The San Diego Padres are a team on the rise.
Eric Hosmer gives the Friars instant credibility, though he by himself will not be able to push this team into a playoff race just yet.
The Padres are inexperienced and still attempting to find their stride. They have a young manager, in his first MLB managerial gig, and he is on a mission. Andy Green wants to make this franchise relevant. He craves for San Diegans to have a major sports championship. He’s told me that himself. The man is intense, and he speaks from the heart when he professes his love for the city of San Diego.
A.J. Preller, like him or not, has done so much to produce exciting talent for the Padres. From the 2015 trading free for all, to the international spending spree the following year, the Padres have been interesting to watch. They have spunk, and with that feeling, you believe they almost have an identity – something this organization has really never had, at least not on a consistent basis. There have been times when this team has attempted to compete consistently, but something has always come up and forced a change of direction.
In recent days, with the signing of Eric Hosmer, the name Hunter Renfroe has come up several times in trade rumors around the league.
Wil Myers is going to move to the outfield and he will surely play every day. Early indications are that Myers could play right field and Renfroe would be in a battle for playing time with Jose Pirela, Travis Jankowski, Alex Dickerson, Matt Szczur, and Franchy Cordero.
The Padres outfield is certainly crowded at the moment. You know that something has to give.
A.J. Preller is not shy about pulling off a deal, so I would expect the Padres to be active in the next 30 days or so. The outfield situation will clear itself up in time. It is certainly better to have depth at a position then to lack players suitable to compete. Players are just starting out their 2018 season in spring camp, so anything can really happen.
Jon Morosi reported on Sunday night that the Padres have had trade interest from other teams looking for outfield help. The name Hunter Renfroe has surfaced. and where there is smoke, there is usually fire.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) February 19, 2018
The Padres drafted Renfroe in 2013 with their first round selection (#13 overall) out of Mississippi State. The outfield prospect immediately flashed power and plus arm strength in his first season in the minors. The right-handed hitter has always had power, but some question his ability to adjust and make constant contact against top quality pitchers. That appears to be his main issue right now.
The Padres are certainly emphasizing getting on base more, something that Renfroe struggled with mightily last season, recording a .289 on base percentage in 445 major league at bats. That is certainly alarming to the team. It really doesn’t matter that he hit 26 home runs in that time. If he can’t get on base better than that, then the Padres will have to find a suitable replacement. In more than 1,800 minor league at bats, Renfroe owns a .327 OBP, so there is some hope that he can adjust. He is only 26 years old and it is far too early to give up on him.
Hunter Renfroe’s main issue is that he will not take a walk. He only walked 27 times last season and his walk rate has declined every year. His first full year of pro ball (2014), Renfroe walked 53 times in 502 at bats. For that number to be headed in the wrong direction, as he faces tougher pitching, is certainly concerning. The demotion late last season was a wake up call to this young man. This early trade talk could also be interpreted as an attempt to get him to make adjustments to his game.
At this point, it is difficult to gauge Hunter Renfroe’s trade value. Other teams are aware of his issues, but his plus power and rocket arm are certainly enticing. There has been some speculation that the Braves and Indians could have interest in Renfroe, but that remains to be seen. In time, more information could come out to validate these reports. Stay tuned for details. A.J. Preller is on the prowl.