Will Venable Needs to Break Out for the San Diego Padres

By Bryan Lutz

Every baseball fan knows the San Diego Padres aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. Because of the spacious Petco Park, a lot of Padre players struggle to produce respectable offensive numbers. Heck, if a player has an OPS over .700, that could be considered a success in Petco. With that being said, San Diego still has a handful of quality offensive players. The nucleus of the offense is obviously Chase Headley, but Yasmani Grandal, Cameron Maybin, and Chris Denorfia gives the Padres a formidable offense.  However, there is one other player that is has a chance to prove himself in 2013, and that player is Will Venable.

If Venable’s career was a teeter-totter, he would be sitting in the middle to balance everything out. He has the potential to move to either end – failure or fringe all-star – but this is the year we all should find out where he will permanently sit. It seems like Venable has been close to breaking out every since he began his big league career in 2008. He’s another one of those toolsy outfielders that gives us flashes of brilliance, blocking our thoughts of objectivity.

Since 2009, Venable has averaged over a 2.0 fWAR, giving the San Diego a quality outfielder for the past four seasons. Last season, however, was his best season to date, earning about three wins for the Padres. But with the 30-year old (I had no idea he was 30 years old) in the middle of his arbitration stages, it’s important for him to produce at a high level now.

If Venable finally goes over to the fringe all-star side of the teeter-totter, the Padres breakout will begin sooner rather than later.

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