We list goals for our eight projected starting position players for the San Diego Padres as Cactus League play commences.
With spring training games just several days away, the San Diego Padres are in preparation mode. Pitchers and catchers have been working out for a week now, and position players for several days.
Physically, the Padres are getting loose. But mentally, there isn’t any time set aside to prepare. For San Diego, a club with low expectations, mental preparation begins with setting expectations straight. For each player, a personal statistical goal is a good way to begin.
It is easy to make lofty goals that aren’t truly attainable. Players can set the bar high knowing that they will never reach it. But true goals are set in order for it to hurt not to reach them. For the Padres, this means making attainable goals.
With an eye towards the beginning of Cactus League action, we set realistic and attainable goals for each position player who made our projected starting lineup.
Alex Dickerson: .275 BA, 120 H, 23 HR, 80 RBI: The left fielder is poised to take yet another step in the right direction. After playing in just 84 games last season, Dickerson, who should now be a starter, can put up similar numbers over a full season in an every day role. These balanced contributions, if achieved, will give the Padres a much needed boost at the leadoff spot.
Manuel Margot: .290 BA, 150 H, 10 HR, 70 RBI: Margot is not in a major run producing role at the second spot in this lineup However, he can still do his job without hitting many home runs or driving in all that many runs. Through his speed on the base paths and ability to find his way on base in multiple ways, these stats will be sufficient for a first full campaign.
San Diego Padres
Wil Myers: .285 BA, 175 H, 30 HR, 100 RBI: Myers was very productive in his first all star season in 2016. The one area in which he could improve a lot in is batting average, after hitting just .259 last season. One way to do this would be to cut down on his 160 strikeouts, and put more balls in play. Other than that, a repeat of his 2016 campaign with just two more blasts and six more runs driven in would be a success.
Hunter Renfroe: .300 BA, 175 H, 25 HR, 95 RBI: It is extremely difficult to determine what actually is attainable for Renfroe, as he has played in just 11 major league games. But based on his productivity in this small sample size as well as in the minor leagues, there is reason to have high expectations for the 25-year-old at the plate.
Ryan Schimpf: .260 BA, 150 H, 40 HR, 100 RBI: Is it too far fetched to imagine stats like these? With the way Schimpf performed in his rookie season which consisted of 89 games, not at all. A full season with another year of experience under his belt could serve Schimpf very well. As a power hitter, strikeouts are inevitable, but power numbers and run production makes it all worthwhile.
Yangervis Solarte: .300 BA, 175 H, 20 HR, 80 RBI: Extended last month, Solarte has a lot to prove this season. Realistic objectives for the 29-year-old would be to continue his efficiency at the plate, even if it means he isn’t the most productive when it comes to driving in runs. Solarte should aim for a high batting average this season, decreased strikeouts, and more extra base hits. These results are plausible, as Solarte is still in his prime physically and dealing much less with 2016’s distractions.
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Luis Sardinas: .270 BA, 160 H, 8 HR, 60 RBI: Sardinas brings a lot to the Padres besides what he can do at the plate. Still, given his late season success in 2016, there is potential for the shortstop if he enters the season with realistic expectations. Performing his role adequately would mean keeping his average as high as possible and finding ways to get on base, knowing that his power numbers and run producing statistics won’t be the highest.
Austin Hedges: .260 BA, 150 H, 20 HR, 60 RBI: San Diego’s main goal when it comes to Hedges is to alleviate as much pressure from the new starting catcher as possible. His value defensively is what makes Hedges most promising, but he can still make contributions at the plate. A full season will allow the 24-year-old to find a groove, which will hopefully allow his power numbers to take off. At eighth in the order, the Padres won’t be expecting an all-star caliber offensive campaign. In fact, these stats would make his contributions well worth promoting him to the starting role.
Defining success is one of the first steps for every baseball club and player. Both individually and as a team, setting goals is critical, especially when expectations are low. For the Padres, reaching these goals would signal progress and undoubtedly yield better results in the win column.