San Diego Padres
Must Own Fantasy Player: Tyson Ross
Potential Fantasy Bust: James Shields
Rookie Prospect to Watch: Hunter Renfroe
The San Diego Padres were crowned the “winners” of the 2015 offseason after a bevy of roster moves had the team revamped and optimistic heading into the season. Unfortunately, the team never really put it together and was easily one of the most disappointing teams in the league. They have had to hit the reset button heading into 2016, so how does their team shape up fantasy value wise?
Now that the club has shipped out most of its fantasy talent, the crown jewel fantasy option for the Padres next season, starts and ends with Tyson Ross. Ross is usually overlooked in discussions about the top end starters in baseball, but after last season he looks poised to make himself more of a household name.
Over the last two seasons, he has back to back 30+ start seasons, averaged 190 K per season, and an ERA that has not been higher than 3.26. His slider is nearly unhittable and all his success has even come with him leading the league in walks in 2015. It is scary to think what he could do, if he can harness his command a little more. He is firmly amongst the top 20 fantasy SP next season.
Most of the rotation pieces have the name recognition, but last season they failed to produce. Andrew Cashner struggled mightily as he got hit hard and often, so it will be interesting to see if fantasy owners will give him another shot this spring, because the talent is still there somewhere.
James Shields has been rock solid his whole career and the move to San Diego looked to only help his value, but like most players for the team last season, he failed to deliver as well. Shields battled his command and got hit hard as well, so the huge innings total may finally be getting to him. He is more of a waiver wire option this season, rather than a late round pick.
Offensively for the club in 2016, things get ugly quick. I am not exaggerating when I say that some owners could completely avoid the team’s offensive options completely because of the headaches and question marks that the only viable candidates bring. Matt Kemp was pretty solid last season, but you could understand if owners do not want the continual injury risk lurking. not to mention that his supporting cast really dampers his potential run production.
If there were any Padre to take a shot on, it would be Wil Myers. He is another injury plagued player, but before his injury last season, he was really showing flashes of the talent that prospects raved about. Besides these two options, it is hard to see owners salivating at buying any other stock in this lineup.
The bullpen does not get better either, as Fernando Rodney was brought in to secure the closing job. He was brutal with the Mariners, but rebounded nicely with the Clubs, so owners that are desperate for saves may take another flier on him. However, do not be surprised to see a committee approach come about quickly if he struggles out of the gate.
Prospect wise, it is make or break time for Austin Renfore. He enters his age 24 season, and the teams current outfield position offers plenty of avenues where he could finally debut. At the big league level it looks as though he profiles as a 20+ homer threat, that could offer decent average if he can cut down on his swing. It would not surprise me if he would get a call up mid-season, and get an extended look in RF.
The Padres seems to be in store for a down season and the organization is trying to reset after the failed offseason splurge in 2015. The rotation has plenty of upside, but even if they were to all put it together, the Padres offense just doesn’t look up to par to contend this season in an improved division.
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NL West: L.A. Dodgers