Padres Midseason Report





Best player: Without question, the best player from the first half was first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who was called to the big leagues on June 9 after hitting .365/.444/.715 with 16 home runs and 20 doubles in 52 games at Triple-A Tucson. Through 73 big league at-bats, Rizzo was hitting .178/.318/.342. While striking out one-third of the time, Rizzo has shown his power when he makes contact with nine of his 13 hits going for extra bases. Padres manager Bud Black said he'll use Rizzo at first base against all comers. Rizzo came to the Padres along with righthander Casey Kelly and outfielder Reymond Fuentes from the Red Sox in the offseason deal for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Biggest leap forward: The farm system is starting to produce and several players have made progress this season. The biggest leap, though, belongs to righthander Keyvius Sampson. A fourth-round pick in 2009 out of high school in Ocala, Fla., Sampson was 7-2, 3.38 through 14 starts with low Class A Fort Wayne. With his power arm, Sampson has struck out 81 batters in 69 innings while walking 25 and allowing 46 hits. He's in line for a bump up to Lake Elsinore.

Biggest disappointment: Lefthander Aaron Poreda, a 2007 first-round pick who came to the Padres in 2009 as part of the trade that sent Jake Peavy to the White Sox, has never lived up to his billing. He has been plagued by control problems and was designated for assignment in June. He cleared waivers and rejoined Tucson, where he was 2-2, 5.57 in 42 innings. He walked 39 while striking out 43 in that time.

FATHER FIGURES

• Outfielder Luis Durango, who appeared in 28 games for the Padres in 2010 and nine in 2009, was designated for assignment after hitting .243/.328/.294 in 177 at-bats for Tucson.

• The Padres released veteran infielder Jorge Cantu and called up utilityman Jesus Guzman, who played in 12 games for the Giants in 2009.