After a breakout season that saw him post a 2.5 WAR, the San Diego Padres young centerfielder has been in a slump thus far in Peoria. That won’t change his Opening Day roster status, though.
Manuel Margot had a phenomenal first full season with the San Diego Padres last year, hitting .263 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI in 487 at-bats. His 2.5 WAR for the year is his most impressive stat, to me, though.
The promise the 23-year-old Dominican native showed both at the plate and in the field, playing fantastic in centerfield, gave Friars fans hope that one of many up-and-coming Padres’ prospects was indeed a can’t-miss guy.
Margot’s struggles this spring for Padres
In 29 plate appearances over nine of the San Diego Padres’ Cactus League games that he’s played in, Manuel Margot has gone 5 for 27 (.185) with seven strikeouts and just two walks.
The fact that one of his hits was a home run should have no bearing on anything. This time is for hitters (and pitchers, for that matter) to focus on doing all of the little things right and practicing good fundamentals.
Even if Margot continues slumping through Spring Training, it won’t change his roster status on Opening Day. There’s simply too much talent there to let him waste even another at-bat in the minors (save for a prolonged, regular-season slump).
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Margot will heavily contribute to the 2018 San Diego Padres
Playing every day this season will surely serve as a make-or-break point in Margot’s young career.
If he can improve on his strikeouts (106 in 487 at-bats) and be a little more patient at the plate (.308 OBP), drawing more walks, it would then open up a ton of other doors for the talented, yet inexperienced, hitter.
If he can show a little more restraint in the box, pitchers will need to attack him differently. Therefore, Margot would likely see more strikes, as he won’t be chasing balls out if the zone as much.
If he can wait for his pitches and take greater advantage of the mistakes made by opposing hurlers, we could see a greatly improved Manuel Margot this season.
If he should falter in the regular-season, though, the Friars have more than enough talent spread out among their outfielders to pick up the slack.