The San Diego Padres 2015 season did not happen the way A.J. Preller and team management drew it up. The team failed to play with any sort of cohesiveness and in the end the lack of balance in the lineup was a direct downfall for the team.
Adding Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Will Middlebrooks and Melvin Upton Jr. made the Padres extremely right handed heavy in their lineup. Each new addition was right handed and they also did their share of striking out to boot.
Defense was another issue for the team, but the lack of balance in the lineup demoralized the team against lollipop throwing right handers. The Padres were continually shut down and stopped by a right handed pitcher with a decent breaking ball. For some strange reason Padres management did not foresee this issue, but it’s not too late to do something now about the issue now.
Acquiring Jon Jay from the St. Louis Cardinals is a nice start. Jay is a contact type hitter with a traditionally high on base percentage. The team needs more players like that to balance out the right handed power. Losing Gyorko subtracted some power from the middle infield but the type of power Gyorko displayed is probably not catered for a spacious ballpark like Petco Park.
There is one name out there on the free agent market that makes an intriguing option. Domonic Brown is a left-handed power hitter who makes decent contact. His value has plummeted after two injury riddled seasons with the Phillies. The left-handed thrower is a decent outfielder to boot. Nothing special, but he certainly will not kill you in a corner outfield position.
Brown had a monster 2013 season where he hit .272 with 27 home runs and 83 RBIs. The breakout year was supposed to be the beginning of something huge for Brown, but he never really got on track again. In the month of May (in 2013) Brown hit .303 with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs in 109 at bats. He was on fire that month and was blossoming as a slugger. The amazing part about that month is Brown failed to walk one time during that whole month. He struck out 21 times and walked zero times. He put up very respectable numbers but he needs to be more selective in his approach.
Brown is not a guarantee to take his game to a new level, but at the age of 28 he is far too young to give up on. The former 20th round selection in the 2006 draft has worked hard to make it to the big leagues. He will surely put in the effort to learn his craft even more.
Brown made $2.6 million last season and the Phillies released him in October. Scott Boras is his agent so he will surely be looking for top dollar. A multi-year deal with some incentives should be enough to land Brown. He is most certainly worth the gamble and will provide some team with a decent amount of left-handed pop.
It is not clear where Brown could fit in with the team. They already have Kemp, Upton Jr, Travis Jankowski, Jay and numerous young outfielders in the minors. However A.J. Preller is likely to make a move or two down the road and any of the outfielders could be moved in the right package.
Domonic Brown is a quality buy-low candidate. He reminds me a lot of J.D. Martinez in the fact he has great power. Martinez had so much potential as an Astro, but was released by the team because of his lack of consistency and pitch recognition. He was scooped up by the Tigers and has put up back to back great years. Brown could emerge under the right tutelage. The Padres need to think outside the box for talent and Brown could be a quality addition. Only A.J. Preller knows what is in store for this team, the rest of us are just anticipating the moves.