San Diego Padres: Top Five First-Round Picks In Franchise History
By Nick Stevens
With the 2018 MLB draft approaching fast, let’s take a look at some of the most successful first-round picks in San Diego Padres history.
The San Diego Padres will select their first-round pick within the first 10 picks of the draft this year. It will be the 27th time in franchise history.
Taking a quick glance at every player selected by the San Diego Padres in the first round brings mostly agony to die-hard Friar faithful. However, with every Matt Bush story that comes out of the draft, one can find a story of success. With that being said, let’s take a look at the top five first-round picks in San Diego draft history.
For this purpose, we will look at the success each player had while with the Padres, excluding performances once on other franchises. For instance, San Diego selected first baseman Derrek Lee with the 14th overall pick in the 1993 draft and hit 331 career home runs. However, he played just 22 games with the Padres before being sent to the Miami Marlins in exchange for starting pitcher Kevin Brown. Lee is not included on this list.
#5) Tim Stauffer, RHP, University of Richmond (VA)
Originally drafted out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles, Tim Stauffer was the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft by Padres. The former Richmond Spider needed just a season and a half in the minors before making his major league debut on May 11th, 2005.
Stauffer went six innings in his debut against the Cincinnati Reds, giving up four hits, two runs, and three walks while striking out five and earning the victory.
He pitched nine seasons with the San Diego Padres, compiling a 32-34 record with a 3.87 ERA and 3.99 FIP. Over 575 innings (73 starts, 183 appearances in total), Stauffer posted a 435/193 K/BB ratio.
His most successful season came in 2010 when Stauffer was used mainly as a reliever. Appearing in 37 games (seven starts), Stauffer went 6-5 with a 1.85 ERA and struck out 19% of hitters he faced. Opposing batters struggled to hit the ball well against him and managed just three home runs and a .217 average across 82.2 innings.
Stauffer was rewarded by being named the Opening Day starter in 2011 (9-12, 3.73 ERA) before elbow injuries derailed his entire 2012 season.
Things fell apart after his days in San Diego came to an end in 2014. Stauffer pitched for one more season (Minnesota Twins and New York Mets), giving up 18 earned runs in 20.2 innings.