For nearly a decade, the National League West has crowned one of three teams as division champion: the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Absent from this list is the little brother of Southern California professional baseball teams, the San Diego Padres. Overshadowed for years by their high payroll neighbors the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers, the Padres have yet to win a playoff series since 1998. However, San Diego has made major moves this offseason to bolster its roster and restore relevance to the once great Padres franchise. In a matter of weeks, the Padres made the changes necessary to assemble an entirely new outfield in hopes of taking home their first division title since 2006.
Outfielder Matt Kemp has solidified his name as one of the most talented players of the 2010 class. The former member of the Los Angeles Dodgers will make his new home in San Diego where he seeks his third MLB All-Star Game appearance and will bring the Padres lineup much needed power. In 2011, Kemp put together one of the best individual seasons imaginable, leading the National League in runs, RBIs, and homeruns. The 30-30 Club member is only 30 years old and will surely provide an abundance of quality at-bats for San Diego in 2015.
In a surprising swap with Tampa Bay, the Padres acquired 2013 Rookie of the Year Wil Myers. Myers was a third round pick in 2009 MLB Draft that made his Major League debut for the Rays in 2013. The North Carolina native made an immediate impact for Tampa Bay, capping off his rookie campaign with 53 RBIs in only 88 games. As he is only 24 years old, San Diego is counting on Myers to be the face of the franchise and supply a reliable bat towards the top of the lineup for years to come.
Most recently, San Diego locked up MLB All-Star Justin Upton from the Atlanta Braves. Upton only spent two seasons with the Braves after he spent several years on the west coast making a name for himself with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In Arizona, Upton was named an MLB All-Star twice and took home the first of his two Silver Slugger Awards. Known for being a five-tool player, Upton brings a variety of on-field talents to Southern California and provides protection in the Padres lineup for the newly acquired Myers and Kemp.
Entering the 2015 MLB season, the San Diego Padres will provide baseball fans with an entirely new roster of stars to root for and a huge threat in the NL west. Don’t forget to join the SoCal baseball club on their journey to finally bring home a division championship in 2015 and show your support for the upcoming team with authentic San Diego Padres memorabilia.