The Top Breakout Candidates for Padres in 2017

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The San Diego Padres will not be a successful team in 2017.

Although they may not win a lot of games, the Padres are poised to be an exciting, young team to watch throughout the season.

With a lot of young talent on the roster, the Padres have the potential to be an above-average offensive team. A lack of pitching will definitely hurt the team, but free agent signings they made could help propel the pitching staff to be better than they performed last season.

All that being said, I do believe that some players on the Padres will be more exciting to watch than others. Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot are obvious ones, so although they are both extremely talented prospects and will more than likely lead the offense in 2017, I have decided to leave them off this list, as we expect high production from both of them. The rest of these players, however, are players that could have a very strong season this year, and be very exciting to watch.

Let’s take a look:

Cory Spangenberg, 2B

Credit: Getty Images

Following his rookie season, Spangenberg looked like he had become the second basemen of the future for the Padres. The former first round pick by the Friars in 2011 has a very high ceiling.

He put up a .271/.333/.399 hitting line as a rookie, and the former first round pick looked solid both offensively and defensively. Unfortunately, a groin injury sidelined the 25-year-old from playing much in 2016, and allowed Ryan Schimpf to have the solid season he had last year. Although Schimpf had a fantastic offensive campaign last year, he is 29 years old and not the type of player the Padres can build their middle infield around.

One of the most exciting things to watch for during spring training will be the second base competition between Schimpf and Spangenberg. Spangenberg is a much better defender than Schimpf is, and hits for contact at a higher level than his competition does.

However, Schimpf could provide some pop in the middle of the Padres’ lineup if he won the job. It will be interesting to watch these two battle it out, but in the end, I do believe Spangenberg will come out on top and be the Padres starting second basemen for a majority of the 2017 season.

If he stays healthy, the production offensively will be there. Spangenberg has a nice, smooth swing, and uses the whole field. Defensively, he proved to be very solid with the glove his rookie year. Look for Spangenberg to be one of the pleasant surprises of the 2017 season for the Padres.


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