With the San Diego Padres 2018 season wrapping up, let’s take a look at three of the biggest disappointments from this year.
What a season for the San Diego Padres. It was the summer of rookies and major league debuts, learning, growing, and evaluating. Unfortunately, that means it was the summer of a lot of bad baseball, there’s no denying that. It was expected with a roster like this. While we have been trying to focus on the positives from the second half of the season lately, it’s time to look at a few performances that were a bit disappointing.
Some of these performances can be fixed and turned around next year, at least we better hope so. Others will more than likely mean the end of the road for certain players, at least in a Padres uniform.
Let’s start with the performance that raised the most eyebrows and caused the most amount of headaches.
Eric Hosmer‘s first season with the San Diego Padres left a lot to be desired.
Per Fangraphs, only Carlos Asuaje, Chase Headley, and Jose Pirela had a fWAR equal or lower to Eric Hosmer’s this season (-0.4). His 92 wRC+ ranks 36th among all qualified first basemen in baseball. Only Ryon Healy of the Seattle Mariners has grounded into more double plays and just three other first baseman recorded more strikeouts in 2018. There’s no sugarcoating this performance from Eric Hosmer, it was bad.
Let me interject with a few positives about Hosmer. The signing of Eric Hosmer told me as a fan that this team just might be serious about winning, soon. Fans can debate whether or not this was the right person to spend $144 million on, however, it was the type of move that the Padres have avoided for too many years.
He can still be an effective player in this system. The ability to go the opposite way and find the gaps (31 doubles) are valuable assets to have in a player. Does having to adjust to National Leauge pitching after seven seasons in the American League warrant any consideration? Possibly.
The fact of the matter is Hosmer posted the highest strikeout rate of his career (21.3%) and his lowest batting average/OBP/slugging percentage since 2012.
His 88.8 mph average exit velocity is his lowest EV in the Statcast era, while the rest of the league feasts on today’s baseballs and produce some of the highest exit velos in recent years. The launch angle has been well documented, so we’ll just point out that it’s currently at -1.0 degrees. Brutal.
One last note on Hosmer. Fangraphs grades his defense at first base as the worst in major league baseball. Let’s hope 2019 brings about much positive change but until then, this season was a big disappointment for a fan base looking to see a $144 million contract in action.