Key Players to Watch on the San Diego Padres

The San Diego Padres may not be the most well-known or successful franchise in Major League Baseball history, but they have still produced a handful of superstar players. The Friars have compiled an all-time record of 3,952–4,568 as of 2022. They have only had seven postseason appearances since their first season in 1969, though two of those resulted in National League pennants. And while the Padres have finished last in their division 20 times and haven’t had a winning record from 2011 to ’19, they’re still a franchise worth celebrating—and one that has found a resurgence with young talent.

There have been 13 Hall of Famers to play for the Padres—though only Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, and Dave Winfield played predominantly with the franchise—and 17 players have made multiple All-Star mlb jerseys  appearances in a San Diego uniform.

Selection Criteria for This List

Narrowing down the top five players in San Diego Padres history got a little tricky after establishing the top three. Many players have the credentials needed to be included on the list, so I added a handful of honorable-mention candidates after the top five. The criteria used to develop this list included:

  • Legacy Honors (Hall of Fame, retired number, etc.)
  • Single-Season Honors (MVP, All-Star, etc.)
  • On-Field Success (league leader, playoff appearances, records, etc.)
  • Longevity (years with the Padres, percentage of career with the Padres, etc.)

Only games played with the Padres are factored into this list, so while Hall of Famer Greg Maddux would be a great choice on a list about the Atlanta Braves, his two seasons in San Diego won’t make the cut here. Now, without further ado, let’s count down the top five players in San Diego Padres history!

The best starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres in recent years was Jake Peavy, who is most known for unanimously winning the Cy Young Award in 2007 when he earned the pitching Triple Crown. Peavy led the National League with 19 wins, 240 strikeouts, and a 2.54 earned-run average that season to become just the eighth player since 1969 to accomplish the feat. That was far from his only successful season in San Diego, however, as he recorded an ERA under 3.00 in four of his seven and a half years with the Padres. He compiled a 92-68 record on the West Coast and struck out 1,348 batters over 1,342⅔ innings.

In 2006, Peavy was named a captain for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, and he pitched the U.S. to a win in the opening game of the event, which was played in San Diego. Peavy was a two-time All-Star (2005 and ’07) and twice led the league in strikeouts and ERA, including a career-low 2.27 mark in 2004. After the 2007 season, Peavy signed a four-year extension worth $52 million, which was the largest contract ever handed out by the Padres. In the middle of the 2009 season, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. He went on to play for the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Giants before retiring in 2016.

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