The Padres are in the midst of a rebuild while implementing some intriguing young talent to their lineup.
Fresh off a disappointing 68-94 season — last in the National League West — San Diego is hoping some young prospects mature overnight to avoid the same fate this season.
Guys like Travis Jankowski, Alex Dickerson, Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot will be counted on to lead the team in nearly every offensive category, even though Myers is the only one with prolonged experience.
The rotation and bullpen are both a bit make-shift for the Padres entering the season. Void of a true ace and a shutdown closer, San Diego fans may have to wait for promising young stars to develop before contending for a playoff spot.
San Diego Padres schedule 2017
The Padres begin the season with a four-game road trip starting April 3 at Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers.
San Diego's first home series begins April 7 against the Giants.
San Diego Padres roster
Padres projected opening day lineup
1. Travis Jankowski, CF
2. Alex Dickerson, LF
3. Wil Myers, 1B
4. Yangervis Solarte, 3B
5. Hunter Renfroe, RF
6. Ryan Schimpf, 2B
7. Austin Hedges, C
8. Luis Sardinas, SS
* Manuel Margot could start at CF, pushing Jankowski or Dickerson to the bench.
Padres projected rotation
1. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP
2. Clayton Richard, LHP
3. Trevor Cahill, RHP
4. Christian Friedrich, LHP
5. Jered Weaver, RHP
Padres projected bullpen
Closer: Brandon Maurer, RHP
Setup: Jarred Cosart, RHP
Setup: Ryan Buchter, LHP
Padres fantasy baseball sleeper
Travis Jankowski, OF — Jankowski scored 53 runs with 30 stolen bases in 131 games last season. The 25-year-old speedster could become one of the game's most dangerous threats on the bases this year if he can add more consistency to his swing (100 strikeouts in 2016). The Padres won't often be competitive, so Jankowski should have the green light to run.
Padres top prospect(s)
Anderson Espinoza, SP — The Venezuelan pitcher is considered one of the top prospects in baseball, but he struggled in the minors last year, recording a 6-11 record with a 4.49 ERA. Still just 19 years old, Anderson likely won't become an MLB contributor until at least 2019.