There is no question that the 2023 season did not go as planned for the San Diego Padres. There were big expectations entering the season after a trip to the National League Championship Series last October against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Things just never worked out for Bob Melvin and A.J. Preller despite having a roster with a roster that they thought was built to win. It wasn't and now there is a good chance when San Diego gathers for spring training next February, things are going to look different. How different, that remains to be seen. Does Melvin come back as manager? Does Preller come back as GM? So many questions with little answers.
There are questions surrounding players on whether or not they will be back. It's unlikely that starting pitcher Blake Snell and closer Josh Hader return to Southern California and what do the Friars do with All-Star outfiedler Juan Soto? Do they trade him or keep him and run it back with a loaded lineup in 2024?
There were some additions to the roster that turned out better than was expected of them in 2023 despite the team's struggles and missing the postseason. Here are three players that performed and worked out better than expected when the season started back in March.