The San Diego Padres are not in a pennant chase right now. There will be no wild card spot for the Friars in the 2017 season.
We all knew that coming into the year, and that is fine. The progression this franchise has made with its minor leagues is enough to create excitement within the normally docile fan base. Players like Fernando Tatis, Cal Quantrill, Joey Lucchesi and Michel Baez have made tremendous steps forward in their progression. The future is bright in Padreland.
Talent is on its way, but it is not as though the current Padre team does not have youth. Manuel Margot, Austin Hedges, Hunter Renfroe and yes, even Wil Myers are young players to build around. We have witnessed great things with the offense in spurts this season, but the youth on the team also comes with inconsistency.
Nobody has been more inconsistent this season than Hunter Renfroe. The right fielder has looked suspect in right and has failed to adjust to major league pitching on a nightly basis. The young man was even sent down last month after he failed to walk in the month of July and only walked four times in August.
Renfroe tore up Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .509/.557/.891 batting line in 14 games. He helped lead the Chihuahuas to the PCL Championship and looked like a different hitter as he walked six times, opposed to striking out seven times. Perhaps the wake up call worked. Or perhaps Renfroe is just Mr. September.
We all know how he entered the majors last season, hitting .371 in 35 at bats with four homers and 14 RBI. He even became the first player to homer onto the Western Metal Supply Building. That feat endeared himself to the fans and has helped establish himself as a legit power hitter.
His overall numbers in the month of September are eye-popping. Renfroe has put up a slash line of .370/.408/.957 in 46 career at bats in the month. He has smashed eight homers and driven in 21 runs, producing a 1.365 OPS. Yes, those numbers are only after 14 games and are purely an anomaly, but Mr. September has a nice ring to it.
Here are some of Renfroe’s accomplishments in his brief major league career.
Western Metal Supply Building #1 ( Here is that 434 foot homer last season off the Dodgers in September)
Western Metal Supply Building #2 (This homer did not happen in September, but it adds to the legend of Hunter Renfroe as he is the only player to hit a home run onto the building)
The three homer night on Wednesday was fantastic. He homered twice of starter Robbie Ray and then again off a right handed reliever. He has had trouble recognizing and squaring up pitches from right handed hurlers, so it was nice to see him end his night on that note. The next 12 games will be interesting to see if he adds to his mythical numbers in the month of September.
Hunter Renfroe was in the zone tonight, belting 3️⃣ home runs! pic.twitter.com/VEwqVNKQ3l
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 21, 2017
What is his future and what is this young man’s ceiling? We all know he has trouble with consistency. His power is legit. He can easily be a 30 homer guy, but can he fix his walk rate and put the ball in play more? Can he also adjust his defensive abilities to be an above average defender? At the moment, his routes to the ball are suspect and that results in him not utilizing his cannon of an arm correctly. Nothing some hard work can’t fix. Hunter Renfroe has great ability. He could be a special player. But he is far from a complete baseball player. Mr. September needs to be Mr. April through September, then the Padres will have something to be proud of.