San Diego Padres baseball has been known for lots of different things lately, and not much of it good.
Ownership changes, front office firings, big contracts and big mistakes, fire sales, and dealing away young talent. And then there are the bad drafts.
And you thought the drought that killed your backyard grass was bad. Try looking at the history of the Padres draft dating back a couple of decades. As close to killing a franchise as you can get.
The Padres go to the draft table late this afternoon, with the 8th, 24th and 25th picks in the first round, a payoff from last year’s bad record and the loss of free agents. In fact guru GM-AJ Preller has 5-of the top 68-picks in the draft.
The Friars need pitching, pitching and more pitching, so that should be the focal point by 8pm when the opening rounds end.
The history of Padres drafts is pathetic. In the last couple of years, the draft has brought San Diego some hope, that slugging outfielder Hunter Refroe and catcher Austin Hedges are ready to make the next step up to full time major league status.
But prior to that, you would be shocked at what transpired.
Dating back to the drafting of power hitting 1st baseman Derrick Lee, in 1994, the Padres have taken 39-players in the first round or with comp picks at the end of the round They have had exactly two of those players, yes two, who have had any impact at all, and then dealt those players away.
No, you are reading correctly, just 2-of-39 players made it in the show, and Khalil Green and Sean Burroughs, were here for a short time and then dealt away.
Yes, there were some fringe players who were number one picks and got here for a short time, 2nd baseman Cory Spangenberg, Tim Stouffer, the pitcher, Cory Luebke and his oft injured elbow. But that’s it.
Your Padres drafts included names like Ben Davis, Kevin Nicholson, Vince Faison, Mark Phillips, Jake Guatreau, Nick Schmidt, Allen Dykstra, Robbie Beckett, Matt Halloran and so many more. .
The worst pics of all included the alcohol troubled Matt Bush, and the total bomb that was always-hurt Donovan Tate.
Think about that, 2-draft picks, since 1994.
Now the Friars did use recent picks as parts of trades. Joe Ross, Mallex Smith Treau Turner, are all in the major leagues, but with other clubs now, as parts of deals that brought them the likes of Wil Myers and Melvin Upton..
In Padres history, they did well, but that was years back. Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Kevin McReynolds, Andy Benes and Joey Hamilton. But all that was pre-1994.
So here we are today, with that tin-can of failure dragging behind them, as the Padres desperately need to rally this franchise.
Strength in numbers, having lots of picks helps. Time for Preller and his montage of minor league think-tank guys, to hit the jackpot.
The draft cannot be a crap shoot, especially if you are not a big player in free agency. The Padres had a total of 820 players on their draft board, some 111-they would consider in the early rounds.
By 8-pm tonight, they’ll have six more names to add to their organization. By the end of the weekend, they will have drafted probably 48-players in all.
Of course you can find a gem, like an Albert Pujols or a Mike Trout, but then again, with the history of this franchise, who can hold out hope they find something in the 44th round, a Mike Piazza type, when you consider they couldn’t hit the target when they were drafting in the first slot (Bush) or the 6th pick (Tate).
Good-Bad-Really Ugly, we’ve seen it all with the Padres front office and the draft.