Keenan Mrozek Padres Predictions
In 2015 the Padres finished with the third most strikeouts of any NL hitters. The recently departed Justin Upton, Jedd Gyorko, Wil Venable, Will Middlebrooks and Clint Barmes combined for 1839 plate appearances and 454 strikeouts. ZiPS predicts, usually with a marked degree of accuracy, that their replacements this year, Jon Jay, Jose Pirela, Alexei Ramirez and Travis Jankowski, will accumulate 1941 plate appearances and strike out only 281 times. Alexei Ramirez is predicted to strike out only 65 times in 609 plate appearances! If this holds true the Padres could see a reduction in their strikeout total of over 170 strikeouts, or one less per game. This reduction would have had the 2015 team as the second lowest total in the NL.
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The Mets of last year, who’s offense finished with the sixth most strike outs in the NL, were the first NL pennant winner since the 2008 Phillies to be outside of the five lowest strikeout totals in the NL. When you put the ball in play you force the other team to execute, and eventually they will fail to execute, so less strikeouts means more chances to get on base. I think this will be a huge upgrade for the Padres and result in them winning more games than last year. The last time the Padres finished in the lowest five? 2005, when they won the NL west with a team devoid of stars but with good pitching. Ryan Klesko led the team that year with 18 homers. There is hope Padres fans.