Fantasy baseball: Bank on Juan Soto, Manny Machado and (a healthy) Fernando Tatis Jr. in your league

Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Baseball

When the San Diego Union-Tribune hired me in 2008, Petco Park was a fantasy wasteland.

Almost nobody rostered any Padres outside of Jake Peavy or San Diego's own Adrian Gonzalez.

Relying on Tadahito Iguchi's team-leading eight steals likely would have earned you ridicule from your entire league (assuming you weren't in the deepest of NL-only formats).

Times have changed. Petco is now a fantasy wonderland, and you're unlikely to hear a single disparaging word if you draft Juan Soto in the first round of your draft. Or if you take Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. in the second round.

Soto, Machado and Tatis are all currently ranked inside the top 20 in Average Draft Position, according to FantasyPros. Four other Padres rank inside the top 100.

For the first time this century, it could pay dividends to draft like you're a card-carrying member of the Friar Faithful.


Here's a breakdown of the San Diegan possibilities to help fill out your fake rosters:


— Soto, outfielder: Between the hoopla surrounding another eventful offseason, Machado's contract extension and the return of Tatis Jr., I feel like the unassuming Soto gets lost in the shuffle. Remember, he's only 69 days older than Tatis. Only Bryce Harper, Mel Ott, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Renteria produced a higher WAR in their age-19 season than Soto did in 2018. An MVP season could be on deck. Average Draft Position: 6 (according to FantasyPros)

— Machado, third baseman: Machado remains in the top three at the hot corner and about as steady as they come in fantasy baseball. His per-162-game average in four seasons with the Padres: 34 HR, 106 RBIs, 99 runs, 10 steals and a .280 average. ADP: 14


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