“It’s an indication of how much the rest of the San Diego players (aside from Kim) are playing below expectations.”
Four ESPN writers – David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Buster Olney and Joon Lee – named the San Diego Padres the most disappointing team of the season on Tuesday. San Diego currently sits in fourth place in the National League West with a 24-29 record and a .453 winning percentage. They are eight games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers (33-22). It’s an embarrassing performance considering the Padres entered the season as “favorites” to win the division.
The Padres spent the last offseason bolstering their offense in free agency, signing shortstop Xander Bogaerts, 31, to an 11-year, $280 million deal and acquiring Juan Soto, 25, in a trade with the Washington Nationals midway through last season. In late April, Fernando Tatis Jr. (24) returned from a banned substance suspension and was expected to build a superlative batting lineup, but it has yet to materialize.
Lee pointed out that Kim Ha-seong (28), who is only the 12th highest paid player on the team, leads the team in bWAR. Kim has a bWAR of 2.1. 안전놀이터 He leads Juan Soto (2.0), Bogaerts (1.6), Tatis Jr. (1.5), Jake Cronenworth (0.8), and Machado (0.2). At the plate, Kim is hitting .242 with a .712 OPS, five home runs, and 17 RBI, which is below major league average but tops on the team. Add to that one of the best defenses in the majors, with the ability to cover second, third, and shortstop, and you’ve got a player who ranks first in team wins.
Kim will make $7 million ($9.2 billion) this year. That’s not a lot of money, but San Diego is a super-rich organization, so he’s outclassed by his peers. Bogaerts tops the team at $25.45 million, followed by pitcher Darvish Yu, 37, at $25 million, and Soto at $23 million. Designated hitter Manny Machado (31) is fifth at $17.09 million and Tatis Jr. is ninth at $7.742 million. Compared to those ultra-high earners, Kim is getting a lot of bang for his buck.
“It’s hard to name a team worse than San Diego right now,” Lee said. When they acquired Soto at the trade deadline, got Tatis Jr. back from his PED suspension, and signed Bogaerts, I thought the Padres would turn the world upside down on offense, but they didn’t. The fact that Ha-Sung Kim leads the team in bWAR among outfielders this season speaks volumes about how far the rest of the team has fallen short of expectations.”
“I thought San Diego was overrated before the season, but no one expected them to be mediocre or uninteresting,” said Schoenfield. They lack depth in their lineup, and their catching staff is a disaster. Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell are struggling, and Machado is on the disabled list. There’s plenty of time and talent for San Diego to turn it around, but I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs (they’re 1.5 games behind the Dodgers).”
“San Diego is yet another team that teaches us that offseason (free agency) wins are just that, offseason wins,” said Doolittle, while Olney emphasized, “I have to go with San Diego as the most disappointing team this year because I expected them to win the World Series.”