The San Diego Padres, led by first baseman Wil Myers, will try to avoid the worst record in MLB in 2017. With young talent, the rebuild has truly begun.
The San Diego Padres were on rocky tides the last couple of years, but they seem to have righted the ship going into 2017, and have a steady course for their rebuild. Trying to end the third longest playoff drought in MLB behind the Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins will have to wait, but there are some intriguing pieces that could ultimately be a part of what Padres fans hope is the club’s first World Series title.
The Padres had a rough go of it in 2016. They finished tied for the worst record in the National League, and amazingly had a season-long winning streak of only three games. They ended up with 68 wins, and finished with a losing record for the sixth straight season. San Diego sports fan thought they had the worst of it with this awful season, and then the bottom dropped out with the Chargers’ relocation to Los Angeles.
Finding season highlights can be quite difficult when evaluating 2016. From all accounts San Diego were wonderful hosts of the final All-Star Game that “mattered.” The Padres did set themselves off in a good position in the upcoming MLB Draft with the third overall pick. And they also were able to fleece the White Sox into acquiring James Shields in a trade that looks very much one-sided half a year later.
Rebuilds throughout baseball sometimes take longer than a fanbase can tolerate. Take the defending champion Chicago Cubs for example. They had a few core players who went through the bulk of the dreary losing, such as Anthony Rizzo. The Padres have such a player that they could build around with a first baseman of their own in Wil Myers. The 25-year-old first baseman has already won a Rookie of the Year Award, and was the hometown hero in the All-Star Game last season. Myers is locked into the Padres’ future with a contract through 2023, and will be a key building block for San Diego.
With a projected MLB-low 66 wins by Fangraphs, and a “who’s that?” mentality by the common baseball fan when looking at their lineup, what is there to get excited about? If nothing else, the Royals, Giants and Cubs have proven that championships are mostly won by accumulating and cultivating homegrown talent, and the Padres are starting to go down that path.