The offense of the San Diego Padres has been one of the worst in baseball through the first month of the season, however, are they over-performing?
As of Tuesday morning, the San Diego Padres are hitting .228 as a team. Only the Miami Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, and Colorado Rockies have put up a lower number than the Padres. If we take a look at Statcast’s expected stats, San Diego should be posting a .231 average, so they’re performing almost exactly as expected.
Unfortunately, most of the top hitters in the Padres’ lineup are greatly over-performing at the plate, according to their xBA. Keep in mind, xBA takes into account launch angle, velocity, and hit probability into consideration, removing defense from the equation.
Shortstop Freddy Galvis has the biggest discrepancy between his BA and xBA. After a blazing start to the season, Galvis is currently hitting .243 which is right at the league average of .244. His xBA is 46 points lower, sitting at .197. Ouch.
Galvis isn’t the only hitter outperforming expectations, thus far. Christian Villanueva (.317 BA/.289 xBA), Eric Hosmer (.298 BA/.281 xBA), Austin Hedges (.173 BA/.157 xBA), and Jose Pirela (.254 BA/.239 xBA) are all outperforming their expected stats.
Believe it or not, Franchy Cordero should be slugging even more.
The slugging percentage numbers for San Diego are even more depressing than their batting average numbers. Their current .371 slugging percentage ranks 26th in MLB, however, their .383 xSLG comes ranks 29th, above only the Miami Marlins.
Outside of Villanueva, no on the team is greatly outslugging their expected number. Villanueva’s .088 difference (.707 SLG/.619 xSLG) is the 13th largest difference in the league.
The real story here is Franchy Cordero. Cordero’s current .543 SLG is actually .152 points lower than his .695 xSLG. That would place Cordero within the top 10 of MLB in slugging.
What about wOBA? The wOBA and xwOBA numbers tell much of the same story as slugging percentage, Christian Villanueva is exceeding expectations while Franchy Cordero is lagging behind his expectations.
What does all of this mean for the San Diego Padres?
The biggest takeaway from this is that fans should not be shocked if Freddy Galvis and Christian
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Villanueva begin to slide as the year goes on. Most fans will gladly explain that they could have told you that from day one, however, big starts to the season gave a lot of fans a false sense of this team is.
These numbers also continue the narrative that this particular writer subscribes to; it’s not about rooting for team wins this season, but individual performances.
Guys like Franchy Cordero have a future role and, as seen with these expected numbers, could develop into of the better players in the entire league. The same goes for cornerstone players like Wil Myers and Manuel Margot.
Blame whatever factors you would like, whether it’s the weather on the road or the brutal schedule to begin the year, there’s no denying that the offense is not meeting expectations. Unfortunately, don’t expect any big pick-me-up, if you believe in these expected numbers.