Will Venable has always had 20/20 potential. However up this point in his career, he has not been able to fully capitalize on his tools.
Venable has been in the major leagues with the San Diego Padres since 2009, and while we have seen success from him in flashes, the 29 year old has yet to completely put it together. But this year, that has appeared to change. It is possible Venable is having one of the quietest 20/20 seasons in recent memory. Now he has not reached that plateau yet, but at the risk of jinxing him, it is just about a near lock for Venable. The easy explanation for Venable’s lack of attention, is that he plays in San Diego, and people had began to forget about him.
This week, let’s take a look at the outfielder’s stats (through Monday’s game) that has me thinking that this just might be a case of Venable being a late bloomer. I think as soon as people started to give up on him fully fulfilling his potential, Venable finally found his groove.
.274, 19 HR, 46 RBI, 15 SB, 21 BB
As far as Venable’s batting average goes, I think we can expect to see it in the .270’s going forward. Now the outfielder really does not walk much, but that does not seem to have much of a negative impact on him. His BABIP of .317 is reasonable compared to 2012 when he batted .264, and this performance does appear to be repeatable.
The 19 home runs are really what caught me by surprise. Prior to this season, the most long balls Venable hit was 13. This is a stat, that I’m not sure he can repeat. The good thing is that he has not drastically increased his fly ball production, and that it remains in line with his career trend. However, he is hitting a home run on 21.6% of his fly balls, compared to the last three years where he averaged about 10%.
You would like to see him drive in more runs, but I think that is also that a product of the lineup he is in and the fact that he bats towards the top of the order. For that reason, I would not necessarily hold it against him going forward.
After taking a closer look at Venable, I’m not sure you can expect 20/20 seasons from him each year going forward. I would project Venable to go 15/15 or 15/20 which certainly is not bad production, as it seems he has turned the corner and developed into a pretty solid everyday player for the Padres.