2011 National League West Previews: Padres

Today’s Focus: San Diego Padres

2010 Record: 90-72, 2nd in NL West

The Padres shocked the baseball world last year by finishing 2 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the West and 1 game behind the Atlanta Braves for the wild card spot. Their 90 win season can be attributed to their strong pitching and solid defense. Will they be able to shock us again?

In 2010, Adrian Gonzalez produced 23.6% of the runs scored by the Padres. He led the team in hits, home runs, runs batted in, batting average and OPS. Even with Adrian Gonzalez in 2010, they ranked 2nd to last in the NL in hits and average. They also finished in the bottom 3rd in home runs, runs, and runs batted in.  They also decided not to resign Miguel Tejada and Yorvit Torrealba. The Padres softened the blow with the additions of Orlando Hudson, Jason Bartlett, Jorge Cantu, Brad Hawpe and Cameron Maybin. The new additions will add much-needed veteran leadership. Maybin and Bartlett will add more speed to a lineup that already ranked 2nd in the NL in stolen bases. We should see improvement from Will Venable, Nick Hundley and Chase Headley as well. For the Padres offense to be successful in 2011, they will need to be opportunistic on the base paths and hit well with runners in scoring position.

The Padres were pretty slick with the glove last year scoring a team 50.0 UZR rating which ranked them 3rd in the MLB behind the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Adrian Gonzalez has won 2 Gold Gloves with the Padres. The departed Yorvit Torrealba, Scott Hairston and Jerry Hairston Jr were also solid. Last year Bartlett had a terrible  -10.4 UZR rating for the Rays. Brad Hawpe is not winning any Gold Gloves and Orlando Hudson is a downgrade at 2B. Oh Speaking of downgrades, Tony Gwynn Jr was 2nd on the team last year with a 12.9 UZR rating while Maybin scored a -2.4 UZR rating with the Florida Marlins. Needless to say, their defense will be worse than last year’s.

The Padres pitching was pretty good last year. They were 2nd to the Giants in team ERA (3.41) and K/9 (8.0). Matt Latos is for real but, they did lose 2 competent starters in Kevin Correia and Jon Garland. I didn’t mention Chris Young because they haven’t really “had” him since 2007. The Padres will roll out a rotation of Matt Latos, Clayton Richard, Aaron Harang, Tim Stauffer, and probably Matt LeBlanc. The back-end of the rotation seems a little shaky and I’m not sure how I feel on Aaron Harang yet. I suppose I could spend a last round pick in a very deep league on Harang. Their bullpen may be the best. They feature Health Bell, Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson and Chad Qualls.

Notable Losses: Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Correia, Tony Gwynn Jr, Miguel Tejada, Yorvit Torrealba, Jon Garland, Edward Mujica, Jerry Hairston Jr, RHP Chris Young, Scott Hairston

Notable Pickups: Orlando Hudson, Jason Bartlett, Aaron Harang, Cameron Maybin, Brad Hawpe, Chad Qualls, Jorge Cantu

The only way this team is going to shock me is if they have a winning season.

Prediction: 76-86, 4th NL West

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One response to “2011 National League West Previews: Padres

  1. Pingback: 2011 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Gems – National League « Fantasy Baseball and Football Advice for the Soul

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