In another edition of Buster Olney’s top-10 positional rankings, the ESPN insider ranked his top left infielders in Major League Baseball. Fortunately, you don’t have to go too far down the list to find Tommy Pham, the lone Padre to earn their way onto the list. He landed at #3, only behind the Nationals’ Juan Soto and the Astros’ Michael Brantley.
Here’s what Olney had to say about Pham and his placement on these rankings:
Among the National League’s teams, no club is in win-now mode more than the Padres, and the acquisition of Pham from the Tampa Bay Rays should make San Diego better immediately. The veteran outfielder is disciplined in his at-bats, takes walks and will improve the top of the lineup, in front of Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, et al. Hunter Renfroe, for whom Pham was acquired, is the better defender, but Pham is solid.
In 2019 with the Tampa Bay Rays in 145 games, Pham batted .273 with 155 hits, 21 home runs, 68 RBIs, and scored 77 runs.
In the Padres’ shortened spring training, Pham hit .190 with four hits, four RBIs, and scored two runs in eight games.