For those who know me personally, you know how I feel about Spring Training. At the end of the day, the games are meaningless and not too much can be gleaned from the results.
Even so, some players can still impress and leave good impressions on their team for the upcoming season. Manuel Margot is one of those players. Fresh off a trade from the Red Sox, in which Craig Kimbrel was sent to Boston, Manuel Margot has impressed both Padre fans and Padre personnel alike. In 22 at bats over 12 Spring Training games, Margot slashed .318/.348/.545, leaving a strong mark on the team.
Despite this success, the San Diego Padres announced that Margot had been optioned to Triple-A following Tuesday’s game. Margot will start the season with the El Paso Chihuahuas after an impressive swing.
It was inevitable that Margot would end up down in the minor leagues, but even so, Margot did stay up longer than fellow prospect Hunter Renfroe, which may in fact say a lot. It’s clear that Margot has jumped Renfroe in terms of the Padres prospect depth chart.
Beyond that, Margot also could end up seeing big league time before Renfroe in 2016. Either way, both players will share the same outfield to start the season in El Paso. Going into Spring Training, the general consensus seemed to be that Margot would need to start the season in Double-A San Antonio before advancing to Triple-A. However, given his strong Spring Training performance, there were real talks among fans about Manuel Margot starting the season on the big league roster.
Despite his strong performance, it makes the most sense for the Padres to not start Margot’s service time clock in a lost season. Beyond that, starting the season in Triple-A will be the best thing for Margot’s development.
Even though he is starting the year in the minor leagues, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Margot could play a big part in the Padres 2016 plans if he excels in Triple-A. Margot likely won’t be in the bigs anytime soon, but if he performs in Triple-A the way he did in Spring Training, the Padres brass won’t be able to keep him in the minor leagues for very long. A September call up seems likely, with a June or July call up remaining at least somewhat of a possibility.
In Margot’s Spring Training performance, A.J. Preller and the rest of the Padres front office got quite a bit of vindication with regard to the Craig Kimbrel trade. It remains to be seen what kind of player Manuel Margot will be in the major leagues as a full-time player, or what kind of players Javier Guerra, Carlos Asuaje, or Logan Allen will be, but this Spring Training was definitely a fantastic start. Manuel Margot has proven he is a pivotal part of the Padres future, and he will be a part of that future for years to come.