2021 MLB Team Preview: San Diego Padres
Everything clicked for the young San Diego Padres last season as they were able to storm their way into the postseason. Unfortunately, they fell short when they lost in the NLDS to the eventual champions the Los Angeles Dodgers. After another big offseason, this team can once against make a run for the Word Series. Are they worth a bet at the current prices or has the hype outpaced where they currently are in on the baseball spectrum?
What Happened Last Year
This Padres team was able to finish the season with a 37-23 record, which was enough to place them in 2nd place in the NL West. They were able to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Series 2-1 but as mentioned earlier, they lost to the Dodgers shortly afterwards. It was a year that saw Fernando Tatis Jr. lead the team in total home runs with 17 while also leading the team in stolen bases at 11. San Diego also had a good season from their pitcher Dinelson Lamet, who posted 93 strikeouts and a .161 batting average to opposing players. This is a very talented team that can improve from this season and become contenders in 2021.
The Padres had made headlines when they were able to reach an agreement with Tatis Jr. that would keep him in San Diego for the next 14 years. The 22-year-old superstar will now be locked in with the team for a very long time, costing them around $340 million. But the team wasn’t done there, they were able to pick up C Victor Caratini and RHP Yu Darvish in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. Darvish finished last season in second place in National League Cy Award voting and will now get his own catcher in Caratini to help him out. But also, the team picked up Blake Snell in another trade with the Tampa Bay Rays just a small bit earlier. This roster has been much improved from last season and should compete yet again.
San Diego was able to jump out quickly last season, catching a lot of fans off guard. However, this will not be the case this year as many should expect this team to be one of the best in the National League next season. This is the same team that was able to set the MLB record for hitting a grand slam in four consecutive games and have only improved their roster since then. It was also their first year under their new head coach Jayce Tingler, with the entire team expected to get more accustomed to his coaching in year two and improve even further. Don’t be surprised if the Padres are able to compete for a World Series next season and give the Dodgers a run for their money, they have all the talent and chemistry in order to do so. They may not finish the year above the Dodgers but will be very close by the season comes to a close.
Pick: 2nd In National League West