Padres Editorial: My Padres 2015 Season Predictions
By Nick Lee
Sep 23, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Matt Kemp (27) hits a two-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
I got way more into this than I should have. Crunching all these numbers took a lot of time away from homework and studying for exams. But it was worth it. Although we usually find out predictions are wrong and pointless, they are fun nonetheless. I compared last year’s San Diego Padres with the newcomers that will replace them in the 2015 lineup and lined up their WAR, runs scored and RBI next to each other. If the Padres get the same, or at least similar, production out of the likes of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers (I counted his 2013 rookie season instead) and Derek Norris in 2015 that they produced in 2014, there will be some significant differences to the Padres offense this season.
New Players vs. 2014 Lineup
I ran the numbers of Kemp, Myers and Upton against the 2014 outfielders of Seth Smith, Will Venable, Chris Denorfia and Cameron Maybin. I also ran Norris’ numbers against the combo of Rene Rivera and Yasmani Grandal. Obviously, there was a huge difference. When combining their runs scored with RBI, there was a difference of 119 runs with our shiny new hitters in the lineup. The WAR differential was +2.3. If we add 119 runs to the final run total of 2014 (535), the Padres have a total of 654. That would be very close to the value of the AL Champion Royals and also just shy of the league average. Imagine how many more games the Padres would have won in 2014 with 119 more runs scored. Wow.
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Now, obviously this is just a fun simulation and nothing concrete. Lots of factors could come into play during the season that I didn’t factor in, most notably, injuries. We are hoping they all can give the team 130+ games this year, but that may not be realistic. The four big acquisitions averaged 129 games played last year. If they can give the Friars around that same number or perhaps even more, good things will happen.