded as the top catching prospect in baseball, he has yet to put it all together. Still, he is just 24, and we know the bat is always the last thing to develop, so there’s still tons of hope that he can figure it out at the dish. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any signs last year that 2020 will be that season. His Statcast data was average across the board, which is encouraging but not exciting. He hit .265 in 244 plate appearances with a .222 xBA, which, when combined with .438 slugging percentage (.365 xSLG) and a .317 wOBA (.281 xwOBA), paints a poor picture of how Mejia swung the bat. Unfortunately, his plate-discipline numbers make it look even worse. At first, a 5.3% walk rate alongside a 23.0% K rate seems meh, but not deal-breaking. But then you see the underlying numbers, and it’s easy to think Mejia got lucky to end with those rates. Check out these numbers: 

Mejia Plate Discipline Numbers

Egads, that’s ugly. You can see the template for getting Mejia out: Throw it out of the zone and watch him flail at it. He’s swinging at nearly 50% of all pitches out of the zone and making poor contact on 71.4% of those swings. Pitchers are recognizing this, and based on the 37.7 zone percentage, they are taking advantage. Combine that with 13.3 swinging-strike percentage and I am staying far, far away. Some may point to Meijia’s final 93 PAs where he hit .333 with 4 HRs and put up a .392 wOBA as evidence that he’s figured it all out but it took a .397 BABIP with a 51.8 O-Swing% to get there so I’m pretty skeptical he can sustain that over a full season or anything close to it.  Even if he comes out guns blazing in spring training, I want nothing to do with Meija until I see those plate-discipline numbers improve drastically.

Strengths: None

Weaknesses: PA/AB, R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, Points

 

Best-Case Scenario 

 

It all clicks into place for Mejia. He gets his plate discipline under control and becomes the elite contact hitter we’ve been waiting for. Something along the lines of like a .280-.290 average with 15-20 home runs.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

Mejia can’t hit enough to justify his iffy defense at catcher and ends up down at Triple-A.

 

2020 Projection: 46 R, 14 HR, 49 RBI, 3 SB, .257/.307/.737

 

Infielders

 

Eric Hosmer (First Base | Batting 4th)

2019: 72 Runs, 22 HR, 99 RBI, 0 SB, .265/.310/.735 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 21st

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank)

 

Blegh. Can you believe Eric Hosmer is under contract until 2023? That’s not ideal. Hosmer started to decline rapidly in 2016 but then rebounded in 2017 before falling apart in 2018 and 2019. He has put up 95 and 91 wRC+ marks over the last two years, respectively. His walk rate dropped from 9.2% to 6.0%, while his K rate rose a similar three percentage points to 24.4%. His O-swing% was up three points, and his contact percentage plummeted to a career low. That’s the telltale sign of an aging hitter (Hosmer is 30) entering the decline phase of his career. He’s still hitting the ball hard, as evidenced by his 90.5 mph exit velocity and 7.5 barrel percentage, but he managed a mere 2.5-degree launch angle. That’s not a typo. This past season, Hosmer hit ball after ball straight into the ground, as evidenced by his 56% ground-ball rate. You just can’t be productive with that high of a mark. Coors Field, Dodger Stadium, and Petco all have cavernous outfields, and to take advantage of that, you have to actually hit line drives and fly balls, which Hosmer does not. Lastly, his calling card batting average production fell apart, as it took a .323 BABIP for him to post a meager .263 average. His xBA of .259 backs up that luck didn’t have any real impact on his average either.

It’s not all doom and gloom with Hosmer, though, as there is one place he can help both the Padres and your fantasy team, and that’s in RBI. Including 2019, where he produced 99 RBI while batting in the heart of the Padres lineup, he has put up at least 90 RBI in four of the last five years. It’ll likely you cost you in pretty much every other category, but if you get desperate for RBI, it looks like he will once again hit in the middle of the Padres order and has a decent shot to once again surpass that 90-RBI mark, which isn’t nothing.

 

Strengths: RBI

Weaknesses: PA/AB, R, HR, SB, AVG, OBP, Points

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Hosmer’s average rebounds to his previous days at a near-.300 range, and he continues to drive in runs while hitting in the heart of the Padres lineup, making for a solid if unspectacular CI.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

The decline continues, and this year as his average falls below .250 for the first time in his career. He fails to even drive in runs and so loses the one category that he was still contributing in.

 

2020 Projection: 75 R, 24 HR, 80 RBI, 3 SB, .263/.326/.766

 

 

Jurickson Profar (Second Base| Batting 8th)

2019:  65 R, 20 HR, 67 RBI, 9 SB, .218/.301/.711 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 43rd

2020 ADP: 337 (Overall) 34 (Position Rank) 

I wish I could but I just can’t bring myself to get excited about Jurickson Profar in 2020. After his seeming breakout season back in 2018, we all thought this was the beginning of the Profar Who Was Promised but unfortunately he came crashing back down to earth last year and it was not pretty. Over 518 PAs his AVG plummeted down to .218  with 20 HRs and 9 SB which made him pretty much unrosterable for most of the season.  That’s just not enough of either counting stat to make up for the damage done by his AVG and he never really saw enough PAs to support his Runs or RBI totals either.  All in all it added up to a lost season for Profar. Perhaps even worse, he’ll likely bat 8th in the Padres lineup and played Second Base almost exclusively in Oakland last year so he’s lost his greatest asset, the fact that he qualified in 2019 at pretty much every position except for catcher. In 2020 that all disappears as he’ll qualify at Second Base only.

The thing is it’s not all bad though. Profar’s xBA of .254 sits right in line with his numbers from 2018 and his other statcast numbers stayed pretty consistent as well. His HRs stayed consistent as well as did the SBs so I do think if he holds on to the starting job at Second Base you should expect 17 – 20  HRs (Petco will sap some of his power) with 10 -15 HRs regardless of what he puts up in terms of AVG, Runs or RBIs. I think the way to approach Profar is to assume that the .254 AVG, 20 HRs, 10 SB 2018 numbers likely represent his ceiling for 2020 while 2019’s numbers represent his floor. That’s just too much risk for me without enough upside.

Strengths: SB 

Weaknesses: PA/AB, R, HR, RBI, AVG, OBP, Points 

 

Best-Case Scenario

Profar repeats his numbers from 2018 and with a little bit more playing time manages to surpass them slightly ending up with something like a .260 AVG with 22 HRs and 12 SBs or so.

Worst-Case Scenario

Profar doesn’t recover from 2019 and ends up unrosterable/loses the starting job by the end of the season.

 

2020 Projection: 66 R, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 8 SB, .244/.326/.742

 

 

Manny Machado (Third Base/Shortstop| Batting 3rd)

2019: 81 R, 32 HR, 83 RBI, 5 SB, .256/.334/.796 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 19th, 19th

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank)

 

Another year, another 30+ home run season from Machado. Ho hum. All joking aside, Machado has been a consistent power and RBI source for years, and he picked up right where he left off in his first season with the Padres. Some will point to his drastically lower batting average as a sign of decline, but over the last four years, Machado has yo-yo’d back and forth between a .260-ish average and a near-.300 average, so I think last year’s numbers are a greater representation of his floor than what you should expect from him. In the 2EarlyMocks held by Justin Mason, Machado went around pick No. 36 on average, and while I feel like that’s a bit early, (I’d rather have Kris Bryant, honestly), I think that’s close to right for Machado, especially if you went runs-heavy or grabbed starting pitchers early on. As a bonus, Machado qualifies at shortstop as well, which gives you some versatility come draft day.

It’s not all roses and dependability (that’s how the saying goes right?). There were some discouraging trends from him this year that I will keep an eye on as the season continues. For one thing, his K rate jumped up 4.7 percentage points to 19.4%, while his swinging-strike percentage jumped nearly a point. Also, his contact percentage dropped two points and his O-contact rate dropped 6.7 points, yet his O-swing stayed the same. I’m not overly worried about it, but it could be a sign of decline if it carries into 2020.

 

Strengths: PA/AB, HR, RBI, Points 

Weaknesses: R, SB, AVG (could be a strength if he rebounds), OBP

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Machado continues his every-other-year trend and his average jumps all the way back up to .300 with near 40 home runs while his runs and RBI also break the 90+ mark like they have in years past.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

That K rate keeps creeping up on Machado while the troubling plate-discipline numbers continue to get worse. This continues to suppress his average as it drops closer to .250, and his home runs fall below 30 for the first time in years.

 

2020 Projection: 96 R, 38 HR, 100 RBI, 7 SB, .271/.343/.860

 

Fernando Tatis Jr. (Shortstop| Batting 1st)

2019: 61 R, 22 HR, 53 RBI, 16 SB, .317/.379/.969 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 17th

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank)

 

When he was healthy in 2019, rookie phenom Tatis metaphorically set the world on fire (do you think more, or less people would watch baseball if it involved fire?). He was incredible as he put up a 150 wRC+ with a .398 wOBA, 16 steals and 31.9 HR/FB% over just about half a season. There are no two shakes about it: Tatis had an incredible year, but if you are going into the 2020 season looking to get all of that production again, I think you’ll be disappointed. It’s worth noting that his aforementioned wOBA comes with a (still good) .345 xwOBA, and his .317 batting average required a .410 BABIP to make it happen and had a .255 xBA. I’d also like to see him hit a few more fly balls, as his average launch angle of 6.9 degrees leaves a bit to be desired. He also struggled with injuries in his rookie season, as he suffered through two IL stints in 2019—first at the end of April for a strained hamstring that cost him just over a month, and then in August for a stress reaction in his back that cost him the rest of the season. The typical timetable for recovery from such an injury is listed as four to six months, but he’s expected to be fully healthy for spring training, so I’m not overly worried about it, but I will be keeping my eye on him as we get closer to February.

I don’t want to rain on Tatis’ parade, though, because I want to reiterate: He was excellent last year, and I firmly believe he will be very good in 2020. There’s a lot of evidence that Tatis is every bit the quality of hitter he showed in 2020. His 14.4 infield hit percentage combined with his blazing fast 29.3 feet per second sprint speed actually give him a high floor for batting average and explain to some degree how an elevated BABIP might always be a part of his profile—and indicate he might always outperform his xBA like he did last year. Did I mention he’s fast? Tatis stole 16 bases in 22 attempts (73%) in 2019, and if he stays healthy, 20-25 steals feel easily attainable. The power is as real as it comes as well. Tatis’ 22 home runs traveled an average of 405 feet (!) with not a single one of them going less than 350 feet. That’ll do, my friend, even in Petco. He also barreled the ball at a 13.2% rate, which was in the top 9% of the league. In so far as the launch-angle concerns go, his launch angle chart sets my mind at ease there:

Look at where all of his hits are. That’ll get the job done just fine. I’d still like to see him hit more fly balls to take advantage of that power potential but if he keeps up that hit profile, he’s going to have a ton of success. I honestly believe Tatis will be a stud next year both in real and fantasy baseball. In the 2EarlyMocks he was going on average around the 22nd pick, and I think that’s solid value. If he falls to the beginning of the third round in 12-teamers, snatch him up immediately and reap the rewards.

 

Strengths: R, HR, SB, AVG, Points

Weaknesses: PA/AB, RBI

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Tatis picks up right where he left off and we get a full season of a .300+ batting average with 30+ home runs, 30+ steals and 100+ runs while he bats atop the Padres lineup.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

His BABIP and xBA become a reality and he hits closer to .260 in an injury-riddled season in which he doesn’t break the 20-home run/20-steal mark.

 

2020 Projection: 81 R, 30 HR, 87 RBI, 21 SB, .264/.331/.813

 

Outfielders

 

Tommy Pham (Right Field| Batting 2nd)

2019: 77 R, 21 HR, 66 RBI, 25 SB, .278/.369/.818 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 18th

2020 ADP: 72nd (Overall) 22 (Position Rank)

 

The trade the Padres made to bring Tommy Pham to San Diego is a fascinating one. Currently slotted into the second spot in the order according to Roster Resource, Pham will form a tough 1-2 punch at the top of the Padres lineup which should lead to a much needed improvement in Pham’s counting stats in 2020. Other than that we should be getting another year of really solid productoin from Pham. He’s going to hit for average, put up between 15 t0 20 HRs and steal around 20 bags while get on base at a high level with extremely good plate discipline numbers. He’s going to provide a ton of much needed stability and dependability to a lineup that is going to experience a ton of day to day varience.

While Pham is pretty much a what you see is what you get sort of hitter I do wonder if there’s going to be a slight power for AVG and SBs tradeoff. We know San Diego has a tendency to sap HR power but it’s centerfield is enormous. In fact pretty much all the ballparks in the NL West have huge centerfields. Why is this relevant? Because Pham is an up the middle hitter. In 2019 Pham hit the ball to centerfield 36.2% of the time, good for 35th in the league. If that number holds in 2020 we might see more batted balls fall in for hits given the large spaces he will be hitting to. I could see that resulting in something closer to a .280 AVG. While that might not seem like much it could have a big impact on his SBs. Every extra hit he gets that’s not a HR is a chance to steal another base, which is where Pham’s true value lies. If this gets him past last year’s 25 SBs that could be a huge boost to his value in fantasy next year.

Strengths: AVG, Runs, SB, OBP, Points

Weaknesses: RBI, HR

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Now batting #2 in an improved Padres lineup, Pham gets back over 100 Runs scored and doesn’t take too big a hit to his HRs (18) while hitting .280 and stealing over 25 bags.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

Pham struggles in his new park (potentially due to his degenerative eye issue that was allivaited some by playing in a dome) and he drops back down to like .260 as K% skyrockets and he fails to steal enough bags to be relevant

 

2020 Projection: 87 R, 24 HR, 75 RBI, 18 SB, .271/.366/.832

 

 

Franchy Cordero (Center Field| Batting 2nd)

2019: 2 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB, .333/.450/.850 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) N/A

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank)

 

This is the mystery spot for the Padres. Unless they sign a free agent to fill this position (Brett Gardner, Jarrod Dyson?), it looks like Franchy Cordero will again be the front-runner for the starting gig, according to Roster Resource. It’s hard to know what to expect from Cordero if he does win the job in spring training, since he only saw 15 plate appearances last season thanks to a right forearm strain/elbow sprain that cost him much of 2018 and nearly all of 2019. He’s long been on the fantasy radar because he possesses that rare combination of power, speed and defense, but we’ve yet to see most of it coming together at the same time. He’s shown power at times, but we’ve never seen him run in a way we’d expect from someone with his speed. Based on his defensive ability, he should be the starting center fielder on Opening Day, but I believe he stays healthy long enough to be fantasy relevant, and if he does, I don’t know what he’ll do. He has shown 25+ home run potential in the past, but he also strikes out way too often (he has a career 38.8 K rate!), and until that comes down, I can’t bring myself to believe he actually would get there over a full season. Between that and the injury issues, I’m out on Cordero in 2020 even if he opens the season with starting gig.

 

Strengths: HR

Weaknesses: PA/AB, R, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, Points

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Cordero stays healthy and holds on to the center field job long enough to hit something like .260 with 30 home runs and 10 or so steals.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

The injury and strikeout issues continue to plague Cordero and he finds himself back on the IL or in Triple-A.

 

2020 Projection: 45 R, 13 HR, 47 RBI, 8 SB, .224/.284/.666

 

Trent Grisham (Left Field| Batting 2nd)

2019: 24 R, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 1 SB, .231/.328/.738 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 175th

2020 ADP: 286 (76th)

Coming over in the Luis Urias trade, Trent Grisham is currently slotted in by RosterResource as the starting LF. Having only seen 183 PAs in his rookie season I’m going to advise putting less weight in the full season stats for 2019 and paying greater attention to the underlying skills we saw last year. While he struck out quite a bit (26.2 K%) that number had been in the teens the last two years in the minors so I would expect that number to come down a bit this year. His BB% sat at a very good 10.9% but again he has always managed BB% rates in the teens in the minors so he might even have room to improve there. Either way it speaks to him having a pretty good eye at the plate.  To back that up he managed an excellent 23.6 O-Swing% and 8.1 SwStr% which adds evidence to his eye at the plate. The one downfall he may have shown in his limited time in the majors so far is that might be too selective at the plate. So far he has swung at only 54.3% of pitches in the zone. Even Joey Votto isn’t that picky on pitches in the zone. On pitches in the zone early on in the count Grisham had a .353 xBA last year with a .571 xSLG and a .269 ISO. We’ll definitely need to see Grisham be much more aggressive early on in the count in 2020 if he’s going to be successful. It’s also worth noting that during his breakout in AAA Grisham specifically went about trying to be more aggressive earlier in the count and attack early on in the count. It led to a .283 AVG with huge power. Unfortunately, the moment he got called up he reverted back to his old selectivity. Hopefully, he can bring that aggressiveness back this year and we can see an AVG closer to .260 or .270.  

The other thing to note about Grisham is that he is fast. I’m talking blazingly fast. His Spring Speed in 2019 was measured at 29.1 ft/s which is in the top 7% of the league. Coming up through the minors he was known as a really good basestealer. The thing is he doesn’t really run as much as you would expect him to. After stealing 37 bags in A+ ball in 2017 he’s stolen fewer and fewer bases each year coming all the way down to 13 last year across AA, AAA, and the Majors. I expect that number to get back up towards the upper teens to around 20 but right now I wouldn’t expect more than that.

So what do I expect from Grisham in 2020? If ends up get full-time plate appearances and he gets more aggressive at the plate on pitches in the zone I think a 20/15 season with a .260 to .270 AVG is well within reach.  If it all clicks maybe he can get closer  to .280 but I think it’s a good idea to not hold out too much hope for Grisham’s AVG heading into drafts in 2020. In OBP leagues he’s going to be a much better player to own and should be bumped up your draft rankings accordingly. I think he’s a great late round flier to take at the end of drafts especially if you need stolen bases. His Runs should be good as well as he’s currently slated to hit 2nd in the Padres lineup.

Strengths: R, SB, OBP, Points

Weaknesses: RBI, AVG

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Grisham gets aggressive at the plate in 2020 and hits 2nd in the lineup all year putting up a .275 AVG with a 10.0 + BB%. Scores somewhere between 80 – 100 runs with 20 – 25 HRs and 20 – 25 SBs. Think Ramon Laureano last year.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

Grisham continues to be too pick at the plate and hits somewhere around .240 with a 15/15 season making him unrosterable in anything but OBP and the back end of points leagues.

 

2020 Projection: 56 R, 17 HR, 56 RBI, 8 SB, .245/.334/.738

 

 

Other noteworthy players

Wil Myers (Left Field| Batting 7th)

2019: 61 R, 22 HR, 53 RBI, 16 SB, .239/.321/.739 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 62nd

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank)

 

I’m going to start with the known quantities first and then try to break down the mess that is the rest of the Padres outfield. Under contract until 2023, starting left fielder Wil Myers has been a bit of a disappointment since the Padres traded for him in 2015. He had great seasons in 2016 and 2017, but otherwise it’s been all downhill. The biggest thing holding Myers back is a long, storied injury history. Since making his debut in 2013, he has only surpassed 600 plate appearances twice in seven seasons while going on the IL six times, with two of those injuries being of the 60-day+ variety. Those kind of injuries take their toll, and I have a feeling we are seeing the effects of those injuries reflected in his play.

Despite playing in 155 games and avoiding the IL last season, Myers showed several red flags in 2019. Despite a solid 19.6 HR/FB% and an 11.2 BBL% Myers saw his second consecutive sub-20 home run season with a mere 18 long balls. An xBA of .241 (.239 BA) isn’t great, nor is a .323 xwOBA (.316 wOBA). Most troubling, though, was his skyrocketing 34.3 K rate, which sat in the bottom 1% of the league and represented a 6.9-point bump from 2018.

While did improve his O-swing percentage by 5.1 points his O-contact plummeted by 14.6 points, and worse yet his Z-contact dropped 5.6 points to 68.9%. These help explain the three-point increase he saw in his swinging-strike percentage. This paints a picture of a hitter who is struggling to put the bat on the ball, and that is an ill omen for Myers’ future. So what does Myers do well? Despite getting on base less than ever, he’s still stealing bases at a solid clip, having swiped 16 bags last year and has had least 10 stolen bases every single healthy season of his career. Much like Ian Desmond last year, if you find yourself hurting for steals late in your draft I could see taking a shot on him in the last few rounds and hoping for something like a .250-average, 20-home run, 20-steal season, but I’m skeptical.

 

Strengths: None

Weaknesses: PA/AB, R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, Points

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Myers rebounds in the power department and hits 25+ home runs with 20+ steals and a .260 average.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

The free-fall continues and Myers is riding the pine full-time by season’s end. If he plays a full season, he hits something close to .240 with 10-15 home runs and 10-15 steals.

 

2020 Projection: 53 R, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 12 SB, .228/.310/.725

 

Josh Naylor (Corner Outfielder, First Base)

2019: 29 R, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 1 SB, .249/.315/.719 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 153rd 

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank)

 

In his first taste of the big leagues, Josh Naylor put together a decent debut over 279 plate appearances by hitting .249 (meh) with eight home runs, 32 RBI, and 29 runs, and he even stole a base. His best stretch came from July 1 to the end of August in which he hit .284 over 112 plate appearances for a 120 wRC+ with a 21.7 HR/FB%. Considering that this is a former first-round pick who FanGraphs grades out with a 70 for raw power, Naylor will be worth keeping an eye on if he can get the playing time. That’s the downside. Naylor is blocked at both his positions at first base and corner outfield, so an opportunity will have to open up for him to be fantasy-worthy, but if one does, I’d definitely make sure he’s on your radar.

 

Strengths: None

Weaknesses: PA/AB, R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, Points

 

Best-Case Scenario

 

Naylor gets enough playing time to amass 500 or so plate appearances and the power starts to show for him as he notches 20+ home runs.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

Blocked by Myers, Renfroe and Hosmer, Naylor stays stuck in Triple-A all season and fails to get significant playing time in the major leagues.

 

2020 Projection: 64 R, 30 HR, 64 RBI, 4 SB, .233/.294/.760

 

 

Manuel Margot (Center Field| Batting 2nd)

2019: 59 R, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 20 SB, .234/.304/.691 | Position Rank (per ESPN Player Rater) 74th

2020 ADP: ADP (Position Rank)

 

Sure, Manuel Margot stole 20 bags, but he killed you in pretty much every other category by hitting just .255 with 59 runs and 39 RBI in 444 plate appearances. It’s just not worth the hit you’d take across the board to get those 20 extra stolen bases. As my grandmother always used to say, that’s like selling the farm to save the cow. It just doesn’t make any sense strategically. The only place I’d really consider rostering Margot is as a bench bat in daily leagues or DFS as he rakes against lefties but even then ironically he doesnt’ steal bases really against lefties so it’s still not really worth it.

 

Strengths: SB

Weaknesses: PA/AB, R, RBI, HR, AVG, OBP, Points

 

Best-Case Scenario

Margot figures out how to hit righties and secures center field all for himself. He manages to hit something like .270 with 25 steals.

 

Worst-Case Scenario

 

He ends up remaining on the short end of the platoon and never gets it going, which results in his being irrelevant in both fantasy and real life baseball.

 

2020 Projection: 43 R, 10 HR, 38 RBI, 13 SB, .251/.312/.719

 

Playing Time Battles

 

Barring any big moves in free agency, pretty much all the starting roles for the Padres are set heading into spring training, with the only real battle being between Cordero and Margot for the center field job. If he’s healthy, I think that’s Cordero’s job to lose given his defensive prowess and Margot’s lackluster bat. Also, given that Margot hit .330 against lefties, the role might end up being a platoon situation with Cordero getting the at-bats against right-handers and Margot jumping in against lefties. In this situation, while Cordero remains an unknown, Margot does suddenly become a somewhat interesting player in daily leagues or in DFS. But I still worry about his production, as it is harder to steal bases against left-handers, and he had a reduced rate of attempts against southpaws last year.

 

Projected Lineup

 

 

Batting Order vs RHP

Batting Order vs LHP

 

Conclusion

 

The Padres lineup is a classic stars-and-scrubs collection with Tatis, Pham, and Machado all looking like they will be fantasy-relevant players, but that’s likely it. Perhaps Cordero stays healthy or Grisham breaks out and we get a full season to see if they can make good on their potential. Maybe Mejia puts it together and start taking the next steps toward becoming a startable major leaguer. Unfortunately, those are all things I’m going to have to see first before I believe them. Because of this, I do worry that the dead weight in the lineup is going to hold the stars back from reaching their normal counting-stats production, but I think you can feel good about drafting Tatis, Machado, and Pham while avoiding pretty much everyone else unless we see some drastic changes early on in the season.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter)

Daniel Port

Daniel is a Fantasy Baseball writer, Brewer, and Theatrical Technician, located in Denver, Colorado. A lifelong fan of baseball and the Cleveland Indians since before Albert Belle tried to murder Fernando Vina, he used to tell his Mom he loved her using Sammy Sosa's home run salute, has a perfectly reasonable amount of love for Joey Votto and believes everything in life should be announced using bat flips. If you want to talk baseball, beer, or really anything at all you can find him on twitter at @DanielJPort !

4 responses to “Analyzing San Diego Padres Hitters For 2020 – 60-Game Season Update”

  1. Avatar Dave says:

    Daniel, both of your batting orders (vs RHPs and LHPs) show two CFs instead of a CF and a C (but, it’s obvious what you mean based on the names). Looking for Mejia, Urias and Naylor (if he can find a job) to have breakout seasons.

    • Avatar Daniel Port says:

      Oh dear I just got OF happy there I guess, thanks for catching that! I’d love to see all three of those players make the leap for sure. I think Urias and Naylor have the easiest/fastest path to that breakout since one is a mentality change and the other is simply a matter of playing time like you mentioned but I still have hope for Mejia too. Catchers take forever to develop at the plate normally so I have faith he’ll pull it together at some point down the line. Maybe this will be the year! I know I’ll be watching all three pretty closely during Spring Training.

  2. Avatar Keith Foley says:

    Very insightful. I hate to admit it, but i think you are being very realistic in your evaluations. I have been a Chihuahua season ticket holder since their arrival in El Paso. I have seen the good and bad in several of the players you mention. You seem to be very up to speed. Good job.

    • Avatar Daniel Port says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words! I’m glad you liked it! It’s always kinda hard to know if you’re being too harsh or letting a player off too easy but these felt right. It’s reassuring to hear from someone that followed these guys back in the minors that my insights seem on point.

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