Padres Hunter Renfroe: Outfielder to Watch in 2017

Padres outfielder Hunter Renfroe had a great minor league career. He displayed some of it at the major league level. What is his outlook for the 2017 season?

The San Diego Padres are not one of the most competitive teams in the league. Yet, they do have some fantasy relevent players that are worth drafting. One of them being outfield prospect Hunter Renfroe. He dominated Triple-A and showed glimpses in the majors. What can we expect for the 2017 season?

Renfroe was drafted in the 1st round of the 2013 draft by the Padres, and quickly moved up the ranks of the farm system. By the end of 2015, he was already in Triple-A and hitting well in the process. He hit 20 home runs, 78 RBI and .272 between Double and Triple A.

He spent most of 2016 in Triple-A. I’m surprised the Padres didn’t call him up sooner with the numbers he put up in the minors. It’s not like they were competing for a playoff spot. Why not see what the young player has at the big league level?

In 133 games, he hit 34 home runs, 105 RBI and .306. He did strike out 115 times, which hindered his on-base percentage. But with power and hits, taking walks isn’t a priority.

Renfroe didn’t make his MLB debut until Sept. 21. In the short amount of time, he made a big impact.

In 35 at bats, he had 13 hits (four home runs), 14 RBI and a .371/.389/.800 line. Similar to his minor league numbers, it was either hit or nothing for Renfroe.

He struck out five times and walked just once. Average that out over 162 games, he would average 15 walks and 75 strikeouts for the season. The strikeouts don’t bother me, but the low walk rate isn’t doing him any favors.

Fellow FanSided site, Call to the Pen, did a slide show on the Padres’ top-10 prospects. They listed Renfroe at No. 3. Writer Benjamin Chase credits his power and arm for his upside. The only downside, besides his swing-and-miss potential, is his lack of speed. Renfroe had only 23 steals throughout his minor league career.

Roster Resource and the team’s official MLB page list Renfroe has the starting right fielder. The team is one of the youngest in the league, so I don’t expect them to sign an older veteran to replace him. He will get consistent at bats, we’re just not sure where he bats in the lineup.

Renfroe was slotted in the No. 5 spot when he did hit. If that continues into 2017, that would be a great spot for him to put him some big numbers.

Renfroe ranks outside my top-60 outfielders. Though, it’s of no fault of his own. The team around him can’t produce (except for Wil Myers). He can hit, but without anyone to drive him in or score, he won’t help you in all categories.

I do recommend keeping Renfroe on your radar, regardless of your league format. He could be a top-50 outfielder by season’s end.