The History of the Padres First Round Picks in This Century

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: AP Photo

2004

The Mission Bay kid, Matt Bush, was drafted in the first round by the Padres in 2004 but didn’t see the field until 2007.

He pitched just 7.1 innings in the Padres Arizona rookie league before being called up to pitch one out of one inning for the low-A Fort Wayne TinCaps. He was bought out by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, but released two months later.

He wouldn’t see the field again until 2010 when he was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays and then released in 2012.

The Texas Rangers took a gamble on Bush, signing him 2015 where he pitched in their double-A division. He would later go on to debut in ’16 where he posted a strong 7-2 record and low 2.48 ERA. He racked up 61 strike outs in 61.2 innings for the Texans in 2016.

He has gotten off to a pretty strong start this season as well proudly presenting a 1.10 ERA, 2-0 record, and 21 strike outs in just 16.1 innings of relief.

Can’t blame the Padres for letting this one slip away, who would’ve guessed a kid drafted in 2004 would be making such an impact over a decade later?

2003

The Padres drafted Tim Stauffer in June of 2003. He debuted for the Padres in 2005, where he finished the year 3-6 with a 5.33 ERA in 14 games started as a rookie. He started in just 17 innings the next three years, allowing 48 total runs.

2010 was probably his strongest year for the Padres as he pitched much of the year out of the bullpen. In 31 games (seven starts) he racked up 61 K’s with a 1.85 ERA and a 6-5 record. That year earned him a spot in the rotation for 2011, where he started 31 games and dropped a 3.73 ERA with nine wins and 12 losses.

Stauffer had a couple of strong years back to back in 2013 and 2o14 before inevitably deciding to elect free agency where he signed with the Minnesota Twins

2002

Ah, this one is going to sting just a little. The Padres drafted Khalil Greene in the first round of the 2002 MLB draft. He played his first full season for the Padres during the 2004 season in which he finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting. He batted .273 for the year with 15 home runs, 65 RBIs, and 53 walks to 94 strikeouts. Not only was he solid on offense, but he was a single man highlight reel in his rookie season with the Friars.

He went on to play six seasons with the Padres, owning the title for most home runs by a Padres shortstop in franchise history. He had 84 home runs, along with 328 RBIs and 9.3 WAR. His final season with the Padres came to a scorching end when he missed his last 15 games with a broken hand after punching a storage locker in anger after striking out for the 100th time in the season. The Padres traded Greene to the St. Louis Cardinals following the ’08 season for Mark Worrell and Luke Gregerson.

Credit: Getty Images

Growing up, I used to pretend to be Kahlil Greene in my back yard, diving for balls in the dirt and throwing them across to yard pretending my fence was Adrian Gonzalez. So it was a real pain to me to see that my team had traded my favorite player away, whether or not he was having some struggles.

What us fans didn’t really know at the time, was that Kahlil Greene had some serious social anxiety issues. His failure to succeed only made those anxieties worse and he continued in a downward spiral of mental health issues.

For the Padres, Greene finished in the top 50 of fielding percentages for shortstops in their career with .975 (45th overall). Despite being so good for the Padres, he was never an all-star, though he sure did deserve it.

Since we’re seeing what the Padres got out of their first round draft choices, let’s see what Mark Worrell and Luke Gregerson did in their time in San Diego.

Mark Worrell had a short and unsuccessful career. He appeared in just eight games, none for the Padres, and finished with and 0-1 record with a fat 15.26 ERA in just 7.1 innings.

Luke Gregerson played five seasons in San Diego, finishing with a 17-22 record and an impressive 2.88 ERA. He pitched in over 360 games for the Padres and went on to strike out over 350 batters. As many of you may know, Kahlil Greene played just a single season in St. Louis before having his final mental breakdown that left him unable to play baseball. So this trade definitely was a win for our Friars, since they got four more seasons out of Gregerson than they would’ve gotten by keeping Greene.

The Padres traded Gregerson to the Oakland Athletics for Seth Smith to further extend the rabbit hole of the 2002 first round draft choice. Gregerson now pitches for the Houston Astros. Smith played in just one season for the Padres, 2014. He racked up 12 homers and 4 RBIs while slashing .266/.367/.440 in the Padres outfield. He finished the season with a WAR 4.0, which is 2.3 points higher than Gregerson and 4.0 points higher than Kahlil Greene.

But wait, the hole gets deeper. The 2002 first round draft choice of the San Diego Padres has turned into a 26-year-old starting pitcher turned closer, Brandon Maurer. After just one season with the Friars, Seth Smith was traded to Seattle Mariners for Brandon Maurer.

Mauer is the Padres current closer, he is 0-3 with an ERA of 6.88 this year for the Padres. He has five saves and 22 strikeouts in 17.0 innings for the Padres this season. Fellow EVT writer Patrick Brewer did a great write-up on Maurer if you’d like to read more on that.

With Maurer struggling and him only getting older, it is being theorized that he may be used as a potential trade piece once Carter Capps has shown that he can be his old self again. Who knows what the Friars could get for him, but as of now the 2002 rabbit hole is already three trades deep.

2001 – 2000

The San Diego Padres took Jake Gauteau in the first round of the 2001 MLB draft. He played eight seasons in the minor leagues, but never made it to the majors.

The Padres took Mark Phillips in the first round of the 2000 draft and he also never made an appearance in the majors.

Final Wrap

So with that, we have finally analyzed every player drafted by the Padres this century and what exactly our Friars have gotten as a result of that pick. The Padres had 20 draft choices from 2000-2016 which ended up resulting in 33 different players going through San Diego. Out of all of these choices, only 10 are in the Padres system still. Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, Brandon Maurer and Cory Spangenberg are currently on the Padres and Eric Lauer, Hudson Potts, Cal Quantrill, Fernando Tatis Jr., Jose Castillo, and Gerardo Reyes are in the minor league system showing promise and potential to one day be a significant part of the big league roster.

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Derek Cluff
Derek is a 22-year-old out of Lemon Grove, California. A burning passion for San Diego sports led him to pursue an opportunity to write and share about what's going on with the teams in America's Finest City. A young and aspiring sports journalist looking to grow his knowledge and expand his experience at any opportunity.

2 thoughts on “The History of the Padres First Round Picks in This Century

  1. 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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Total Views: 3209 ,
(Visited 2,317 times, 1 visits today)
Derek Cluff
Derek is a 22-year-old out of Lemon Grove, California. A burning passion for San Diego sports led him to pursue an opportunity to write and share about what's going on with the teams in America's Finest City. A young and aspiring sports journalist looking to grow his knowledge and expand his experience at any opportunity.