As the Padres seek improvement in 2017, they ought to find themselves looking within the organization for much of their future hope.
Rebuilding processes are long and difficult, as fans of the San Diego Padres would know. Often times, every little bit of hope is embraced as fans seek reason for optimism.
In San Diego’s current situation, much of this hope comes from their minor league system. Andreson Espinoza is one of the brightest future arms in the game. Hunter Renfroe, Ryan Schimpf, and Manuel Margot are young players who can be committed to the team long term. But the one name that is often left out in these conversations is Luis Sardinas.
A little known infielder who was brought in during the 2016 season, Sardinas has a lot to offer. In 108 at bats in 34 games with the Padres, he hit .287. He also only struck out 23 times, while legging out 6 doubles and driving in 13 runs.
Even more impressive is the 23-year-old’s defense. Versatility is one area in which San Diego could improve upon, and Sardinas brings this. Playing every infield position but first base, the young speedster provides a consistent yet flashy glove no matter where he is placed.
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Given San Diego’s current situation, Sardinas is likely going to play shortstop the majority of the time. If he wins the starting job, excellent, but if not, he still has a role. The Padres could use a utility infielder who can swing the bat, and Sardinas is just that.
Youth is also key in any rebuilding process, because the players must be able to stick around for the long run. Sardinas also has this working for him, as 2017 will be just his fourth major league season.
Before they go any further though, the Padres have to make sure Sardinas is signed. This shouldn’t be overly difficult, as the young infielder does not yet have much name recognition around baseball.
If they use him correctly though, Sardinas will become a key piece of the eventual puzzle. At worst case scenario, the native of Venezuela will serve as a utility infielder. At best though, he could become a dangerous leadoff or two-hole hitter.