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2003 Wrapups: San Diego

With the 2003 season coming to a close, we will be providing a brief wrapup of the season for all 30 minor league teams. In each report, we will take a look at how the team's Top 10 Prospects performed, identify some emerging prospects and organizational leaders, and report on the performance of their top draft pick.
Complete index of Team Wrapups               2003 League Wrapups

By Kevin Goldstein
November 25, 2003

Season Results

Level Team League W L PCT
AAA Portland Pacific Coast 69 75 .479
AA Mobile Southern 61 77 .442
A+ Lake Elsinore California 75 65 .536
A Ft. Wayne Midwest 71 66 .518
SS Eugene Northwest 39 37 .513
R Idaho Falls Pioneer 24 52 .316
TOTAL 339 367 .480


Performance of Top 10 Prospects

Here's how our top 10 prospects entering this season performed in 2003.

1. Xavier Nady, of      Age: 25
Nady started the year in the big leagues after a strong showing in spring training, and hit .286-7-22 in the first two months, but found himself back in Triple-A after a 39-game homerless streak along with a 4-for-43 slump. Nady was having a solid campaign at Portland, but his final totals were dropped by a season-ending 4-for-30 spiral. The subject of many trade rumors (specifically to the Pirates during the Brian Giles/Jason Kendall negotiations), Nady remains with the Padres, but his role in 2004 is anything but certain.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
San Diego (MLB) 110 371 50 99 17 1 9 39 24 74 6 .267 .321 .391
Portland (Triple-A) 37 136 19 36 7 0 7 23 12 28 0 .265 .329 .471

2. Khalil Greene, ss      Age: 24
Greene impressed Padres brass with his toughness when he rebounded from an 8-for-61 slump (.131) in late April to hit .377 in his final 20 games at Mobile and earn a promotion to Triple-A. Hit the ground running at Portland (.350-5-20 in first 20 games), and while he batted just .215 in a 20-game major league audition, he's all but a lock to be the Padres' starting shortstop on Opening Day.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Mobile (Double-A) 59 229 20 63 17 2 3 20 16 55 2 .275 .327 .406
Portland (Triple-A) 76 319 42 92 19 0 10 47 20 52 5 .288 .346 .442
San Diego (MLB) 20 65 8 14 4 1 2 6 4 19 0 .215 .271 .400

3. Mark Phillips, lhp      Age: 21
A high-ceiling lefty with whom to Padres lost patience, the Yankees received the former first-round pick before the season in the Rondell White deal. He showed up to spring training out of shape, and lost both control and velocity as his mechanics got out of whack. He'll need to rebound from what was essentially a lost season.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Tampa (High Class A) 6-6 0 5.76 16 70.1 63 48 45 51 50

4. Tagg Bozied, 1b      Age: 24
Scouts were concerned about how Bozied's long swing would play at the upper levels, and those concerns seemed to come to fruition, as he hit just .163-1-1 in his first 15 games for Portland. He hit .285-13-58 for the remainder of the season, but still projects far under what is expected from an every day first baseman in the major leagues.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Portland (Triple-A) 119 450 59 123 25 2 14 59 38 80 1 .273 .331 .431

5. Jake Gautreau, 2b      Age: 24
Gautreau played just 93 games in 2002 because of ulcerative colitis, which continued to plague him in 2003, along with an elbow strain. Finally began to find his stroke at the end of the year (.284-5-13 in August), and it was somewhat of a surprise to see him left off the 40-man roster last week.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Mobile (Double-A) 122 438 48 106 24 0 14 55 50 131 1 .242 .324 .393

6. Ben Howard, rhp      Age: 24
Howard entered the season with well over a strikeout per inning in his minor league career, but he took a little off of his velocity this year in an attempt to gain more command, and the results were mixed. While he was more consistent than in the past, he rarely was dominant. His numbers in a six-start September audition with the Padres are impressive at first glance, but 10 of the 31 hits he surrendered went over the wall as opponents slugged .523 against him.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Portland (Triple-A) 7-9 0 4.55 22 130.2 118 69 66 49 68
San Diego (MLB) 1-3 0 3.63 6 34.2 31 17 14 15 24

7. Josh Barfield, 2b      Age: 20
The Padres 2002 Minor League Player of the Year, Barfield only improved upon his breakout campaign, leading the minor leagues in RBIs and being selected as a finalist for Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year award. Hit .374 against lefties, and .384 with runners in scoring position. Whether or not he can stay at second base is still a matter of debate, but with his bat, it's not going to matter.
TEAMG AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
Lake Elsinore (High Class A) 135 549 99 185 46 6 16 128 50 122 16 .337 .389 .530

8. Mike Nicolas, rhp      Age: 24
Nicolas has one of the better fastballs around, but control problems and some ugly off-the-field incidents led to the Padres trying to slip him through waivers to clear up room on their 40-man roster. The Brewers claimed him for the purpose of shipping him to the Red Sox, and he landed at Double-A Portland. Nicholas limited Eastern League batters to a .175 average and struck out over a batter per inning, but also walked over a batter per inning and was released after another tough outing on July 19th upped his ERA to 6.06. Montreal signed him a month later and he was moderately effective in the Florida State League over the final month of the season.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Mobile (Double-A) 0-1 1 8.10 5 6.2 6 6 6 7 11
Portland (Double-A) 4-2 0 6.06 20 32.2 20 26 22 33 37
Brevard County (High Class A) 0-2 1 3.65 8 12.1 8 5 5 4 12

9. Rusty Tucker, lhp      Age: 23
Tucker led the organization in saves as one of the most dominant relievers in the minors over the first three months of the season. Something was clearly wrong in the second half, as Tucker went 1-4, 6.75 over the final six weeks of the season, and required Tommy John surgery in mid-August.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Mobile (Double-A) 2-6 28 3.74 51 53.0 49 26 22 31 63

10. Cory Stewart, lhp      Age: 24
Stewart continued his impressive rebound after missing all of 2000 with a shoulder injury, being released by the Reds, and spending 2001 pitching in the independent Texas-Louisiana League. The Padres' best starter on Double-A Mobile, Stewart limited Southern League hitters to a .222 average and struck out over a batter per inning before being dealt to Pittsburgh at the end of the year in the Brian Giles trade.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Mobile (Double-A) 12-7 0 3.72 24 125.2 104 60 52 50 133


Top Draft Pick:

Tim Stauffer, rhp    U. of Richmond   Bonus: $750K
The Padres selected Stauffer with the fourth overall pick in the draft, but Stauffer and his agent alerted the Padres to a weakness in his shoulder during negotiations (the Padres had initially offered $2.6 million), and the two sides compromised on a $750K bonus. An MRI revealed wear on his labrum and rotator cuff, but no specific problem that required surgery. He's expected to report to spring training ready-to-go.
Team W-L SV ERA G IP H R ER BB SO
Did Not Pitch


Emerging Prospects:

Freddy Guzman, of: The former Pedro de los Santos needed to move quickly after aging nearly two years in the offseason, and he did just that, burning through three levels while leading the organization with 90 stolen bases. Guzman is a pure 80 runner on the scouting scale, and unlike many minor league speedsters, understands the value of taking a walk.
Humberto Quintero, c: Quintero entered the season with a reputation as one of the better defensive catchers around, but had never shown any aptitude at the plate before hitting .298-3-52 at Mobile. If the Ramon Hernandez/Terrence Long/Mark Kotsay deal falls through, be could be a real sleeper for the major league job.
Gabe Ribas, rhp: A Northwestern product who went 8-1 for Eugene in his pro debut last year, Ribas was 13-3, 2.25 for Fort Wayne in 2003, and while he struggled after a promotion to the California League (4-5, 5.81), he led the Padres organization in wins and strikeouts.


Statistical Leaders

Batting Average Josh Barfield .337
Home Runs Jon Knott 28
Runs Batted In Josh Barfield 128
Stolen Bases Freddy Guzman 90
Earned Run Average Brian Whitaker 2.09
Wins Gabe Ribas 17
Strikeouts Gabe Ribas 152
Saves Rusty Tucker 28

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