It is November of 2021 and the San Diego Padres have just won their first ever World Series title.
San Diego fans have flooded the streets of downtown San Diego and are celebrating the city’s first major championship in 58 years (if you even count the 1963 AFL Championship-winning San Diego Chargers). Padres fans have been waiting for this moment for virtually their entire life and it has finally happened.
Commissioner Rob Manfred handed Padres manager Phil Nevin the World Series trophy and the newly-renovated Petco Park goes wild. The stadium filled with fans wearing newly re-introduced brown and yellow uniforms can barely contain themselves.
Team veteran and reigning league MVP Manny Margot gives a broken-English speech to the patrons of Petco Park and Padre fans across the world, thanking them for their support over the last few years of their dominance in MLB.
Now that you know the aftermath of the 2021 season, here is the playoff roster that General Manager A.J. Preller put together for the Padres’ World Series run.
1. Manuel Margot – CF
Manny Margot will continue to bat leadoff and man center field for the Padres and will do so for many more years. In 2017, Margot has a line of .278/.316/.424 with eight home runs and 24 RBI as of 8/3. He also has 11 stolen bags and 17 walks. The 22-year-old is also one of the best defensive center fielders in the league, making tremendous catch after tremendous catch. Coming into the year, one part of Margot’s game that was lacking was his power, but it seems as though that is not the case. With eight home runs in only 74 games, Margot is among the leaders in HR per AB among Padres. Margot has the potential to become a superstar in this league since he has four to five tools, and utilizes them to the best he can. In 2021, I can definitely see Manny Margot as an MVP candidate and a player that the Padres’ front office can build around.
2. Luis Urias – 2B
Urias was signed out of Mexico back in 2013, and since then, he has shot up the Padres’ prospect list and through the minor league system. He is among every Padre fan’s favorite prospects and it is clear why. Urias has had a fantastic batting average and on-base percentage throughout his entire minor league career. In 2017, his line is .318/.415/.407 as of 8/3. Urias doesn’t possess much power so he would only be relied on hitting base hits. He only has eight bombs over his minor league career, and two this year for the San Antonio Missions. Urias also isn’t too much of a threat on the base paths at this point, although that can come over time because he does have some speed. I can see Urias progressing through the minor league system and reaching the majors by 2019, and by the time the 2021 season rolls around he can be challenging for a batting title. Luis Urias should be very fun to watch once he makes it to the big leagues.
3. Wil Myers – 1B
Wil Myers has a lot to live up to, being dubbed the face of the franchise in the off-season of 2017 after he signed a six-year, $83-million-dollar contract that made him the most expensive Padre in team history. So far, he hasn’t really lived up to that expectation. Fans got very excited when he got off to a tremendous start in April, but he has since cooled down drastically. Myers is now only hitting .242 and leads MLB in strikeouts. It has been a tough season for Wil Myers and he knows he needs to do better, and I believe he will do just that. I think Wil will work harder and get back to the level at which he was given all that money for. In 2021, he will be a team veteran and should still be hitting in the heart of the order. He will be age 30, so I think he will be putting up solid numbers. I doubt he will ever live up to the hype of some Padres fans, but I think he can contribute mightily on a World Series-winning club.
4. Fernando Tatis Jr. – SS
Fernando Tatis Jr. is an interesting prospect because people are not sure if he will stay at shortstop of if he will end up moving to third base. For the purpose of this article, I am predicting he will stay at shortstop and be the shortstop the Padres have been longing to have. The Padres haven’t had a regular shortstop in years and I believe Tatis can end that trend. He has all the tools to become one of the best young middle infielders in the game, and he very well could be some day. Tatis is in low A right now so he still has a long way until he reaches the majors, but he won’t have a hard time once he gets there. Like Urias, he has a very solid strikeout-to-walk ratio. In recent months, he has more walks than strikeouts, something the Padres have a tough time achieving. Tatis has power, a good eye, good contact, and he plays a very good shortstop. In fact, the 18-year-old has been on Sports Center’s top 10 plays a few times over the 2017 season. He is one prospect who can contribute once the Padres make a playoff run, and I think he could help the team a lot in the 2021 season.
5. Nicholas Castellanos – 3B
This is the first shocker that has been in the starting lineup. Castellanos is currently playing for the Detroit Tigers and has had a very good few years with the club. Castellanos is a free agent at the end of the 2020 season and I can see him taking over for the aging Yangervis Solarte. He might cost Preller some money, but I think the Padres will have no problem spending money once they are playoff contenders. Castellanos has a very solid bat and can hit for power. Over the past four years he has been very consistent, hitting .250 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in each season. Like many current Padres, he has a hard time with plate discipline, but it has gotten much better in the last couple of years. I think Nick Castellanos will fit in nicely with the club and produce for the team come 2021.
6. Hunter Renfroe – RF
Hunter Renfroe is another Padre who hasn’t played up to expectations, although he is in his rookie season and has only played in 109 career games. He can definitely bounce back and get back to what fans expected he would do after he won NL player of the week in his first week in the big leagues. It is not fair to expect that much from just a rookie. But by the year 2021, Renfroe better be putting up good numbers because if he isn’t, he could lose his spot since the Padres are stacked with outfielders in the farm system. However, I do not think that will happen any time in the future. I think Renfroe will stick as the primary right fielder and will hit for tremendous power that will lead him and the Padres to a World Series title. Along with his breathtaking power, the Mississippi State grad also has an elite arm from right field. Right now his arm is not very accurate, but it generally gets the job done. He is 2nd in the entire MLB in outfield assists, and he can only get better. I think he will develop his arm and be more accurate and become even more of a threat from the outfield.
7. Austin Hedges – C
Austin Hedges is the catcher of the future. Everybody knows that our beloved Hedgey is a part of the Padres’ plans for a long time. That being said, it is very easy to say he is on the 2021 World Series winning team. Austin Hedges is already one of the best defensive catchers in all of baseball, if not the best, so imagine how good he will be in the year 2021. Hedges will likely never be known for his bat, but it is possible that he will improve and also become one of the better hitting catchers in MLB. He is showing very good power this year, with 14 home runs as of 8/3. If he can be a .240/20/70 hitter, he will be among the league’s best catchers. That is how good his defensive abilities are. He is a very good game caller, pitch framer, and base path protector. That can make him and his pitching staff drastically better come 2021. I believe Hedges will be one of the key performers in the Padres’ deep playoff run.
8 Adam Jones – LF
Adam Jones is another non-Friar to make the 2021 World Series lineup. Jones is a free agent in 2019 and will likely be targeted by A.J. Preller and company. Adam Jones was born and raised in San Diego and grew up a Padre fan so it makes sense that he would end his great career in the place he calls home. He has also expressed his love for the city, fans, and stadium in San Diego, so this move is more than a possibility. In 2021 Jones will be 36 years old, so it very well could be his final season. Jones will be a team leader and veteran that the younger guys go to get advice. He is a very good locker room presence and I believe would still be able to swing it at his ripe age. As you can see, he would be at the bottom of the order, but I think he would still put up pretty decent numbers. Like most players when they reach a certain age, his defense and speed will greatly diminish. As a result of that, Adam Jones could potentially move to left field, where he wouldn’t have to cover as much ground and wouldn’t be involved as much. Acquiring Adam Jones is something that A.J. Preller should definitely do, and I think it will greatly benefit the Padres’ chances of making it to the 2021 World Series.
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