Yes, I know there are two seasons left in this decade, but hey, these lists are fun and it’s the off-season.
From the 2010 to the 2017 season, let’s see where we are at with the Padres’ 2010’s All-Decade team.
Unfortunately, the Friars have had a rough go at it this decade. They only have one winning season (2010) and zero playoff appearances.
Now, this doesn’t mean there haven’t been some good times and some fun players to watch. Let’s go around the diamond and review the last seven seasons of Padres baseball.
I used WAR (Wins Above Replacement) as most of my criteria, but it wasn’t my be-all, end-all.
Catcher: Nick Hundley
Hundley caught for the Padres from 2008 to 2014. He certainly was the longest tenured catcher in this decade so far. However, on this list, longest tenured does not always ensure the best of the Padres’ 2010’s decade. Hundley edges Derek Norris as far as WAR as a Padre goes (3.7 WAR from 2010-2014 to Norris’ 2.8).
He was also the catcher for the last good Padres team in 2010. He caught guys like Mat Latos and Heath Bell that season as the Friars went 90-72. Hundley finished his Padres career with 47 home runs in 510 games. He was a steady presence behind the plate.
First Base: Wil Myers
This race was a bit closer between Myers and Yonder Alonso. Alonso played for four seasons at first compared to Wil Myers’ two. The offensive production, however, was not close. Myers, in his two seasons since moving to first base, has hit 58 home runs with a 113 OPS+. Last season he slumped a bit, but still hit a career-high 30 home runs with a 110 OPS+. If he can cut down on the strikeouts and put the ball in play more, he could be a 35-homer guy at first for the Friars.
Despite some criticism of his defense, the 2016 All-Star Myers has posted positive Defensive Runs Saved numbers each of those seasons (+8 and +1 respectively). Unless a dramatic move is made, Myers will be the Padres’ first baseman for the foreseeable future. With those kinds of numbers, he could even make a case for the overall best player of this decade for the Friars.
Second Base: Yangervis Solarte
Here is where it gets a bit tricky. One could argue that Jedd Gyorko deserves this slot and Solarte could be at shortstop or third. Honestly, Solarte was beaten out in both of those spots and he deserves to be on this list. He has played 113 games at second base for the Padres with an even 0 Defensive Runs Saved and he has a 6.1 WAR as a Padre. Gyorko played many more games at second, but was not as defensively reliable, and after a solid rookie season, he tapered off significantly offensively. Solarte has clearly been more consistent.
Solarte set a career high this season with 18 home runs. He has hit a respectable .270 in a Padres uniform. He also has been the heart and soul of this team recently and seems to be well respected and looked up to in the locker room. With him being a switch hitter, he adds that much more value.
Shortstop: Everth Cabrera
With Solarte slotted at second base, this race was not even close. That is both a testament to how good Cabrera was at his peak with San Diego and how atrociously horrible the shortstop position has been for the last, oh, ten years. We are all praying this goes away at the end of this decade with the arrival of Fernando Tatis Jr. But for now, it is certainly Cabrera.
Cabrera earned an All-Star bid in 2013 when he batted .291 with 34 stolen bases before the All-Star break. The season before, Cabrera led the National League with 44 stolen bases. He stole at least 25 bases three times with San Diego. He also played not a spectacular, but a reliable, shortstop. For the three to four years he was “the guy” at short for San Diego, he was one of the best in franchise history.
Third Base: Chase Headley
I tried to just keep in mind Headley’s stats from 2010 to 2014 and it still wasn’t very close. That has a lot to do with his monstrous 2012 season. He finished fifth in MVP voting when he hit 31 home runs, led the National League with 115 RBI and batted .286 with a 145 OPS+. On top of that, he won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, capping one of the best individual seasons in Padres history. He never touched those numbers again, but overall he had a solid career in San Diego.
In this decade (4 ½ seasons), he hit 66 home runs for the Friars and batted just under .270. He posted a 17.7 WAR in that time (which is over 3.5 WAR per season). He usually played a solid third base, hence the 2012 Gold Glove. He had a +24 Defensive Runs Saved at third base in this set timeframe.
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