San Diego PadresOur expert from ScoutPRO.com,Shawn Childs, helps you prepare for your big fantasy baseball draft.
San Diego Padres Team Projection
The Padres haven't made it to the playoffs in the last seven years and only have one World Series appearance in their 45-year history. The Padres finished 12th in the NL in runs (618), 8th in HR's (146), and 11th in ERA (3.98). In the offseason, they lost SS Ronny Cedeno and P Jason Marquis. Furthermore, the Padres signed a pair of free agents - P Josh Johnson and P Joaquin Benoit. San Diego also acquired OF Seth Smith from the A's for P Luke Gregerson, and added P Patrick Schuster in this year's Rule V draft and P Alex Torres and P Jesse Hahn in a minor trade with Tampa for 2B Logan Forsythe and P Brad Boxberger. After a nice run at the end of 2012 (47-31), San Diego didn't gain any momentum in 2013, finishing with 76 wins for the 2nd straight year. Their offense has a chance to improve this season with the emergence of 2B Jedd Gyorko and a healthy 3B Chase Headley. In terms of pitching, the Padres starting rotation may have 3 solid starters at the top of the rotation if Josh Johnson regains his previous form and Ian Kennedy can pitch at an elite level like he did a couple of years ago. Additionally, the bullpen has 2 possible closers on the roster. Overall, a winning season would be a nice step forward for San Diego.
1. SS Everth Cabrera
Cabrera made a nice improvement in his skill set in 2013. His K rate (15.9%) was 7.5% lower than his 2012 season, and his walk rate (9.4%) was in line with his career average. Everth had his most success against LH pitching (.365 with a .513 SLG %). However, his season ended in early August when he was suspended for 50 games due to his connection with the Biogenesis scandal in Miami. He also missed 2 weeks of the year with a hamstring injury. Cabrera continues to be a high GB hitter (60.5%) with a short FB rate (18.9%). His HR/FB rate (7.0%) was nearly double his previous high. Everth has plus speed, evidenced by a 73 stolen base season on his minor league resume. I wonder if Billy Hamilton in the league will push him to run more. Last year, he was on a pace for 53 SB's if he had 550 at bats. The improvement of his K rate was higher than his career minor league resume (17.9%). Cabrera is a stocky player and may hit a couple more HR's, but his power is really limited due to his high GB rate. His batting average could easily regress with more K's and less ground balls making it through the infield. I see him as a .270 hitter with a 5/50 skill set.
2. OF Will Venable
Last year, Venable had a chance to play almost everyday due to injuries to Maybin and Quentin and ended up delivering his first career 20/20 season. His AVH (1.806) made a nice step forward, which gives him upside in power. His K rate (22.9%) was his highest over the last 3 years, while his walk rate (5.6%) was a career low. Will showed growth against LH pitching (.276 with a .524 SLG %), and had the most success in July and August (.345 with 10 HR's, 20 RBI's, and 6 SB's). In each of the other 4 months, Venable hit under .235. His HR/FB rate (19.8%) was twice as much as his previous 2 years (9.2% in 2011 and 9.8% in 2012), but he continues to be a GB hitter (47.2%). Overall, he will be a tricky player to gauge heading into 2014. His final 2013 stats will draw attention to his name, but he may not have a starting job. Maybin is the future in centerfield and Quentin should start in left. Venable should be the favorite to start in right, but he may sit down against LH pitching, even though he had success against them last year. With 450 at bats, 15 HR's and 20 SB's should be within reach. His batting average has improved in 3 straight seasons, but it still has risk due to a high K rate.
3. 3B Chase Headley
Chase had his season derailed in mid March when he suffered a fractured left thumb. The injury forced him to miss just over 2 weeks of the season. His HR/FB rate (10.9%) was his 2nd highest of his career, but it was almost 50% less than 2012 (21.9%). His FB rate (31.3%) was a career low, and it has now declined in each of the last 4 years. Furthermore, his K rate (23.7%) has declined in each of his last 3 seasons, while his walk rate (11.2%) has been very good over the last 3 years. Headley had almost the same success against RH (.251) and LH (.248) pitching. Overall, he only played well in September (.305 with 5 HR's and 14 RBI's). His success hitting HR's in 2012 was due to a change in his skill set as he started pulling the ball at a much higher rate than in previous seasons (23% pull rate batting RH in 2010 and 2011, 29% in 2012, and 37.6% in 2013 - 27.5% pull rate batting LH in 2010 and 2011, 39% in 2012, and 40.2% in 2013). Chase had a calf injury in June and a minor back injury in late August, and needed surgery in the offseason to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Overall, Headley has only had one plus season in the majors during his career. His K rate is rising, which is inviting more batting average risk. The change in swing path didn't result in more HR's last year, and he did have a couple of injuries. Possible gamble if his price point is discounted, but I wouldn't overpay hoping for his 2012 season. Set the bar at .270 with 20 HR's and 10 SB's and hope for upside.
4. OF Carlos Quentin
Quentin has hit .267 with 86 runs, 29 HR's, and 90 RBI's in 560 at bats over the last 2 seasons with San Diego. Last year, his season started with a bang when he took out Zack Greinke after charging the mound on April 11th (resulted in an 8-game suspension). Carlos suffered a minor shoulder injury in mid May, and his season ended in late July after suffering a right knee injury that required surgery in late August. Quentin has been working on changing his stance to help take the pressure off of his right knee. His K rate (17.2%) has been above his career average in 2 of his last 3 seasons, while his walk rate (10.6%) has been above the league average for most of his career. He had equal success against both RH (.272 - .495 SLG %) and LH (.284 - .486 SLG %) pitching. Carlos has never played over 131 games in his career, but he has four 20+ HR seasons on his resume. His batting average has been a negative for most of his career, but his approach is high enough to be at least neutral. Quentin is a gamer and has 30/100 ability if he could ever get 550 at bats. The Padres have an extra solid outfielder, so his at bats will fall short of expectations. Solid backend power hitter with 20/80 upside with just 450 at bats. He has been injury prone, but his price is low enough where he will be a possible value power play in HR's.
5. 2B Jedd Gyorko
Gyorko delivered power from second base for the Padres in 2013. His K rate (23.4%) came in higher than his minor league career, and his walk rate (6.3%) should be about the major league average down the road. Jedd was just starting to find his power stroke in May and June (.309 with 8 HR's and 17 RBI's in 139 at bats) when he went down for a month with a groin injury. Over the last 2 months of the season, Gyorko had 15 HR's and 37 RBI's in 204 at bats, but he only hit .245. After his injury, Jedd only took 2 walks in his first 149 at bats. He was a better hitter against LH pitching (.264 with a .519 SLG %), but he had a higher K rate (28.7%). His HR/FB rate (15.9%) was in a very good area for his rookie season. His AVH (1.785) was in line with his 2012 minor league season, which gives him more upside in power. Gyorko is a career .321 hitter in the minors with 62 HR's, 256 RBI's, and 19 SB's in 1,351 at bats. His skill set should have upside across the board this year. He'll be an edge in power at second base with more upside in batting average as his approach improves in the majors. He even has some underlying speed where a handful of SB's is within reach. Overall, his next step is improving his ability to hit with runners on base (13% RBI rate).
6. 1B Yonder Alonso
Alonso was in the game after his first 2 months of the season (.284 with 6 HR's and 29 RBI's). His success may have ended on May 31st when he broke his right hand, forcing him to miss 6 weeks of the season. When he returned in July, he hit the ball well (.333), but didn't hit a HR in his last 144 at bats. His success ended in late August when he re-injured his hand. Yonder had more success against RH pitching (.296) and has a plus K rate (12.5%) that has improved during every season in the majors. However, his walk rate (8.5%) was less than his career average (9.3%). Furthermore, his HR/FB rate (6.2%) was a career low and he continues to be a GB hitter (46.2%). Yonder is a big guy, but he has a leadoff hitter AVH (1.309). His power was restricted last year by his hand injury. At best, he is a high teens power hitter with the possibility of 80+ RBI. His low K rate should give him upside in batting average in the near future. At this point of his career, he is only a complementary fantasy player.
7. OF Cameron Maybin
Maybin started the year with a wrist injury in early February, which led to a DL stint in early April. The injury ended up costing him 2 1/2 months of the season. Cameron played well for 4 games (.278 with 1 HR's, 4 RBI's, and 4 SB's) before going down for the year with a knee injury. His knee didn't require surgery, but he did finally have surgery to repair his ailing wrist. His knee looks to be 100% and his wrist should be healthy enough to be ready for the start of spring training. Cameron is a career .248 hitter with 31 HR's, 135 RBI's, and 89 SB's in 1,622 at bats. His sample size was real small last year, but he had a career best K rate (15.8%) and his walk rate (7.0%) came in just under his career average. Maybin has never developed into the elite player the Padres thought he was when they acquired him from the Marlins in 2011. He has 40 SB upside and enough power to hit 10+ HR's, but his batting average has had risk during his entire career due to a high K rate. Possible post hype player with upside in speed and power. If he plays well, he will be in the lineup everyday.
8. C Nick Hundley
Hundley parleyed Yasmani Grandal's 50 game suspension and a torn ACL into the starting job for most of the 2013 season. His K rate (24.0%) was almost the same as the last 2 years, while his walk rate (6.4%) has declined in each of the last 4 years. He continues to struggle against LH pitching (.183). Nick played well in April (.329 with 3 HR's and 11 RBI's), but he had a huge K rate (29.4%). He was productive over the last 3 months (8 HR's and 26 RBI's). His batting average was under .225 during 4 months of the season. This year, Hundley will enter the 2014 season as the starting catcher until Grandal returns. His HR/FB rate (12.6%) was career high. Nick has 10 HR power with batting average risk and playing time concern at some point of the season.
9. OF Rymer Liriano
Liriano missed all of the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He is career .270 hitter in the minors with 40 HR's, 248 RBI's, and 152 SB's in 1,845 at bats. He played about 1/3 of a season at AA with limited success in 2012 (.251 with 3 HR's, 20 RBI's, and 10 SB's). His K rate (24.4%) is much too high for him to make an impact in the majors in the near future, while his walk rate (8.1%) is just under the league average. Additionally, he has a 60+ stolen base season on his minor league resume. Rymer hasn't hit for plus power during his minor league career, but he is expected to have 20+ HR upside down the road. This year, he should start the year at AA and may sniff the majors late in the season. Liriano has upside, but isn't close to being major league ready (his approach at the plate will also invite downside risk).
10. C Yasmani Grandal
He was suspended for 50 games in 2013 for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. When he returned to the Padres, Yasmani didn't play at a high level (.216 with 1 HR's and 9 RBI's in 88 at bats). His season ended in early August when he tore his ACL. Grandal has stated he would like to be ready for opening day, which seems a bit early for a catcher. He flashed 20 HR power potential during his rookie season in the majors in 2012 (.297 with 8 HR's and 36 RBI's in 192 at bats). If he makes it back healthy, Yasmani will be the starting catcher.
11. MI Alexi Amarista
San Diego has given Amarista 643 at bats over the last 2 seasons, but he is only hitting .232 during his major league career with 10 HR's, 69 RBI's, and 12 SB's in 695 at bats. Alexi doesn't have a strong enough skill set to be an everyday player and will enter 2014 as the Padres utility infielder.
12. 1B Kyle Blanks
Injuries have hurt his chance of earning a regular job in the majors. He has excellent size and is a career .302 hitter in the minors with 89 HR's and 397 RBI's in 2,051 at bats. He has no clear path to at bats with San Diego and has only hit .228 during his major league career with 28 HR's and 98 RBI's in 705 at bats. However, he has 20 HR power with upside if he was ever able to get 550 at bats. This year, he will be a backup player at first base and in the outfielder.
13. OF Seth Smith
He will compete with Quentin for playing time in left field. His average took a hit when he left the friendly confines of Colorado. Over the last 2 years, Seth has hit .246 with 22 HR's and 92 RBI's in 751 at bats. His opportunity with the Padres should be a lot less than his previous 2 years with the A's. Smith will add power to the bench and add depth to the outfield.