Injuries have derailed any momentum that Franchy Cordero could have gained with the San Diego Padres. Is this the year he remains healthy?
Signed as an international free agent in November 2011, Franchy Cordero has been one of the biggest “what-if” players for the San Diego Padres. He played in just nine games last year at the big league after being decimated by injuries.
In 2018, he played in 40 games, so we’ll be evaluating his profile over that sample size rather than a potentially misleading nine-game sample. That year, Cordero, too, was hindered by groin and forearm injuries, before an elbow injury prematurely ended his season. Still, he posted a .237/.307/.439 line with five doubles, one triple, seven home runs, and 19 RBI.
Statcast Batting Statistics
Per Statcast, Cordero logged a 12.9 barrel percentage at an average exit velocity of 92.6 MPH. Balls left his ball at an average launch angle of 5.9-degrees, and Cordero logged a ridiculous 51.9 percent hard-hit rate. Even as an international free agent, scouts have always raved about his ability to laser the ball. And at age 25, I think that’s what the Padres are banking on should he remain healthy for a full season.
Cordero didn’t hit for average off any particular pitch with .244/.233/.174 averages coming off fastballs/breaking/offspeed pitches, respectively. He struggled massively with breaking and offspeed pitches, registering over 47 percent whiff rates on both.
Batted Ball Statistics
Cordero spread the ball around in 2018; 36.5 percent to the pull side, 35.3 percent to center, and 28.2 to the opposite field. As noted, he recorded a combined medium and hard-contact rate of 84.7 percent. Also, it’s encouraging that he had a huge home run to flyball ratio – 29.2 percent – which meant that good things are going to happen if Cordero puts the ball in the air.
He hit line drives and flyballs at a 25.3 percent clip and 28.9 percent clip, respectively, with exactly ZERO infield flyballs.
Cordero converted on 5-of-7 stolen base opportunities in 2018 with four of those coming at second base and one at third base. He’s a smart base runner, recording no outs once on the basepaths. If healthy, I’d like to see Jayce Tingler attempt to utilize Cordero’s speed more often this year.
Cordero is, by no means, a good outfielder. In 2018, he saw 22 games in left, 11 games in center, and four in right. Over a much larger sample size, he logged a .955 fielding percentage in left field, but he also committed three errors. Fangraphs credited him with -3 defensive runs saved (DRS) in both left and center field. Let’s see if he can improve upon that this season.
As noted, Cordero is still just 25 years old, but he’s now in a more talented outfield with the additions of Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham. He will likely serve as the team’s fourth outfielder, and could potentially hit his way into a starting role if the Padres ever move on from Wil Myers in right field. Taylor Trammell is also due to make his Padres’ debut in the near future, so that could put a wrench in Cordero’s plans as well.