San Diego Padres: Three candidates to leadoff this year

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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JUNE 26: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres looks on against the Baltimore Orioles in the fir at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 26, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JUNE 26: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres looks on against the Baltimore Orioles in the fir at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 26, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Trent Grisham

Trent Grisham made his highly-anticipated debut last year with the Milwaukee Brewers. He primarily served as the team’s leadoff hitter, slashing .254/.354/.426 with four doubles, one triple, five home runs, and 19 RBI (101 OPS+) over a 33-game sample. He also saw time batting second, third, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth in the order but no more than seven games in each spot.

The former 15th overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft is looking to make a splash this season with the Padres, likely as the team’s center fielder, and could potentially slide into the batting order as the new leadoff man.

At Triple-A San Antonio, Grisham posted a .410/.496/.781 line with six doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and 21 RBI while drawing 18 walks in 26 games batting leadoff. A .781 slugging percentage is crazy high, and I did a double-take when reviewing the numbers to make sure I wasn’t looking at his OPS.

On Thursday, Grisham was Jayce Tingler’s leadoff man, so they appear to be trying him out there as a potential long-term fit. Heading into 2020 with just 51 big-league games under his belt, consistency will be a big factor in Grisham’s development, so I could see a scenario where he’s inserted ninth in the order to take some of the pressure off.

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Once he feels comfortable enough to do so, then you could potentially consider him as the leadoff man.

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