When it comes to the outfield, the San Diego Padres have many options. Finding playing time for them all may be an issue, but that is a good problem to have for a potential contending team.
The San Diego Padres boast one of the deepest young outfield rosters in Major League Baseball.
Four players 25 years of age or younger are looking to make a consistent impact on the organization.
Franchy Cordero is 25 years old, Trent Grisham is 23, Josh Naylor and Taylor Trammell are both 22, and all are capable of winning consistent playing time this upcoming season. The veteran bat of Wil Myers and leadership of newly acquired Tommy Pham in the outfield will prove invaluable to this young core. The competition aspect of having upwards of six players vying for three starting spots will bring the best out of every one individually.
In February of 2020, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune interviewed Pham, who was quoted saying, “Potential just means there’s a high ceiling, but you haven’t done it yet. What can we do to get to that ceiling? We have to stay healthy and be consistently good for a long time,” Pham said. The outfielder characterizes himself as a hard worker who will show up day in and day out, ready to prove himself to others. This sense of accountability has been desperately missing from San Diego, but will ultimately be passed down to the lesser experienced players through his intangibles and ability to lead by example.
When you talk to people around the league about the Padres, one theme that stays consistent is their recognized potential. With one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, the Padres have the resources to stay relevant for years to come.
One way that this utility can be shown is by looking at the players through the eyes of Padres general manager A.J. Preller. He sees not what a player like Trammell is currently, but what he will become in just a few short years. However, some questions and concerns are yet to be answered about the young guns. Some of these questions include, will Trammell translate minor league success into the big leagues? How about Cordero’s injury problems? Will Naylor be able to improve defensively, or would he be better suited in the American League as a designated hitter? How will Grisham handle the adjustment of a new ball club and a potential center field role? Preller will have his hands full in determining which young outfielders will remain on the team and which players will show their value to the organization on the trading block.
One thing is for sure, and that is the Padres have an exciting future ahead loaded with talented youth in the outfield. For Preller, there are far worse problems to have than worrying about a surplus of players who have already shown significant growth in the early years of their careers.