The San Diego Padres have their most powerful lineup in the history of the franchise. Manny Machado, Hunter Renfroe, and Franmil Reyes provide plenty of pop for the Friars.
Major League Baseball has some great power hitters, as proven by the recent MLB- All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby.
Peter Alonso has hit thirty bombs so far for the New York Mets, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger make up only part of a loaded Dodgers lineup, while Christian Yelich leads the league in home runs with 32 round-trippers.
However, there are three hitters down in San Diego that has been overlooked by many around the mainstream baseball media hives. One is in the midst of a breakout season who regularly parks home runs into the Western Metal Building, one is a charismatic slugger whose bat is as big as his heart, and the other is a relative newcomer to San Diego, but a superstar who has shot the Padres rebuild into overdrive.
The three power hitters have brought more offensive firepower to the San Diego lineup than the club has had in a while. Take, for example, the Padres single-season home run record, set in 2017 when the Padres mashed 189 home runs. In 2019, San Diego hitters have already amassed 143 home runs. The trio above has already mashed 75 of those 143 home run, which is a little more than half of that number.
Now with Machado in tow, it has elevated San Diego’s lineup to a whole new level. Fernando Tatis Jr. has been the table-setter at the top of the lineup, Eric Hosmer is having a bounce-back year hitting behind Tatis, and the 3-5 hitters are a continuous stream of run support. Before this season, being down 5-0 seemed like a death sentence; now, a single swing of the bat can put the Padres right back in the game.
It is also highly unlikely that any of them will fall off as their advanced numbers back up the explosion of power. Renfroe’s ISO of .353 is behind only Yelich, Bellinger, and Mike Trout while a .241 BABIP indicates that Renfroe has had a few balls that haven’t bounced in his favor. Not far behind him in the ISO ratings is Reyes, who ranks 11th in the Majors in terms of ISO with a .296 clip. Both Renfroe and Reyes are better than Pederson, Max Muncy, Alex Bregman, Ronald Acuna Jr, Carlos Santana, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr, all of whom participated in the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby. While Alonso and Josh Bell have higher ISO ratings than “La Mole,” both are slightly outpaced by Renfroe. Machado currently carries an ISO of .243, but that is still in lines with his career norms while his home run rate is looking to be steadily increasing as he has 23 home runs in 89 games.
Statcast currently paints Reyes as the top power hitter in the Padres lineup. He is in the top five percent of the league in barreled ball percent (15% of batted balls), exit velocity percentage (92.3%), and expected slugging (.566) and expected Weighted On Base Average of Contact or XWOBACON for short (.494), while he is in the top eight percent of the league in hard-hit percentage (48.5%). Renfroe currently resides in the top eight percent in barreled ball percentage (14%). Renfroe and Machado aren’t slacking in expected slugging either, carrying .502 and .475 XSLG clips respectively.
Through little more than half the season, the Padres have scored 410 runs and have collected a team OPS of .736, with much of that production coming from the fresh insertion of power into the San Diego lineup.