Do these three form a Padres core for 2016 and beyond? Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Building Blocks for 2016?
With the Padres best player Justin Upton likely to leave via free agency – the question of who to build around for 2016 does not have a solid focal point. That said, both Wil Myers and Matt Kemp show signs of positive returns heading into 2016. Matt Kemp might be the frustrating one to watch and this year his pre and post-All Star Breaks were almost too extreme to be very valuable at all in the first half. His second half though shows that he DOES have the body to continue to be productive but can he spread his numbers out a bit more please? Unfortunately the Padres got a break on his salary this year and they will have to pay a significantly higher portion next season. From three million to eighteen million in fact. So for him to have the season he is having this year at his 2015 salary – it’s a win. If we think that he can justify his 2016 salary – I think that would be incorrect and a scary proposition.
Wil Myers is an interesting one. In his short MLB career he has struggled with injuries, and unfortunately this year has been no different. When in the lineup, he is a spark plug at the top of the lineup and has shown good versatility to play first base or corner outfield next season. This verdict will come down to if he can play at least 140 games next year or not.
Yangervis Solarte – When Solarte came in the Chase Headley trade no one knew exactly what to think of him. This year he has hit his way into basically the everyday lineup and after moving around position-wise a lot at the beginning of the season, and has really settled into third base since Will Middlebrooks was sent down to AAA. He leads the team in batting average and has a certain knack for driving in runners as well.
Jedd Gyorko and Yonder Alonso: I combine these two because they were the infielder hold outs from past seasons. Alonso had a good overall season – but is it really what we want from our first baseman? Gyorko has been playing shortstop and showing okay range and once again another nice second half – but with Gyorko and Kemp showing to be second-half only players, won’t the Padres be in big holes by the All Star break year after year?
On the pitching side, Tyson Ross had another very solid season and Andrew Cashner struggled but was also the victim of a lot of bad luck losses, defense, and stayed healthy for a full season. I expect them both to have better seasons in 2016 and continue to be a strong core along with James Shields in the Padres rotation.
Overall Grade: C+
Next: New Acquisition Performances