The beginning of the 2017 season has had its ups and downs for the San Diego Padres. Despite the low points, power hitting has been one area on display.
The San Diego Padres have recovered from a difficult start by taking the first two games at Petco Park against division rival San Francisco to even their record at 3-3. Taking the first six games as a whole into consideration, the Padres are what their record is, and their play has accurately reflected it.
The club has experienced clear ups and downs over the course of this first week. Both the pitching and hitting for the most part has been wildly inconsistent. There has been, however, one area San Diego has had continued success in, power hitting.
Even in a lopsided Opening Day defeat, Ryan Schimpf got the Padres’ offense going with a solo shot, his first of hopefully many in 2017. The very next day, Yangervis Solarte‘s third inning shot was key in the team’s first victory.
Hunter Renfroe‘s solo blast on Wednesday served as the club’s only run in a disappointing 3-1 loss, and Wil Myers‘ two-run home run proved to be the only offense in the series finale against the Dodgers. Four days, four home runs for San Diego, even while losing three of the games and facing one of baseball’s best pitching staffs.
In Friday’s thrilling home opener, and unlikely source of power, rookie Manuel Margot, went deep twice in a matter of approximately 45 minutes. Through five games, the Padres hit six home runs, two of which came off of Margot’s bat, who surprisingly leads the team.
The ratio actually appears similar to 2016, in which the Padres belted out 177 bombs in their 162 regular season games, placing them near the middle of Major League Baseball. This very small sample size doesn’t really prove anything about how powerful the lineup will be this season, but it is a positive indication that more baseballs will be flying out of Petco Park than in the past.
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When examining the lineup, it makes sense that San Diego would be more productive this season in the power category. With powerful rookies such as Renfroe and Schimpf starting a year in the majors for the first time, sources of power have expanded. Since Myers, the face of the franchise, can also approach 30 blasts, the lineup is well rounded when it comes to power.
It is worth taking into consideration that home runs are up across both leagues in general, as a greater percentage of total offensive production has come by way of the long ball over the past several seasons. This, coupled with the fact that San Diego’s pitching staff is still a major concern, curbs the enthusiasm of fans in response to what could be a 200+ home run season for the Padres.
The Padres can only hope that Margot’s early show of power is no coincidence, and that the home runs hit by the rest of the lineup come at opportune times. If this is the case, an improvement in power stats won’t only make 2017 more entertaining for fans, it may show up in the win column.