Padres Editorial: In Defense of Cameron Maybin, Will Venable, Abraham Almonte and a Poll

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Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Keegan Tatum: In Defense of Abraham Almonte

Between Cameron Maybin, Will Venable, and Abraham Almonte, who was the most productive offensive player in 2014? Abraham Almonte. He had the highest OBP at .305 (Maybin – .290, Venable – .288) and the highest slugging percentage at .378. Unsurprisingly, Almonte also had the highest OPS+ at 98 – not great, but the best.

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But with Wil Myers in CF, the backup will be there more so for defensive purposes. When using only the eye, Maybin has the upper hand, with Venable just behind him. But, really, Almonte has both of his competitors beat…significantly. The biggest knock on Myers in CF is his range. Almonte’s range factor per 9 innings totaled 2.94 last season (and 3.91 while with the Padres). Venable’s was 2.63, Maybin’s was 2.31, and the league average was 2.48. That means that every other game in 2014 Almonte saved a ball from dropping in the game that Maybin and Venable did not.

On the topic of speed. Almonte was a perennial 20+ SB player in the minors. That base-stealing ability did not translate to the majors, as he stole only one base in his 32 games with the Padres. But Venable’s stolen bases declined significantly as he stole only 11 while being caught six times. North of 30-years old, are Venable’s stealing days over? Maybin’s have also declined drastically due to injuries. When healthy will Maybin be able to trust his body enough to extend himself? Will he have the same speed?

Venable going into his age-32 season is likely in decline, while Maybin has been hampered by injuries over the past two seasons. Almonte on the other hand is 25. He is unproven but played well enough. Then again, won’t Maybin have to prove himself after the injuries and drug suspension? Does Venable not have to prove himself after a dreadful 2014?

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