Padres News: Yonder Alonso, Breakout Year?

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Getty Images Andy Hayt
Getty Images Andy Hayt

The San Diego Padres have been waiting for production from their first baseman Yonder Alonso for a couple of years. Ever since he was acquired in a deal for Mat Latos the expectations have been high, yet he has never put it all together. Alonso has started off the 2015 season with confidence and has turned a few heads in Padreland.

With a .355 batting average and a .459 on base percentage through his first nine games played, Alonso is showing the bat the Padres envisioned years ago. Perhaps the fact that Alonso is lower in the lineup and has less pressure on himself has resulted in a productive hitter. It is early, extremely early, so to announce this as Alonso’s breakout year is a bit irrational. He has looked locked in this year and that is not debatable.

Yonder Alonso is never going to be a huge home run threat. He just isn’t that type of hitter. To expect 30 plus home runs from him is unreasonable. Alonso should be able to hit .300 as he consistently sprays the ball from gap to gap. He hits left handers fairly well, but will probably only get a handful of at bats against southpaws this year. With the depth on the Padres team, Alonso will surely be sat against most left-handed pitchers. Will Middlebrooks, Yangervis Solarte and even Wil Myers will get some time at first base.

The rumors of Chris Davis or Ryan Howard have cooled off considerably. There has been no word on a potential first baseman the Padres are targeting, so Alonso’s job is relatively safe. One would think. Then again with A.J. Preller at the helm, anything can and will surely happen. Alonso can only control what happens on the field and its nice to see that he has been focused thus far this season. It can be tough to play with rumors swirling around possible replacements for you. Kudos to him for keeping the up most consistency.

Yonder Alonso has a career .273 average as a San Diego Padre. He has 1,181 at bats and played in 345 games. His numbers are decent, but yet for a first baseman they are below average. At the age of 28, Alonso is still relatively young. He has struggled to stay healthy playing in 97 and 84 games the past two seasons. The bottom line is Alonso is adequate at first offensively, but at a key position, the Padres might look to eventually upgrade. I don’t believe that is a huge concern for Padres management, but they are likely keeping their eye out for a first base upgrade somewhere.

Alexi Amarista has looked decent so far at shortstop, so I believe A.J. Preller is just waiting to see what happens with other teams. Once teams start to slowly fall out of contention then I’m sure Preller will go rummaging through their rosters. Jedd Gyorko and Joaquin Benoit are a couple of names that have been floated out there as possible trade chips. We will see what the summer brings. Stay tuned Padres fans, it’s going to be a fun season.

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