Earlier this week, AJ Cassavell asked a number of beat writers who cover the Padres who has been the best shortstop in franchise history. They came up with four solid names and ranked them 1-4. Before getting into it, a lot of people would probably would place current SS Fernando Tatis Jr. at or near the top of the list. For this exercise, Cassavell mentions that Tatis Jr. would probably be the best of the bunch within the next couple of years but they don’t believe it yet so he falls to #5, just outside their top guys.
After careful deliberation, here’s how the shortstops stacked up:
- Khalil Greene (2003-08)
- Ozzie Smith (1978-81)
- Garry Templeton (82-91)
- Tony Fernandez (1991-92)
Per Cassavell, Greene’s 84 career home runs with the Padres are “more than double” the next closest shortstop in franchise history. Here’s what else he had to say about Greene:
“Khalil Greene burst onto the scene with a brilliant rookie season in 2004, en route to a second-place finish in National League Rookie of the Year Award voting. In hindsight, a more analytically inclined electorate likely would’ve picked Greene over Jason Bay. He led all rookies with 3.2 wins above replacement and slashed .273/.349/.446 at a premium defensive position.”
Because I know you guys are curious, here is what Cassavell had to say about Tatis Jr.:
“Over/under three years until Fernando Tatis Jr. sits at the top of this list? (I’ll take the under.) Of course, Tatis’ seemingly unstoppable rise to the best Padres shortstop of all time says two things: First, it points out the franchise’s dreary history at the position. It’s impossible to ignore. But it also signifies a huge shift away from the longstanding shortstop woes in San Diego. Tatis is 21, and he’s already one of the most electric players in the sport. As a rookie, he batted .317/.379/.590 with 22 homers and a dazzling skill set on the bases. The Padres essentially spent the decade after Greene’s departure in search of a long-term answer at shortstop. At long last, they seem to have found one.”
If any of you want to read the rest of the article by Cassavell, you can find it here.