After the Padres finished 2014 with an offense that finished last in the National League in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, new general manager A.J. Preller set out to give Bud Black a better toolbox for 2015. With the additions of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Will Middlebrooks and Derek Norris, Preller has already done a quality job of adding talent to a roster that didn’t really have much.
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Still, there is still one position that hasn’t been fully resolved, and that is the top spot in the batting order. With Myers, Kemp and Upton in the outfield, the role will most likely be filled by an infielder. If Cory Spangenberg winds up getting significant playing time at the major league level, he could fill that role. His minor league numbers, along with the cup of coffee he got with the Pads late last season, suggest that he could perform adequately at the top of the lineup.
The key to San Diego’s offensive success will likely rest on the trio of outfielders that Preller has imported. Kemp, Upton and Myers all have excellent power, and have shown the ability to do well as run producers. If Kemp and Upton can put together quality seasons, and if Myers is healthy enough to put up a full season’s worth of numbers, the Padres could wind up in the mix for their first playoff trip since 2006.