The San Diego Padres look to make a big splash this season. Many analysts list the Padres as a team on the rise and some including Buster Olney think that the Padres will make the playoffs. Here is what the Padres starting lineup might look like.
1. Everth Cabrera, shortstop
Cabrera played in only 95 games before his season was ended due to a suspension. He was having a great season batting .283 with 15 doubles. Cabrera had also been on pace to lead the league in stolen bases like he had in 2012.
2. Will Venable, outfield
The former Princeton basketball player hit his stride with the Padres last season when he batted .268 and hit 22 home runs.
3. Chase Headley, third baseman
In 2012 Headley led the league in rbi’s and batted .286 with 31 home runs. 2013 was almost the exact opposite as he only hit .250 with 13 home runs. If Headley can get back into 2012 form, then the Padres will be a lot better.
4. Carlos Quentin, outfield
Quentin has missed a lot of time in his career due to injuries. Last season in 82 games, Quentin hit .275 with 13 home runs. Over his career he has hit .255 with 150 home runs.
5. Yonder Alonso, first baseman
Alonso is entering his third season with the Padres. In his first year, he had 39 doubles as a rookie. He was originally drafted seventh overall by the Cincinnati Reds in 2008, then traded to San Diego. In his second season he was injured a little bit, appearing in 97 games with a solid .281 batting average.
6. Jedd Gyorko, second baseman
Gyorko started off last season hot, but cooled down a bit finishing with a .249 batting average. He seems like a player who will and has probably been working hard so that this season can be an improvement. He came up big at times, finishing with 23 home runs and 63 runs batted in as a rookie.
7. Cameron Maybin, outfield
Originally drafted tenth overall by the Detroit Tigers, some have started to doubt that he will live up to the hype. He has a career .248 batting average, and only hit .157 last season in 57 at bats. The potential is there. If he plays great, it will energize the team and the town.
8. Nick Hundley, catcher
Like Maybin, Hundley has the potential to become a breakout star. Last season Hundley hit a career high 13 home runs. However his batting average of .233 means that he better step it up because Yasmani Grandal and soon Austin Hedges will do whatever they can to be the starting catcher.
Yasmani Grandal, catcher
He has played in 88 games since he made his major league debut in 2012. A rough injury and suspension took away much of his 2013 season. However, when he plays, he has a career .271 batting average with 15 doubles.
Chris Denorfia, outfield
Denorfia is a player who doesn’t get the credit he deserves. In 2013, he had ten home runs and 21 doubles while keeping a fairly strong .279 batting average.
Alexi Amarista, infield and outfield
Coming off the bench and filling in where he was needed was Amarista’s role in 2013. He only batted .236 but with his speed he was able to get 14 doubles and 32 rbi’s.
Seth Smith and Kyle Blanks, outfield
Smith and Blanks should be solid pinch hitters and they can also start at times when needed. Smith was acquired from Oakland and hit 27 doubles last season. If he does that again this year, then he could find himself in the starting lineup. Blanks has shown his potential on occasion and if he can hit home runs with consistency, the Padres won’t be taking him out of the lineup.
If these players can all produce, the Padres will be hard to stop.
You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP