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San Diego Padres Top 20 Prospects

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Two Interesting Padres, Tim Stauffer and Thomas Merton

  1. Josh Barfield, 2B, B
  2. George Kottaras, C, B
  3. Travis Chick, RHP, B
  4. Tim Stauffer, RHP, B-
  5. Brad Baker, RHP, B-
  6. Freddy Guzman, OF, C+
  7. Tagg Bozied, 1B, C+
  8. Justin Germano, RHP, C+
  9. Paul McAnulty, OF, C+
  10. Sean Thompson, LHP, C+ (grade change)
  11. Jon Knott, OF, C+
  12. Matt Bush, SS, C+
  13. Chris Kolkhorst, OF, C+
  14. Leo Rosales, RHP, C+
  15. Vern Sterry, RHP, C+
  16. Chris Oxspring, RHP, C
  17. Ben Krosschell, RHP, C
  18. J.J. Furmaniak, SS, C
  19. Ben Johnson, OF, C
  20. Wilmer Villatoro, RHP, C
A thin system. I still like Josh Barfield, although a league-average OPS last year and erratic plate discipline have hurt his grade a bit. George Kottaras has received almost no attention, yet I think there is a good chance he will be one of the top catching prospects in baseball a year from now. Keep a close eye on him, his bat could be quite impressive.

Travis Chick, acquired from the Marlins in the Ismael Valdes deal, posted a 167/36 K/BB last year in Class A and is another sleeper prospect. 2003 first-round pick Tim Stauffer overcame shoulder problems to pitch decently in Double-A/Triple-A last year. For me, he projects as a fourth starter. Brad Baker complete the trio of righthanders, looking to use his fastball/changeup combination sometime in the Major League bullpen this year.

Freddy Guzman draws raves for his blazing speed, but he doesn't have much power. For me, he's a reserve guy, but his speed could tempt the Padres into giving him a regular job. I'm not sure he can hold it long-term. Grand Moff Tagg Bozied made progress developing his power stroke last year, but is blocked positionally. Justin Germano was crushed in Major League action last summer, but has a decent track record and will get another chance. Like Stauffer, he looks like a back-of-the-rotation guy to me. Paul McAnulty and Jon Knott have good bats, but like Bozied are limited defensively and are no longer young prospects.

I had Sean Thompson as a Grade B in the book. I must have been in a good mood that day; I think now that C+ is a better grade. He's pitched well in the low minors, but is a soft-tosser and will have to prove out at higher levels.

2004 first-round pick Matt Bush did not play well in his pro debut. He's too young and inexperienced to give up on of course, but I think there is a high risk that his selection could blow up in San Diego's face.

A sleeper I like is Leo Rosales, who had a fine year as a Midwest League closer. He has a decent fastball, a very good breaking ball, and a 66/15 K/BB ratio in 58 innings. Of course, the Midwest League is a far cry from the National League, and he projects best as a future middle man.

Grade C guys are a mixture. Chris Oxspring and Wilmer Villatoro could have futures as middle relievers. Oxspring is already 27, quite old, but is an Australian with limited experience early in his career. Krosschell was a 16th round pick from a Colorado high school last year. He pitched well in rookie ball and has upside, but is a long way from being ready to help. Ben Johnson has great physical tools and good power, but erratic plate discipline and a sketchy track record.