Manuel Margot reminds me of an Uber ride I took recently. I was heading to the airport with Cougs and I said to our Uber driver, “Are you Panamanian?” And he nodded his head rapidly, shocked like someone who just had their weight guessed at a carnival. He asked me how I could tell, so rather than telling him how I knew, I said I lived in Panama for the past ten years. My Spanish wasn’t the least bit convincing for someone who supposedly lived there for the last decade. “Yo tengo beisbol,” I said with a smile. He looked confused; I guessed his nationality, but had no hard data to backup the how. Finally, we got to the airport and stepped out of the Uber ride, when Cougs was like, “How did you know he was Panamanian?” I said it was obvious, he looked exactly like Manuel Noriega, but I wasn’t telling him that. Our Uber driver and Noriega could’ve literally had a face-off with their pockmarks. Any hoo! How does this remind me of Manuel Margot besides his name? His stats say this guy is going to be great, but I look at him and I see one thing: Padres. That big dopey monk swinging a bat. Is it me or does the Swinging Friar look like Ed Asner in a muumuu with a phone cord belt? Meh, prolly me. So, what can we expect from Manuel Margot for 2017 fantasy baseball?
Maybe he can be a strong bean, but dude’s built like a toothpick. I’m impressed he had six homers in Triple-A for the Padres, but that’s a PCL team. (By the way, how unfair is it that the Padres’ Triple-A hitters play in an elevated city in the PCL? They supposedly combat this by storing baseballs in humidors. Um, yeah, okay. This would be like your father hiring prostitutes to teach you the birds and bees, then sending you out in the real world. Though, in that scenario, your father might be breaking laws.) Maybe Margot can get into ten homers on a good year when he fills out (he’s only 22 years old), but he looks like a left-center gap hitter. Wouldn’t actually mind if he just hit everything on the ground and ran hard. Run, you Panamanian Ed Asner in a muumuu! (Okay, now I might be mixing my metaphors with my anecdotes.) The good thing for Margot’s fantasy value is his speed looks easy. His top steals year in the minors was only 39 steals, and that was in Single-A, where catchers practice their throws back to the pitcher more than their throws to 2nd base. Still, by looking at Margot, I see a guy that could steal 45+ bases. Finally, I will put an advert in Craigslist for someone to go into the Padres’ front office and close them down if they don’t start the year with Margot in center. I mean, seriously, I can’t imagine a situation and/or excuse the Padres could use to not play Margot from the jump. For 2017, I’ll project him for 82/5/41/.277/31 in 546 ABs with some speed upside and average downside.