The History of the Padres First Round Picks in This Century

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: Baseball America



The Padres had the seventh overall pick in 2012, with that pick they picked up LHP Max Fried. Max Fried now plays for the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, the Mississippi Braves. The Padres traded him in a six player trade in December of 2014:

Padres receive: 

Justin Upton, LF

Aaron Northcraft, RHP

Braves receive:

Jace Peterson, 2B

Max Fried, LHP

Dustin Peterson, 3B

Mallex Smith, CF

Aaron Northcraft has bounced between Triple-A and Double-A for the Padres the past couple of seasons. At 26 years old, he has played eight seasons in the minor leagues and has yet to make an appearance in the majors. He finished last season with the El Paso Chihuahuas where he elected free agency on November 7th and has yet to be signed by either the Padres or another club.

Justin Upton on the other hand had a good year for the Padres. He slugged 26 home runs, drove in 81 runs, and stole 19 bases for the Friars. The Padres failed to sign him in free agency, landing them their second of three compensatory picks. With that pick, the team drafted Eric Lauer who I talked about earlier.

Isn’t it crazy to you how the first round pick in 2012 led to another first round pick in 2016? Not rare I guess, but pretty interesting nonetheless.


The Padres had two first round picks in 2011, with the first one (pick 10), the Padres grabbed 2B Cory Spangenberg. The second first round pick (pick 25), the Padres drafted RHP Joe Ross.

Cory Spangenberg is currently getting time for the Padres all over field. He’s started at second base, third base, and in left field when the Friars needed an extra outfielder and he hasn’t done too bad either. He’s got a 1.000 fielding percentage and zero errors in 76.1 innings in left field, he posts the same stat line at second base but in just 33.0 innings. At third base he’s played 72.1 innings, where he has a single error and a .962 fielding percentage.

At the plate, Spangenberg has had his fair share of struggles. He’s slashing .250/.272/.307 with just five RBIs, one home run, and two doubles. His 23 strikeouts and three walks show that he is struggling to find those pitches that he can drive for not just hits, but RBIs as well.

Joe Ross was involved with the Wil Myers trade, and was one of the key pieces in that trade.

2010 – 2006

In 2010, the Padres drafted RHP Karsten Whitson; he never pitched an inning in the majors.

In 2009, the Padres drafted CF Donavan Tate; he never played a game in the majors.

In 2008, 1B Allan Dykstra; he played in just 13 MLB games in his career

In 2007, LHP Nick Schmidt; he never pitched an inning in the majors.

In 2006, 3B Matt Antonelli; he played in just 21 MLB games in his career.

So in five straight drafts, the Padres drafted five players that combined for a total of 24 major league appearances. Not to mention that all 24 of these appearances weren’t made for the Padres.


In 2005, things start to get a little interesting. The first draft choice, Cesar Carillo, was much like so many before; he played in just three major league games in his career. However, the second Cesar was the right Cesar. Cesar Ramos was the first, first round draft choice by the Padres in the last five drafts to actually live up to some possible potential. He played in 267 games, recorded 10 wins and 15 losses while posting a 4.02 ERA and 1.2 WAR between five different teams.

Cesar Ramos is the beginning of a little rabbit hole of trades. He was traded by the Padres in 2010 to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jason Bartlett. Prior to this trade, Ramos played in two major league seasons with the Padres in which he posted a 6.26 ERA in 19 games.

Jason Bartlett played 168 games for the Friars in two seasons before being traded to the Twins. While in SD, Bartlett slashed a measly .231/.299/.292 with 44 RBIs and 125 strike outs in 637 at bats. He was traded to Minnesota for Brian Buchanan.

Brian Buchanan played in San Diego for three seasons and 201 games. He slashed .260/.339/.457 with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs. He struck out just 96 times in his 350 at bats as a Padre before being granted free agency in August of ’04.


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Joshua Preston
Joshua Preston
6 years ago

You neglected to mention that Karsten Whitson never signed, which gave the Padres the Cory Spangenberg pick. He then was drafted in the 11th round by the Red Sox in 2014, pitched 7 innings that year, and hasn’t played since.

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