As many question marks as there are regarding this year’s edition of the San Diego Padres, there are still a handful of presumably sure things in this Friars’ lineup.
Sure, the San Diego Padres are counting on more than a few unproven players to step up and deliver this year. That shouldn’t discount the possibility of some, most, or all of them doing so, though.
On the other side of that coin, there are a few integral pieces on this squad that are virtual locks to be effective this season, barring any unforeseen injuries or uncharacteristic dry-spells.
When the Padres went out and spent that large amount of money on Eric Hosmer this offseason, they did so, knowing full well that without fail, he would be a huge contributor to the success of this ballclub, both on and off the field.
His career numbers tell the story of Hosmer on the field, but his leadership values can’t really be quantified in statistics. If you need any solid proof, take a look at the Kansas City Royals from 2014-2017.
Peruse their rosters from those years and you’ll see a combination of young-ish players that mostly overachieved. On many occasions, both at the time and even as Hosmer was being wooed by MLB teams this offseason, we’ve heard the tales of Hosmer’s leadership qualities.
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Padres should be a competitive team as long as the dice roll their way
This San Diego Padres team is littered with young players who could certainly use a veteran voice in the locker room to help them through tough times. There are also a few veterans who should benefit from Hosmer’s presence as well.
A couple of these players are guys who I had in mind as “sure things” heading into the year, on varying levels. Wil Myers, who in an article this week from the fantastic Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated.
Myers admitted that, at times, his toughest adversary has been himself. It’s worth the read, for sure.
What this signifies to me, is that if Myers is feeling comfortable 1) he’s going to continue to mash, as he did last year and 2) with Eric Hosmer being around, it should figure to accentuate all of the mental work he’s put in this offseason to an even greater extent.
Jose Pirela could surprise a lot of people this season
Another guy, which may come as a surprise to some readers, who this writer believes will turn out to be a consistent threat on both sides of the field is Jose Pirela. Pirela had an outstanding spring.
With the increased playing time Pirela is sure to see this season for the Padres, he’s certainly looking to build off of the promising last couple of years he’s had while in San Diego.
As long as the young Friars can perform adequately enough to let the big-dogs do what they do, as long as they do it, this should be a competitive San Diego Padres team.