Franchise All Star Teams (Divisional Era Version) - Part II - Teams #26-30

September 3, 2022
Franchise All-Star Teams of the Divisional Era
Teams #26-30
 
This is part II of a multi-part series reviewing all-star franchise teams of the Divisional Era (1969 to present). The kickoff article explains the premise.
 
I’m beginning my countdown of the teams, starting with #30. This article took me longer than I anticipated as I revised some of the scoring mechanisms and then went down too many rabbit holes in doing my team summaries, but now that I’ve got this one done, hopefully I’ll be more efficient on the ones to come. Guess we’ll see how it goes.
 
As you read through these, I’ll be interested to hear where you disagree with the selections. Elaborating on that point…..one thing I will say is that, in going through the process of assembling these rosters, there are a lot of potential candidates for every team. I ended up selecting 25 players for each of the 30 teams, or 750 players in all. While many selections are fairly straightforward, as I worked through each roster it became clear that there are many cases where it came down to very tiny differences among fairly equally qualified candidates, and a slight adjustment of the criteria and the lens could make a difference. 
 
And while I used my own scoring to help guide me and sift through the options, a lot of these are ultimately judgement calls, and I didn’t always go with the player who had the higher literal score. Sometimes, another player just seemed to be a better fit. Part of the fun of this is hearing others’ opinions in cases where we differ, so I encourage you to enter comments as you see fit. 
 
As an example….a Reds fan might make a case for including someone like a Ron Oester, who played his whole career for the franchise and was in the top 10 (in this era) in franchise games played, or a Mets fan might push for someone like Ed Kranepool, who basically had the same kind of case (long career with one team). I didn’t opt for them, but a fan of the Reds or the Mets might. Or there might be other players who you think should make a roster, maybe because they were highly decorated or had some significant accomplishment while playing for a franchise. Or maybe you just think there was a better option. I want to hear your opinions.
 
For each franchise, I’m going to review:
  • Team performance during the era (Championships, postseason appearances, winning percentage by decade, etc.)
  • The 25-man roster I selected (with scoring). Keep in mind that these had to be "functional" rosters, with starters and legitimate backups at every position.
  • The roster presented in an alternate "grid" format that provides a different view of the roster, and includes my suggested batting order
  • Rankings among the 30 franchises in several categories based on the scoring system
  • Position/roster notes (position battles, position "cheats", roster justifications, etc.)
  • "Missed the Cut" - players who were considered but did not make the final roster
  • The franchise’s "Grand" Club (position players with 1,000 or more games played during the era)
  • The "Franchise Four" (basically the Mount Rushmore for each franchise in this time frame)
  • Team assessment (weaknesses, strengths, team characteristics, observations, commentary)
  • "Futures" (players currently with the franchise who aren’t on the team yet, but might make a future instance of the all-franchise team if they continue to play well)
 
And, before I get started, I wanted to mention that reader feedback after the kickoff article forced me to re-think and make some tweaks to the scoring/weights I was using. I won’t go through all of the details here, but as you look at the rosters, you’ll see the weights I’m applying. Basically, I reduced the DH weight slightly and re-distributed some of the pitcher weights. 
 
The weights still aggregate to roughly a 65/35 overall split for position players vs. pitchers based on an assumption of 50% hitting and 50% defense, with about 70% of defense (and about 35% overall) attributable to pitching. It changed the rankings a little bit, but not too dramatically. Hopefully you’ll find it a more acceptable distribution. 
 
I should also note that I also adjusted the basic scoring of the "primary" DH players whose raw WAR might have included some huge negative defensive components that suppressed their raw score. My thinking was, since their roster slot weights are already less than those of a full position player, I didn’t want to pile on the penalties. So, while I reduced their weight, I also tweaked their raw score in the other direction as well. Ultimately, this helps someone like a Gary Sheffield (who I have as DH for the Marlins) receive, in my view, a more reasonable overall score that reflects his value, because players who are being cast in a primary DH role for their teams seemed to be coming up with scores that I thought were too low, and I intervened. I can’t guarantee everyone will be happy with the adjustments, but hopefully it’s reasonable.
 
In any case, I’m ready to move on. Here goes…..
 
#30-Tampa Bay Rays/Devil Rays
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
TBR
0
.483
n/a
n/a
.407
.429
.543
 
The Rays were a very poor team over the first decade of their existence, finishing dead last 9 times in their first 10 seasons, and 4th in the other. Then, they shocked the world in 2008 by reaching the World Series, which they lost 4-1 to Philadelphia. In the 13 seasons since, they’ve been a pretty regular playoff participant (6 times), including another visit to the World Series in the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, giving the Dodgers a tough battle before losing 4-2.
 
The Rays are currently one of MLB’s model franchises, with their winning percentage in 2010-2021 of .543 placing them #4 in that time frame. However, they have only been in existence for about a quarter of a century, so their talent pool isn’t as deep as the majority of the other teams, most of whom have been around for 50 years or more.
 
Roster Listing:
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Toby Hall
23.1
6.00%
20.8
1B
Carlos Pena
49.3
6.00%
44.4
2B
Brandon Lowe
53.7
6.00%
48.3
3B
Evan Longoria
75.5
6.00%
67.9
SS
Julio Lugo
49.5
6.00%
44.5
LF
Carl Crawford
61.9
6.00%
55.7
CF
B.J. Upton
38.0
6.00%
34.2
RF
Ben Zobrist
66.9
6.00%
60.2
DH
Aubrey Huff
46.2
4.75%
32.9
SP1
David Price
52.6
5.25%
41.4
SP2
Scott Kazmir
50.7
5.00%
38.1
SP3
Blake Snell
49.0
4.75%
34.9
SP4
James Shields
46.5
4.50%
31.4
SP5
Chris Archer
37.3
3.25%
18.2
RP1
Roberto Hernandez
27.5
3.75%
15.5
RP2
Fernando Rodney
61.5
2.75%
25.4
P
Jake McGee
47.9
2.00%
14.4
P
Alex Cobb
41.4
2.00%
12.4
P
Matt Garza
36.6
2.00%
11.0
Res
John Flaherty
7.0
2.00%
2.1
Res
Fred McGriff
32.5
2.00%
9.7
Res
Joey Wendle
48.1
2.00%
14.4
Res
Kevin Kiermaier
67.7
2.00%
20.3
Res
Desmond Jennings
45.4
2.00%
13.6
Res
Matt Joyce
34.2
2.00%
10.3
Mgr
Joe Maddon
n/a
n/a
722.0
 
Grid View:
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Toby Hall
 Carl Crawford
David Price
Roberto Hernandez
John Flaherty
1B
Carlos Pena
 Ben Zobrist
Scott Kazmir
Fernando Rodney
Fred McGriff
2B
Brandon Lowe
 Evan Longoria
Blake Snell
Jake McGee
Joey Wendle
3B
Evan Longoria
 Aubrey Huff
James Shields
Alex Cobb
Kevin Kiermaier
SS
Julio Lugo
 Carlos Pena
Chris Archer
Matt Garza
Desmond Jennings
LF
Carl Crawford
 Brandon Lowe
 
 
Matt Joyce
CF
B.J. Upton
 B.J. Upton
 
 
 
RF
Ben Zobrist
 Julio Lugo
 
 
 
DH
Aubrey Huff
 Toby Hall
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
722.0
30
Offense
54.3
29
Defense
60.6
9
Speed
17.5
9
Infield
205.1
24
Outfield
150.2
23
Catching
22.9
30
Starting 9
409.0
29
Bench
70.5
28
Staff
242.5
30
Rotation
164.0
29
4 Starters
145.8
28
Bullpen
78.6
29
Short Relief
55.2
29
 
Position/Roster Notes:
In center field, I went Upton and his offense over Kiermaier and his defense, but I can see that one either way. 
 
I slotted super-utility guy Zobrist in right field as that seemed to be where the team needed him most, but he can play just about anywhere. 
 
At first base, McGriff was certainly a better player over his entire career, but my roster decisions tend to be based just on performance generated during time spent with the franchise, so I gave Pena the edge. I could also put McGriff at DH, but I went with Huff there.
 
Missed the Cut:
Jason Bartlett was a tough cut, came down to him and Wendle, and I went with Wendle since he offered greater position versatility. Logan Forsythe, Willy Adames, and Rocco Baldelli were also considered.
 
"Grand" Club:
Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Ben Zobrist
 
Franchise Four:
Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Ben Zobrist, David Price
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Speed, defense
Weaknesses: Just about everything else
 
The Rays (along with the Diamondbacks) are the youngest franchise in MLB, coming on to the scene in 1998. Although they have been a successful over the past 15 years or so, they really haven’t shown themselves to be a "star" type of system, and their all-time team reflects that, and I have them as the #30 seed.
 
They do have some strengths: they have good defensive players (notably Kiermaier, Longoria, and Zobrist) and they have some guys who can run (Crawford, Upton, Lugo, Zobrist, Jennings, Kiermaier). They rank 9th in both of those areas, but they don’t score well in most of the other ones.
 
By far the most iconic Ray is Longoria, although Zobrist and Crawford were very good players as well. Zobrist is probably on the short list of the best "Swiss Army Knife" utility players in history when you think of players who could truly play all over the diamond, players like Tony Phillips, Melvin Mora, etc. Crawford is another asset, basically a member of the Lou Brock family of players. Brock had a much longer career, but Crawford is the same basic model. So, there is some talent there, but they just don’t stack up to the other teams.
 
The pitching staff has had a couple of highlights (Cy Youngs by Price and Snell), but overall the rotation and the short relief don’t rate well in a competition like this. They are also dead last in catching.
 
Futures
It was a little too early for me to put Randy Arozarena on the team, but his time may be coming soon. Shane McLanahan could make the team with another season or two.
 
#29-Arizona Diamondbacks
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
ARI
1
.486
n/a
n/a
.509
.497
.472
 
The Diamondbacks came out of the gates swinging. They won 100 games in just their second year of existence, and won a World Series title in just their 4th year (2001) behind a team built largely on established veterans (all of their primary starters were over 30 years old) who came over from other franchises – players like Mark Grace, Jay Bell, Matt Williams, Reggie Sanders, Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley, Tony Womack, Randy Johnson, and Curt Schilling. They’ve slowed down since that quick start, and generally have been reaching the postseason about every 5 years or so.  
 
Roster Listing:
 
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Miguel Montero
35.4
6.00%
31.9
1B
Paul Goldschmidt
72.7
6.00%
65.4
2B
Ketel Marte
54.1
6.00%
48.6
3B
Matt Williams
30.0
6.00%
27.0
SS
Stephen Drew
37.1
6.00%
33.4
LF
Luis Gonzalez
55.4
6.00%
49.9
CF
Steve Finley
44.8
6.00%
40.3
RF
Justin Upton
39.3
6.00%
35.4
DH
AJ Pollock
55.5
4.75%
39.5
SP1
Randy Johnson
86.3
5.25%
68.0
SP2
Curt Schilling
76.6
5.00%
57.4
SP3
Brandon Webb
67.6
4.75%
48.1
SP4
Zack Greinke
55.7
4.50%
37.6
SP5
Dan Haren
52.6
3.25%
25.7
RP1
Jose Valverde
46.4
3.75%
26.1
RP2
J.J. Putz
45.0
2.75%
18.6
P
Byung-Hyun Kim
55.6
2.00%
16.7
P
Miguel Batista
41.7
2.00%
12.5
P
Patrick Corbin
36.1
2.00%
10.8
Res
Damian Miller
26.2
2.00%
7.9
Res
Mark Reynolds
22.9
2.00%
6.9
Res
Orlando Hudson
47.2
2.00%
14.2
Res
Jay Bell
33.1
2.00%
9.9
Res
David Peralta
38.1
2.00%
11.4
Res
Chris Young
37.1
2.00%
11.1
Mgr
Bob Brenly
n/a
n/a
754.3
 
Grid View:
 
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Miguel Montero
 Ketel Marte
Randy Johnson
Jose Valverde
Damian Miller
1B
Paul Goldschmidt
 Steve Finley
Curt Schilling
J.J. Putz
Mark Reynolds
2B
Ketel Marte
 Luis Gonzalez
Brandon Webb
Byung-Hyun Kim
Orlando Hudson
3B
Matt Williams
 Paul Goldschmidt
Zack Greinke
Miguel Batista
Jay Bell
SS
Stephen Drew
 Justin Upton
Dan Haren
Patrick Corbin
David Peralta
LF
Luis Gonzalez
 Matt Williams
-
-
Chris Young
CF
Steve Finley
 AJ Pollock
-
-
-
RF
Justin Upton
 Miguel Montero
-
-
-
DH
AJ Pollock
 Stephen Drew
-
-
-
 
Rankings:
 
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
754.3
29
Offense
66.3
28
Defense
48.4
13
Speed
10.1
18
Infield
174.4
29
Outfield
125.6
30
Catching
39.7
26
Starting 9
371.5
30
Bench
61.4
30
Staff
321.5
13
Rotation
236.8
6
4 Starters
211.1
4
Bullpen
84.7
26
Short Relief
61.3
24
 
Position/Roster Notes:
Finley vs. Pollack was a pretty close call in center field, but I ended up going with Finley as the better franchise representative in center, and installed Pollack at DH. I went with Marte (who has spent a lot of time at 2B, SS, and CF) as the primary second baseman over Hudson, who had a pretty nice 3-year run there.
 
Missed the Cut:
Craig Counsell just missed the team. He would have provided nice depth & multi-position flexibility in the infield.  Ian Kennedy had his moments, but not enough to make the team.
 
"Grand" Club:
Paul Goldschmidt, Luis Gonzalez
 
Franchise Four:
Randy Johnson, Paul Goldschmidt, Curt Schilling, Luis Gonzalez
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Starting rotation, defense
Weaknesses: Offense, depth, relievers
 
Despite the fact that the franchise has only been around for 25 years, they have a clear strength, and that’s their starting rotation, especially their top 4 starters. Johnson is the ace, of course, but he’s well supported (as he was in real life) by Schilling as a strong #2. Webb and Greinke round out the top 4.  Johnson took home 4 Cy Youngs (plus a 2nd place), Schilling had two runner-up finishes, Webb won 1 and had two 2nds, and Greinke finished 4th one season. All four of them had ERA+’s between 131 and 164. It’s a strong rotation, and despite being the #29 team overall, I suspect this is a team no one would look forward to facing in a tournament. I have their rotation ranked 6th, and their top 4 starters as 4th.

The team rates pretty well defensively too, as Goldschmidt, Pollack, Hudson, and Finley have all won Gold Gloves while with the franchise, and Williams won several prior to joining the team. 
 
On the flip side, their offense is ranked near the bottom of the league. Goldschmidt and Gonzalez are the two big bats, although Upton had his moments and Marte has been valuable in recent years as well. Marte’s 2019 season looks like it may be shaping up as a bit of an outlier, but he still could have several good years ahead of him.    
 
They rank dead last in both their starting 9 and their depth, and their bullpen is a weakness as well. This franchise, more than any other, will live or die on the performance of their starting pitchers, but they’re very dangerous in a short series.
 
Futures
If Zac Gallen can stay healthy, he has a chance to make the team. Daulton Varsho is an interesting candidate, an unusual catcher/center fielder combination who’s only 25 years old. Christian Walker could push for a spot on the team with a little more time as well.
 
 
#28–Miami/Florida Marlins

Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
MIA
2
.461
n/a
n/a
.442
.501
.438
 
The Marlins have been a boom-or-bust franchise. They have only had 7 winning records and only 3 postseason appearances in their nearly 30 year existence, but have parlayed those rare playoff appearances into 2 World Series titles (1997 and 2003).
 
Roster Listing:
 
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
J.T. Realmuto
48.4
6.00%
43.5
1B
Jeff Conine
34.4
6.00%
30.9
2B
Luis Castillo
46.2
6.00%
41.5
3B
Miguel Cabrera
50.0
6.00%
45.0
SS
Hanley Ramirez
57.8
6.00%
52.1
LF
Christian Yelich
52.1
6.00%
46.9
CF
Marcell Ozuna
42.4
6.00%
38.2
RF
Giancarlo Stanton
70.7
6.00%
63.7
DH
Gary Sheffield
70.1
4.75%
49.9
SP1
Kevin Brown
69.6
5.25%
54.8
SP2
Josh Johnson
68.6
5.00%
51.4
SP3
Jose Fernandez
61.6
4.75%
43.9
SP4
Sandy Alcantara
54.3
4.50%
36.6
SP5
Dontrelle Willis
47.3
3.25%
23.1
RP1
Robb Nen
36.0
3.75%
20.3
RP2
Steve Cishek
37.9
2.75%
15.6
P
AJ Ramos
44.4
2.00%
13.3
P
Anibal Sanchez
46.0
2.00%
13.8
P
Josh Beckett
43.4
2.00%
13.0
Res
Charles Johnson
39.5
2.00%
11.9
Res
Derrek Lee
29.4
2.00%
8.8
Res
Dan Uggla
42.4
2.00%
12.7
Res
Miguel Rojas
31.5
2.00%
9.5
Res
Mike Lowell
35.5
2.00%
10.7
Res
Cliff Floyd
50.8
2.00%
15.2
Mgr
Jack McKeon
n/a
n/a
766.3
 
Grid View:
 
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
J.T. Realmuto
 Luis Castillo
Kevin Brown
Robb Nen
Charles Johnson
1B
Jeff Conine
 Hanley Ramirez
Josh Johnson
Steve Cishek
Derrek Lee
2B
Luis Castillo
 Miguel Cabrera
Jose Fernandez
AJ Ramos
Dan Uggla
3B
Miguel Cabrera
 Giancarlo Stanton
Sandy Alcantara
Anibal Sanchez
Miguel Rojas
SS
Hanley Ramirez
 Gary Sheffield
Dontrelle Willis
Josh Beckett
Mike Lowell
LF
Christian Yelich
 Christian Yelich
 
 
Cliff Floyd
CF
Marcell Ozuna
 Marcell Ozuna
 
 
 
RF
Giancarlo Stanton
 Jeff Conine
 
 
 
DH
Gary Sheffield
 J.T. Realmuto
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
 
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
766.3
28
Offense
124.8
12
Defense
7.8
29
Speed
5.7
24
Infield
169.5
30
Outfield
148.7
24
Catching
55.4
20
Starting 9
411.7
28
Bench
68.7
29
Staff
285.8
23
Rotation
209.8
17
4 Starters
186.8
17
Bullpen
76.0
29
Short Relief
49.2
29
 
Position/Roster Notes:
Castillo and Uggla is a fairly close call at second base, and they offer very distinct contrasts. Castillo posted a near-.300 average with .370 OBP, good speed/stolen bases, and was a 3-time Gold Glove winner. Uggla was none of those, but he consistently would hit more home runs each season (typically over 30) than Castillo would hit in his whole career (28).   I went with Castillo as I felt he gave the team a little more of what it needed in terms of speed, defense, and a leadoff hitter, but you can make an argument either way.
 
Rojas isn’t a great player, but he’s top 10 on the franchise list of games played and he can play any position in the infield, so he gives them some much-needed flexibility.
 
Missed the Cut:
Dee Strange-Gordon and Juan Pierre are a couple of speedsters who could have made the team and would have improved their ranking in the Speed category, but I felt the others ahead of them were better overall players. Preston Wilson and Josh Willingham had their moments, but didn’t make the team.  Ricky Nolasco started more games than any other Marlin pitcher, but I passed on him as there were others who were better.
 
"Grand" Club:
Luis Castillo, Jeff Conine
 
Franchise Four:
Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, Kevin Brown
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Offense/power, better than expected starting pitching
Weaknesses: Defense, relievers
 
The Marlins are #12 in offense, a very respectable ranking. There are some really strong hitters here, and the Cabrera/Stanton/Sheffield heart of the order matches up very well to just about any team.   
 
Most of Cabrera’s career was defined by his time in Detroit, especially with the 2 MVP’s, the 4 batting titles, and the Triple Crown, but he was essentially the same quality hitter in Florida as he was with the Tigers. His stat line is similar in both stops - .300+ average, .380-.390 OBP, over .500 slugging, and around a 140 OPS+.
 
Ramirez was a shining star for a while. He was a highly regarded Red Sox prospect and came over to the Marlins in a big trade in 2005 (with Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell going over to Boston), and through age 26 he had been averaging about 25 HR and 40 steals, hitting over .300, getting on base at about .385, although he struggled defensively at shortstop. Eventually, he was traded to LA and wasn’t the same player, but for a while he was one of the true exciting young stars of the game.
 
Floyd had some really good years with the franchise, and Yelich showed some promise here as well in his pre-Milwaukee days. There’s definitely a lot of offensive talent to like on this roster.
 
However, the team is challenged defensively. Castillo was a good glove at 2B, while Realmuto and (especially) Johnson behind the plate are good defenders, but for the most part the team does not stack up well defensively. The left side of the infield (Ramirez and Cabera) is very talented offensively, but very challenged defensively.
 
The starting pitching is better than I thought it would be, but there’s not a lot of "longevity" represented with the franchise. Brown was one of the elite NL starters with the Marlins (including a Cy Young runner-up in 1996), but he was only there 2 years.  Fernandez was tremendous in his short time with the team before his tragic death at age 26. He was shaping up to be one of the great pitching talents of recent vintage. Johnson had 8 seasons with the franchise, but his time was compromised by injuries. While healthy, he was impressive. Willis was a joy to behold for a few years there, and Alcantera is one of the bright young pitching stars going today. In all, it’s an electric rotation, but one that is generally short on staying power.
 
The bullpen ranks pretty low (#29). Nen was a good closer, but he was much better with the Giants than he was with the Marlins.
 
Again, a lot to like here, but the defense and the bullpen may be their undoing.
 
Futures
Starting pitcher Edward Cabrera has made an impact in his young career already. He’s one to keep an eye on. Second baseman Jazz Chisolm Jr. shows a lot of potential as well.
 
#27-Colorado Rockies
 
Team Performance by Decade:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
COL
0
.470
n/a
n/a
.478
.474
.463
 
Colorado and San Diego are the only 2 franchises to never have a winning decade. The team has had 5 playoff appearances in their nearly 30-year history, making one World Series (2007) in which they were swept by the Red Sox.
 
Roster Listing:
 
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Chris Iannetta
25.9
6.00%
23.3
1B
Todd Helton
72.3
6.00%
65.0
2B
DJ LeMahieu
40.6
6.00%
36.5
3B
Nolan Arenado
73.6
6.00%
66.2
SS
Troy Tulowitzki
74.0
6.00%
66.6
LF
Carlos Gonzalez
46.3
6.00%
41.6
CF
Charlie Blackmon
40.1
6.00%
36.1
RF
Larry Walker
81.4
6.00%
73.2
DH
Matt Holliday
59.9
4.75%
42.7
SP1
Ubaldo Jimenez
55.7
5.25%
43.9
SP2
Kyle Freeland
49.9
5.00%
37.5
SP3
Jhoulys Chacin
46.4
4.75%
33.1
SP4
German Marquez
43.7
4.50%
29.5
SP5
Jorge De La Rosa
42.3
3.25%
20.6
RP1
Brian Fuentes
53.2
3.75%
29.9
RP2
Huston Street
39.0
2.75%
16.1
P
Bruce Ruffin
46.3
2.00%
13.9
P
Jose Jimenez
36.1
2.00%
10.8
P
Aaron Cook
43.6
2.00%
13.1
Res
Wilin Rosario
11.4
2.00%
3.4
Res
Andres Galarraga
43.0
2.00%
12.9
Res
Eric Young Sr.
32.5
2.00%
9.8
Res
Trevor Story
67.5
2.00%
20.2
Res
Vinny Castilla
39.4
2.00%
11.8
Res
Ellis Burks
43.7
2.00%
13.1
Mgr
Clint Hurdle
n/a
n/a
770.9
 
Grid View:
 
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Chris Iannetta
 Charlie Blackmon
Ubaldo Jimenez
Brian Fuentes
Wilin Rosario
1B
Todd Helton
 Troy Tulowitzki
Kyle Freeland
Huston Street
Andres Galarraga
2B
DJ LeMahieu
 Todd Helton
Jhoulys Chacin
Bruce Ruffin
Eric Young Sr.
3B
Nolan Arenado
 Larry Walker
German Marquez
Jose Jimenez
Trevor Story
SS
Troy Tulowitzki
 Nolan Arenado
Jorge De La Rosa
Aaron Cook
Vinny Castilla
LF
Carlos Gonzalez
 Matt Holliday
 
 
Ellis Burks
CF
Charlie Blackmon
 Carlos Gonzalez
 
 
 
RF
Larry Walker
 DJ LeMahieu
 
 
 
DH
Matt Holliday
 Chris Iannetta
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
 
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
      770.9
27
Offense
      103.6
21
Defense
         66.4
6
Speed
         12.8
16
Infield
      234.4
10
Outfield
      151.0
22
Catching
         26.7
29
Starting 9
      451.3
25
Bench
         71.2
27
Staff
      248.3
29
Rotation
      164.5
28
4 Starters
      143.9
30
Bullpen
         83.8
27
Short Relief
         60.0
25
 
Position/Roster Notes:
Tulowitzki and Story duked it out at shortstop in an epic battle, but in the end Tulo claimed the job.  Holliday and Gonzalez fought it out for left field, and I ended up going with Gonzalez (who actually played a little more right field but who could play all 3 outfield positions) over Holliday due to his superior glove, and installing Holliday as the primary DH.
 
Missed the Cut:
Dexter Fowler, Clint Barmes, Garrett Atkins. Juan Pierre came up a bit short on the games played threshold. Dante Bichette was a significant player in the franchise’s early years, but as you may have guessed, he doesn’t score real well in something like this.
 
"Grand" Club:
Todd Helton, Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez, Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, Nolan Arenado, Troy Tulowitzki, Dante Bichette
 
Franchise Four:
Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Nolan Arenado, Troy Tulowitzki
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Infield, Defense
Weaknesses: Pitching, Catching
 
Well, these are the Rockies, what did you expect? Sure, once you make adjustments, the hitters are never quite as strong as they appear and the pitchers are never quite as bad as they seem, but even after those adjustments, it’s still a hitting first, pitching second kind of team. 
 
Walker’s a Hall of Famer, Helton might become one (he had over 50% of the vote on last year’s ballot), and Arenado is developing a really strong case, not the least of which is his perfect 9-for-9 performance in Gold Glove awards in his first 9 MLB seasons. Tulowitzki is another talented two-way player, although his career was undermined by injuries.
 
I was a little surprised at how high the team is ranked defensively, but it makes sense when you look at the individuals, as there are mutli-season Gold Glovers all over the place. The infield is especially strong with Gold Glovers at all 4 spots (Arenado, Tulowitzki, LeMahieu, Helton), while the outfield has a couple more in Walker and Gonzalez. A very strong defensive squad, and there’s definitely hitting talent, but the pitching figures to hold them back.
 
Futures
Not really sure who might emerge from the current roster. Not getting an "all time" vibe from anyone who isn’t already on the roster.
 
#26-San Diego Padres
 
Team Performance:

Team
WS Titles
Overall W-L %
1970's*
1980's
1990's
2000's
2010's**
SDP
0
.462
.406
.486
.490
.474
.464
 
The Padres are one of only 2 franchises in this era to never have a winning decade (the other being Colorado). They have made just 6 playoff appearances in 50+seasons, appearing in 2 World Series (1984 and 1998), but losing both times.
 
 
Roster Listing:
Pos
Player
Raw Score
Weight
Adjusted Score
C
Benito Santiago
38.9
6.00%
35.0
1B
Adrian Gonzalez
51.1
6.00%
46.0
2B
Roberto Alomar
49.8
6.00%
44.8
3B
Manny Machado
60.5
6.00%
54.4
SS
Fernando Tatis Jr.
58.8
6.00%
53.0
LF
Dave Winfield
60.2
6.00%
54.2
CF
Gene Richards
44.3
6.00%
39.9
RF
Tony Gwynn
78.0
6.00%
70.2
DH
Nate Colbert
53.6
4.75%
38.2
SP1
Jake Peavy
54.9
5.25%
43.2
SP2
Andy Ashby
53.8
5.00%
40.3
SP3
Andy Benes
50.1
4.75%
35.7
SP4
Randy Jones
47.0
4.50%
31.7
SP5
Ed Whitson
42.1
3.25%
20.5
RP1
Trevor Hoffman
67.2
3.75%
37.8
RP2
Mark Davis
58.5
2.75%
24.1
P
Heath Bell
51.0
2.00%
15.3
P
Bruce Hurst
45.1
2.00%
13.5
P
Eric Show
41.1
2.00%
12.3
Res
Terry Kennedy
43.2
2.00%
13.0
Res
Phil Nevin
45.7
2.00%
13.7
Res
Bip Roberts
38.5
2.00%
11.6
Res
Ken Caminiti
57.9
2.00%
17.4
Res
Brian Giles
44.0
2.00%
13.2
Res
Gene Tenace
62.9
2.00%
18.9
Mgr
Bruce Bochy
n/a
n/a
797.8
 
Grid View:
 
Pos
Name
 Batting Order
Rotation
Bullpen/Spot
Reserves
C
Benito Santiago
 Gene Richards
Jake Peavy
Trevor Hoffman
Terry Kennedy
1B
Adrian Gonzalez
 Tony Gwynn
Andy Ashby
Andy Benes
Phil Nevin
2B
Roberto Alomar
 Adrian Gonzalez
Andy Benes
Mark Davis
Bip Roberts
3B
Manny Machado
 Dave Winfield
Randy Jones
Eric Show
Ken Caminiti
SS
Fernando Tatis Jr.
 Manny Machado
Ed Whitson
Bruce Hurst
Brian Giles
LF
Dave Winfield
 Fernando Tatis Jr.
 
 
Gene Tenace
CF
Gene Richards
 Nate Colbert
 
 
 
RF
Tony Gwynn
 Benito Santiago
 
 
 
DH
Nate Colbert
 Roberto Alomar
 
 
 
 
Rankings:
 
Category
Score
Rank
Team Score
   797.8
26
Offense
    120.8
15
Defense
      20.6
25
Speed
      18.3
5
Infield
    198.2
27
Outfield
    164.2
15
Catching
      48.0
24
Starting 9
    435.6
27
Bench
      87.7
16
Staff
    274.5
27
Rotation
    171.5
27
4 Starters
    151.0
27
Bullpen
    103.1
11
Short Relief
      77.2
11
 
Position/Roster Notes:
Tatis Jr. is one of the "exceptions" who I alluded to in the kickoff article. To date, he has only played 273 games, well below the established guidelines for an expansion franchise (450 games). However, to me, he is already clearly the best shortstop in franchise history. He has 2 of the top 3 seasons by WAR for a San Diego shortstop, and 3 of the top 10. This despite the fact that 2 of them (his 2019 rookie season and the 2020 pandemic season) amounted to more like half-seasons. If you adjust those seasons to full-length, Tatis Jr. has essentially had the 3 most productive seasons by a SS in team history.  
 
The other best options are Ozzie Smith (brilliant defensively but a .231 hitter with the team), Garry Templeton (a lot of years with the Padres, but not as good as he was with St. Louis), and Khalil Greene. Despite the brevity of his career and the suspension he’s currently serving, I have to conclude that Tatis Jr. deserves to be the franchise’s shortstop. I did apply a penalty/adjustment to his score based on the shortness of his career to date.
 
Gwynn and Winfield were both mostly right fielders with the Padres, so I shifted Winfield to left field. Richards was more left field than anything, and is kind of miscast as a center fielder. The franchise really hasn’t had a standout centerfielder – Steve Finley is listed as the most center field seasons with only 4, so I put Richards out there in a bit of a "position cheat". Winfield could also start in center – he did play some there in his younger days (both Winfield and Richards played about 200 games in their careers in center field).
 
Santiago vs. Kennedy are pretty even and being right vs. lefty would probably see a pretty good time share. Tenace provides a third option at catcher and can also play first base.
 
Machado vs. Caminiti at 3B was a pretty good battle, but I went with Machado, and he will probably only widen the gap as he gets more time with the team.
 
Not everyone may agree with Alomar for this team, but he’s the best 2nd baseman in San Diego history – he has more WAR than any other player who was primarily a second baseman for the franchise. He only had 3 seasons as the regular second baseman, but then again, the only one with more was Tim Flannery (4).  I like Roberts as his backup/super-utility guy.
 
Missed the Cut:
Mark Loretta, Randy Ready, and Jack Clark had had good WAR/162 game figures with the team, but came up short on the games played threshold. Chase Headley got nosed out as a reserve infielder. I didn’t pick either Ozzie Smith or Garry Templeton….as mentioned above, I went with Tatis Jr., with Manny Machado and Bip Roberts providing backup SS coverage. Greg Harris, Joey Hamilton, and Dave Dravecky were pretty effective pitchers who didn’t make the team. Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage are Hall of Fame closers who could have made the team but I opted for others.
 
"Grand" Club:
Tony Gwynn, Garry Templeton, Dave Winfield
 
Franchise Four:
Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman, Dave Winfield, Adrian Gonzalez
(Gonzalez might just be keeping a spot warm for Tatis Jr. if the latter can get past injuries and suspensions)
 
Team Assessment:
Strengths: Speed, Short Relief
Weaknesses: Rotation, Defense.
 
4 Hall of Famers make the roster: Gwynn, Winfield, Hoffman, and Alomar, although his Padres years were not really Alomar’s best. Machado (who will also make the Orioles’ roster) may make it 5 someday, and who knows with Tatis Jr.? 
 
There is some really good speed on the roster – Gwynn, Richards, Tatis Jr., Roberts, Winfield, and Alomar all have pretty good wheels. They rank 5th in that category.
 
The offense is kind of middle-of-the pack. The outfield does have Hall of Famers on the corners in Gwynn and Winfield, and Machado, Tatis Jr., and Gonzalez offer good support. The bullpen rates pretty well with Hoffman leading the way, supported by Bell on the right and Davis on the left.
 
I’d have to say the starting pitching is pretty blah in the context of this competition, despite the Cy Young presence of Peavy and Jones. Their rotation ranks near the bottom. And the team defense is pretty mediocre. Maybe I should rethink the decision to leave off Ozzie…..
 
Futures
The Padres "Franchise Four" may undergo a makeover soon, especially if Machado and Tatis Jr. hang around long enough. They’re already on the roster, but figure to keep adding to their scores. The newly acquired Juan Soto could also work his way onto the roster in a few years if he plays anything like he demonstrated with Washington. Jake Cronenworth could also be a future candidate who offers multi-position flexibility.
 
Wrapping it Up
 
Well, that’s it for the bottom 5 franchises. Teams #21 through 25 are next up. I’ll try to get a little more efficient at writing these summaries….I ended up spending a lot of time going back and forth on what to write, but I think I’ll start to get into a better groove. 
 
As a hint, the next group of five will feature three more expansion franchises, but also the appearance of our first two "original" franchises.  
 
Thank you for reading.
 
Dan
 
 

COMMENTS (3 Comments, most recent shown first)

LanceRichardson
I am in the midst of a similar project for NL West teams, including the Astros, Braves, and Reds for the seasons they were in the division. As a Padre fan for almost the entirety of their (and my) existence (started paying attention when I was five, in 1974), I can say with confidence that Gene Tenace (19.8 bWAR in four seasons) is the greatest catcher in team history, and not by a little. I loved Benito (14.2 bWAR in six+ seasons), but he wasn't half the player Tenace was. I am doing starting lineups (no DH), five starters, and two relievers (no bench). Bell edges Davis for #2 reliever for me, although I have great memories of the devastating curve that Davis threw. Interesting that there are eight relievers in the Hall of Fame, and three (Trevor, Rollie, and Goose) pitched for the Padres. Richards REALLY couldn't play CF, so I (like you) cheated with Winfield in LF and went Finley (narrowly over Cameron) in CF. Given the dearth of good long-term starters, I included Kevin Brown over Ashby in the rotation. It was only one season, but it was one for the ages. I also have Eric Show over Whitson, but Eddie Lee was pretty damned good in Friar Brown.
5:18 PM Sep 4th
 
bearbyz
The Rockies never really had a solid catcher for a number of years have they.
5:01 PM Sep 4th
 
bearbyz
Thank you. I am really enjoying the series.
4:59 PM Sep 4th
 
 
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