The San Diego Padres have a ton of young talent emerging from their system, led by a pair of young outfielders.
Things did not go too well for the San Diego Padres in the 2016 season. For the sixth straight year and eighth in the last nine, the Friars experienced a losing campaign.
At 68-94, the Padres finished in the basement of the National League West Division for the first time since 2011. Those 94 losses were the most that the franchise has experienced since the 2008 season.
But towards the end of the season a pair of outfielders emerged from the minor league system who could help turn the franchise around in the coming years.
Manuel Margot is considered the club’s top position player prospect. An all-around hitter, he turned 22 years old in the middle of his late September call-up, and is the future in center field.
Receiving his own first big league promotion at the same time as Margot was the Padres’ #3 overall prospect, right fielder Hunter Renfroe, who will turn 25 years old in January. He is easily the club’s top power prospect.
Margot signed as a 16-year old amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2011 with the Boston Red Sox.
He went to the Padres in a deal along with lefty teenage pitcher Logan Allen and a pair of infield prospects, Javier Guerra and Carlos Asuaje, in exchange for closer Craig Kimbrel.
Renfroe was the Padres first round pick at 13th overall in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft out of Mississippi State University.
In 563 plate appearances at AAA El Paso prior to his promotion, Renfroe jacked 30 homers, knocked in 105 runs, scored 95, and hit for a .306 average.
Margot hit .304 with a .351 on-base percentage at El Paso in 566 plate appearances, scoring 98 runs, legging out 13 triples, and stealing 30 bases.
The pair made their big league debut in the final two weeks, with Renfroe appearing in 11 games and Margot in 10.
With the moving on from veterans Matt Kemp and Justin Upton over the past year, there is plenty of room on the Padres depth chart for the young outfielders to quickly make their mark.
If the San Diego Padres are to emerge from their losing ways of the last decade, Renfroe and Margot will have to be two of the key players. Both will come to spring training in February looking to secure roles in the Opening Day lineup.