Dewan: The downside of the recent Padres acquisitions

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on December 19, 2014:

The Padres have had a lot of trouble in recent seasons adding power to their lineup. Current division rival Adrian Gonzalez has four of the team’s five seasons with 30 or more home runs since 2002. The other belongs to recently re-signed Yankee Chase Headley, who was unable to replicate his 2012 power for the Padres in the year and a half he remained with the team before being traded.

This offseason, the team has made several moves to attempt to correct that recent deficiency. Matt Kemp was an expensive player stuck in the outfield logjam in Los Angeles. After injury issues limited Kemp to 179 games from 2012-2013 and dramatically decreased his numbers, he showed signs of a return to his 2011 MVP runner-up production with his 17 second-half home runs. Wil Myers dealt with his own injury issues in 2014. Specifically, his broken wrist sapped the power that he showed in the minors and likely contributed heavily to his six-homer season, but he remains one of the best power prospects in baseball. The Padres’ most recent acquisition, Justin Upton, has been more consistent with 27 and 29 home runs in his two seasons with the Braves.

All three hitters will have to contend with PETCO Park, which the Bill James Handbook 2015 indicates allowed 19 percent fewer home runs than an average park in 2014, but they seem like solid bets to add the pop the Padres have been missing. However, that power spike may come at a price in terms of team defense.

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Originally published: December 19, 2014. Last Updated: December 19, 2014.