Welcome to the final month before opening day! I hope you have been enjoying spring training as much as I have. Baseball is close! I am overjoyed! March begins the official Ball Boy Blog previews of all 30 teams. The previews feature all the Free Agent signings, trades, NRI, bold predictions, and some cool fun facts at the end! We are starting at the top of the 2020 ranks and working our way down from best to worst! Enjoy!
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San Diego Padres
Last Year Record: 37-23 finished 2nd in the NL West and lost to the Dodgers in the ALDS
Record x2.7: 99.9-62.1
Vegas Projected: 94.5. I am taking a major over on the Padres for 2021, calling for them to win 102 games and be only a few games behind the Dodgers.
OF Hunter Renfroe(released), 2B Greg Garcia(non-tendered)
RHP Luis Patino, C Francisco Mejia, C/1B Blake Hunt, RHP Cole Wilcox, RHP Zack Davies, SS Reginald Preciado, Teison Santana, OF Owen Caissie, OF Ismael Mena, LHP Joey Lucchesi,
Free Agent Signings:
-14 years and $340mil and another $10mil signing bonus. That is the contract that the Padres signed SS Fernando Tatis Jr. to on 2/17. The deal takes Tatis through his age 35 seasons. The deal is the largest for a pre-arbitration player and the 3rd largest of all time, right after Mookie Betts and Mike Trout. Tatis will make $1MM in 2021, $5MM in 2022, $7MM in 2023, $11MM in 2024, $20MM in 2025-2026, $25MM in 2027-2028, and then $36MM yearly from 2029-2034
-The Padres signed RHP Keone Kela to a 1yr deal worth $1.2mil and $2.3mil in incentives. Kela only appeared in 3 games for the Pirates last season due to COVID and forearm issues. Over 216.2IP between the Rangers and Pirates, he has a 3.24ERA, 30.1%K rate, and a 9.4%BB rate. Kela joins Melancon, Pagan, and Pomeranez with high-leverage experience.
- RHRP Mark Melancon to a deal. The 36yo is a former All-Star closer. After a 2019 trade to the Braves, he posted 22 saves, 26.3%K rate, 6.2%BB rate over 43.2IP.
-INF Ha-Seong Kim- Since 2019, Kim has batted .307/.393/.500 with 49HR, 56-62 in stolen base attempts
-UTL Jurikson Profar- The former #1 prospect in baseball holds a career .238/.318/.397 slash, but over the last 3+ weeks of the 2020 season, he hit .278/.343/.428 slash.
-SP Mike Clevinger- 2yr $11Mil deal. He will miss all of 2021 after finding out he will need Tommy John's surgery and miss the season.
-OF Brian O'Grady- From 2018-19 at the AAA level, he slashed .286/.360/.553 with 36HR over 649PA. The 28yo only owns 53PA at the MLB level, slashing .213/.302/.447 with 2HR. O'Grady will factor into a loaded OF in SD with Trent Grisham, Tommy Pham, Wil Myers, Greg Allen, Jorge Mateo, and Jorge Ona.
RHP Joe Musgrove- The 28yo Musgrove, who just threw 39.2IP of 3.86ERA with a 14.4% swinging-strike rate and 33.1% K rate.
RHP Yu Darvish- Darvish is fresh off a 2nd place finish in the Cy Young after posting 76IP, 2.01ERA/2.23FIP, 11.01K/9, and best 95.5MPH fastball average.
C Victor Caratini- Caratini was Darvish's catcher in Chicago and holds a career .250/.327/.372 slash line of over 677PA. He ranked in the 98th percentile in the pitch-framing department in 2020 as well.
RHP Blake Snell- Over 556IP, the 28yo Snell owns an 11.4WAR, 42-30 record, 3.24ERA/3.50FIP with 648K-232BB in his career. In 35IP in the postseason, he carries a 2.83ERA with 44K-14BB.
LHRP James Reeves- Reeves has a legit shot at making the Padres pen after logging a 1.79ERA with a 27.7% strikeout rate and a 43% groundball rate over 55.1IP.
INF Patrick Kivelehan- The 31yo earned 242PA between 2016-18 with a .208/.302/.401 slash with the Padres, Reds and Diamondbacks
INF Pedro Florimon- Florimon is a career .211/.270/.319 slash over 788AB and a career 1.9WAR.
P Parker Markel- Having 22IP with a 7.77ERA/7.30, he has not been as good as his MiLB numbers of a 2.57ERA, 98K/9 over 101.2IP. The 30yo vet will get his shot with the Padres in 2021.
RHP Nabil Crismatt- The 25yo made his MLB debut in 2020 as he posted a 3.24ERA over 8.1IP for the Cardinals. If Crismatt can get his HR problem under control as all 3 of his ER were homerun balls.
RHP Nick Burdi, LHP Nick Ramirez, RHRP Jacob Rhame, RHP Pedro Avila, LHP Daniel Camerena, RHP Miguel Diaz, LHP Ethan Elliot, RHP Brady Feigl, RHP Mason Fox, RHP Chase Johnson, RHP Justin Lange, LHP Aaron Leasher, RHP Evan Miller, RHP Aaron Northcraft, RHP James Reeves, RHP Dauris Valdez, C Juan Fernandez, C Webster Rivas, INF Ivan Castillo, INF Gosuke Katoh, INF Nick Tanielu
Claimed: RHP Jordan Humphreys
OF Tommy Pham, LHP Matt Strahm, RHP Dan Altavilla, RHP Emilio Pagan, SP Danielson Lamet.
RHP Reggie Lawson, RHP Mason Thompson(In 27.2IP in AA, he had a 5.20ERA/4.14FIP with an 11.7K/9), INF Tucupita Marcano(The 21yo MIF is expected to develop into a severe on-base threat/ leadoff hitter)
OUT OF OPTIONS:
Dan Altavilla, P
Taylor Williams, P
Austin Adams, P
Pierce Johnson, P
Javy Guerra, P
Jorge Mateo, SS
Prospect Watch in Camp
I am watching a group of the Padres top-30 prospects: LHP MacKenzie Gore, INF CJ Abrams, OF Robert Hassell III, OF Joshua Mears, LHP Jagger Haynes, RHP Steven Wilson, INF Eguy Rosario, LHP Reiss Knehr, RHP Jacob Nix.
Ha-Seong Kim- The Rookie sensation from the KBO is coming to the MLB ready to compete. Coming off a 30HR, 109RBI, .306/.397/.523 season in the KBO, Kim is ready to take the MLB by a more significant storm than Ichiro and help the Padres beat the Dodgers.
Fantasy Impact Players
SP- Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Dinelson Lamet, Joe Musgrove.
RP- Drew Pomeranz, Mark Melancon, Emilio Pagan
Position Players- C Austin Nola, 2B Jake Cronenworth, Ha-Seong Kim, 3B Manny Machado, SS Fernando Tatis jr, RF Wil Myers
Upcoming 2022 Free Agents:
The only actual free agent that Padres have come next off-season is OF Tommy Pham, who will be entering his age 35 seasons. Jurickson Profar carries a player option, while the Padres hold a club option over both RP Craig Stammen, RP Pierce Johnson.
Storylines to follow
-The Tatis extension clearly shows that the Padres are ready to compete for the next 14 seasons and go from a "small market" team to the top of the MLB for the next decade.
-The only topic of interest on the roster is how the team works Ha-Seong Kim into a consistent role with Jake Cronenworth around the diamond.
-I wouldn't say it's completely outlandish to think that the Padres could have the MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year. Manny Machado, Yu Darvish, and Ha-Seong Kim.
-After posting a 1.7WAR and a 2nd place finish in the Rookie of Year voting, Jake Cronenworth is only getting started. The 27yo posted a .285/.354/.477 slash line for the Padres in 2020. Look for Cronenworth to stay in the lineup and play 2B, 1B, and maybe even some LF for the Padres in 2021 just for them to keep his great bat in the lineup.
-After a disappointing first two seasons with the Padres, no one needed a decent 2020 more than Eric Hosmer. Hosmer ended up hitting .287/.333/.517 in his 38 games played and 156PA. Hosmer is paid $18mil a year, and any more down-season or not playing in at least 3/4 of the games isn't going to fly. Hosmer is a 4x AL Gold Glove winner and has yet to show that same defense level for the Padres. The Padres need Hosmer to give his all in his age 31/32 season.
The Padres are the only MLB team that does not share its city with another franchise in the four major American professional sports leagues. The Padres are the only major professional sports franchise in San Diego, following the Chargers' relocation to Los Angeles in 2017.
They are also the only franchise in the MLB, not having a no-hitter, having gone 8020 games without throwing one, a major league record to begin a franchise.
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