Longest Tenured Padre Venable Traded

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AJ Preller completed his first trade with his former club Tuesday, sending outfielder Will Venable to the Texas Rangers.  

Venable was the Padres longest tenured player.  The Princeton grad was drafted by the organization in 2007 and quickly rose to the majors, showing tantalizing potential as a speedy outfielder with a powerful bat.  The Padres hoped Venable along with Nick Hundley and Chase Headley would comprise a homegrown nucleus that would lead the Padres to October.

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Out of the old group of home grown players, Venable was easily given the most time to rise to his potential, but Preller decided it was finally time to pull the plug.

Venable showed exceptional range at all three outfield positions.  Many runs were saved by his superman-like catches in pivotal moments.

Where Venable really came short of his potential was at the plate.  He was projected to have raw power to right field, and the Padres fully expected him to produce 20+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases every year.  Will showed a glimpse of that potential in 2013, when he clubbed 22 home runs and stole 22 bases to earn team MVP honors.

In typical Padre fashion, the team pounced and locked Venable into a two year $8.5 million deal.  Venable didn’t match his numbers in 2014, nearly cutting his 2013 stats in half.  This year, Venable was mainly used as the 4th outfielder, but did a fine job filling in defensively and pulling his weight offensively.

Venable was always an incredibly streaky hitter for the Padres.  There would be stretches of games that the ball would jump right off of his bat for home runs.  In the slumps, fans could predict when he was about to swing right over an inside slider.

I believe this streakiness was due in large part to the way he was utilized.  I always saw Venable as a 5-7 type of hitter, but he was constantly asked to hit at the top of the lineup.  With a .252 lifetime average, this never seemed to be in the best interest of the club.  Furthermore, his role was constantly being changed from leadoff to lower in the lineup.  You can’t exactly demand Venable to hit for power when you are begging him to get on base at the top of the lineup.

 Venable should be a nice acquisition for the Rangers.  While his bat was streaky at best, he always had superb range at all three outfield positions.  He should fill in nicely for the often injured Josh Hamilton.   

I like this move, Venable was set to hit free agency at the end of the year, so dealing the outfielder allows the Padres to restock the farm a bit, and tryout Travis Jankowski for 2016.

The move also signifies change.  Players like Venable, Headley, Hundley, or Chris Denorfia were great, friendly Padres.  Guys that you want to cheer for.  But nice guys don’t win, they finish 4th in the NL West every year.

I am eager to see what the insertion of new young players will bring to the ball club.  Hopefully this fresh blood will play with a fiery desire to reach the playoffs with the Padres in the 2016 all star year.

Keep the faith!

What do you think of the Padres trading Will Venable?  Did they not get enough in return?  Will he be missed?

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