When I was much younger, I was a lot more of a general baseball fan. Being that my only chances to see or hear Padres games in West Virginia in the days before live streaming were listening to the radio broadcast when they played the fairly local Reds, or watching when they played the nationally televised Braves and Cubs, I took in whatever baseball I could, whenever I could. Enjoying games with no particular rooting interest gave me a wider appreciation of more players, whereas these days about 99% of the baseball I watch is Padres games, so the only time I see players from other teams is when they're the enemy that particular day. Still, despite that, I have an appreciation for some current players with no ties to the Padres.
Naturally I tend to maintain a rooting interest in some former Padres who have since moved on. I will still occasionally check up on players I had a particular affinity for when they were on the club, such as Chris Young, Jedd Gyorko, Mat Latos, and Nick Hundley, to name a few. I feel that's to be expected, though. There are some other players, however, with absolutely no connection to the organization who have drawn my interest for a variety of reasons, some more sensible than others.
Ichiro is one player whose style of play always made an impression on me. It's not hard to imagine why a Padres fan would gravitate toward a left-handed, singles-hitting right fielder. Along those lines, I've had an appreciation of Adam Jones of the Orioles since the San Diego native paid tribute to Tony Gwynn during the 2014 All-Star Game. Like Ichiro, Adrian Beltre is bound for Cooperstown one day, and has an absolutely magnetic personality. It wasn't until the past five years or so that I developed a high regard for him; I'm certain that the advent of GIFs becoming highly popular played a large role in that.
It's hard not to be in awe of Bryce Harper and Mike Trout for the things they do on the field, but both seem to be upstanding young men off of it; I particularly like Harper's refusal to bow down to the made-up nonsensical code of conduct which demands that players treat a game like a visit to the dentist. Similarly, I find it impossible to dislike David Ortiz, although I can certainly understand why some do. I'm sure at least one person in the comments will tell me why I shouldn't like him.
That brings me to what this post is all about: your comments. I'm interested in reading about which active players without Padres ties you are drawn to, and why. Are you a Joey Votto fan because you two share a birthday? Or do you like Kris Bryant because he's your seven-year-old goddaughter's favorite player? Wait, those two were me again, but you get the point.