Thank Goodness for the 2005 Draft

The 2005 draft wasn’t terrible for the Padres. It was better than the previous year, when they passed on Stephen Drew and Jered Weaver to save a few bucks for a train wreck. Or maybe it was a shipwreck: The USS Matthew Brian Bush. Use whichever metaphor, uh, floats your boat.

Hey, who throws a tomato?

First-round pick Cesar Carrillo made a sparkling pro debut at Lake Elsinore before blowing out his arm. Cesar Ramos was used to re-acquire the remains of Jason Bartlett’s career and has become a serviceable situational southpaw in Tampa Bay.

Tatertastic Josh Geer made a few starts for the Padres when they were at Jeff Suppan/Kip Wells desperation levels. Mike Baxter, who once fouled a ball off then-GM Kevin Towers’ face in spring training and later collected exactly one hit for the Padres, has enjoyed success with the Mets in a supporting role.

Wonderful, you may be thinking, but how does this help the current squad? That’s a good question; here’s a better one: Which players rank among the top five in games played in franchise history at catcher, third base, and right field?

Actually, that’s a bad question because it is vague. Although there are many correct answers, the one we’re looking for is Nick Hundley, Chase Headley, and Will Venable. All were taken in the 2005 draft and all have become significant parts of Padres history.

You are now free to shed a single tear.

Hundley was taken in the second round out of the University of Arizona (Trevor Hoffman, Craig Lefferts) as compensation–along with Ramos–for the Red Sox’s signing of David Wells. He needs to catch 27 more games to pass Gene Tenace and move into fourth place at the position.

Thanks to Yasmani Grandal’s drug suspension, he’ll do that with ease. Thanks to Grandal and prospect Austin Hedges, that’s as far as Hundley will go, as he is 347 games behind Fred Kendall.

Headley, a second-round pick out of the University of Tennessee (Joe Randa, Bubba Trammell, former Padres draftee Todd Helton), ranks third in club history with 464 games at the hot corner. He needs 84 to pass Ken Caminiti and 88 to pass Luis Salazar, the current leader.

Barring a trade or injury, Headley will become the Padres’ all-time leader in games played at third base right around the All-Star break. He would already be there had he not spent his first two years stumbling around left field.

As for Venable, a seventh-rounder out of Princeton (Chris Young, Ross Ohlendorf), right field is by far the franchise’s strongest position. You’ve got two Hall of Famers in Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield at the top. Brian Giles and Ollie Brown, who were pretty damn good, come next.

Venable needs to play 75 games to overtake Brown at fourth place. Even as part of a mellifluous and delectable platoon with Chris Denorfia, he should have no trouble doing that. Third place? Venable needs 421 to pass Giles, so no.

Aside from the fact that Padres history can be depressing, what does this all mean? Well, it means that–nope, sorry, “Padres history can be depressing” is all I’ve got.

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