”And the Padres extend their win streak to 3 games”….Said no one ever.
It’s gotta be rough being a Padres fan.
Every since they dismantled the team that included Adrian Gonzalez and Jake Peavy, they just haven’t been the same.
They’re still in a transition period that features young players and band-aid free agents.
The San Diego faithful had to be cringing last season, to see their former first baseman prospect Anthony Rizzo explode for the Cubs.
He was a major part of that Adrian Gonzalez transaction to Boston, but they seemed to give up on him quickly.
Now they’re hoping that Yonder Alonso, who they acquired from Cincy for Mat Latos, can take that next step this season.
The Padres had a major set back when they lost their rising star catcher Yasmani Grandal to a 50-game suspension for using testosterone.
In sixty games last season, Grandal was close to hitting .300, with 28 runs, 8 home runs, and 36 RBI’s.
He’s set to return May 28 against Seattle, but the suspension might actually benefit his recovery from a hand injury.
Don’t let the Padres fool you. They have some talent. Key word “some”.
Chase Headley is the best asset that they have, unless contending teams start asking about Carlos Quentin around the trade deadline.
Not a lot of fantasy owners paid too much attention to Headley last season, but who can blame them?
The guy only hit four home runs in the previous season, and you’re telling me that playing 50 extra games in 2012 was the major difference? Nope.
He’s coming off a career-high 31 home runs, 95 runs, 115 RBI’s, and a .286 batting AVG.
Headley needs to prove consistency in 2013, but he’s worth investing in on draft day because he’s the the most likely to be traded this year to a contender.
San Diego’s pitching staff has always been interesting options for fantasy owners, because of the advantages of Petco Park.
Much like in Oakland, the Padres’ ball park offers the benefit of a larger outfield.
It’s always been a good thing to own the Padres’ closer, and this year will be no different.
Huston Street suffered two different injuries in 2012, hindering his pre-draft rankings, but he is still an elite option.
As San Diego picks up some spark in their offense, keeping them in games, Street should see some more opportunities to close this season.
Their starting rotation is filled with mediocre options, which evens out with the potential of their lineup.
In the end, Street and Headley are the best draft day options, but are there others? Let’s find out…
PADRES PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Everth Cabrera SS He’s a .240 hitter that’s still developing, look elsewhere.
2. Jedd Gyorko 2B This is the next star for the Padres. He’s their top prospect, transitioning from a 3B to a 2B, hit .311 and 30 HRs in 2012, big time sleeper this year
3. Chase Headley 3B Had a career year in 2012, now just has to show consistency, best Padre to draft, bigger upside if he gets traded to a contender. Capable of being a .300 hitter that can get you close to 30 home runs.
4. Carlos Quentin LF Missed half of the season with injuries, but still hit 16 home runs. If he can stay healthy, he can be a quiet no.3 OF option on draft day. He’s another option that could see a boost in value if he’s traded to a contender later.
5. Yonder Alonso 1B He hit .270 in his first full major league season, working on being more of a power hitter this offseason, can generate runs and hit the occasional home run, late round watchlist candidate.
6. Will Venable RF Will platoon with Chris Denorfia, meaning that you don’t need to consider him for your team.
7. Cameron Maybin CF 20 less runs, stolen bases, and points off his batting average in comparison from his 2011 campaign. He’s not someone you’d want to invest in anyways, unless you’re desperate.
8. Nick Hundley C He’s a fill-in, until Grandal returns, do you want a guy that hit .157 in 2012?
1. Edinson Volquez Being the ace of this staff isn’t as impressive as it used to be. If you want to take a gamble on a high-strikeout pitcher that has above a 4 ERA, by all means take a late look at him. He had flashes last season, but not consistent enough to be a no-brainer option.
2. Clayton Richard More of a game manager than a strikeout pitcher and has too high of an ERA to be an effective fantasy pitcher.
3. Jason Marquis Hasn’t thrown 100 strikeouts in 3 seasons, but hasn’t had stability either. Look elsewhere.
4. Eric Stults Statistically the best Padres pitcher last season at 8-3 and a 2.91 ERA in 14 stars. Don’t try to gamble on a fluke season, especially when Stults is on the wrong side of 30.
5. Freddy Garcia He’s a band-aid free agent from the Yankees that could make the rotation. Hasn’t thrown 100 strikeouts in over 6 seasons, he’s got a horrible ERA, I don’t know why you would even ponder his name.
6. Casey Kelly If there’s a pitcher to invest in, it would be this guy. He’s one of their top pitching prospects. He generates a lot of ground balls, he’s a game manager, and an inning eater. The only probelm is that he plays for the Padres.
RP-Huston StreetHe was injured throughout 2012, he’s typically a 3 ERA pitcher, but could improve in a full season with Petco Park. He’s a solid top 10 option on draft day.
Jedd Gyorko is one of the rising stars in baseball. He’s the top second base prospect in the game. If you’re in a dynasty league or just looking for next big thing at such a thin position, this is your guy. I’m not saying he’s going to be Robinson Cano, but to quote Snap! “He’s got the power”. Gyorko hit .311 & with 31 home runs in 2012, and will look to make the club this spring. He’s played 3B throughout his minor league career, but says that 2B is his natural position. Since second base is such a tough position to solidify, Gyorko could be a sneaky pick in the later rounds when no one is expecting it.
If there’s a catcher that you want to invest in, it’s this guy. Yasmani Grandal will serve a 50-game suspension, after violating the league’s drug policy, but he’s going to be worth the wait. We’ve seen how the catcher position has added a lot more options in the past three years, with so many rising prospects, and Grandal is one of them. This guy can be a .300 hitter, has the ability to hit 20 home runs, and can be a solid force in such a weak lineup. He’s good enough to bat cleanup, behind Headley, but that won’t be until around mid-season. You shouldn’t have to draft him in a standard league, because of the suspension, so tag him immediately in your post-draft watchlist.