Fantasy Baseball Team Previews – San Diego Padres

tyson ross

The San Diego Padres made all the right moves and noises in the build up to 2015, but they ended the season with a whimper, winning just 74 games. They have had a quieter offseason this year and have actually cleared out some of the guys they acquired, be it through trade or free agency. The Padres are not going to be much watch TV this season and there isn’t anything ground breaking coming from the minors so they may be a team you only see when your favourite team faces them.

This offseason has been fairly low key for the Padres with the biggest news being the trade of Craig Kimbrel to Boston in return for a couple of prospects who are perhaps a year away from making an impact. They also lost Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy to free agency with Jedd Gyorko being traded to the Cardinals. They added Jon Jay and Jabari Blash via rule five to cover the Upton departure, which won’t have much fantasy value. The addition of Alexei Ramirez to play SS could have some fantasy impact and the arrival of Fernando Rodney to replace Craig Kimbrel will definitely have some sort of impact but whether it is a positive one is a question mark.

AL East

AL Central AL West NL East NL Central NL West

Baltimore

Chicago WS Houston Atlanta Chicago

Arizona

Boston

Cleveland Los Angeles A Miami Cincinnati Colorado

New York Y

Detroit

Oakland New York M Milwaukee

Los Angeles D

Tampa Bay

Kansas City Texas Philadelphia Pittsburgh

San Diego

Toronto Minnesota Seattle Washington St. Louis

San Francisco

 

Projected Starting Line-up

  1. Cory Spangenberg (vs RH), Jose Pirela (vs LH)
  2. Wil Myers
  3. Yangervis Solarte
  4. Matt Kemp
  5. Derek Norris
  6. Alexei Ramirez
  7. Jon Jay (vs LH), Jabari Blash (vs RH)
  8. Melvin Upton Jr.

Matt Kemp, OF

Can Matt Kemp provide a value in 2016 or will being the only show in town damage his fantasy value?

Can Matt Kemp provide a value in 2016 or will being the only show in town damage his fantasy value?

Long gone are the days that Kemp was a 30/30 threat in baseball, but promisingly he has now managed to play 150-plus games in two straight seasons and hit more than 20 homers in each. 2015 saw a slight jump in stolen bases from 8 to 12 but this was countered by a 0.022 drop in his batting average. The injuries will always be a concern with Kemp but after two full seasons you have to give him some benefit of the doubt, and I have him projected for 22 homers with 10 steals at a 0.270 batting average. Add in a combined 160 runs and RBI and I have him around my 20th outfielder spot entering the season. He is currently being drafted as the 24th outfielder 14 picks behind Jason Heyward. Of the group being drafted behind him I have him the highest so grabbing him 80th overall as a second outfielder is definitely something I would be happy to do.

Wil Myers, 1B/OF

Myers got off to a good start in 2015 before his season was derailed with injuries. In 225 AB’s he hit eight homers and stole five bases whilst hitting 0.253. He cut his strikeout rate from 24% to 21% and upped his walk rate to nearly 11% which is all signs that the once heralded prospect is starting to put it all together. This season I have him projected for 19 homers and 10 steals with a 0.250 batting average and 140 combined runs and RBI. Those numbers put him outside my top 50 outfielders and just outside my top 15 first basemen. He is currently being drafted outside the top 250 overall which is a fraction low for outfielders but a great bargain at first base where he is going behind the likes of Mitch Moreland and Ryan Zimmerman.

Alexei Ramirez, SS

During his career Ramirez has shown the ability to hit either 15-20 homers or steal 20 bases, but other than 2014 he has failed to put both of them together in a single year. In 2015 he hit 10 bombs and stole 17 bases but hit a mediocre 0.249, the worst of his career. The move from Chicago to San Diego is not going to help his power and there could be some initial teething problems with a move to the NL. I have Ramirez projected for nine homers and 18 steals with his batting average rebounding back to around 0.270, his career average, but the runs and RBI could be an issue if he bats sixth all season. This puts him 11th among shortstops for me which is great value given that he is currently being drafted 26th overall and outside the top 275 overall. Definitely someone I am looking at late in drafts if I missed out on Aybar as a late round shortstop.

Derek Norris, C

Norris had the best year of his career in 2015 and at times was a top end catching option. Entering this season, I expect him to put up similar numbers to last season with 13 homers, a 0.250 batting average and close to 120 combined runs and RBI. Those numbers make him a starter in 12 team leagues in both formats who can be got 226th overall on average and could actually be closer to the top five if things break his way this season.

Any Other Business?

  • Yangervis Solarte, 1B/3B: A solid but unexciting option who garners most of his value in fantasy from being projected to bat third in this line-up. There is a slim chance he can go up another level in 2016 and hit between 15-20 homers but mostly his value lies in a decent average with solid counting stats.
  • Cory Spangenberg, 2B: Spangenberg has become the utility man of this San Diego team and has the chance this spring to nail down an everyday job atop this order. If he can do that then he would become a top 10-15 second base option. In a platoon I have him projected for seven homers, 17 steals, 105 combined runs and RBI with a 0.270 batting average. Someone I definitely going to be watching this spring and may even draft as a middle infield option late in roto leagues.

Projected Rotation

  1. Tyson Ross
  2. James Shields
  3. Andrew Cashner
  4. Brandon Maurer
  5. Robbie Erlin

Tyson Ross

Tyson Ross is not far off being in the bottom of that top tier of pitchers and he is firmly entrenched in the number two tier. Ross makes up for a slightly inflated WHIP compared to the rest of the top 25 with a close to 3 ERA and a strikeout rate of better than nine K’s per nine. Ross is a nice value at around pick 90 as a fairly safe number two option if you didn’t grab two of the ace tier.

James Shields

After a poor 2015 can Shields bounce back and be a bargain in 2016?

After a poor 2015 can Shields bounce back and be a bargain in 2016?

 

Shields has his worst year since 2010 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.334 WHIP which can mainly be attributed to an increase of his walks per 9 to 3.6. His strikeout rate last year was actually a career best 9.6 K/9 but the control is something he will need to sort in his second year in the NL. At 34 how much he can bounce back is probably limited but if he can get close to a 3.50 ERA and get the WHIP down below 1.3 and maintain some of the improved strikeouts then he could be a serviceable number four starter for fantasy teams. His current ADP is pretty much spot on where is valued so he isn’t someone you need to reach for but also he is someone who doesn’t need to fall far to be a value, on ESPN he is going a crazy 220th overall outside the top 60 pitchers!

Andrew Cashner

A spot starter in 12 team leagues and a bottom of the rotation guy in deeper formats. Cashner had a tough 2015 after two good seasons previously. Isnt going to provide a great strikeout rate or ratios and that makes him tough to put much stock in even late in drafts.

Closer:

Fernando Rodney

It is so tough to much stock in a reliever as variable as Rodney. He has had some elite seasons as a reliever when people were counting him out and then he has blown up when people trusted him. He will have some ugly outings and he will have some impressive ones but right now it is hard to much stock in him having 30-plus saves. He is well outside my top 20 relievers because there is next to no job security considering there is a decent bullpen behind him.

Next Man Up:

Kevin Quackenbush, Casey Janssen, Drew Pomeranz

An interesting group who could probably all be better than Rodney as a closer, but outside of Janssen they don’t have the track record as a closer. Quackenbush is perhaps the favourite to be the next man up but the relatively low strikeout rate as a reliever makes him a tough back-up to draft. Janssen has the most experience but doesn’t have the stuff he once did so is probably third in the pecking order considering he isn’t even on a major league contract right now.

Prospect Potential

  • Travis Jankowski, OF: Much like Mallex Smith Jankowski is all built on speed with next to no power. He hasn’t wowed people the way Smith has and has slowly meandered his way to the majors. Going to have value at times for fantasy solely for his speed upside but he may be closer Billy Hamilton with his hitting prowess than Smith will likely be.
  • Manuel Margot, OF: Has serious speed and hopefully there is some development of power this season and then we could be looking at a top 20 outfielder. Whether he is ready for the majors this season is a question mark, and it won’t be until late, but if he does come up then he could be a valuable source of steals late.
  • Hunter Renfroe, OF: Renfroe has power as his calling card but you would ideally be looking for more than 20 between AA and AAA from a 24-year-old. According to prospect sites his defence is a big question mark meaning that a move from OF to 1B may be on the cards. This is a guy who could be waiting for the likely inevitable Wil Myers injury for his first taste of major league action. I would say you don’t want to own him on his first trip as there could be a lot of strikeouts with spontaneous power.

 

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