The battle over the Padres’ left field job

Credit: Andy Hayt/Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Travis Jankowski

The 26-year-old outfielder owns a career 1.2 WAR. He was drafted in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft by the San Diego Padres; he was signed by the Padres’ Northeast Scouting Director, Jim Bretz. After just two games with the AZL Padres, he was promoted to the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Padres’ Class A affiliate, for the remainder of the 2012 season. With the TinCaps, Jankowski hit .282 with 17 stolen bases in 59 games. He spent the 2013 season with the Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm. He finished the 2016 season with a .245/.332/.313 batting line and 30 stolen bases in 131 games played, including 82 starts.

Jankowski was the Padres’ Opening Day left fielder in 2017, but he fouled a ball off his foot on April 14, resulting in what was initially diagnosed as a deep bone bruise. After trying to play through the injury, he was eventually diagnosed with a hairline fracture and moved to the disabled list in late April.

The outfielder started a rehab assignment in July and was activated and optioned to El Paso in August, as José Pirela had taken over in left field for the Padres. Jankowski returned to the big league club after the Chihuahuas ended their playoff run in mid-September. Obstructed by the injury early in the year, he finished 2017 with a .187 average in 87 major league plate appearances, and a .268/.358/.325 line for 179 plate appearances in the minors.

In the spring, Jankowski has played in 16 games with 40 plate appearances, has three home runs, six RBI, two stolen bases, a batting line of .242/.375/.515, and a .890 OPS.

Projections for Jankowski in 2018: 282 at bats, five home runs, 20 doubles, 19 RBI, .241/.321/.349 batting line, and a .671 OPS.

Matt Szczur

The 28-year-old outfielder owns a career -0.4 WAR. He was designated for assignment by the Cubs on May 6, 2017. The Cubs traded him to the San Diego Padres for RHP Justin Hancock on May 8, 2017.

In 2017, for the Padres, Szczur played in 104 games, with 214 plate appearances, three home runs, two triples, 11 doubles. 15 RBI, a batting line of .227/.358/.364, and a .722 OPS.

Szczur’s 2018 projections are 339 plate appearances, eight home runs, two triples, 16 RBI, a batting line of .243/.329/.392, and a .721 OPS.

Alex Dickerson

The 27-year-old outfielder owns a career 1.1 WAR. In November 2013, the former Big 10 Conference Baseball Player of the Year was traded to the Padres for Jaff Decker and Miles Mikolas.

Credit: USA Today Sports

Dickerson severely sprained his ankle in 2014 spring training with the Padres, and a MRI later found a cyst on his heel which required surgery. The surgery delayed his start to the 2014 season, but he finished with 34 games with the Double-A San Antonio Missions. In late 2014, the Padres added Dickerson to their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule-five draft. Hip injuries slowed Dickerson at times in 2015, and 2016 it was left heel surgery.

Again in July 2017, Dickerson had to undergo surgery to remove bulging disc material from his lower back. Dickerson had undergone, at age 15, a similar procedure. Before the injury, he batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS.

Dickerson has a sprained UCL in his left elbow and is expected to miss the first month of the season.

Projections, if healthy, have Dickerson with 203 plate appearances, eight home runs, 12 doubles, 28 RBI, a .256/.330/.443 batting line, and .774 OPS.

Wil Myers

There are rumors of Myers maybe playing left field in 2018. Over this last three games, Myers has played left field.

“We’re going to come off the off day (Monday) and decide where he’s going to play a majority of the time,”  Manager Andy Green said. “He hasn’t got a ton of action out there (left field). He says he feels good.” Green went on to say “So we’re going to watch with our own eyes and evaluate where we think he’s best, but give him a few games in a row out there and see how he responds to left.”

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Jeff Weber
Hello, my name is Jeff Weber. I am a life long San Diego Padres Fan and a 27 year San Diegan. Stay up to date with Padres trade rumors, breaking news, prospects, injuries and in-depth reports on players here at EVT. ​
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Yosemite Sam
Yosemite Sam
4 years ago

I’d love to see Myers traded as well, however, they would get nothing for him, and they would likely have to pay a large part of his salary. I know you like Hosmer, but they would have great difficulty trading him as well … and they would not be in this predicament if they had not signed him

SD Don
SD Don
4 years ago
Reply to  Yosemite Sam

Yosemite Sam, thanks for the support on my thought on Myers. I do disagree on if he has value as a trade chip without the Padres covering a portion of his contract. The key to that for me is when you move him. He is owed $77.5 Mil over the last 5 years of his contract, that is a seasonal average of $15.5 Mil. That is very reasonable for a 3 WAR OF. If he was moved by the break this year, his average salery goes to $16.223 Mil for 4.5 years, after this season it goes to $18.25 MIl… Read more »

SD Don
SD Don
4 years ago
Reply to  SD Don

A few comps for Myers at corner OF, is Yoenis Céspedes, Jay Bruce, and Andrew McCutchen are ALL in their early 30’s. Myers is ONLY 27 at this point, just entering his prime. On another team he could go back to 1B or to DH if he lands with an AL team.

SD Don
SD Don
4 years ago

I like Renfroe and Cordero’s ceiling level long term. No doubt Pirela deserves playing time this year. IMO, we can not have 3 OF’s that ALL hit from the right side once we take that next step to being a contender. I know this thought is one not shared by any of the writers here on this site, but IMO Myers is the weak link here, talent and skills are there but his mental approach holds him back. In addition Myers would yield the biggest return in a trade. I think a Cordero, Margot, Renfroe OF is a Top 5… Read more »

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