Top 100 San Diego Padres: #94 Dave Roberts
DAVID WAYNE ROBERTS | C/3B | 1972-1978 | CAREER STATS
Drafted June 6, 1972 by the San Diego Padres with the first overall pick, Dave Roberts would make his debut the very next day when called upon to replace John Jeter in the top of the 12th inning. He would strike out twice that day while going hitless. It wasn't the kind of start one would want to get a career off to, but it was only his first day on the job. And while Roberts didn't rebound much from his lackluster start he did manage to be worth about one win better than replacement over the course of his rookie campaign.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of Roberts's season was on July 18 when Steve Arlin took a no-hitter into the 9th inning and with two outs Philadelphia's Denny Doyle hit a 2-out bloop single over the rookie's head to break it up.
Roberts's second time through the league seemed to erase any possible doubt that he was deserving of the #1 overall pick the year before. He hit .286/.310/.472 while playing a solid third base. That line probably doesn't look impressive to some, but you have to look at it in the context of the 1973 National League where an average player hit .254/.318/.375.
Unfortunately, 1974 would swing opinion permanently back the other way. Dave's stat line was atrocious for any era and it would be the last year he cracked 100 games as a Padre. It's likely for the best that he didn't because he ceased to hit rather completely.
In 1978, the Padres would ship Roberts out as part of a five player deal that featured no big names (unless you count Bevacqua, and I don't). Roberts's Padre career was a disappointment given the expectations of being the first overall pick, but his one excellent season combined with his production off the bench was enough to make him one of San Diego's top 100 players.