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 Urias, Joey Lucchesi, Franmil 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 Myers, Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Jose Pirela, Alex Dickerson, Travis Jankowski, Matt 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.