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 Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Manuel Margot #7 of the San Diego Padres. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

What can we expect

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I don’t know if hitting the ball harder is something that can be taught or learned, but I don’t see anything else in the numbers that shows a ton of hope for improvement.

His walk rate and strikeout rate are average with the rest of the league and his BABIP shows he’s not unlucky when he does put the ball in play.

I really think it just comes down to putting the ball in play more — perhaps dropping his K% from 20 to 15 — and hitting the ball hard (getting his hard-hit percentage at least over 40).

His linedrive percentage of just 16.4 percent in 2019 was terrible as well. That means he was either hitting weak groundballs or flying out. And he doesn’t have the power for those flyouts to leave the park consistently enough with a HR/FB percentage of 9.8 percent.

To answer the question in the title, I don’t think we are giving up on Margot too soon, I think we know exactly what he is at this point.

And I don’t mean that in a bad way, Margot is a very valuable player.

We haven’t even touched on his defense. He had 6 DRS in 2019 and a UZR of 5.8, which both ranked in the top 15 among outfielders last season.

But unless Margot can suddenly find a way to make more consistent, hard contact, I don’t see him ever blossoming into an every day player.

The ceiling for Margot at the big league level is a .260/.320/.425 hitter with 15-20 home runs and 20-plus stolen bases that plays Gold Glove defense.

That’s a pretty good player, and a ceiling I think Margot can reach. But again, this is the season he has to prove it’s possible.

A good thing going for him is that I feel he’s the only true center fielder on the roster. And for that reason alone he’s going to make this roster out of spring training and at the very least will be a defensive replacement.

I’m certainly hoping for the best with Margot and I would love to see him reach his potential in 2020. However, I’m not counting on that, and with the competition in the outfield I’m not sure he’s even going to get the chance to prove what’s possible because he won’t get consistent playing time.

Next. Reviewing the offseason: What could have been. dark

In conclusion, I think Margot is a very good fourth outfielder who could fill-in if a starter got injured. But I don’t think he has what it takes offensively to be an every day outfielder on a winning team.

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