Padres Lineup Additions
The Padres have been very aggressive this offseason and added some power to their lineup. They added a whole bunch of right handed power hitters.
Strengths: Justin Upton hit 29 homeruns in 2014 along with 102 RBI and a .270/.342/.491 slash line. He is a legit power threat as he has hit 20 or more homeruns in 4 of his 7 full big league seasons. His solid .270 average in 2014 is consistent with his .274 career batting average.
Concerns: Upton is a slightly below average outfielder defensively. He is also a free agent after the 2015 season so there is some uncertainty to his long term future with the Padres.
Strengths: Matt Kemp hit 25 homeruns in 2014. He has an excellent career batting average of .292. He is fast and can steal bases if he is completely healthy. His 2011 season shows what he has the potential to do. He hit 39 homeruns with 126 RBI, both which led the National League
Concerns: Kemp is a well below average defensive outfielder, who at this point in his career should not be playing center field. His injuries have slowed him down and decreased his range. He seems to always have an injury bothering him and he reportedly has arthritis in both of his hips. That is not a player I would gamble on being healthy for the next five years.
Strengths: Wil Myers hit 13 homeruns in just 88 games in 2013. He has raw power and, like Kemp, can steal some bases.
Concerns: Myers had wrist problems last year that held him to 87 games in 2014. He also does not play great defense, which could be a problem if he is indeed being trusted to play center field. (https://twitter.com/dennistlin/status/546069014129045506)
Strengths: Will Middlebrooks hit 15 homeruns in 75 games in 2012 and 17 homeruns in 94 games in 2013. He has 30 homerun potential if he can stay healthy
Concerns: Those (potential) 30 homeruns might come with a lot of strikeouts and a .220 batting average. Middlebrooks struggled with thumb problems in 2014. His a .191/.256/.265 slash line does not look great for a starting third baseman, which it seems like the Padres expect him to be.
Strengths: Derek Norris had a great 2014 with a .270/.361/.403 slash line, along with 10 homeruns and 55 RBI. He is also a solid defensive catcher and hit .311/.393/.470 slash line and hit 5 homeruns against LHP.
Concerns: Norris probably isn’t as good as his .270 batting average in 2014 as his career average is .246 and is probably a very good platoon player against LHP.
Conclusion: The Padres have gotten themselves good hitters and legit power threats. However, I think that these moves alone will not get them into the playoffs. The power probably will not play very well at Petco Park. They also got players (Kemp, Myers, and Middlebrooks) that have had injury problems and they will need them to stay healthy to make the playoffs.
- Anthony Castaldi