The last time that the San Diego Padres played a Postseason game was 2006. It’s one of the longest active playoff droughts in the MLB. Here are some reasons that the Padres can end their Postseason drought and play October baseball in 2020.
Multiple Players Added
The Padres have added both position players and pitchers. Some of them include Tommy Pham, Zach Davies, Jurickson Profar and Drew Pomeranz.
Outfielder Tommy Pham is back in the National League after spending some time with the Tampa Bay Rays. In his first six big league seasons, Pham has a line of .277/.373/.472 with 79 home runs and 87 doubles. He has yet to make a Mid-Summer Classic, but that can change this season for Pham.
Pitcher Zach Davies has spent his first five MLB seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s coming off one of his best seasons in 2019 where he posted a 3.55 ERA over 31 starts. His career SO9 is listed at 6.4, so he doesn’t rack up strikeouts like some other guys in the league. However, this could help him keep his pitch count down and get some quick outs.
Jurickson Profar has joined the San Diego Padres. He may be able to be the starting second basemen, although that is not a definite at the time of writing. Since he debuted in 2012, he’s played in six MLB seasons. The first five were with the Rangers, and 2019 was with the Oakland A’s. Heading into the 2020 season, Profar has a career line of .234/.315/.394.
Drew Pomeranz pitched in 17 games for the Padres in 2016. He posted a 2.47 ERA in 102 innings with the club. The southpaw started those games, but he might be used out of the bullpen in 2020. He pitched for the Brewers in 2019 and made 25 appearances with just one being a start.
Younger Guys Gained Experience in 2019
The Padres have had a highly ranked farm system the past few seasons. Some of those guys got big league experience in 2019, which can help them this season. Some of the younger players who gained experience last season include Chris Paddack, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Francisco Mejia.
Chris Paddack had a great first season in the majors. Through 26 starts, he allowed only 31 base on balls and tallied 153 strikeouts. He also had a 3.33 ERA and kept his WHIP under 1.000 at 0.981. Along with those numbers, he allowed well below the league average in hits-per-nine at 6.8. There’s a chance that the Padres could use Paddack as the ace this season.
Fernando Tatis Jr.
Another playing coming off of a solid rookie season is Fernando Tatis Jr. He finished third for NL Rookie of the Year. Tatis Jr. only played in 84 games, but he still managed to hit 22 dingers as part of his 41 total extra-base hits. His slash line for the season is listed as .317/.379/.590 with a .969 OPS. After playing more than half of the teams’ games in 2019, he could be ready for a big year in 2020 that could help the Padres get back to the Postseason.
Catcher Francisco Mejia has struggled to begin his big league career. He debuted in 2017 with the Indians and joined the Padres in 2018. Mejia had 111 MLB games played at the end of the 2019 regular season. Through those games, he has a slash line of .244/.300/.414. However, those numbers are higher in his 2019 season at .265/.316/.438. Building on those 2019 numbers can be a way that Mejia can develop more as a major leaguer.
Along with some of the younger guys returning in 2020, some veterans will be taking the field for another season in San Diego as well. Some of them include Manny Machado, Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer and Kirby Yates.
Four time All-Star Manny Machado is entering his second season with the Padres. He hit 32 homers in 2019 to pass 200 in his MLB career. He can produce a big year from the hot corner this season as his career fielding percentage at third base is .968. Machado made his debut at just 19 years old. He debuted in 2012, and he is just 27 heading into the 2020 season.
Wil Myers has been pretty consistent throughout his career that started in 2013. There have been multiple seasons where he had a batting average near .250 and an on-base percentage around .320. He surpassed 100 career homers this season and is now at 114 in his career. Myers should be a starter again this season.
After two seasons with San Diego, Eric Hosmer has 40 homers, 60 doubles, and 168 RBI. He’s also won four Gold Glove awards throughout his career, all with Kansas City. Hosmer also made the All-Star game in 2016. He hasn’t been to the Postseason since 2015 when the Royals won the World Series, so getting back there this season could be something he’d like to do.
Last year’s closer Kirby Yates made his first All-Star game in 2019. He also finished tied for ninth in the NL Cy Young voting, which was the highest for a reliever that season. Yates made 60 appearances last year and posted a 1.19 ERA. He also had a career best 0.890 WHIP and 41 saves. Another impressive stat is that, in his 60 2/3 innings pitched, he allowed just two home runs. Yates should start the season as closer in 2020.
Feature Image Courtesy of The San Diego Union-Tribune.