Breaking down the top five picks in the first round for the San Diego Padres organization over in recent memory, including career Padres and players who have since been shipped.
The 2017 MLB draft has come and gone, and the San Diego Padres have strengthened their organization’s pitching for years to come with their first round selection of MacKenzie Gore. Picked third overall, the high schooler is projected to become one of the organization’s top prospects almost immediately.
Now that the signing of Gore has been made official, it is a good time to look back at the success of some of San Diego’s past first round picks.
Of course, some have had great success while others have fallen short of expectations. More recent picks may be beginning to pan out, but still have yet to reach their full potential.
The following is a quick look at our top five recent San Diego first round draft picks.
5. Tim Stauffer
The Padres entered the 2003 draft struggling mightily and on their way to 98 losses. With the fourth overall pick in the draft, San Diego selected a right-handed pitcher from the University of Richmond, Tim Stauffer.
Stauffer was a successful pick due to his lengthy career with the major league club. Quickly working his way up in under three seasons, his tenure in San Diego spanned ten seasons.
Stauffer’s most successful years came in his return to 2009 and 2014 after his return to the Friars. Most memorable was 2010, when Stauffer was 28 years old. In his 32 games that season, the right-hander finished with a 66-5 record and a 1.85 ERA.
In total, the veteran accumulated 575 innings with the Padres and 20 and 2/3 innings elsewhere. Overall, Stauffer can be considered one of the better first round draft picks even if he isn’t a household name due to his long tenure in San Diego and productivity throughout.
4. Cory Spangenberg
Many Padre fans realize that Cory Spangenberg has been one of the more consistently productive and resilient players on the roster this season. What many don’t realize is the obscure nature of the draft pick which flew under the radar in the eyes of many.
The tenth overall pick in 2011 was an infielder from Indian River State College. Spangenberg worked through the organization’s minor league system in an efficient way and made his debut with the big league club in 2014.
Since then, the infielder has hit .268 in the majors and has played consistent defense at multiple positions. Spangenberg has driven in 52 runs in 193 games, spanning over the course of four seasons.
Now, at 26 years old, Spangenberg is part of the club’s bright future. He has settled in at third base and found a home in the lineup. Due to his potential to be a key piece in San Diego’s future core, Spangenberg is one of the organization’s top draft picks in recent memory.
3. Joe Ross
Fans will see Joe Ross on this list and think, how can someone who never even put on a Padres uniform be one of their top picks?
The answer is simple. Ross helped San Diego land Wil Myers, as he was involved in a massive trade including 11 players and three teams.
The Padres selected Ross 25th overall in 2011 out of Bishop O’Dowd High School in the Oakland area. He struggled a bit early on in the minor leagues, but showed enough potential to catch the eye of the Washington Nationals. Balancing the trade which landed San Diego Myers is the legacy of Ross as far as the Padres organization is concerned.
2. Hunter Renfroe
Quite possibly the most exciting piece of the emerging young Padres roster this season is outfielder Hunter Renfroe. Renfroe seems to have been the only outfielder to stay healthy so far in 2017, and his power hitting and defense give the franchise the hope of an exciting outfield for years to come.
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Renfroe is truly one of the more recent first round picks, taken 13th overall in 2014 out of Mississippi State. He took just over three seasons to make it all the way to the majors, bursting onto the scene in late September of 2016
The best part of Renfroe which transcends his current stats is the potential he brings for the future. The draft is all about potential, as results take time and patience to pan out. But now that fans have seen what Renfroe can do, the excitement of what his future holds with the organization makes the pick back in 2013 an excellent one in hindsight.
1. Trea Turner
Trea Turner has taken off in 2017 and has proven to be one of Washington’s better infielders. But that’s not the reason he is San Diego’s best first round draft pick since 2000.
Like Ross, Turner was involved in the Myers trade. He was the key piece the Padres had to sacrifice in order to land their franchise first baseman.
Turner was selected 13th overall in 2014 out of North Carolina State. He entered the minors as a shortstop, and immediately impressed. After 2014, when the Padres made the trade, they had to sacrifice someone significant. Along with Ross, a right-hander which has proven to be a productive piece of Washington’s rotation, Turner is an excellent addition which made the trade worthwhile for the Nats and the Padres.
How do you feel about our list of top five first round draft picks since 2000? Take a look at the full list of draft picks here, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.