We move over from catcher (Norris, Hedges here) to first base. After a 2013 and 2014 riddled with injuries, Yonder Alonso earned the title of injury prone. Despite a productive season, he did little to do away with that perception.
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Going into the season, it appeared as though Alonso would be able to put a bad wrist behind him after failing to play 100 games for the past two seasons. He got off to a hot start. On May 7, he was hitting to the tune of .333/.427/.437/.864. The Cuban-native was drawing walks and getting hits at a frantic pace. Who cared that he had only one home run with an on-base percentage like that. But in a game against Arizona, he injured his shoulder and was out for almost a month.
Upon coming back, he continued his good hitting. That is until he played his last game on September 1 when he suffered a strain in his back. He ended the season with a .282/.361/.381/.742 slashline and a 111 OPS+. His 5 home runs were acceptable given a stellar on-base percentage.
The first baseman was once touted as being a 25 home run and 30 doubles hitter. He has not developed as such. Rather, he has switched his approach such that he tries to get on base and make solid contact.
Overall, his defense was solid. Baseball Info Solutions recorded him as having 9 defensive runs saved and Alonso’s range was above average.
Unfortunately, it’s getting harder and harder to defend Alonso as he played in only 103 games in 2015. The injuries were not due to a nagging wrist as they had been for the previous two seasons. Alonso will be going into his age 29 season. He has proven that he can be productive at the plate and good with the glove. The problem is whether or not he can stay off the DL.
Going into 2016, the Padres have some wiggle room. If GM A.J. Preller traded Alonso, he would be selling low on a player who isn’t earning a high salary. Alonso will be 29 years old and conceivably still in his prime. If he goes down with another injury, the Padres have Wil Myers and Brett Wallace as options. So there is no real impetus to deal him out of San Diego. But three injury-ridden seasons is a pattern. So how much hope can there be for a full 2016?
Running: (He’s a first baseman. Who cares?)
Total Offense: B
2015 Season: C-
Hope for 2016: D+