Top 22 Single-Season Padres RBI Leaders (Stats & Videos)

single-season padres RBI leaders

Last Updated on March 30, 2024 by Matt Musico

There have been 22 instances of a San Diego Padres player surpassing the 100 RBI plateau in franchise history. But which hitters are among the single-season Padres RBI leaders? We bring some order and context below.

First, we’ll talk about the top five performances before listing out the remainder of the top 22.

Single-Season Padres RBI Leaders: Top 5

Ken Caminiti: 130 RBI in 1996

While Ken Caminiti had a solid big-league career, the 1996 campaign sticks out like a sore thumb (mostly because he had a little extra help). This was the only season he surpassed the 30-homer, 100-RBI plateau. He finished with 46 homers and 130 RBI, a Gold Glove Award, a Silver Slugger Award, and the National League MVP Award.

Caminiti’s second half is what propelled him to being named MVP. Before the All-Star break, he hit .294/.371/.488 with 12 homers and 49 RBI in 315 plate appearances. Over his final 324 trips to the plate, he hit .360/.443/.760 with 28 homers and 81 RBI. He failed to drive in more than 19 runs during any of the first three months of the season. But over the final three months, he registered 23-plus RBI every time. August was the most impactful of all. It included a 1.271 OPS with 14 homers and 38 RBI.

Phil Nevin: 126 RBI in 2001

Phil Nevin produced career-high marks in homers (41) and RBI (126) while being named a National League All-Star for the first and only time. He also earned down-ballot MVP votes, finishing 21st. It was the highest finish of his career. The only other time he finished within the top 30 was in 2004 when he finished 30th.

Nevin’s 2001 production was quite similar regardless of whether there were runners on base when he stepped up to the plate. When the bases were empty, the third baseman hit .312/.375/.602 with 22 homers and 22 RBI. With runners on base, his triple slash settled in at .300/.399/.574 with 19 homers and 104 RBI.

Tony Gwynn: 119 RBI in 1997

While Tony Gwynn is currently among the Padres’ all-time home run leaders, power wasn’t his calling card. That man knew how to make contact, though. A .338 lifetime batting average with 3,141 total hits is proof. Despite hitting just 135 homers during his 20-year big-league tenure, Gwynn still collected 1,138 RBI.

The 119 RBI he registered in 1997 weren’t just a career-high mark. It was the only time he finished with 90-plus in a single season. It coincided with a league-leading 220 hits and a .372 average. This was the fourth straight year the left-handed hitter took home a batting title.

Gwynn frontloaded his season-long production in a couple of different ways. He registered at least 20 RBI in each of the first four months of the season. Between August and September/October, he combined to drive in just 24 more runs. His first-half OPS settled in at 1.019. It dropped down to .877 following the All-Star break. Gwynn was flirting with .400 heading into the midsummer classic (he had a .394 average), but things cooled off when he hit “just” .344 in the second half.

Greg Vaughn: 119 RBI in 1998

Greg Vaughn‘s 1998 campaign was memorable because he did something no other Padres hitter has done yet: reach the half-century mark in homers. His 50 taters are currently a single-season franchise record. But thanks to the Great Home Run Chase, he wasn’t even close to being the league leader.

Vaughn’s 119 RBI were also a single-season career-high mark for him. It was one of three times he surpassed the century mark during his big-league career. He also drove in 118 in 1999 and 117 in 1996. This memorable campaign from the right-handed slugger was made possible by a torrid three-month stretch between May and July.

Across 350 plate appearances, Vaughn hit .313/.400/.720 with 33 homers, 22 doubles, 79 RBI, and 71 runs scored. Unsurprisingly, the Padres went 52-31 during that 83-game span.

Adrian Gonzalez: 119 RBI in 2008

Adrian Gonzalez entered the 2008 season with a pair of 20-homer, 80-RBI performances already in his back pocket, one of which surpassed the 30-100 plateau. But could this particular year have been his true breakout? Gonzalez’s 36 homers were only bested by the 40 he slugged in 2009 and his 119 RBI ended up being a career-high mark. He was named an NL All-Star for the first time, finished 18th in NL MVP Award voting, and won his first of four Gold Glove Awards.

Gonzalez was at his best early in games during the 2008 campaign. He posted a 1.019 OPS with 10 homers and 33 RBI in the first inning. If we break the games up into thirds, his production in the first three innings (.954 OPS, 13 homers, 54 RBI), far surpassed what he did in the middle three frames (.887, 13, 36) and the final three innings (.709, 8, 22).

Padres Single-Season RBI Leaders: The Rest

As mentioned previously, there have been 22 different 100-RBI performances by a player in Padres history. Here are the rest that haven’t been talked about yet.

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