There’s no doubt that the San Diego Padres are in a much better spot now than they were just two months ago. With added talent and lineup protection, we could see some extraordinary results.
Wil Myers‘ talent is undeniable. The San Diego Padres know that. The Tampa Bay Rays knew that. As do most of the pitchers he’s faced over the course of his five-year career.
A third-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2009, Myers was instantly pegged as a future star. The way his 6’3″, 205-pound frame moves a bat through the strike zone can only be described as a thing of beauty.
Again, there’s no denying that the 27-year-old, now-right fielder of the Padres’ is one of the handfuls of most-talented players in all of MLB. In a full season last year, Myers’ WAR was a respectable 2.1 and the season before it was an above-average 3.2.
Maybe all Wil Myers really needs is another superstar protecting him in the lineup for him to turn into the 5 WAR player he’s been projected to be. Maybe he’s the quintessential number-two, complemental, guy. Enter Eric Hosmer.
Padres are hoping Hosmer will offer Myers enough protection to flourish
Even if Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer don’t bat back-to-back in the San Diego Padres’ batting order, having them in the same third of the lineup most-certainly figures to drive opposing pitchers bonkers.
Let’s imagine a 2-3, or even 3-4 set-up for these two in the batting order. Leading off the game in a 2-3 situation, whoever is on the bump for the opposing teams will need to immediately get down to business in order to avoid a win-probability-damaging big first inning.
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Let’s say they are in the three-hole and cleanup spot, respectively and, for example, Freddy Galvis gets on base ahead of them. Both of these guys are 1) power threats, 2) advanced contact hitters, 3) excellent situational hitters.
Having a runner on base for either Myers or Hosmer throws the pitcher (and the defense, for that matter) into even more flux since they know anything and everything could come into play.
Whether a stolen base attempt is coming, a hit-and-run (which Hosmer excels at, by the way), or just giving either of these two professional hitters the chance to see more than a couple of pitches, it won’t bode well for pitchers.
Pitchers are creatures of habit, as are most ballplayers. While some can adapt and adjust to different situations easily, some get rattled. This will be the name of the game for the San Diego Padres; rattle the opposing hurlers.
With the number of weapons that the Friars can hurt you with, having Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers plugged anywhere into the lineup should certainly rattle more than a few MLB teams this year.