San Diego Padres: Are we giving up on Manuel Margot too soon?

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres, right, is congratulated by Luis Urias #9 after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PETCO Park on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres, right, is congratulated by Luis Urias #9 after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at PETCO Park on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

A sign of hope

Could there be hope for Margot as an every day player?

Let’s go back and look at his Minor League numbers and see what they tell us about his potential.

over 1,841 Minor League at-bats he hit .287/.349/.423 with 29 home runs and 164 stolen bases.

In his last full season in the minors back in 2016 he hit .304/.351/.426 with 6 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and an OPS of .777 in 124 games and 517 at-bats.

I think most of us would certainly take those numbers from Margot along with his Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field.

The biggest issue with Margot is his low OBP numbers, which is something the Padres are trying to fix as a team going forward.

It seems unrealistic to think he could suddenly put up a .350 OBP like he did over his Minor League career, but even if he just sat around .325 that would be a huge improvement.

And while he doesn’t take a ton of walks, that’s not the problem. His BB% of 8.6 in 2019 was about league-average among outfielders with over 400 plate appearances.

One big difference from the minors to the majors is his K%. It was around 12 percent in the minors and has skyrocketed to around 20 percent in the big leagues, which is typical.

With his speed, just putting the ball in play a bit more will help his average and on-base numbers go up.

But again, his K% isn’t horrible compared to other big league outfielders. That ranked as the 24th best percentage among outfielders in 2019 with over 400 plate appearances (tied with Mike Trout).

Really, the only thing that sticks out for Margot that he could improve on is his hard-hit percentage. In the same filter used, he ranked 78th among outfielders in 2019 with a hard-hit percentage of just 35.6 percent.

That ranked 11th on the Padres last year among the 14 players who had over 200 plate appearances. Only Ian Kinsler (33.2), Greg Garcia (32), and Austin Hedges (31.6) didn’t hit the ball as hard.

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