Potential Road Blocks to the Padres Rebuild
Eric Hosmer and the first base situation is certainly one of the more significant concerns moving forward, especially because of the investment that the Padres put into him.
However, the future at third base for the San Diego Padres is still a question.
There are many speculations out there regarding what direction the Padres will take in choosing their third baseman of the future. It could be Christian Villanueva, if he can find some consistency offensively and maintain his defense to the standard he has held over the last couple months of this season. Potentially, they could resign Freddy Galvis and plan for Fernando Tatis Jr. to play third. They could be looking at the newly-promoted Hudson Potts as their guy. The Padres have even been practicing Wil Myers at third base in a potential move that would shift him over to the hot corner. Finally, and certainly most unlikely, they could make a run at Manny Machado or another star third baseman on the market to fill their glaring hole. However, the most likely of all of these options would be to rely on internal players that are still honing their skills, like Christian Villanueva or Hudson Potts.
Given the experience under his belt, Villanueva is the current front-runner in terms of who will take up most of the time at third base heading into 2019.
Unfortunately, his 2018 season has been plagued with inconsistency and defensive struggles. Offensively, he has actually been above average in terms of his wRC+, sitting at 105, but his sub-300 on-base percentage is still concerning. One reason for his low OBP is his high strikeout rate, which currently sits at 26.6%. Another reason is his below-average BABIP, which either suggests he has been extremely unlucky over the course of the season or he has struggled to make hard contact on a consistent basis. Despite his clear ability to hit for power, it is hard to declare Villanueva the guy for the future.
While Villanueva should be the opening day third baseman next season, keep an eye on Potts as the team’s possible contingency plan if Villanueva can’t put together a consistent season. Potts is currently slashing .281/.350/.498 with Lake Elsinore and will get a new test as he takes on AA pitching. If he handles this promotion with more success, he could be a name we all become familiar with.
The last concern Padres fans should have is A.J. Preller making a harmful deal to the rebuild. If you all recall, the Padres were very active in the trade discussions involving Chris Archer of the Tampa Bay Rays. While Preller was likely just conducting his due diligence, there were some names thrown around for a possible deal that should make Padres fans feel at least a little uncomfortable. Names like Francisco Mejia, Chris Paddack, and Luis Urias, among others, were the names that came up in the Archer trade discussions. However, it was noted that Preller said he wouldn’t trade Paddack for anyone in the Rays’ system, citing how “special” he is to the organization, and that truly shows how much Preller values the farm system that he has built.
To clarify, the chances of Preller making a destructive move are nearly nonexistent. It is only brought up due to their involvement with Archer. Preller knows more about his plan than anyone, and trust should be placed on him to make the right calls.
The contingency plan here would be to rely on the lava of talent they still have at their disposal. A name that has certainly become more well-known among Padres fans is Luis Patino, who has developed into a legitimate prospect. It is expected that guys like him would become much more important for the rebuild if Paddack was ever dealt. Additionally, guys like Logan Allen, Jacob Nix, Adrian Morejon, Mackenzie Gore, Michel Baez, etc. would all be expected to really step up. We also can’t forget about Anderson Espinoza, who remains an electric option if he can bounce back from injury. There is so much pitching talent in this system that the Padres could deal Paddack and they would still be loaded. While unlikely to even have to worry about, it is important to understand just how jam-packed the Padres’ farm system is and how a trade like that won’t derail the entire process.
While each of these issues is concerning, especially Eric Hosmer and the third base situation, there are options available to the Padres due to the crafty work by A.J. Preller. While the future in San Diego is certainly bound to be bright, a reality check is needed every once in a while.
Hey everyone! My name is Tanner Wrape and I am a proud alumni of the University of California Riverside. I received my Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Political Science. I am now living in Washington, D.C. getting my Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology at George Washington University. Currently, I am interning at the George Washington Program on Extremism which is a think-tank dedicated to better understanding terrorism, extremist ideologies and radicalization.
While my work deals with some heavy topics, sports have always been a great way to wind down and relax. I have been a fan of the Padres since I was a little kid and I played baseball up through high school. Hit me up on Twitter if you ever want to chat about anything.
When Preller arrived he went for it bycdealung from a mediocre farm system. As fans, we haven’t had anything to get excited about for awhile before that. It didn’t work out and we really only lost Tre Turner in the process. After that he changed course, hit a homer on the International front and now has a future blue print for success with our farm. Once those guys are mostly up in the next 2 years, he can fill a remaining weakness with a trade. But we have to be excited he’s exploring all trade options in case a smoking deal comes along like the Kimbrel trade. I’m digging where we are headed!
Heck, by 2021, Hosmer could have been traded away, or could be a really good player for us. His contract is backdated in the Padres favor, making it easier to deal him later in the contract. So, he may be a boon for us, either hitting and playing a strong 1B, or by netting us other players to meet needs.
Has anyone seen an interview where Hosmer was asked about how he might be working on hitting fewer ground balls? Is he just being obstinate (as one article suggested)?
All teams, even teams like the 2017 Astros, add proven talent from the outside. Preller has indeed built a well regarded farm system, but he inspires no confidence whatsoever in his acumen in trading for proven MLers. Think back to the Kemp trade, or the Shields signing, the Kimbrel/Upton acquisition, or adding clubhouse cancer Derek Norris. Terrible moves all. Not interested in “ancient history” ? Then look at recent moves like the Myers extension or the Hosmer signing.
There is a very clear Jekyll & Hyde pattern at work here: great when trading veterans for prospects, hopeless when adding veterans. At some point we’ll have to add a veteran to push us over the threshold. Based on past performance there is very real reason to be concerned.
As for Hosmer, the only path forward is to hope he rebounds, then trade him to some other desperate team. With Myers we are also hoping, that he can play 3b passably. Teams that hope miss the playoffs, team that expect play in them.
The Kimbrel trade to Boston was not good? Getting Tatis for Shields? Mejia for Hand? Preller has not exactly had magic beans to trade now has he? Let’s see how AJ trades over the next two years. Preller has drafted and developed players very well and Padre Fans are just now starting to see this. To pick apart AJ Preller for a few trades is disingenuous at best.
You missed the point Daniel. In terms of Preller actually dealing for MLB players (or signing them) he has whiffed every time. Tatis and Mejia weren’t MLB players during the trades. In terms of Preller picking up MLB ready players who can come in today and do their job, lead a clubhouse, or at least contribute, we are lacking completely. You can’t build a winner without successful role players and leaders. The Padres currently have one, sort of, and yeah, it’s Hosmer, sort of. A very very expensive and seemingly average ballplayer. That’s not worth 120 mill, just as Myers wasn’t worth 85 mill. Ugly. Keep in mind too, it’s easy to trade for prospects, just look up the word “prospect”. They’re all projection and hope. He’s going to look great there. Meanwhile, look at the Padres’ record since Preller took the helm. He might be among the worst GM’s we’ve ever had.
Those negative moves formerly were due to saving money , however the ownership has a different philosophy. We’re in a creative critical consciousness that changes the way things are done to achieve new powerful results.
Woe. Yoda Preller..
And next year, when we lose 90 games, do we keep saying the same thing? At what point do we get to see .500? A GM’s job is to create a winning ballclub. First it was 2019, now what? 2021? We have no pieces in place to compete, let alone contend in the next 3-5 years. That’s a fact folks.