Padres GM Kevin Towers with 2004 First Round Pick Matt Bush
San Diego Padres PRE-SEASON Top 20 Prospects in Review
1) Josh Barfield, 2B
Hit .310/.370/.450 for Triple-A Portland, rebounding from a mediocre 2004 season. Uncertain how he fits into San Diego's plans, but he has little left to prove in the minor leagues.
2) George Kottaras, C
Hit .303/.390/.469 in 91 games for Class A Lake Elsinore, then .287/.397/.416 in 29 games for Double-A Mobile, which is not an easy place to hit. Very strong on-base skills, and power should increase.
3) Travis Chick, RHP
Traded to Cincinnati. Went 4-11, 5.14 in Double-A with a 113/67 K/BB in 144 innings, 154 hits allowed. Ratios are unattractive, although at age 21 he still has lots of development time left.
4) Tim Stauffer, RHP
Went 3-6, 5.33 in 14 starts for San Diego, 49/29 K/BB in 81 innings, 92 hits allowed. He will do better than that with more experience, although he isn't overpowering enough to be a classic rotation anchor.
5) Brad Baker, RHP
Collected 27 saves for Triple-A Portland, 4.75 ERA with 75/32 K/BB in 66 innings. Still has problems with command and consistency, but still has a chance to be a useful reliever.
6) Freddy Guzman, OF
Missed season due to elbow injury.
7) Grand Moff Tagg Bozied, 1B
Limited to 26 games between Double-A and Triple-A by back and knee injuries.
8) Justin Germano, RHP
Traded to Cincinnati. Finished the year going 3-2, 4.01 in eight starts for Triple-A Louisville. Possible back-end starter if his command is sharp enough.
9) Paul McAnulty, OF
Hit 16 homers and 32 doubles combined between Mobile and Portland, also hit .344 in 38 games for Portland. Looks like a good hitter to me, although where he plays is a question.
10) Sean Thompson, LHP
Went 4-5, 4.67 in 20 starts for Mobile, 94/55 K/BB in 114 innings, 127 hits allowed. Not great numbers considering the context. Walk rate is too high for a guy who doesn't have a hot fastball.
11) Jon Knott, OF
Hit .250/.333/.483 with 25 homers, 34 doubles for Portland. Good power obviously, but other skills are so-so or worse, and he's already 27.
12) Matt Bush, SS
Hit .226/.279/.276 in 126 games for Class A Fort Wayne. No power, weak on-base skills, not much speed, defense was good but not as good as advertised when he was drafted, and certainly not good enough to make up for hitting of this caliber. Too young to say he is a busted pick for certain, but I don't like the early indications at all.
13) Chris Kolkhorst, OF
Combined to hit .292/.397/.372 with 21 steals between Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore. Good speed and OBP, but lacks power and will have to prove he can hit advanced pitching.
14) Leo Rosales, RHP
27 saves, 3.18 ERA, 77/24 K/BB in 65 innings for Lake Elsinore. Throws strikes, good K/IP rate, has a nasty breaking ball and an adequate fastball.
15) Vern Sterry, RHP
4.58 ERA at Fort Wayne, 50/13 K/BB in 55 innings, 58 hits allowed. Settling into status as organization swingman pitcher, not a real prospect. Control is best attribute.
16) Chris Oxspring, RHP
4.03 ERA in 26 starts for Portland, 125/42 K/BB in 161 innings. Went 12-6, overall had a nice year. Deserves a shot in the majors in '06.
17) Ben Krosschell, RHP
15 starts for short-season Eugene, posted 4.70 ERA and allowed 83 hits in 77 innings. 59/18 K/BB was pretty good, better control than he showed in rookie ball last year. A sleeper, albeit a deep one.
18) J.J. Furmaniak, SS
Hit .266/.324/.437 with 14 homers before being traded to Pittsburgh. Old for a prospect at 26, but has some pop to go with a middle infield glove.
19) Ben Johnson, OF
Dramatic reduction in his strikeout rate resulted in best season of his career, hit .312/.394/.558 with 25 homers and 51 walks for Triple-A Portland. An underrated prospect who deserves more attention.
20) Wilmer Villatoro, RHP
3.88 ERA at Lake Elsinore, 44/34 K/BB in 60 innings. Hammered in Double-A, 15.55 ERA in 10 games with poor control (12 walks). He has enough arm strength to be a good pitcher but is still trying to figure out how.
I like Barfield, Kottaras, and Ben Johnson. I also think Leo Rosales is a relief sleeper.