Padres: Jurickson Profar’s impact greater than expected

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The addition of Jurickson Profar and his impact on the rest of the San Diego Padres has been better than expected so far.

Had this been a normal baseball season, there was a decent chance that Jurickson Profar never plays a game in a Padres uniform. AJ Preller and the front office reportedly had great concern about the former Rangers prospect’s arm, as he’s committed an alarming number of errors at second base over the last two seasons.

But here we are, through the first four games of a 60-game slate, and the Padres stand at 3-1, boasting one of the best on-base percentages as a team in the league. For those playing at home, the Padres ranked near the bottom last season with a .308 team OBP.

Tommy Pham‘s career .373 OBP was a big reason why the front office pulled the trigger to acquire him in the offseason. However, the trade for Profar could end up looking just as significant. Through the first four games, the 27-year-old has only one hit, but he’s drawn five walks, good for a .375 OBP.

Profar has repeatedly worked deep counts, forcing pitchers to earn their outs, and it’s rubbed off on several of the other players. We’ve already discussed the Padres improved patience at the plate this season, and they added four more walks to the total on Monday. Also, you have to be pleased with manager Jayce Tingler thus far.

The Padres lead the league with 4.57 pitches-per-plate appearance, which is quite an improvement from 3.92 pit/PA last year.

No one is asking Profar to play perfect defense. The Padres knew what they were getting when they traded for him. But he has yet to record an error in the field, which is a huge bonus for the Padres, who are playing great ball early on.

He’s had such an immeasurable impact on the ballclub, developing chemistry with Fernando Tatis Jr., as seen in the scoring celebrations over the weekend (although those have recently come under scrutiny).

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The Friars will head to San Francisco, who just finished splitting a four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The matchup has all the makings of a trap for the Giants, coming off an emotional series against the widely-projected NL West winners. Profar has a .476 OBP in six career games against the Giants, including a .308 OBP at Oracle Park.