Position Battles at the Peoria Sports Complex 

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(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

In roughly four weeks, the San Diego Padres will open up their 2018 season on March 29, when the Milwaukee Brewers come to America’s Finest City. 

According to MLB Pipeline, the Padres have the No. 1 ranked farm system in Major League Baseball now.

Presently, the Padres’ farm system is overflowing with young talent. With that #1 ranking, the Padres have what Scott Boras, agent to Eric Hosmer, called “A Volcano of Hot Talent Lava”. Leading up to spring training, the excitement has reached a high, as top prospects Fernando Tatis Jr., Luis UriasJoey LucchesiFranmil Reyes, Cal Quantrill, and Eric Lauer are all in major league camp. With all the added talent, currently the Opening Day starters for second base, third base, and left field are battling it out at the Peoria Sports Complex. 

At second base, there is presently a three-way battle. Luis Urias may be on the verge of the major leagues, so he is added to the battle. It’s also possible that Carlos Asuaje and/or Cory Spangenberg man second base to start the season. Asuaje, who hit .270/.334/.362 in 89 games for the Padres last year, is playing to good reviews so far this spring.

At third, Chase Headley and Christian Villanueva are in a battle. Villanueva could force his way onto the Opening Day roster if he continues his hot trend. He has picked up right where he left off after a hot September, hitting .455 early on in Peoria. “He made a really positive impression this off-season. He worked exceptionally hard and looks great physically. He adds real pop off the bench and may play himself into more opportunity.” – Green on Villanueva.

Looking at the 2018 roster, the Padres have Wil MyersManuel MargotHunter RenfroeJose PirelaAlex DickersonTravis JankowskiMatt Szczur, and Franchy Cordero as outfielders on the 40-man roster.

Manuel Margot in center field and Wil Myers in right field is the present thought, leaving only left field as a battle. Option number one is Franchy Cordero, who hit an effortless triple to right-center in a “B” game. A couple of days ago, he hit a pretty easy inside-the-park home run after trotting the first 60 feet or so. Cordero has shown just about everything he has so far, which is a lot. It is becoming clearer, almost by the day, that Franchy Cordero will be virtually impossible to keep off the opening day roster. However, he will still need to cut down on strikeouts to earn consistent playing time.

Option number two is that the Padres go with Hunter Renfroe. He has been replaced from his job in right, and now is being told he will have to compete for another position. That’s probably not a good sign for the 26-year-old outfielder. Renfroe has a strong arm and serious power, but a strong throwing arm doesn’t mean much if he’s a less-than-average defender and is inaccurate with his throws. In my opinion, Hunter Renfroe could possibly be traded.

Regardless of the Opening Day roster, the Padres should be a contender in 2018.

4 thoughts on “Position Battles at the Peoria Sports Complex 

  1. Whoa…wait a minute…we finally have a power bat from both sides of the plate…and you can’t wait to trade one of them….???? If Meyer is traded,teams will just pitch around Hosmer….let’s wait and see what this combination can do….Geez….are you a giants fan, or what ???

    1. I like the updside of Cordero and Renfroe, I don’t like what Myers has produced over the last 18 months. He had a good first half in 2016 and been on a decline since. Not to mention Parela who needs AB’s, and we also have other OF prospects coming. I am willing to look at Myers for the first half but I hope it raises his trade value. If all you want is a power bat from the right side, Renfroe gives you that now. Plus Villanueva could be that also if we can get Headley out of here. HR’s was not the problem with our overall run production, getting on base was. We scored the least amount of runs off the HR we hit last year in the league.

  2. I disagree that Renfroe should be traded. You failed to mention Pirela in the mix at 2B, a platoon between Spangy/Asuaje from the left side and Pirela from the right side would yield the greatest potential results and give both halves of the platoon AB’s which could lead to trade chips down the road. Maybe one of them could become a UTL player off the bench. No doubt, 2B is Urias future home for the next decade. I am not sold on the hype on Wil Myers, if he has a decent first half I think wwe should move him before the deadline. I hate the structure of his contract and I think we have better talent plus we need atleast one LH bat in our OF. We need to move Myers while he has some of his cheap years left to cost average down his overall cost for the length of his current deal. For a team trying to stay under the limit this season but room in the future is a much beter fit. I also think he will have better overall results as a complemtary piece on a contending AL team.

    1. You both make valid points. I do have to say with Renfroe swinging a hot bat last season with 26 home runs so far this spring starting right where he left off but his defense isn’t consistent that’s what sent him back to El Paso for a brief stint. I see Cordero in Left field currently. I don’t see the Padres trading away Myers because teams won’t have the option to walk Hosmer. Pirela can play both infield and outfield so I believe they use him in both. Chase Headley and the 13 million dollar price tag needs to be either traded or padres eat the money a released him for the roster spot. Christian Villanueva should start at third base and not used as a backup shortstop or second base in my opinion. Thanks for your comments.

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