Tommy Pham brings a wealth of knowledge to a very young San Diego Padres and believes that consistency and effort are two key ingredients to winning.
When the San Diego Padres acquired Tommy Pham in early December, the trade signified a direction towards reducing the number of strikeouts while procuring a natural-born leader whose work ethic speaks for itself. While they will miss Hunter Renfroe‘s bat in some respect, the fact of the matter is that he struck out far too often with a career-high 31.2 percent whiff rate in 2019.
Pham, 31, came up through the St. Louis Cardinals organization and produced his best year in 2017, slashing .306/.411/.520 with 23 home runs and 73 RBI in 128 games (144 OPS+). He was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays at the trade deadline in 2018 and built off his success in two seasons there.
He spoke with Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union-Tribune and touched on what the biggest key to success is:
"“The little things,” Pham said. “The consistency of doing the little things and also effort. I believe effort is a huge part, so you combine those two ingredients and it’s going to create success.”"
And he indicated that his time in Tampa taught him how to remain focused while having fun. Pham also stressed the importance of having an edge to your game in order to be successful due to the high level of competition across the league.
I firmly believe that the addition of Tommy Pham to this young Padres’ roster is going to be the perfect marriage, and I liken it to the Chicago Cubs adding a Ben Zobrist or the Boston Red Sox adding a David Ortiz. Those types of veteran players who have a proven track record added to young, upstart teams, have resulted in sustained success.
And I am not alone in that belief as MLB recently tabbed Pham as a member of the All-Underrated Team stating:
"“Over the past three years, Pham’s 13.6 FanGraphs-calculated WAR is seventh among all outfielders, slightly ahead of Bryce Harper’s 12.8 mark. Pham doesn’t post gaudy homer totals, but he puts up consistently good at-bats. Among all qualified hitters in that three-year span, Pham’s .381 on-base percentage ranks ninth in baseball.”"