San Diego Padres 2016 Player of the Year: Wil Myers
The San Diego Padres finished in the NL West basement this season, with their young first baseman as the club’s Player of the Year.
It was a bad season for the San Diego Padres, who finished in last place in the NL West Division with a 68-94 record. Frankly, it’s been a bad decade for the Friars thus far. The club has failed to register a winning record in any season over the last half-dozen.
Going back a bit further, the Padres have fashioned just five winning seasons since the late franchise icon and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn retired following the 2001 campaign.
First-year manager Andy Green didn’t seem to have any answers. Actually, he didn’t have the players to fashion any positive answers. It will now be up to general manager A.J. Preller to supply his manager with those players by making astute draft picks and finding creative trades.
PADRES 2016 STATISTICAL LEADERS
Before a trade deadline deal to the Atlanta Braves, veteran outfielder Matt Kemp hit 23 homers and 24 doubles with 69 RBI over 431 plate appearances.
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In what was his official rookie season, center fielder Travis Jankowski stole 30 bases to lead the club. Second baseman Ryan Schmipf had 20 homers and 51 RBI in just 330 plate appearances.
Third baseman Yangervis Solarte hit for a .286/.341/.467 slash line with 15 homers, 26 doubles, and 71 RBI. Prior to a late July trade to the Toronto Blue Jays, Melvin Upton produced 16 homers and 20 steals.
On the mound, Fernando Rodney served as the club’s closer before a late June trade to the Miami Marlins. Rodney made the NL All-Star team largely for his Padres work. He registered 17 saves with a 0.31 ERA and 0.872 WHIP, allowing just 13 hits over 28.2 innings with a 33/12 K:BB ratio.
Prior to a June trade to the Boston Red Sox, lefty starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz was the Padres’ top overall player. He went 8-7 over 17 starts, allowing just 67 hits in 102 innings with 115 strikeouts.
MYERS THE TOP PLAYER
The top player for the Padres this season was the club’s 25-year-old first baseman, Wil Myers, who was the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year while with the Tampa Bay Rays.
This season, Myers made his first NL All-Star team, getting to perform in front of his home fans at Petco Park in the Midsummer Classic. He also took part in the Home Run Derby, but was edged out 11-10 by Adam Duvall of the Cincinnati Reds in the first round.
Myers banged 28 homers and 29 doubles in the 2016 season with 94 RBI and 99 runs scored, all team-leading figures. He was also a Gold Glove Award finalist.
The Padres are now reportedly trying to lock up their young slugger with a contract extension. He is due to become a free agent following the 2019 season, so the club still controls him for three more years.
“I love being here,” Myers said at the All-Star break per Dennis Lin at the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I do really, truly believe that A.J. Preller has a plan for the future, and that’s a big deal when it comes to extension talks. I love everything about Andy Green, what he’s done here. I think he’s going to be a great manager. As far as being here long-term, I could see myself doing it. I could see trying to build something here.”
If the team is going to build anything, their young first baseman is likely to be a key piece. For the 2016 season, that young first baseman, Wil Myers, is the San Diego Padres Player of the Year.