Second base is arguably the most glaring hole on the San Diego Padres roster. Will Jurickson Profar be able to produce enough?
I don’t think it’s outlandish to think that the starting second baseman for the San Diego Padres isn’t even on the roster yet. The team acquired Jurickson Profar early in the offseason, but the front office seems concerned about his defensive abilities. The 27-year-old committed 13 errors at the position last season with the Oakland Athletics, but just one the year before with the Texas Rangers.
2018 was also a breakout season, in what seemed like a decade in the making, for Profar – slashing .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI (107 OPS+). Could the Athletics defensive shifts have played a role in Profar’s mistakes?
Perhaps, but the Athletics committed the fourth-fewest number of errors last season. So if Profar isn’t the long-term answer, who is? The Padres added Brian Dozier on a minor-league contract days before the opening of exhibition games.
Now a little over two weeks into Spring Training, we’ve had a small sample to evaluate, and well…the position still looks grim.
- Jurickson Profar: .227/.261/.409, 1 HR, 3 RBI
- Brian Dozier: .263/.333/.263, 1 RBI
- Greg Garcia: .300/.364/.450, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Dozier has picked up recently after a dreadful first week of spring training. Surprisingly, Garcia has been the most consistent guy at the position. His numbers aren’t going to “wow” anyone, and his track record would suggest he’s a backup player at best.
So who else might have a chance to grab the job?
Jake Cronenworth is an intriguing name, and manager Jayce Tingler seems intent on having a role carved out for him. How about starting the second baseman? In ten spring training games, the 26-year-old is slashing .273/.333/.318 with three RBI.
He came over in the Tommy Pham trade and has primarily played shortstop in his career. But with Fernando Tatis Jr.‘s grip on the position, he’s likely to change positions for regular playing time. Last year with the Rays’ Triple-A outfit, he slashed .334/.429/.520 with ten home runs and 45 RBI in 88 games.
He played just 11 games at second last year but has logged nearly 580 innings at the position in his career.
Ty France is another guy that could potentially be considered for playing time, but like Garcia, he’s likely destined for a backup role. Profar is probably going to open the year at the position, but don’t be surprised if it’s a revolving door in an attempt to find a permanent resolution.
And if nothing sticks within the first 60-70 games, look for General Manager AJ Preller to be active in the trade market.