San Diego Padres: Offseason outfield decisions

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 06: Manuel Margot
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 06: Manuel Margot /

In this edition of my San Diego Padres offseason decisions series, we will discuss the outfield decisions.

Just like we have done in my earlier offseason decisions series, we will discuss the choices the front office will have to make before now and spring training.

In this version of the outfield decisions we will talk about the in-house options only. No free agent signings or possible trade scenarios.

With the affluent depth in the system there are no reasons to have to sign free agent fillers or make trades. The only trades that could be made would be to use that depth to upgrade positions of weakness or that lack depth. Which isn’t a lot.

True, most of the depth is in the lower minors, (at least on the pitching side) but on the outfield side of things, there is a lot of depth on the major league level and in triple-A.

When looking at the options for playing time next year, there are at least eight players to consider for three starting spots, plus two backup spots.

Names like Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe, Jose Pirela, Jabari Blash, and Matt Sczur who are healthy, have been contributors all year. Players returning from injury to consider are Travis Jankowski and Alex Dickerson.

Another name to consider would be triple-A outfield prospect Franchy Cordero. The season he is having for El Paso and the brief time he spent with the Padres shows an exciting power-speed combination.

Others who could make an impact next season are double-A outfielder Franmil Reyes who is having a breakout season. He leads the organization in home runs and RBI, and is on my personal top 30 prospects list.

More from Friars on Base

Nick Torres and Nick Schulz are also names to keep an eye on, both of whom share that same outfield with Reyes. Two other names worth mentioning are triple-A outfielders Nick Buss who leads the pacific coast league in batting average as well as Rafael Ortega who is also batting over .300

In the minors, players who are worth mentioning are Lake Elsinore center fielder Michael Gettys, and Fort Wayne outfielders Buddy Reed, and Jorge Ona. Others in the lower parts of the system include Jeisson Rosario, Tirso Ornelas, Robbie Podorsky, and 2017 third round draft choice Mason House.

Next: Growing pains

The one question to ask is whether the front office will resign the likes of Buss and Ortega to minor league deals for depth purposes or if they plan to ride with the youngsters in the system.

You could definitely make a case for either choice. With that much depth built up, the need to bring back players like the two or signing fillers is no longer a necessity.

The choices in which the front office will be making for this off-seasons outfield decisions is important not just for the 2018 season but for the seasons of expected contention as well.