San Diego Padres Season Preview, NL West & Team Awards Predictions

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

The San Diego Padres are afforded no luxuries playing in the National League West. Let’s take a look at what damage the Friars can do in what could be the most dominant division in all of baseball.

The San Diego Padres are in the middle of a rebuilding phase, this much is common knowledge. They certainly sped up the process by bringing in Freddy Galvis and Eric Hosmer, but being mired in arguably the toughest division in MLB won’t make their turnaround easy.

We’ve all heard fans, pundits, and opposing organizations rave about the depth of talent in the Friars’ system, and we’ve talked plenty about it here. Well, now those seeds have begun to sprout.

Heading into this season, the Padres have a handful of starters who are very new to being in those types of positions. Austin Hedges, Carlos Asuaje, Manuel Margot, Franchy Cordero (when he’s healthy again) and Hunter Renfroe are all still very early in their careers.

All of them will be taking on much larger roles this season and may come to be a bit overwhelmed at times.  Having veterans like Hosmer, Wil Myers, Galvis, and A.J. Ellis should provide a nice mixture of experience, exuberance, knowledge, and looseness.

The Pads’ pitching staff is led by Clayton Richard, with a combination of young arms and a seasoned veteran lined up behind him. With the disappointing elbow injury to Dinelson Lamet just days before the season opener, the team is even more shorthanded and under-experienced.

The bullpen seems like it could be a strength for this team. With the newly-extended Brad Hand in the closer’s role and an effective group of Kirby Yates, Kaz Makita, Craig Stammen, and the newly-minted MLB’er, Adam Cimber, this could be a forceful relief corps.

Predictions and Padres Award Winners

With the talent around the division and the unexpected road that lies ahead for the San Diego Padres, it could be anywhere from a 70 win season to a wild-card push. I’m truly at a loss.

But for safety (and readership) sake,  I’m going to go with an 83-79 win-loss record, finishing fourth in the division behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will finish one game out of the second wild-card spot, with a 91-71 record, with the Dodgers winning 101 games and the Rockies winning 92.

Next: A Few Sure Things for Padres This Season

And finally, here are my predictions for team awards. Have a great season everyone!!

MVP: Wil Myers

Rookie of the Year: Franchy Cordero

Pitcher of the Year: Joey Lucchesi (despite making his MLB debut in June)