Padres Editorial: My Padres 2015 Season Predictions
By Nick Lee
Surprise stories of 2015
The saying “hitting is contagious” becomes a reality. A few returning Padre players catch the fire of the newcomers, especially Yonder Alonso. He has a “breakout” year, and by breakout I mean hitting higher than .250 with more than 10 home runs. Also, Jedd Gyorko will bounce back now that he has more protection in the lineup. In fact, he could be the one doing the protecting for a guy like Kemp or Upton.
Another surprise will be that the Padres will send at least two players to the All-Star Game. My prediction is that Justin Upton and Andrew Cashner will get All-Star nods. The Padres have sent just two position players to the Mid-Summer Classic in the last 5 years (Everth Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez). Upton has great numbers at Petco Park and is my pick for a fast start to 2015.
Lastly, the Padres will hit at least 130 home runs as a team in 2015. Some forget that the Padres pre-off-season frenzy had some potential pop in the lineup. Gyorko, Alonso and Venable can all hit for power when healthy. We have also seen pop from guys like Tommy Medica and Rymer Liriano. The Padres hit 109 big flies last season.