Where does France need to improve?
I believe with regular playing time, France has the potential and the composition to become an everyday player that can contribute substantially. Unfortunately, it would appear that he has an uphill battle to climb to crack the 26-man roster. He does have two minor league options left, but again, he’s already proven himself there and had he qualified, he would have taken home the Pacific Coast League batting title.
At any rate and wherever he plays, France needs to improve his barrel percentage and elevating the ball. He also swung at 31.3 percent of the first pitches in his at-bats, so I’d like to see him work counts a bit longer and get something better to hit. That, alone, could potentially have a significant impact on his long-term ability to remain on the big league roster.
To wrap this up, Brian Dozier, Jurickson Profar, and Greg Garcia are likely to man second base. Accompanied by Jake Cronenworth‘s potential, it’s difficult to imagine France being a regular contributor to the big league roster unless Fangraphs foresees Fernando Tatis Jr. struggling to remain healthy again.
So it begs the question if the Padres should have him begin the year at Triple-A with the intent of trading him as a part of a package for assets? Or did they see enough last year and this spring to let him earn regular playing time?