Burning Fantasy Baseball Questions: San Diego Padres

by Tim Heaney on January 22, 2013 @ 09:22:10 PDT


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How will PETCO Park's new dimensions play for everyone else?

The power-alley walls are coming in: Left-center's goes from 402 feet to 390. Right center ("Death Valley" in former GM Kevin Towers' words) will dip from 402 to 391. The latter's height also will be lowered to match the rest of the outfield barricade's stature (just below eight feet). Down the lines (336 left, 322 right with a jagged obstructing wall), settings will remain the same.

Right-handed thumpers have enjoyed - well, as much as Padres can - their at-bats slightly more than those on the opposite side. Carlos Quentin is the closest thing SD has to an "everywhere power" guy, so his profile doesn't change much, save the slight allure of adding a few more homers to his injury-riddled profile. Cameron Maybin teased a breakthrough late last year, and if he gets a bit more pull control, it may help him over the course of the season.

Lefty-hitting Yonder Alonso and Will Venable, who've yet to pay off on their now diminishing upside, have more hope for their yanked lofts clearing the perimeter. However, considering their other flaws, the alteration doesn't vault them into universal mixed draft relevance.

MLB.com scribe Corey Brock opines:

PETCO Park will still favor pitchers, especially at night in April and May and with the marine layer helping suppress fly balls. But there's no denying moving the fences in 11 feet in right-center field, for example, will reward hitters for squaring a ball up - something many have craved since the ballpark opened.

Even with a renewed hint of offensive optimism for Pads to get looks as deep roster fillers, the non-Quentin bats - yes, including Headley - aren't prototypical power profiles. This remains a lineup in transition and enduring some painful growth at the dish, regardless of where they're playing.

The facelift will diminish the dead-ball time warp, but it won't artificially augment what isn't all that powerful in the first place. Count on the fence shift paying off more noticeably for the visiting sticks.

Pitchers, meanwhile, probably will hurt a bit more ... especially home-leaning Clayton Richard; his 4.74 road ERA in 2012 strips away plenty of fantasy value in these new conditions. Fly-ball pitchers will have less comfort in their approach. Though it won't be much different from 2012, signing pitchers off the proverbial fantasy street because they're pitching in the Gaslamp may not fly as potently as it used to.

Speaking of the rotation ... um, what is it?

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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