Ryan Boyer

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Team Roundup: Padres

Monday, October 9, 2017


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San Diego Padres

 

2017 Record: 71-91

Fourth Place, NL West

Team ERA: 4.67 (22nd)

Team OPS: .692 (29th)

 

What Went Right

 

He continued to pile up the strikeouts and wound up hitting only .243, but Wil Myers set another new career high in home runs this season with 30 while also staying healthy again with 155 games played. Additionally, Myers proved that his out-of-nowhere running game exploits were no fluke, stealing 20 bases for the second year in a row. Jose Pirela wasn’t promoted until June, but he was still one of the Padres’ most productive hitters in just over half of a season with a .288/.347/.490 batting line and 10 home runs across 83 games while making starts at five different positions. Manuel Margot’s .721 OPS was nothing to write home about, but he was a viable power/speed option in his first full season in the majors with 13 homers and 17 steals over just 126 games. Jhoulys Chacin proved to be a steadying veteran presence in the Padres’ rotation, posting a 3.89 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 32 starts. Dinelson Lamet had the inconsistency you’d expect from a guy who didn’t turn 25 until midseason, but he flashed plenty of upside with 139 strikeouts and just 88 hits allowed across 114 1/3 innings. Brad Hand had another dominant season with a 2.16 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 104/20 K/BB ratio over 79 1/3 frames, taking over as closer following the trade of Brandon Maurer.

 

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What Went Wrong

 

He slugged 26 home runs, but Hunter Renfroe batted just .231/.284/.467 overall and even spent some time in the minor leagues. Ryan Schimpf popped 14 longballs over his first 53 games, but he hit just .158 and struck out in 35.5 percent of his plate appearances to earn a demotion at the beginning of June. He was never recalled. Travis Jankowski looked like a deep league speed option coming into the season, but he finished the year with just four steals over 27 games while spending much of the season either hurt or in the minors. A one-year, $3 million flier on veteran right-hander Jered Weaver turned out to be a waste of time, as Weaver posted a 7.44 ERA across nine starts before eventually announcing his retirement. Carter Capps was a speculative saves stash in deeper formats, but he never looked close to his pre-Tommy John surgery self, spending most of the year in the minors and ultimately undergoing thoracic outlet surgery after the season.

 

Fantasy Slants

 

**What do we make of Jose Pirela? The soon-to-be 28-year-old former Yankees farmhand has never been considered much of a prospect, but he batted a robust .288/.347/.490 with the Padres and .331/.387/.635 at Triple-A El Paso while combining for 23 homers and 12 stolen bases between the two stops. Pirela isn’t a patient hitter, but he doesn’t strike out much and had a solid hard-hit rate in 2017. It remains to be seen whether he’ll have an everyday job going into 2018, but even if he doesn’t Pirela offers the versatility to fill in at multiple positions for the Padres (and for fantasy owners).

 

**If you selected Manuel Margot in your draft last spring, chances are you were doing so with the thinking that he’d provide a big boost to your stolen base total. The rookie turned out to be a relative disappointment in that department, getting caught seven times over 24 attempts. However, he was a pleasant surprise from a power perspective, as his 13 longballs over just 126 games were more than he hit in any level in the minors. Margot doesn’t draw walks, and he was bottom-10 in the league among qualifiers in hard-hit rate. That said, he also doesn’t strike out, and it must be remembered that the former top prospect was one of the youngest regulars in the game. Margot ranked 10th in baseball in Statcast’s Sprint Speed, hinting at his stolen base upside. He should also hit for average eventually.

 

**What is Dinelson Lamet’s upside? Lamet earned a call-up in late May after a dominant run at Triple-A El Paso, and he displayed occasional dominance during his time with the big club with 139 strikeouts over 114 1/3 innings of work. That run included a pair of outings with double-digit punchouts. It wasn’t squeaky-clean, though. Lamet had some blowup starts along the way with five-plus runs allowed on five occasions, and he walked too many batters both at Triple-A (12 percent walk rate) and in the majors (11.1 percent walk rate). The biggest question might be whether Lamet can find a weapon to get left-handed batters out. He was essentially a two-pitch pitcher in 2017 (fastball and slider), and lefties had .867 OPS against him versus a .537 OPS for righties. Lamet should get strikeouts regardless, but some more inconsistency can be expected unless he improves his changeup or develops a new secondary offering to combat lefties.

 

**Brad Hand has gone from waiver wire claim to one of the best relievers in baseball over the last two seasons, putting up a 2.56 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 215/56 K/BB ratio over 168 2/3 innings of work. He began this season as a setup man and was fully expected to be traded to a contender before the deadline and continue serving as a setup man for a playoff-bound club. However, Hand wound up staying put and took over the closer gig when Brandon Maurer was dealt to the Royals. It was an unexpected boost for fantasy owners who hung on to the southpaw, as Hand saved 18 games after the trade and was his usual dominant self down the stretch. Unfortunately, we’re going to be facing the same questions with Hand in 2018 assuming he begins the season with the Padres, as he’ll be the subject of trade rumors again. It’s a potentially sticky situation for fantasy owners.

 

**Hunter Renfroe likely would’ve cruised to 30 home runs had he not been banished to the minors for a month, but the Padres had grown frustrated with his strikeouts and inconsistency (and they also no doubt were considering service time). The 25-year-old has slugged 30 bombs over 515 plate appearances in the majors the last two years, and you can add another 34 dingers when factoring in his numbers at Triple-A El Paso. Renfroe is still young enough to make improvements, but unfortunately his track record suggests the poor plate discipline and low averages will likely continue. He’ll be a threat for 30 home runs again in 2018, but it will still be difficult for him to be a top-50 fantasy outfielder since he’s unlikely to provide help elsewhere.

 

Key Free Agents: Jhoulys Chacin, Erick Aybar, Craig Stammen

 

Team Needs: The Padres are still building for the future, so if they make a big splash this winter it would be a piece that they give up rather than acquire. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them again fill out their rotation with a veteran arm or two. They’ve already extended Clayton Richard and re-signing Chacin would be a solid move, if only so they can flip him to a contender in July if he has a good first half. Chacin will have other suitors, though.



Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter.
Email :Ryan Boyer



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