Yesterday I focused on the Padres’ Rule 5 Draft busts. In order to keep the Rule 5 coverage going, we now look at the Padres’ Best Rule 5 Draft picks.
1. Shane Victorino – The Padres plucked the Flyin’ Hawaiian from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft.
Unfortunately, Victorino didn’t pan out.
In 36 games with the Padres, Victorino had a porous .151 batting average with four RBIs and seven stolen bases. The lack of production led the Padres to return him back to the Dodgers.
The speedy outfielder found himself to be in the same predicament, two years later. This time he was a Rule 5 draftee of the Philadelphia Phillies, and again he did not pan out. The Phillies tried to return him to the Dodgers, but this time the Dodgers declined.
In 2006, Victorino became an everyday player for the Phillies.
From there we all know what kind of career Victorino has had. With two All-Star appearances, three gold glove awards and a World Series Championship later, I bet the Padres wish they would have held onto him. I know I have been wishing the same.
Victorino’s stellar career has awarded him the No. 1 spot on our countdown.
2. Ivan Nova – Although Nova never officially pitched for the Padres, he is the team’s second best Rule 5 draftee.
The Friars selected the Dominican right-hander in the 2008 Rule 5 draft, and had him competing for a roster spot, up until the final days of Spring Training.
Nova was returned to the Yankees after a disappointing Spring when he pitched to a tune of a 8.31 ERA. While allowing eight earned runs on 13 hits in 8 2/3 innings pitched, he also walked four and struck out three.
Since returning to the Yanks, Nova has been dominant. He has racked up 29 wins to only 14 losses, all while compiling a 4.38 ERA.
Nova is just starting to hit his stride, and it’s scary to think of the type of career he will have five years from now.
3.Everth Cabrera – The Friars snatched the Nicaraguan shortstop from the Colorado Rockies in the 2008 Rule 5 draft, making him the only Padres Rule 5 draftee on the current roster.
2009 was his first full Major League Season, and Cabrera’s finest season yet. During that year, he batted .255 with two home runs and 31 RBIs.
After an injury plague 2010 and 2011 seasons, Cabrera showed in 2012 he was not to be forgotten.
He was recalled from Triple-A Tucson on May 18, and finished out the season batting .246 with two home runs, and 24 RBIs. He took the Major League stolen bases crown with 44. Cabrera’s offense has been inconsistent at times, but he’s made up his failures with his outstanding defense.
If Cabrera can have a breakout in the next year or two, he can easily climb up this list.
4. George Kontos– Most people outside of San Francisco probably don’t know who George Kontos is. Well, let me tell you.
Kontos was taken by the Padrs in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft out of the New York Yankees organization.
Kontos had a horrendous Spring Training, which saw him make three appearances and racked up a 9.82 ERA, which led his return to the spring led to his return to the Yankees.
He made his Major League debut in 2011 with the Yankees before being traded to the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
The 6’3, 225-pound right-hander was an integral part of the Giants’ 2012 World Championship team. In 51 games out of the bullpen, he sported a 2-1 record with a 2.54 earned run average in 49 2/3 innings pitched.
In the 2012 post season, he pitched in eight games with a 6.75 ERA.
For the simple fact that he owns a World Series ring, and had been pretty consistent last year, he lands on the last spot of the countdown.
This concludes my Padres’ best Rule 5 Draft selections countdown. Let me know what you think of my list in the comments section below,which players did I rank to high and which ones should be lower?