San Diego Padres 2020: Scouting, Projected Lineup, Season Prediction

How will things shape up in the NL West?

Maybe this is finally the season the Padres will contend. Or is it next season? That always seems to be a moving target for San Diego, which hasn’t had a winning season since 2010 and hasn’t been to the postseason since winning consecutive NL West titles in 2005-06.

 

The fan base has certainly been tested as the Padres continually rebuild under general manager A.J. Preller. At least they have some big-name players to cheer for, including Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer. The Padres lost 92 games last season, prompting executive chairman Ron Fowler to proclaim that heads would roll if the Padres failed to win in 2020. He later gave himself some wiggle room by extending the deadline to 2021. And then general partner Peter Seidler chimed in and said no heads were going to roll in 2020. See how they keep moving the goal posts? With the Los Angeles Dodgers appearing to have the NL West locked down again, the Padres need to take huge strides in all areas to have a shot at a Wild Card spot.

 

Opposing Scouts Size Up the Padres

San Diego Padres logo“They may be only one really good starter away from contending, and Garret Richards could be that guy. His velo looked good at the end of the year, and he could be a terrific duo with Chris Paddack, who has all the makings of an ace for years to come. I like Dinelson Lamet, too, and they might have the best young lefty in the game in MacKenzie Gore, although he’s only 21 and hasn’t pitched above AA. Tommy Pham fills a big hole offensively, and while I’m not sure about Jurickson Profar, he’s young enough to be worth a shot. The metrics shred Eric Hosmer because he hits a lot of ground balls, but he’s a solid player. Manny Machado didn’t hit for a high average — he looked like he was trying to turn and burn on everything — but he’ll be fine, and he’s never a guy teams want to face. Fernando Tatis Jr. throws too many balls away at short by trying to do some things he shouldn’t, but he’s going to be a really dynamic offensive player for many years.”

 

Beyond the Box Score

 

Back to the Brown The Padres finally acquiesced to their long-suffering fans and brought back a brown and gold color scheme starting in 2020. The colors are similar to the varying combinations used from the franchise’s inception in 1969 through 1984, with a few updates. Fernando Tatis Jr., Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado modeled the three different uniforms in front of a few thousand fans at Petco Park in early November. Machado modeled the home white uniform with brown pinstripes that included “Padres” in brown on the front, trimmed in gold. Hosmer showed off the solid brown primary road jersey with a yellow “San Diego,” with sand pants. Tatis modeled a tan alternate road jersey with brown pinstripes, with “San Diego” across the front in brown and trimmed in gold.

 

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El Nino Tatis’ 22 home runs were the most for any shortstop in MLB history in a season before turning 21, topping Alex Rodriguez’s previous record of 21 in 1996 as a 20-year-old. Tatis also joined Nomar Garciaparra in 1997 as the only rookie shortstops to record 20-plus homers and 15-plus stolen bases. With his 22 homers and 16 stolen bases, Tatis was the sixth player since 1960 to post 20 HRs/15 SBs before his 21st birthday. When he was shut down on Aug. 13, Tatis led MLB rookies in OPS (.969) and slugging (.590) and ranked second in OBP (.379), average (.317) and stolen bases (16).

 

Don’t Hate On Yates Closer Kirby Yates finished as MLB’s saves leader with 41, and his 1.19 ERA was the lowest in club history among pitchers who appeared in at least 60 games. He was San Diego’s lone All-Star, although he didn’t get into the game. Yates was a nominee for the 2019 Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award and was named to the inaugural All-MLB Team for 2019 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

 

The Sheriff Right-handed pitcher Chris Paddack instantly connected with fans with his intensity and showed signs of great things ahead by going 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA and a .204 opponent clip in 26 starts as a rookie. He posted the lowest WHIP (0.98) in club history, ahead of Randy Jones (1.03) in 1976 and Jake Peavy (1.04) in 2005. He was among six pitchers to post a sub-1.00 WHIP in 2019 (min. 25 starts), joining Justin Verlander (0.80), Gerrit Cole (0.89), Jack Flaherty (0.97), Jacob deGrom (0.97) and Zack Greinke (0.98). His 2.4 pitching WAR was the fourth highest for a rookie pitcher and sixth among all San Diego rookies for a season.

 

Projected Lineup

 

LINEUP

SS     Fernando Tatis Jr. (S)

LF     Tommy Pham (L)

3B     Manny Machado (R)

1B     Eric Hosmer (R)

RF     Wil Myers (R)

CF     Trent Grisham (L)

C       Francisco Mejia (R)

2B     Jurickson Profar (R)

 

BENCH

C      Austin Hedges (R)

INF   Greg Garcia (L)

INF   Ty France (R)

OF    Franchy Cordero (L)

OF    Josh Naylor (L)

 

ROTATION

RHP     Chris Paddack

RHP     Dinelson Lamet

RHP     Garrett Richards

RHP     Zach Davies

LHP     Joey Lucchesi

 

BULLPEN

RHP     Kirby Yates (C)

RHP     Emilio Pagan

LHP     Drew Pomeranz

LHP     Matt Strahm

RHP     Cal Quantrill

RHP     Andres Munoz

RHP     David Bednar

LHP     Jose Castillo

 

2020 Prediction: 3rd in NL West

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