After signing his six-year/$83-million dollar extension, Wil Myers was quickly deemed the “face of the franchise” for the San Diego Padres.
It was natural, as the young first baseman was coming off his best season as a professional. The fan base needed a player to rally around. After years of uncertainty, the Padres faithful longed for a player they could call their own for the long run. Myers provides that.
This article is not about tearing down Myers for the year he is currently having in 2017. If you speak to him, he will own up to his struggles. I have confidence that he will be a productive player for years to come. Sure, he has improvements to make. But he is not opposed to making the changes and putting in the work. Wil Myers will be just fine.
His work ethic and hustle deserve praise, as the majority of the Padres’ current roster is made up of young players. The way Wil Myers conducts himself on the ball field is being observed by the young core of players. He provides the perfect example of how to play the game the correct way.
There is no doubt Myers gives the core group a great mentor.
One player in particular that has emerged as a potential future leader, is outfielder Manuel Margot. Upon arrival from the Red Sox in the Craig Kimbrel deal, the Padres knew they had a talented player. He came with the reputation as having the potential to be a five-tool threat in the major leagues for a long time. Power was something that has come along slowly, but with 13 homers in a little over 400 at bats, he is not a Punch and Judy hitter by any means.
In the past few weeks, the growth of this young man has been phenomenal. He is taking the extra base, making the catch in the gaps, and picking up his teammates every chance he gets. He displays exactly what you want to see from a young player.
The Padres need players like that to build a competitive spirit for a franchise that has been neglected for a long time. Manuel Margot is still only 22 years old. At that age, he would be a senior in College if he was a US citizen and played in the States. His skills are so ahead of schedule that the Padres aren’t even considering attempting to save his service time-something that has been a common practice for major league teams. Especially those in a rebuild. They had every opportunity to send him down earlier in the year (to protect his service time) after he was banged up, but to their credit, they stuck with him, and he has rewarded them handsomely.
Manuel Margot is a Hispanic player. The game of baseball is truly becoming a world sport. The Latin influence in the game is huge and the Padres’ farm system is loaded with Latino players like no other time in the franchise’s history. Manuel Margot has shown an early ability to communicate with his teammates. Whether they are Hispanic or not, he uses his million-dollar smile and electric personality to converse and get his point across. Margot will assist in mentoring all the international talent that was just inked this past signing period.
Indeed, he is certainly positioning himself as the face of the franchise. The Padres are wisely building their squad around highly intelligent baseball players. Margot, along with Austin Hedges, provide a solid core for the Friars to lean on. The San Diego Padres have a very bright future. If you are not aboard the bandwagon yet, do not fret. There is still time to join.