The Padres were expected to be the worst team in the majors this season. While they haven't been quite that bad, they remain firmly in the bottom tier of big league clubs.
|Padres Midseason Top 10|
|1. Cal Quantrill, RHP|
|2. MacKenzie Gore, LHP|
|3. Luis Urias, 2B/SS|
|4. Anderson Espinoza, RHP|
|5. Adrian Morejon, LHP|
|6. Fernando Tatis Jr., SS|
|7. Michel Baez, RHP|
|8. Dinelson Lamet, RHP|
|9. Eric Lauer, LHP|
|10. Josh Naylor, 1B|
Through the All-Star break the Padres had scored the majors' fewest runs (312), had the worst run differential (minus-128), and were last in MLB in batting average (.227) and on-base percentage (.294). Their 4.64 ERA was on pace to be the franchise's worst since moving into Petco Park in 2004.
That normally would mean the Padres are a seller as the trade deadline approaches, but they don't have much attractive to sell beside lefthanded relievers Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter.
The Padres have taken their lumps playing a uniquely young group, and that's where optimism for the future resides.
Six rookies have been on the Padres roster since Opening Day and received substantive playing time—Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot, Jose Torres and Rule 5 selections Miguel Diaz, Luis Torrens and Allen Cordoba—while Dinelson Lamet, Franchy Cordero, Carlos Asuaje and Phil Maton all received callups by mid-June. Austin Hedges and Jose Pirela are not technically rookies but are receiving their first extended playing time in the majors and have made positive impacts in spurts.
The Padres are merely biding their time until this first wave of prospects adjusts to the majors and the next wave is ready to ascend. They do have prospects sprinkled from Triple-A down to the lowest rungs of the minors, where last year's massive international spending spree could pay off early next decade.
Until these minor leaguers are big league ready, it does not figure to get any better for a franchise headed for its eighth straight losing season.