San Diego Padres Projected Bench Players
The bench is where the San Diego Padres will keep a of their developing prospects this season. Other reserve spots will go to proven veterans who can show the youngsters how to carry themselves and to always be ready to be called upon, no matter what the situation is.
As per Jeff Saunders of The San Diego Union-Tribune, yesterday the Padres signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis as a backup/mentor to Austin Hedges, who will almost assuredly begin the year as the Friars’ starting backstop. So with the backup catcher position now solidified, let’s turn our attention to the rest of the bench.
There are no-doubters among this bunch like Cory Spangenberg and Matt Szczur, who will be the Padres primary infield and outfield reserve players. Then there’s Travis Jankowski who will also play some outfield, as well as pinch-hit from time to time.
I’m giving the last two spots on the San Diego Padres bench to rookies Franchy Cordero and Christian Villanueva. Both of these players will gain more experience learning life at the big league level than compared to the false confidence they’d be building while being head-and-shoulders above their opposition, talent-wise, in the minors.
The Pacific Coast League, where the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate (El Paso) plays, is a notoriously hitter-friendly atmosphere. The dry air and high-elevation give the balls a lot more carry and can produce skewed stats for players in the league, both pitchers and batters.
Having Villanueva and Cordero in both The Show, learning from a group of players who’ve been here for a bit, could have a much more positive effect on their development, in my opinion.