2018: Record: 66-96
2018 Finish: 5th in the NL West, 14th in the NL
Surprises in 2018
Hunter Renfroe has arrived. After beating up the Pacific Coast League in 2016, and a few sputtering seasons with the Padres, Renfore finally showed up.
In 2017, Renfroe hit 26 home runs and 25 doubles, almost 50% of his total hits were for extra bases. The only problem was he was only producing at a .231 clip. That would change in 2018, as his average rose 17 points to .248. Baby steps, for sure, but definitely steps in the right direction.
Freddy Galvis arrived in San Diego as a bit of an after thought. After the Phillies decided to give Scott Kingery a shot at playing every day, they didn’t see the need to keep Galvis for much longer. In all honesty, that’s a fair assumption. In the last few years, the Phillies infield has shifted from “Look at these young studs” to “Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph might not be the guys.” Galvis was the first casualty of that change.
Galvis serves primarily as a stop gap between Erick Aybar, who was released in 2017, and Fernando Tatis, Jr., who is the #2 ranked MLB prospect. Is Freddy’s time in San Diego going to be short? Sure. Is he making the most of it? Oh, yeah.
Kirby Yates was claimed off waivers by the Padres in early 2017. After suiting up for three different team, Yates got his first looks as a Padre and didn’t seem to be all that special. For a pitcher with a career ERA of 4.02 and WHIP of 1.192, he was fine. Just fine. I think Kirby Yates heard someone say that and he was like, “I’m not going to another team.”
Kirby Yates was the most dominant pitcher out of the Padres bullpen, including the trade deadline target Brad Hand. Defying expectations, Yates posted a 2.14 ERA, 0.921 WHIP, and a 12.9 K/9. That’s astounding. Yates was found money in a real way for San Diego and he’ll be a part of this team for a while as they continue to get better.
Disappointments in 2018
Eric Hosmer was the biggest signing of the 2018 offseason, and he did not disappoint the other teams that didn’t sign him.
Hosmer’s 2018 was lackluster
Sure, there’s being a team player and putting the team before anything else. That’s quite alright. There’s also doing that and sinking to the level of Freddy Galvis. Wil Myers played just over half the season and still has numbers that rival Hosmer. When you come to town an All-Star making $21 million, you should meet that expectation. Eric Hosmer failed that, and frankly, that’s a problem.
Looking Ahead to 2019
The San Diego Padres had 10 prospects in the MLB Top 100 Prospects ahead of the 2018 season, and they’ll surely have more in 2019. There are teams that are rebuilding and then there’s the San Diego Padres, who just seems to keep getting younger and better.
The Padres are a young team, with their 26.9 average age being the third lowest in the league. With Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer and Luis Perdomo all still in the early to mid-twenties, the Padres the pitching staff alone looks to be solid for years with Mackenzie Gore, Chris Paddock, and Adrian Morejon waiting in the wings.
Will that impact be felt in 2019? Probably not. However, this is a great time to be a rebuilding team in the NL West. With the Diamondbacks starting over with a seriously depleted farm system, the Giants spending money on players who don’t show up, the Dodgers desperately trying to win a World Series at any cost, and the Rockies just trying to figure out how to continue winning, the Padres are in a perfect spot to wait things out.
It’s only a matter of time before the fireworks really begin at PetCo Park.