San Diego Padres: Three players entering make-or-break seasons

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SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 14: Hunter Renfroe #10 of the San Diego Padres reacts after striking out with the bases loaded during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park on July 14, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 14: Hunter Renfroe #10 of the San Diego Padres reacts after striking out with the bases loaded during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park on July 14, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres, Jayce Tingler
SAN DIEGO, CA – OCTOBER 31: Jayce Tingler speaks at a news conference held to announce his hiring as the new manager of the San Diego Padres at Petco Park October 31, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /

This season hopes to be a joyful one for the San Diego Padres, but these three players need to prove they are worth hanging onto long-term.

“Time to prove your worth.” It’s not exactly a comforting statement when it pertains to people’s jobs, but baseball is a business when all said and done. If a player can’t perform at a high level while negatively impacting your team’s overall success, then eventually, there needs to be a parting of the two sides. For the San Diego Padres in 2019, Hunter Renfroe was that guy.

While he consistently posted at least 26 home runs with regular playing time, his strikeout rate was well above average, including a career-worst 31.2 percent last season. Combined with the fact that his BABIP was also below average for his career, the writing was on the wall when the Padres traded him and Xavier Edwards to Tampa Bay for Tommy Pham and Jake Cronenworth.

Renfroe was a major contributor to the Padres’ struggles with strikeouts last year, and that simply isn’t conducive to helping the team reach their ultimate goals. As we look towards the upcoming season, the Friars roster looks sound on paper.

Highlighted by arguably the best bullpen in baseball and a wealth of young talent both in the rotation and in the lineup, the Padres’ arrow is trending up for the next several years.

However, there are a few players on this roster that need to perform well this year, or they could find themselves in another uniform next season. Let’s look.

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