Joel's MLB Franchise Top 10: San Diego Padres
This is the seventh installment in this series in which I am naming who I feel are the best players in the history of each MLB franchise.
With just 13 winning seasons in their 41 years as a team, and only five playoff appearances, bright spots for the Padres have been few and far between.
This was by far the toughest in the series to this point, as the top three were very easy, but from there I could have chosen about 20 different guys for the final seven spots.
That said, I am sure many people's top tens would differ from mine, and I look forward to your comments.
SP Eric Show: 100-87, Franchise Win Leader
SP Andy Benes: 69-75, 3.57 ERA, 1036 Ks
SP Andy Ashby: 70-62, 3.59 ERA, 829 Ks
SP Gaylord Perry: 33-17, 2.88 ERA, 1978 NL Cy Young
SP Kevin Brown: 18-7, 2.38 ERA, 257 Ks in 1998
RP Mark Davis: 1989 Cy Young - 44 saves, 1.85 ERA
C Terry Kennedy: .274 BA, 76 HR, 424 RBI, 3x All-Star
1B Fred McGriff: .281 BA, 84 HR, 256 RBI
3B Ken Caminiti: .295 BA, 121 HR, 396 RBI, 1996 NL MVP
3B Gary Sheffield: .319 BA, 43 HR, 136 RBI, 1992 NL Batting Title (.330)
SS Ozzie Smith: 147 SB, 2x Gold Glove
SS Garry Templeton: 1135 Hits, 1x All-Star
UT Bip Roberts: .298 BA, 148 SB
OF Steve Finley: .276 BA, 82 HR, 298 RBI, 2x Gold Glove
OF Greg Vaughn: .272 BA, 50 HR, 119 RBI in 1998
OF Gene Richards: .291 BA, 247 SB
OF Brian Giles: .279 BA, 83 HR, 415 RBI
No. 10: Nate Colbert (1969-1974)
SLG: .469 (6th)
H: 780 (9th)
HR: 163 (1st)
RBI: 481 (5th)
R: 442 (6th)
Colbert had an impressive six year run with the Padres, as he was among the National League's best power hitters.
Despite never hitting higher than .270, Colbert launched at least 20 home runs five times, including 38 in 1970 and 1972.
His best season came in 1972, when he had a .250 BA, 38 HR, 111 RBI to go along with 15 SB as he finished eighth in the NL in MVP voting and made his second All-Star appearance.
He may be the best Padres power hitter of all time, at least until Adrian Gonzalez has a few more seasons under his belt, and he deserves a spot amongst the Padres top ten.
No. 9: Benito Santiago (1986-1992)
H: 758 (10th)
HR: 85 (8th)
4x Silver Slugger
2x Gold Glove
Santiago burst onto the scene in 1987, posting a line of .300 BA, 18 HR, 79 RBI with an impressive 21 SB as he won Rookie of the Year and the Silver Slugger.
He continued his impressive play throughout his time in San Diego, hitting double digit home runs each season, and taking home Gold Gloves in four of his six full seasons with the team.
No. 8: Ryan Klesko (2000-2006)
OBP: .381 (5th)
SLG: .491 (5th)
H: 786 (8th)
HR: 133 (5th)
RBI: 493 (4th)
R: 449 (5th)
After playing in the shadow of players like Chipper Jones and Fred McGriff for the early half of his career in Atlanta, Klesko joined the Padres as the man in the heart of their order.
He produced in that spot too, with four straight seasons of 20 or more home runs and three with at least 90 RBI. He also seemed to find some wheels, swiping 23 bases in each of his first two seasons with the team after just 26 steals in eight seasons in Atlanta.
His best season came in 2001, when he posted a line of .286 BA, 30 HR, 113 RBI with 23 steals as he made the only All-Star appearance of his career.
No. 7: Randy Jones (1973-1980)
Wins: 92 (2nd)
Losses: 105 (1st)
Win Percentage: .467
ERA: 3.30 (8th)
WHIP: 1.208 (7th)
Ks: 677 (8th)
1x Cy Young
After a posting an ugly 8-22 season despite a decent 4.45 ERA for the terrible 60-102 Padres in 1974, Jones turned things around the next season.
He followed that year up with a 20-12, 2.24 ERA, 103 Ks line as he led the NL in ERA, making his first All-Star appearance and finishing second in Cy Young voting.
The next season was even better, as he went 22-14, 2.74 ERA, 93 Ks, leading the NL in Wins as well as Starts (40), CG (25), IP (315.1), and WHIP (1.027) and taking home the NL Cy Young over the likes of Steve Carlton, Don Sutton, Jerry Koosman, and Tom Seaver.
He was an unimpressive 35-51 in his next four seasons in San Diego, even though he had a 3.62 ERA. Jones was the victim of some poor Padres teams, or he would have had much better numbers, and he is among the Padres best.
No. 6: Phil Nevin (1999-2005)
BA: .288 (7th)
SLG: .503 (4th)
H: 842 (6th)
HR: 156 (2nd)
RBI: 573 (3rd)
R: 428 (8th)
After winning the Golden Spikes Award in college, Nevin was the first pick in the 1992 draft. However, by 1998 he had spent four seasons in the majors and compiled a line of just .230 BA, 27 HR, 94 RBI in 848 plate appearances.
He quickly turned things around after joining the Padres, however, and in his second season with the team he broke out with a line of .303 BA, 31 HR, 107 RBI.
The next season was by far his best in the majors, with a monster line of .306 BA, 41 HR, 126 RBI, as he made his only All-Star appearance.
After two injury plagued seasons, Nevin again had a good season in 2004, with a .289 BA, 26 HR, 105 RBI season at the age of 33, before being traded to the Rangers the next season.
No. 5: Adrian Gonzalez (2006-2009)
BA: .285 (9th)
OBP: .369 (9th)
SLG: .515 (3rd)
HR: 130 (6th)
RBI: 400 (9th)
2x Gold Glove
Gonzalez has quickly become one of the games best power hitters, and if not for a poor lineup around him his numbers would be that much better.
His home runs have improved in each of his four seasons with the team, posting 24, 30, 36, and 40 long balls.
This past season, despite launching 40 home runs, Gonzalez only managed 99 RBI along with an NL high 119 walks. With a few more catalysts hitting ahead of him, he could very well drive in 120 each season.
Still just 27, Gonzalez should continue to climb this list as long as he remains in San Diego, and if the team can improve around him, he could post some monster numbers.
No. 4: Jake Peavy (2002-2009)
Wins: 92 (3rd)
Losses: 68 (6th)
Win Percentage: .575 (3rd)
ERA: 3.29 (7th)
ERA+: 118 (4th)
WHIP: 1.186 (4th)
Ks: 1348 (1st)
K/9: 9.0 (2nd)
1x Cy Young
After debuting in 2002 as a 21 year old rookie for the pitching starved Padres, Peavy quickly became one of the games best.
By 2004, he was the unquestioned ace of the Padres staff, posting a 15-6 record while leading the NL with a 2.27 ERA.
The next season, he captured the strikeout title with 216 and made his first All-Star appearance.
His best season, however, came in 2007, when he won the pitching Triple Crown with a line of 19-6, 2.54 ERA, 240 Ks, and also had a NL best WHIP of 1.061 while taking home his first Cy Young Award.
Peavy was dealt by the struggling Padres to the White Sox this past season for a package of prospect, and time will tell if that move pays off, but Peavy is easily one of the best the Padres have ever had.
No. 3: Dave Winfield (1973-1980)
BA: .284 (10th)
SLG: .464 (7th)
H: 1134 (3rd)
HR: 154 (3rd)
RBI: 626 (2nd)
R: 599 (2nd)
SB: 133 (6th)
2x Gold Glove
Hall of Fame
Some quick Winfield facts for you:
- At Minnesota he was and All-American and the MVP of the College World Series...as a pitcher.
- Out of college, not only was he was drafted by the Padres, but also by the Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Utah Stars (ABA), and Minnesota Vikings (NFL).
After choosing baseball, Winfield spent a grand total of zero games in the minors before joining the Padres, where he hit .277 BA, 3 HR, 12 RBI in 56 games as a 21 year old.
He would go on to be a perennial All-Star, and his best season with the Padres came in 1979 when he hit .308 BA, 34 HR, 118 RBI and finished third in MVP voting.
He was the first player ever to be voted in the Hall of Fame as a Padre, and he will go down as one of the best overall athletes in sports history.
No. 2: Trevor Hoffman (1993-2008)
Appearances: 902 (1st)
Saves: 552 (1st)
ERA: 2.76 (1st)
ERA+: 145 (1st)
WHIP: 1.043 (1st)
Ks: 1029 (3rd)
K/9: 9.7 (1st)
All-Time Saves Leader
No disrespect to Hoffman and the Padres, but you never want a relief pitcher to be the second best player in your teams history. That said, Hoffman is one of the best to ever assume the closer's role.
A converted shortstop, Hoffman came over from the Marlins in a 1993 trade and by 1994, he was the teams closer.
In his 14 seasons after the 1994 season, excluding his abbreviated nine game 2003 season, Hoffman had at least 30 saves every year, at least 40 nine times, and even topped 50 saves once.
His 1998 season was one to remember, and was by far his best, as he tallied 53 saves with just a 1.48 ERA, finishing second in Cy Young voting and seventh in MVP voting.
He will no doubt be a Hall of Famer one day, and although I don't like putting relievers this high, he has earned his place among the best to ever play for the Padres.
No. 1: Tony Gwynn (1982-2001)
BA: .338 (1st)
OBP: .388 (2nd)
SLG: .459 (8th)
H: 3141 (1st)
HR: 135 (4th)
RBI: 1138 (1st)
R: 1383 (1st)
SB: 319 (1st)
5x Gold Glove
7x Silver Slugger
Hall of Fame
Gwynn is, without a doubt, the face of the Padres franchise, as he spent all 20 seasons of his Hall of Fame career in San Diego.
During his impressive career, he took home eight batting titles, and hit over .300 in every season of his career except the 54 game stint he had in 1982 when he hit .289.
By his third year in the league, at just 24, Gwynn won his first batting title and started a run in which he made the All-Star team in 15 of the next 16 seasons, with 1988 being the exception, and he still went on to win a batting title that season.
He flew into the Hall of Fame in his first time on the ballot, garnering 97.6% of the vote, and he truly is the greatest player in Padres history.