Padres' 5 best homegrown Draft picks

February 15th, 2021

SAN DIEGO -- Through the years, the Padres have drafted and developed a pair of Hall of Fame right fielders, along with a plethora of Cy Young Award-caliber pitching talent.

But these five selections stand out above the rest. Here are the Padres' Top 5 homegrown MLB Draft picks, based on their contributions to the franchise:

1. Tony Gwynn
Third round, 1981
No debate here. is one of the best homegrown success stories in baseball history. After Gwynn starred as a two-sport athlete at San Diego State University, the Padres selected him in the third round of the 1981 Draft. He began making an impact on the big league club barely a year after that. Gwynn went on to become one of the sport's best hitters of all time, racking up 3,141 hits across 20 seasons with the Padres and a .338 lifetime average. He's the franchise leader in WAR, batting average, hits, extra-base hits, total bases, RBIs and walks. Considering Gwynn's immense impact on the San Diego community, plus his otherworldly baseball talents, the right fielder stands alone as the franchise's most valuable Draft choice.

2. Dave Winfield
First round, fourth overall, 1973
Speaking of multisport stars who would become Hall of Fame right fielders after being drafted by San Diego ...

Though was also chosen in the NBA and NFL Drafts, he selected baseball and quickly made it clear that decision was the right one. Across eight seasons in San Diego, Winfield had a .284/.357/.464 slash line with 154 home runs. He reached four All-Star Games, won a pair of Gold Glove Awards and twice found himself in the conversation for the National League MVP Award (despite playing on some bad Padres teams). Winfield signed with the Yankees following the 1980 season, but he left an immense impact on San Diego and became the first player to don a Padres cap on his plaque in Cooperstown.

3. Jake Peavy
15th round, 1999
Right-hander goes down as one of the biggest steals in modern Draft history. It wasn't long before Peavy was the unquestioned ace in San Diego, ushering in an era in which the Padres won consecutive NL West titles and Peavy won a pair of ERA titles and strikeout crowns. In 2007, Peavy won the pitching Triple Crown, leading the NL in wins, strikeouts and ERA en route to capturing the league's Cy Young Award. In eight seasons with the Padres, before he was dealt to the White Sox in '09, Peavy posted a 3.29 ERA while striking out more than a hitter per inning across 212 starts.

4. Randy Jones
Fifth round, 1972
Left-hander Randy Jones didn't have big-time velocity, and he didn't have a putaway offspeed pitch. So it's easy to see why he fell to the fifth round. Turns out, he didn't need either of those things. Jones used one of the most devastating sinkers in baseball history to induce weak contact at a legendary clip, baffling opposing hitters who continually tapped harmless ground balls against him. Jones spent eight seasons in San Diego, and no Padres pitcher -- Peavy included -- has topped Jones' two-year stretch from 1975-76 in which he won the '75 ERA title and the '76 NL Cy Young Award. In that span, he threw more than 600 innings, tallying 43 complete games, 11 shutouts and 42 victories.

5. Khalil Greene
First round, 13th overall, 2002
The top four fall into place without much debate on this list. But a host of contenders deserve mention as candidates for the fifth and final spot -- Andy Benes and Eric Show on the mound, Gene Richards and Chase Headley at the plate. Had the Padres held onto Ozzie Smith a bit longer, he could've found himself here, too. But shortstop takes the No. 5 spot for his excellent peak and his contributions to a pair of Padres playoff teams in 2005 and '06. Greene made a strong case for NL Rookie of the Year in '04, ultimately finishing second to Jason Bay. Greene posted a .731 OPS while playing an excellent defensive shortstop across six seasons in San Diego before he was traded to St. Louis.