One of the best starting pitchers to ever put on a Padres’ uniform, Jake Peavy terrorized NL West hitters for eight seasons in San Diego.
Possibly no starting pitcher in Padres’ history was as dominant as Jake Peavy. Drafted in the 15th round of the 1999 draft, Peavy would go on to win 92 games for the Padres while recording a 3.29 ERA and franchise-leading 1, 348 strikeouts.
From 2003-2008, Peavy won double-digit games each year and posted an ERA under 2.90 four times, including a 2.27 ERA in 2004.
Peavy’s career isn’t officially over. He’s still a free agent and many Padres’ fans wanted the team to re-sign him this past offseason when the team brought back Chris Young and Tyson Ross. It’s safe to say though, even if Peavy were to return to the diamond, he will never match his 2007 season.
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The 2007 Cy Young Award winner led the league in wins (19), ERA (2.54), strikeouts (240), and WHIP (1.06). His 34 starts and 223 innings were both career highs.
The Padres traded Peavy in 2009 to the Chicago White Sox, receiving Clayton Richard and a handful of other players in return. He would go on to win two World Series championships, one with the White Sox and one with the San Francisco Giants.
With a seemingly endless talent of pitching in the minor leagues, Peavy’s career strikeout record is sure to be broken sooner rather than later. While every pitcher on this list deserves credit for respectable major league careers, it really speaks volumes about the lack of pitching talent throughout the years in San Diego.
Just for comparison, Peavy would rank 10th in San Francisco Giants’ history and 8th in Los Angeles Dodgers’ history for career strikeouts.
The highest-ranked active player is currently Clayton Richard. As of May 11th, 2018, Richards 610 strikeouts as a Padres rank 12th all-time. He needs just 68 to pass Randy Jones and move into 8th before taking a stab at entering the top five within the next two-three seasons.
Other than Clayton Richard, no current Padre is coming close to cracking this list within the next few years. When it’s all said and done will we see Joey Lucchesi, MacKenzie Gore, Michel Baez or any other of the team’s top prospects on this list? Only time will tell, until then, let’s go Padres!