The casual fan sees that the San Diego Padres are more than a few games under .500 and, deems the 2017 season a “lost season”.
Said fan views this season on wins and losses rather than what is important. The development of young players, along with many other things is something we, as Padres fans, have to keep our eye on this year. At the start of this season, it was very apparent that the Padres wouldn’t be atop any leader boards. Avid Padres fans know what they are looking at and know how to view the 2017 Padres’ season.
With that being said, here are five things to look forward to this Padres’ season.
This is one event that every Padre fan should be excited about. This year’s MLB Draft will be held on June 12 in Secaucus, New Jersey. As you may know, the Padres hold the third overall selection, which is very exciting, as the Padres haven’t had a pick in the top five since 2009 when they picked Donovan Tate with the third overall selection. This year, the Padres hope to have better luck than they had with that particular pick.
There are many great, young prospects the Padres have to choose from. They have been mocked in drafts to be picking Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Kyle Wright, MacKenzie Gore, Brendan McKay, and possibly Alex Faedo. Any one of those talents may get picked by the Padres, so it is obviously anybody’s guess as to who they take on draft day.
One reason why draft day is something you should look forward to is that these are future Padres. Whomever gets chosen by the Padres has the potential to someday reach the big leagues and play in Petco Park. The MLB Draft is a day to see which young prospects go to your team, and who you will be cheering on for years to come.
Who Will be the Representative in the All Star Game?
The 2017 season isn’t all about looking towards the future. Seeing who represents the Padres in the Mid-Summer Classic is always something I look forward to, and I bet you do too. Last year the Padres sent two players to the all-star game, Wil Myers and Drew Pomeranz.
This year there are a few players who may get the call. The most likely is Wil Myers, who seems to be a perennial all-star. Other options include Austin Hedges and Manuel Margot. Wil Myers seems like a shoo-in, but any of these three candidates can join him. If Brad Hand keeps doing what he is doing, he may end up going to Miami as well. Manuel Margot seems like a long shot due to his injury that landed him on the disabled list, but Austin Hedges may have a shot. It is hard to believe that we are talking about Hedges going to the all-star game after the start to the year he had, but he has surely turned it around. Along with his great defense, he is now hitting .216 with 11 home runs and 28 RBI. Those are not terrific stats, but add those to his above-average defense, and you have yourself a fringe all-star.
It is always refreshing for Padres fans to see who represents the team at the all-star game every year. It shows us that we have great players too, and that we have something to build around. Regardless of who we see in Miami this year, it will be fun to gaze upon the field and see that we have players that belong on it. Yeah, I know, every team gets invited. But still, if you are there, you are deserving.
This year’s trade deadline is on July 31. The trade deadline should be very exciting. The Padres are expected to be moving a lot of players, as they have in recent years under A.J. Preller. As you, and the entire MLB community know, the Padres have been in full rebuild mode for the past two years or so. That means many different names have been traded before the trade deadlines, and they will continue this season.
Some names that have been thrown around this year are Brad Hand, Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter, Jhoulys Chacin, Clayton Richard, Trevor Cahill, and even the beloved Yangervis Solarte. These are definitely not all the names that could possibly switch teams come the trade deadline. Nobody is safe in the eyes of A.J. Preller. He will do anything he can to make this team a contender in a few years. These trades may look silly now, but they will soon pay off when all of the potential young prospects develop and mature into the players A.J. had hoped for.
The MLB trade deadline is a very mysterious time, a time when anything can happen. Nobody knows for sure what any team will do, let alone the Padres, on July 31. That is why the trade deadline is something you should be looking forward to, and keeping an eye on.
This is probably the day that I am most looking forward to. It is very interesting to see who management picks to get an early taste of the big leagues. It is also equally as interesting to see how the young players respond to the call-up and how they produce in the big leagues.
Players who got the call-up last September include Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot, Carlos Asuaje, and Austin Hedges, along with a few others. While the rest of these names understandably struggled, Hunter Renfroe came into the league with a bang. In just 36 at bats, he hit .371 with four home runs and 14 RBI. Renfroe won N.L. player of the week honors with those tremendous stats. It will be interesting to see if any of this year’s September call-ups even come close to matching those stats.
This year’s September call-ups probably won’t be as star-studded as last year’s, due to all our young prospects being in the lower minor league levels. That being said, this year’s batch of call-ups will still have some noteworthy players. Potential September call-ups include Luis Urias, Jose Pirela, Brad Wieck, Phil Maton,Walker Lockett, and maybe a few other players who emerge as candidates late in the year.
These players will get a rare look at what it is like to be in the big leagues and hopefully get them more ready to be major league ball players. I can’t wait to see which prospects get the call to the big league club.
Progression of Young Prospects
The progression of young prospects is something that has already been happening this year, and is something that you can always look upon at any point in the season. The 2017 season is mostly based on the progression of our young prospects, so why can’t we look forward to seeing how they progress and rise through the ranks of the minor league system?
The progression of prospects starts at the lower levels of the minor leagues. Coincidentally, that is where most of the Padres’ top prospects are. It will be fun to see who gets called up and who maybe even gets sent down. There has already been a few moves in the lower levels of the minors.
Some players who could possibly be promoted soon are Cesar Vargas, Eric Lauer, Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi, Logan Allen, Brad Wieck Fernando Tatis Jr, Jorge Ona, Josh Naylor, Michael Gettys, Luis Urias, Jose Rondon, and Nick Torres. Look out for any future promotions in the near future.
A.J. Preller, along with others in the Padres’ front office, have every minor league player under a microscope, and they decide who gets to be promoted based on their performance.
Like I said before, this year isn’t all about wins and losses, or statistics for that matter. There is a lot to look forward to, and a lot of things to keep an eye on in 2017. This year is mostly about looking towards the future and not necessarily caring about what happens at the major league level. This 2017 season is about improvement and development for the future, We cannot lose sight of that.
Just because the Padres will not be competitive this year does not mean Padre fans have nothing to look forward to.