Padre fans know Manuel Margot as their leadoff hitter and their rookie center fielder. He is actually much more than that to the team.
The Padres obtained Manuel Margot from the Red Sox last season in exchange for Craig Kimbrel. That trade worked out very well for San Diego as they also acquired Logan Allen, Carlos Asuaje, and Javier Guerra. Margot is a 22-year-old outfielder who is five feet-eleven inches and 180 pounds. He entered spring training as the Padres’ #1 prospect and projected to be the center fielder. He hit his first two career home runs in the Padres’ first home game this 2017 season vs the San Francisco Giants.
So far this season, Manuel is hitting .274 with nine home runs, 27 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases. While Manny has accomplished these numbers this year, he has also became a father for the first time. I feel like having a baby made him happier and more focused. He is now letting his swing do the talking.
Margot just won the National League Player of the Week based on July 24th through the 30th. Since then, in the first week of August, he has continued to be solid. On Sunday, even though San Diego lost to the Pirates, Margot delivered a game-tying two-RBI single in the top of the ninth inning. That hit scored Carlos Asuaje and Matt Szczur and eventually sent the game, in Pittsburgh, to extra innings.
The center fielder from the Dominican Republic is doing his job as the leadoff hitter, swinging 46.6% of the time. This allows hitters behind him an opportunity to see what the pitcher is throwing. Margot is a fastball hitter. He swings at and hits 59.3 % of the fastballs he sees. Which means he is going up there to swing more than half the time on a heater. He has much more trouble recognizing off-speed pitches. Margot is hitting only 16.2% of sliders, 13.4% of curveballs, and is really struggling or not swinging at all on changeups, as he is only hitting 5.2% of them. Interesting numbers from this rookie.
On the fielding side, he is actually much better than most people recognize since everyone nowadays pays attention to hitting only, and there is never any love for the fielding aspect of the game. In 661.1 innings, Margot has gotten to 13 balls that had a 1-10% chance of catch (1 star catch probability). That is pretty good if you ask me. He is a young player who can cover a lot of ground in center for the team for years to come.
Now most Padre fans think San Diego is looking for the future, but the Padres have a big part of their future already in the show, including Manuel Margot. Renfroe, Hedges, Myers, and Margot are all young players to build around. I think that Manuel Margot has the potential to be a superstar and be a headline player one day. The ceiling is very high for this young man.
With Margot being the leadoff man and the table-setter in this lineup, and with Carlos Asuaje and Wil Myers behind Margot, this has potential to be a decent lineup. Then you add Yangervis Solarte, Austin Hedges, and Hunter Renfroe to the mix and you understand why fans are so excited in America’s Finest City.
Manuel Margot seems to always be happy and have a smile on his face. He brings an excellent attitude to the club. He always brings his best effort, whether it is in the outfield or on the base paths. With a young team, play like this is important. He knows how to play the game and to remain humble about playing it. Manuel Margot always signs autographs prior to the game. You can see he truly enjoys the game of baseball and he truly inspires young fans. The impact on the rest of the team is immeasurable and we are lucky to have this young stud in the lineup each and every day.