In 2020, these players have something to prove for the San Diego Padres.
Given the bright future of the San Diego Padres, time is running out for some players to prove that they belong on the team going forward. In the shortened 2020 season, the following players will have an even shorter amount of time to perform.
Here are some of Padres players with the most to play for:
There are several starting pitchers clawing to reach the major league roster for the San Diego Padres. Joey Lucchesi is currently there but needs to take a step forward to solidify himself for the future. If Lucchesi fails to take a step forward this year, Cal Quantrill, MacKenzie Gore, and Luis Patino may pass him soon on the depth chart.
Following two outstanding years, Kirby Yates put himself into the argument for the best closing pitcher in the game. However, relief pitchers don’t tend to last very long in their prime, and Yates’ track record before San Diego is lackluster. The right-hander will be a free agent following the season, and general managers may have some concern about Yates’ future if he does not perform well in 2020. If he performs well again, Kirby Yates will receive a very hefty contract.
Like Kirby Yates, Jurickson Profar will also be a free agent following the 2020 season. However, unlike Yates, Profar does not have the track record to cash in big this offseason. Profar needs a strong 2020 to prove he’s a capable player and worth signing long term. He caught a break with Brian Dozier’s release and needs to capitalize on the extra playing time for the Padres in 2020.
It’s no secret that Austin Hedges needs to rebound with his bat in 2020. Hedges’ bat disappeared last season for the Padres. Luis Torrens and Luis Campusano are on their way up, and Francisco Mejia is getting settled. 2020 could be Hedges’ last chance for the Padres. He needs to hit to keep a spot on the roster.
The San Diego Padres took a risk by signing veteran pitcher Garrett Richards to a short two-year contract coming off an arm injury. When Richards is 100 percent, his stuff is amongst some of the best in the game. If he stays healthy and performs this season, another team will likely pay him big in the offseason.