San Diego Padres Pre-Season Top 20 Prospects in Review
1) Josh Barfield, 2B
Hitting .296 for Triple-A Portland, .356 OBP, but just .396 SLG. Power is down this year from previous standards. At this point I'm not sure what to make of him.
2) George Kottaras, C
Hitting .301/.389/.468 for Class A Lake Elsinore, 49 walks, 58 strikeouts in 329 at-bats. I like him a lot and he should move ahead of Barfield on prospect lists.
3) Travis Chick, RHP
2-9, 5.27 ERA in 19 starts for Double-A Mobile was disappointing. Fanned 92 in 97 innings but gave up 107 hits. Traded to Cincinnati, assigned to Chattanooga.
4) Tim Stauffer, RHP
3-6, 5.40 in 14 starts for the Padres, 47/29 K/BB in 80 innings, 91 hits allowed. Doing OK, should adjust into an above-average pitcher as long as he remains healthy.
5) Brad Baker, RHP
4.57 ERA, 27 saves for Portland, 48/22 K/BB in 45 innings. Given his underlying ratios, his ERA could easily be 3.57 rather than 4.57. Still deserves a shot in middle relief.
6) Freddy Guzman, OF
Injured elbow, hasn't played this year.
7) Grand Moff Tagg Bozied, 1B
4 doubles and 5 homers in 26 games split between Mobile and Portland, but hampered by continued back and knee problems.
8) Justin Germano, RHP
3.70 ERA in 19 starts for Portland, 100/32 K/BB in 112 innings. Doing quite well. Traded to the Reds, assigned to Triple-A Louisville and went 7 innings in his first start, allowing 3 runs.
9) Paul McAnulty, OF
.279/.360/.451 in 78 games for Mobile. Now at Portland, is 12-for-30 (.400) in his first 7 games. Good bat here, not a star but perhaps a contributor in a Matt Stairs-like way.
10) Sean Thompson, LHP
3-4, 4.41 in 14 starts for Mobile, 66/35 K/BB in 80 innings, 90 hits allowed. Nothing to get real excited about here, he's doing OK but isn't knocking anyone's socks off.
11) Jon Knott, OF
Hitting .263/.347.505 with 21 homers, 26 doubles at Portland. Deserves a September promotion. Power should carry forward but batting average and OBP may not.
12) Matt Bush, SS
First player picked in the '04 draft. Hitting .229/.281/.280 at Class A Fort Wayne. No power, mediocre plate discipline, only good marker is a fairly low strikeout rate. Not a busted pick just yet, but trending in that direction. He needs to turn things around next year.
13) Chris Kolkhorst, OF
Hitting .282/.394/.351 with 19 steals for Fort Wayne. Good speed, will take a walk, solid OBP skills. However he lacks power and hitting at higher levels is still a question.
14) Leo Rosales, RHP
3.81 ERA, 19 saves for Lake Elsinore, 55/19 K/BB in 50 innings, 45 hits allowed. Good fastball/curveball combination, and he's quite effective when he throws strikes.
15) Vern Sterry, RHP
4.58 ERA in 20 games for Fort Wayne, has started 4. 50/13 K/BB in 55 innings, 58 hits. Good command, reasonable strikeout rate, but doesn't have the kind of stuff to wow scouts.
16) Chris Oxspring, RHP
4.70 ERA in 20 starts for Portland, 120 hits in 119 innings. Best mark is 100/31 K/BB ratio. His ERA could easily be a run lower than it is. Still has a chance in the back end of a rotation eventually.
17) Ben Krosschell, RHP
4.37 ERA in 7 starts for short-season Eugene. 19/9 K/BB ratio in 35 innings. Small sample size prevents any broad conclusions, but doing OK.
18) J.J. Furmaniak, SS
Hitting .266/.324/.437 with 14 homers for Portland. Plate discipline is a question due to below average walks, but he has good pop for a middle infielder. Traded to the Pirates.
19) Ben Johnson, OF
Hit .302/.386/.533 with 17 homers for Portland, also 2-for-14 for the Padres. Has always had good physical tools including plus raw power, but has had problems with consistency and strike zone judgment. Seems to have made real progress this year.
20) Wilmer Villatoro, RHP
Has pitched well for Lake Elsinore, 3.05 ERA in 44 innings with 33/27 K/BB, but struggled with command during brief audition at Mobile, posting 10.13 ERA and walking 6 guys in 5 innings.
I like Kottaras an awful lot and he deserves a spot on a Top 50 prospects list. Barfield I am starting to doubt. The biggest worry for Padres fans should be the reasonably large chance that Matt Bush will be a complete waste as a first-overall pick.
This should finish up the Top 20 updates. We will run through these again in a more organized fashion after the minor league season ends. Tomorrow I'll have some prospect tidbits for you, and hopefully some good Wichita/Arkansas pictures.