San Diego Padres: Struggles at Shortstop

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SAN DIEGO - JUNE 08: Shortstop Khalil Greene
SAN DIEGO - JUNE 08: Shortstop Khalil Greene /
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The San Diego Padres have dealt with a major drought at the shortstop position for almost a decade now. Since the infamous Khalil Green, the Padres have had seven different opening day shortstops in nine years.

Prior to their recent struggles, the Padres did enjoy some consistency at the shortstop position.

Ozzie Smith started at shortstop in four consecutive seasons before being traded in 1982. Gary Templeton followed up by starting at shortstop for 9 straight seasons in San Diego.

Between 1997 and 2001, Chris Gomez locked down shortstop four times in five years. Khalil Green also started at shortstop for 5 consecutive seasons between 2004 and 2008.

Success

Not only did these players consistently hold their positions, the Padres as a team have historically played better while using a consistent everyday shortstop. 4 of the 5 years that the Padres have made the playoffs, one of the 4 men listed above were their starting  shortstop.

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Yet, in the past few seasons San Diego has penciled in below-average veteran shortstops such as Clint Barmes, Alexei Ramirez, Adam Rosales, and Erick Ayabar. All of which have played poorly an been consistently on the disabled list.

Who will step up?

It is well known that the Padres have one of the best farm systems in the league. According to baseballreference.com, young SS Luis Urias is hitting an impressive .304 in (AA) San Antonio and is close to being Major League ready. San Diego also has a lot to look forward to in young SS/2B Fernando Tatis Jr, who is hitting .281 with 21 home runs, 69 RBI’s and 29 stolen bases this season in (A) Fort Wayne.

Next: Grading rotation staples on 2017 progress

Although the Padres have seen flashes of potential this season with Yangervis Solarte and Dusty Coleman, their farm system seems to be the only hope for a future championship in San Diego.

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