Pitching, defense and a good hitting approach are patterns that past World Series Champions have taken into account to build their teams.
There are several ways of building a team. It can be done through free agency, developing players or a combination of both.
Assembling a “winning” team is another matter. Over the years, teams have adopted diverse philosophies. That range from the three run homer to the small ball theory. The San Diego Padres have been trying to strike the right balance recently, and should follow the model of franchises which have been successful in recent history.
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With the exception of the 1904 and 1994 seasons, there have been World Series winners since 2003. That is, 112 champions to figure out a common denominators.
For obvious reasons, analyzing every team would be an exaggeration. However there are patterns in recent history that have helped teams accomplish the ultimate goal.
The Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees of the 1990s, the Francisco Giants of 2010, 2012 and 2014 & most recently, the Chicago Cubs of 2016, have been the most successful the past 30 years.
Therefore, what do they have in common? In order of importance.
Starting pitching, relief pitching & more pitching. (Cy Young CY)
ATL Braves: Greg Maddux (CY), Tom Glavine (CY), John Smoltz (CY) & Mark Wohlers.
NY Yankees: Andy Pettite, Mike Mussina, David Cone (CY), Roger Clemens (CY) & Mariano Rivera.
SF Giants: Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum (CY), Matt Cain & Brian Wilson.
CHI Cubs: Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta (CY), Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey & Aroldis Chapman.
Defense at the key positions (C, SS & CF) (Gold Glover GG)
ATL Braves: Javy Lopez, Jeff Blauser & Marquis Grissom (GG).
NY Yankees: Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter (GG) & Bernie Williams (GG).
CHI Cubs: David Ross, Addison Russell (GG finalist) & Dexter Fowler.
Hitting approach. (BB% & K%)
ATL Braves: In 1995, they had a 9.5 BB% & 17.1 K%.
NY Yankees: From 1996-2001 they averaged 10.0 BB% & 15.4 K%.
SF Giants: In 2010, they had a 7.9 BB% & 17.9%; then in 2012, they averaged 7.8 BB% & 17.7 K%, and in 2014, 7.0 BB% & 20.5 K%.
CHI Cubs: Had a 10.4 BB% & 21.1 K%.
Basically, these are the main factors that these franchises took into account to assemble them. Obviously there are others that ought to be considered, like the speed of the Braves, the power of the Yankees, the timely hitting of the Giants, and the balance of the Cubs, among other attributes. But for the sake of argument, we must consider the main ones.
The Petco Park factor
It is also important to note that since the San Diego Padres ball park was opened in 2004, for whatever reason (the park dimensions, the sea breeze that makes the ball heavier, etc.), the trend has been that it is a pitcher’s park.
In this context, Petco Park has huge outfield dimensions, especially in the center and right field area. Therefore, the Padres need at least two gold glove caliber fly chasers for those positions (Possibly why the Myers in CF & Kemp in RF experiment failed).
On the other hand, general manager AJ Preller very craftily stockpiled the minor leagues with pitching prospects, that rather sooner than later are going to be knocking the door. So, with the Winter Meetings around the corner, the Padres are in good shape. They already have gold glove caliber players at catcher (Hedges) and center field (Margot & Jankowski). It’s just a matter of acquiring a quality shortstop.
If following trends of recent franchises which have been successful, this will be the case. Of course, each season is unique, meaning that the Padres have other factors to consider. But in general, to give them the best shot, these are the types of things they have to think about.