Myers a fixture at first for Padres

Naylor among club's top prospects

November 10th, 2016

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Offensively and defensively, had a break-out season in 2016.

Moved permanently to first base, the 25-year-old Myers completed a full season for the first time in his Major League career and led the Padres in most offensive categories while becoming the first player in franchise history to complete a season with more than 25 doubles, homers and stolen bases.

Padres general manager A.J. Preller said the club will soon start talks with Myers about reaching a long-term agreement.

So the Padres appear set at first base for a while. But the really good news is that one of the Padres top four-ranked prospects is also a first baseman - .

With first base looking to be one of the Padres deepest positions moving forward, we figured the position would be a great place to start a weekly look at the Padres system depth at each position.

While the Padres have Myers and top prospect Naylor at first, there's not a lot of depth at the position in the farm system.

After insurance policy departed El Paso early last season, first base for the Chihuahuas - as well as Double-A San Antonio - was filled by a committee. Naylor joined Advanced Single-A Lake Elsinore at the end of July, coming from Miami in the trade. Brad Zunica was the regular first baseman at Single-A Fort Wayne. A closer look at Padres' first basemen:

Padres: Myers is the unchallenged incumbent. After injuries limited him to 60 games in 2015 during his first season with the Padres as a center fielder, Myers became an All-Star and a Gold Glove finalist in his first season at first base in 2016.

Myers finished with a .259 batting average with 29 doubles, four triples and 28 home runs. He also drew 66 walks and stole 28 bases. He drove in 94 runs and scored 99. He had a .336 on-base percentage and a .461 slugging percentage for a .797 OPS.

But the 6-foot-3, 205-pound, right-handed Myers had two unusual splits.

Myers hit .286 with 19 homers and 60 RBIs in 87 games before the All-Star break. He hit only .223 with nine homers and 30 RBIs in 70 games after the break. Before the break, a .351 on-base percentage and .522 slugging percentage; after the break, .316 on-base and .381 slugging.

And Myers hit .306 at home while setting a single-season Petco Park record with 18 homers and 58 RBIs. The best single-season offensive effort ever at Petco Park included a .385 on-base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage for a .954 OPS. But on the road, Myers hit .223 with 10 doubles, nine homers, 34 RBIs with .316 on-base and .381 slugging percentages. His road OPS was 321 points lower than his home OPS.

Defensively, the hard-working Myers developed into one of the National League's top first basemen in his first year at the position. Prospects: The list pretty much starts and ends with the 19-year-old Naylor, although some scouts believe Tijuana's Tirso Ornelas is better suited for first base than the outfield.

Naylor is a native of Ontario, Canada. The 6-foot, 225-pound, left-handed power hitter was the Marlins' first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2015 draft. After obtaining Naylor, the Padres fast-forwarded him to Advanced Single-A where he hit .252 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 33 games. Invited to Petco Park in October as part of the Padres' Arizona Instructional League program, Naylor hit two home runs in two games against prospects from the Texas Rangers. Naylor is ranked among the top 100 prospects in the Major Leagues.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Ornelas signed with the Padres as a 16-year-old last July. He was ranked the No. 28 international prospect last year and also appeared at Petco Park in October. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Zunica was the Padres' 15th-round pick in the 2015 draft and hit .242 with 14 homers in 110 games with Fort Wayne last season.

Overview: The key for the Padres this season will be keeping Myers healthy. If isn't retained, the Padres have to find a new backup first baseman with candidates including outfielder or using or at first in an emergency.