Padres Season Recap
by: Caleb Posner
September. It’s that time of year where every Padres fan stares at the Padres’ pathetic losing record and tries to calculate what draft pick we will be getting. The only difference is that this year there seems to be more hope in the air to go with the usual let down of underachieving.
This year seemed to be the beginning of a turn around going into the MLB season. The Padres landed a huge free-agent in all-star first baseman Eric Hosmer, they extended key franchise players Wil Myers and Brad Hand, and they had a plethora of “hot talent lava” in the minor league system. Padres fans fell into the same old trap of being excited for the season and expecting a better finish than last year’s fourth place in the NL West. As the season got underway, the classic disappointment that comes with terrible performance on the field kicked in. The Padres were sellers at the trade deadline, trading their only all-star, Brad Hand, to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for top catching prospect Francisco Mejía. The end of this MLB season brings along a record that is not only worse than last year, but is the worst in the NL. Hosmer underwhelmed this year with a sub .260 average, Myers couldn’t stay on the field due to numerous injuries, no one on the team hit above .270, and starting pitching was a weakness yet again. With all the negatives, though, comes many positives that should leave Padres fans excited.
For starters, the Padres had the number one farm system in all of baseball going into the season, and the prospects didn’t disappoint. Joey Lucchesi came up at the beginning of the year and has performed well in his rookie campaign. His 3.59 ERA and 120 strikeouts is impressive to say the least. In addition, the bullpen was top 10 in the MLB in team ERA this year. If you add highly ranked pitching prospects like Mackenzie Gore and and Cal Quantrill to the mix, as well as Dinelson Lamet, who looked to be the Padres ace going into the season before having season ending Tommy John surgery, the future of Padres’ pitching looks bright. On the other side of the ball, outfielders Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes both had solid years, crushing a combined 36 home runs. Top ranked second base prospect Luis Urias made his MLB debut at the end of August. He has been fantastic, barely striking out and showing flashes of his hitting capabilities before being shut down for the season with a pulled hamstring. Francisco Mejía, who was acquired in the Brad Hand deal, had a historical Padres debut, hitting 2 home runs against the Reds. He seems to be an exciting replacement or compliment to below average catcher Austin Hedges. Last but not least, the future of the Padres organization seems to be Fernando Tatis Jr. Tatis was ranked as the number 8 overall prospect in baseball before this season. He had a good year in the minors until he sustained a broken bone in his left thumb. With Tatis hopefully coming up in 2019 or 2020, the Padres have many reasons to be optimistic about the future, even with the terrible performance in the 2018 season.