With an eye towards Opening Day, how does the starting lineup look for the San Diego Padres? We project the batting order for the club.
It is starting to come together for the San Diego Padres. With Opening Day approximately a month and a half away, the roster is starting to come together.
Regardless of what happens in spring training, the starting lineup will feature some familiar names and some unknowns. As of now, just before the full squad reports, we our projection of the team’s lineup looks like this:
Leading off: Left fielder Alex Dickerson. The Padres have options at this spot, but Dickerson best fits the role. With his combination of power and speed as well as low K rate, the Padres have a consistent table setter in the 26-year-old, with the pop in his bat as a bonus. Perfect leadoff option.
Batting 2nd: Center Fielder Manuel Margot. At just 22 years old and just starting his first full season in the majors, this seems like a lot of pressure for Margot. This will be a common theme though as we work through the lineup. At the end of the day, Margot is best qualified to hit second due to his speed and due to the amount of extra base hits he is able to pound out.
Batting 3rd: First baseman Wil Myers. The pivotal third spot in the order is always occupied by a club’s best all around hitter. This season, it is without a doubt Myers. Even though the 2016 All-Star is accustomed to hitting either lower in the order or cleanup, the Padres will need his power and his ability with RISP to serve as the cornerstone of the lineup.
Batting cleanup: Right fielder Hunter Renfroe. Much like Margot, thrusting Renfroe into the 4th spot seems radical. With only 11 major league games under his belt, of course there will be objections to this move. But Renfroe has raw power, hitting 77 career minor league bombs. He also has enough bat control to stay away from a high strikeout rate. And for those who remain skeptical… Got any better ideas?
Batting 5th: Second baseman Ryan Schimpf. As a rookie playing 89 games in 2016, Schimpf hit 20 home runs and drove in 51. He also walked 42 times and struck out just 105. The Padres are fortunate to have the 28-year-old New Orleans native, as he will provide protection in the middle of the order following the club’s most threatening bats.
Batting 6th: Third baseman Yangervis Solarte. Re-signing Solarte was more a matter of solidifying the third base position, especially defensively. Still, one of the longer tenured Padres, a major leaguer since 2014, will be a staple in the lineup. Hitting a respectable .286 and driving in 71 in 2016, Solarte is ready to once again make an impact right away.
Batting 7th: Shortstop Luis Sardinas. The shortstop position has been far from smooth for the Padres in recent memory. While there is still much uncertainty entering 2017, Sardinas should be the starter at least to begin the season, and his solid late September in 2016 is somewhat encouraging.
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Batting 8th: Catcher Austin Hedges. Fans are excited to see few more Padres this season than their new starting catcher. This will technically be the 24-year-old’s third major league season, but Hedges has only made 178 plate appearances. It is an experiment, but the time has come for one of San Diego’s top prospects to enter the every day lineup in a low pressure role.
And finally, of course, the pitcher position. Judging based on the early pitcher and catcher workouts, San Diego is working hard to ensure that each of their possible starters can lay down a bunt. The club can only hope this will work out.
Will the Padres’ lineup on Opening Day look something like this, or will it look completely different? How should it look? Let us know in the comments section below. And, as always, Go Padres!