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2023 Padres Season Review: Jurickson Profar and Jose Azocar

Looking back on Profar and Azocar’s 2023 seasons

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

2023 Regular Season Statistics

Jurickson Profar: -2.0 fWAR, 125 G, .242 AVG, .321 OBP, .368 SLG, 76 wRC+, 55 R, 46 RBI, 9 HR

Jose Azocar (in majors): 0.1 fWAR, 55 G, .231 AVG, .278 OBP, .363 SLG, 78 wRC+, 16 R, 9 RBI, 2 HR

Positives From This Season

Jurickson Profar started his season with the Colorado Rockies and wasn’t able to replicate his 2022 campaign in 2023. His OPS+ was over 20% below league average and Colorado ended up releasing him, which allowed the San Diego Padres to pick him up in September (and this is when the positives started).

Profar might just be one of those guys in baseball that performs where he’s comfortable and it seems like he’s comfortable in San Diego. The 30-year-old hit almost .300 with a .776 OPS in 14 games with the Friars to end his 2023 season.

Was it a coincidence that the Padres played better baseball with Profar on the roster? Probably but Bob Melvin expressed to the media how much he liked having more versatility and depth on the bench near the end of the year and Profar was definitely a part of that. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Profar return in 2024 on a cheaper deal than he got with the Rockies.

Azocar didn’t spend as much time in the big leagues as he did in 2022 but Fernando Tatis Jr. and Juan Soto were playing almost every day so there wasn’t as much of a need for him. In the playing time that he got, he showed he is still a capable defensive player in place of someone like Trent Grisham.

Negatives From This Season

Profar not being on the roster for most of the season was probably a negative but he had the right to not take his player option and go out into the free agent market. If Profar would’ve been on the team, perhaps Adam Engel and/or Matt Carpenter wouldn’t have been signed because Profar can play the outfield and first base.

Carpenter and Engel cost the Padres $13 million in total money (including Carpenter’s 2024 salary). Profar ended up getting a little less than $8 million from Colorado.

As for Azocar, he hit his first two major league home runs but still was a below league average hitter (78 OPS+) and it seems like he’ll continue to bounce between San Diego and El Paso.