Despite years of “flack” from the fan base, the San Diego Padres are getting results from Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer.
Myers will forever be linked to the trade that sent Trea Turner to the Washington Nationals, and he teased fans with his talents but inconsistent results.
Hosmer had just had his best year as a Kansas City Royal before signing with the Padres and didn’t come close to those numbers in San Diego. It appeared he’d also left his Gold Glove in the Midwest.
But, so far in the young season, both Hosmer and Myers have proven their worth. They lead the team offensively in multiple categories, although it should be noted that in his second year, Jake Cronenworth comes close to matching their performances and leads the team with 22 hits.
The previously penurious Padres have outdone themselves since offering Myers his extension of $83 million for 6 years and signing Hosmer to an eight-year $144 million contract. Machado will take home $300 million over 10 years, Tatis Jr. $340 million over 14 years. So the glare of that spotlight has definitely dimmed for Myers and Hosmer.
But, from the moment Myers unpacked his bags on the west coast, the rumors swirled about impending trades. In February last year, the Padres tried to work a trade with Boston Red Sox for Mookie Betts (who, of course, ended up with the Los Angeles Dodgers). However, Boston balked at the $61 million left on Myers’ contract. Since then, the trade rumors have died down.
In his first two full years, Myers played first almost exclusively. However, the acquisition of Hosmer pushed him off first, his best defensive position, and into the outfield and even to third base with especially embarrassing results in center and at the hot corner. However, last year and so far this season, he’s regularly played right field.
Plus, a change of manager made a difference for Myers as Andy Green had not been a big fan of the slightly goofy guy with a tendency to wear his hat askew. Jayce Tingler may be demanding, but he seems to connect with his players, and they have bought what he’s selling.
Dave Cameron, who joined the Padres as a senior analyst in 2018, warned against Hosmer’s acquisition, calling him a “free agent landmine.” He may have won Gold Gloves in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017, but defensive metrics have not been kind to Hosmer. According to FanGraphs, in 2020, Hosmer 2020 earned his first positive UZR (0.8) since 2013, besting Myers’ 0.0, Tatis Jr’s. -2.1 and Machado’s -0.6 UZR.
But at the plate, Hosmer has taken it to another level. In his last 100 plate appearances with runners in scoring position since the 2019 season, Hosmer leads Major League Baseball with 42 hits, a .420 average, 79 RBIs. He leads the Padres in batting average at .323 and RBIs 14.
Myers leads the team with a .413 OBP, wRC+ 165, WAR 0.7, with Hosmer at wRC+ 155, WAR 0.6. and Machado not far behind wRC+ 129 War 0.5. Unfortunately, Tatis Jr.’s so far disappointing season has yielded wRC+ 52 WAR -0.3. Obviously, his shoulder has played a huge part in his disappointing performance in this young season. However, his teammates have picked up the slack.
Only the Dodgers average more walks per game with 4.59 to the Padres 4.56, and the Padres have been getting on base. However, getting those baserunners home has been another story. Before Sunday, the Padres have batted .183 with runners in scoring position and rank 27th with 4.00 (the Dodgers a surprising 4.65). The Padres have also excelled at grounding into double plays.
Fortunately for the Padres, both Myers and Hosmer have helped keep the team afloat thanks to their performance in various categories.
Team hits Cronenworth 22, Hosmer 21, Machado 18, Myers 17
Doubles Cronenworth 5, Hosmer 5, Myers 4
Homeruns Grisham 3, Hosmer 3, Machado 3, Myers 3, Tatis 2
RBIs Hosmer 14, Myers 11, Caratini 8
Average Hosmer .323, Myers .315, Cronenworth .310 (the only three above .300)
OBP Myers .413, Hosmer .389, Machado .388, Cronenworth .375
Slugging Myers .556, Hosmer .538, Cronenworth .451
OPS Myers .968, Hosmer .927, Machado .827, Cronenworth .826
The Dodgers lead the National League in wins with 14, but the Padres are not far behind with 10. Obviously, the resurgence of former flack catchers Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer has played a huge part in the team’s success so far.