The San Diego Padres infield has been led by breakthrough third baseman, Christian Villanueva.
Austin Hedges, the Padres starting catcher, has had a slow start to the season, hitting .149, but still providing some pop with two home runs. He is already one of the best defensive catchers in the majors but his lack of plate discipline is concerning for the Padres. Hedges is the Padres catcher of the present and future so let’s hope he can show improvement at the plate.
A.J. Ellis, the one-time personal catcher of Clayton Kershaw, is now a member of the San Diego Padres, trying to be a leader in a clubhouse that needs one. In seven games this season Ellis is hitting .150 with an encouraging OBP of .292.
Led by first baseman Eric Hosmer, the Padres have seemingly upgraded defensively at every position this season, but the offensive production remains a work in progress.
Chase Headley and his $13 million contract came back to San Diego to mixed reviews from Padres faithful. The front office raved about his ability to get on base, which has been a major issue for this young club. So far this season, he has three hits, batting an abysmal .100 with an OBP of .250.
Eric Hosmer, the San Diego Padres new All-Star caliber first baseman, has had a seesaw year at the plate. His batting average is sitting at .259 and his OBP is .364 so he is at least getting on base, including getting on base six times during Monday nights game against the Rockies (he went 2-2 with four walks). In order to live up to his contract, he will need to start hitting the ball more and striking out less.
Christian Villanueva has had the best start to the year of any Padres player. He should easily win National League Rookie of the month. He has been hitting .355 with a OBP of .444 while mashing seven home runs and driving in 16 runs. Villanueva made a major statement on April 4th, hitting three home runs in one game.
In addition, he is currently in the midst of a nine game hitting streak during which his average and OBP has spiked from .257 to .355. He has struggled defensively at times but has more than made up for it with his bat this season.
Handed the keys to second base to start the season after a scorching hot spring training, Carlos Asuaje has cooled off considerably during the first month of the season, hitting .226. He has shown flashes recently of his potential at the plate but will need to get on base more consistently if he wants to become an everyday starter and hold off Luis Urias. Defensively he has partnered well with Freddy Galvis, helping the Padres turn 12 double plays while he has been at second base.
Cory Spangenberg, the Padres super utility man, has played in left field, second base, and third base this year. He is currently hitting .212 with two home runs in 52 at-bats. With the Padres finally getting healthy, his playing time seems to be decreasing, but he will always be a useful bat off the bench, as well as a decent late-inning replacement for the Friars.
Freddy Galvis is without a doubt the Padres best fielder and has been a pleasure to watch in 2018. He has amazed Padres fans all season with his defensive excellence, and if he keeps it up will surely win a Gold-Glove at the end of the season. His offensive numbers have also been above average before recently hitting a cold patch, with an average of.244 and an OBP of .343.