How Much May the Padres Offense Have Improved?


Let’s assume the 40-man roster is set.  Have the Padres really improved their offense all that much?  One can only hope – actually one can do more than that, and we will.  We’ve alluded to it before, but Bill James predicts each Major Leaguer’s offensive stats for the next season.  For some players, there will not be a Bill James prediction.  In those cases, we will use the available predictions (fan polls, Rotochamp, etc). Using those predictions, let’s compare this upcoming team to the 2011 team.

First, the 2011 team’s quick stats.  The Padres scored 593 runs, collected just 1,284 hits, and swatted a ridiculously low 91 home runs.  They ranked last or close to last in almost every offensive category.  The focus this offseason has clearly been to improve the offense.  Using the current 40-man roster – Bill James’ predictions account for estimated playing time – we’ll determine just how improved this team may be.

* Used the Rotochamp projection since there was not a Bill James Projection available.
** Used last season’s numbers since there were no projections available

According to projections, the Padres offense should improve next season.  They are projected to hit 40 more home runs and score 85 more runs.  That’s certainly encouraging, but these numbers are hardly written in stone.

There are players on the 40-man roster currently who may not be there to start the season, may be traded, or may not actually get called up.  There are players whose projections may have been based on non-Petco production (i.e. Carlos Quentin).  There are also player who did not have a projection at all, and we had to simply use their 2011 numbers.  We can only hope that if those players see time with the big league club, they can improve on their 2011 numbers.

While the games aren’t played on paper, these projection paint a very nice picture for the offense-deficient Padres.  Had the team actually hit 131 home runs and scored 678 runs in 2011, they would have ranked near the middle of the pack in the National League rather than toward the bottom.  The pitching staff will still have to hold up their end of the deal, but if the team can come anywhere close to these projections, we should see a few more wins out of this team.