#1 Justin Upton (2015)
All this brings us to this past year and the season that Justin Upton put up for the Padres. The team had very high expectations for the season, but they fell flat on their face. All of the failure was not the doing of Justin Upton as he had a great season at Petco Park for the Padres
He proved that a slugger could hit at Petco despite all the complaints from previous hitters. Upton, in fact, had a better season at home than on the road this past year for the Padres. He hit .277 at home with 15 homers and 42 RBIs while he hit .225 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs on the road.
In total, Upton hit .251 with 26 home runs and 81 RBIs while amassing a 4.4 WAR rating. Despite the low batting average and high strikeouts, Upton was the most productive Padres player in terms of WAR value for the 2015 season. The Padres did give up some very attractive prospects to attain him, though.
Max Fried, Mallex Smith, Dustin Peterson, and Jace Peterson were dealt to the Braves for Upton and Aaron Northcraft. The Braves got a decent year out of Jace Peterson as he played second base for them in 2015 on an everyday basis. Fried was the Padres former #1 pick but is recovering from Tommy John surgery. The lefty is expected to be ready this spring or summer. Mallex Smith was a speedster that stole 57 bases last year between Double-A and Triple-A. The 22-year-old center fielder might be prepared for the big leagues very soon.
There is still a chance the Padres could retain Upton if the market dries upon him. Possible. But not very likely at all. A slugger with his track record and at the age of 28, should have no problem finding a multiple-year contract over $100 million. The Padres have virtually no chance of retaining him at that price. No chance at all.
The Padres mostly rented Upton for just one year. They will receive a compensation pick from him once he signs with someone else. The market on Upton should heat up very soon, and once he signs, he will officially be a member of this dubious San Diego Padres honor. The “one-year wonder” Padres outfield club.