San Diego Padres Could Shock The World in 2018, With Some Help

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 18: Luis Perdomo
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 18: Luis Perdomo /

As we creep closer and closer to Spring Training 2018, the more we begin to see about the San Diego Padres projected roster for 2018. It’s becoming clear GM A.J. Preller has been pushing all of the right buttons in this rebuilding phase.

The San Diego Padres have been in the process of rebuilding this franchise into a contender for some time now. Friars general manager A.J. Preller has made a number of effective moves in his time at the helm of baseball operations.

From bringing in Wil Myers to selecting Allen Cordoba in the Rule-5 draft, the future foundation of the San Diego Padres is taking shape. Extending the contract of closer Brad Hand should secure some additional wins over the next few seasons. That’s a luxury the Padres haven’t really had since Trevor Hoffman was here.

Clayton Richard, Luis Perdomo, and Dinelson Lamet give the Friars capable top-three starters and the Padres back-and-front ends of their bullpen could turn out to be a strength. The addition of Kazuhisa Makita and the formidable combination of Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen has the potential to stifle hitters in the late innings.

For the San Diego Padres to contend, they’ll need a lot of breaks

In a perfect world, everything will come up roses for the San Diego Padres in 2018. Manuel Margot will need to put his development process into hyper-speed and join elite Padres company on their list of players with 20/20 seasons. That goes same for Jose Pirela, Hunter Renfroe, Carlos Asuaje, and even Austin Hedges.

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All of the Padres young stars-in-the-making have a ton of potential and are projected to get a ton of playing time this season.

If everything falls the Friars way and all of their MLB-ready prospects take leaps-and-bounds this season, the San Diego Padres could find themselves contending in a stacked NL West.

With Clayton Richard and Luis Perdomo’s propensity to induce groundballs and the Padres infield defense the best it’s been in years, a lot of the tough breaks the Friars took last year could work out much better for them this season.

Now just imagine if the San Diego Padres go out and make a significant addition via free-agency before the season starts. Nearly any of the available, mid-to-high-tier free-agents that are still out there have the potential to put this team over the top. An affordable, veteran addition could do wonders for not just the Padres on-field performance, but in the locker room as well.

Next: Three More Days 'Til Pitchers & Catchers Report!

This roster is packed to the gills with young players who need a veteran voice in their ears, providing direction and leadership. If San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller and manager Andy Green can put their heads together and make the right move, we could see a very competitive team in San Diego this season.