San Diego Padres Top 10 Prospects

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Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.

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Matt Eddy
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1. Casey Kelly, rhp
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
3. Simon Castro, rhp
4. Reymond Fuentes, of
5. Matt Lollis, rhp
6. Cory Lubeke, lhp
7. Jaff Decker, of
8. Donavan Tate, of
9. Drew Cumberland, ss/2b
10. Jason Hagerty, c
Best Hitter for Average Drew Cumberland
Best Power Hitter Anthony Rizzo
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Logan Forsythe
Fastest Baserunner Luis Durango
Best Athlete Donavan Tate
Best Fastball Eugenio Reyes
Best Curveball Casey Kelly
Best Slider Simon Castro
Best Changeup Josh Spence
Best Control Anthony Bass
Best Defensive Catcher Luis Martinez
Best Defensive Infielder Beamer Weems
Best Infield Arm Edinson Rincon
Best Defensive Outfielder Rico Noel
Best Outfield Arm Rymer Liriano
Catcher Jason Hagerty
First Base Anthony Rizzo
Second Base Drew Cumberland
Third Base Chase Headley
Shortstop Jason Bartlett
Left Field Jaff Decker
Center Field Reymond Fuentes
Right Field Will Venable
No. 1 Starter Mat Latos
No. 2 Starter Casey Kelly
No. 3 Starter Simon Castro
No. 4 Starter Cory Luebke
No. 5 Starter Clayton Richard
Closer Heath Bell
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Sean Burroughs, 3b Out of baseball
2002 Sean Burroughs, 3b Out of baseball
2003 Xavier Nady, of Cubs
2004 Josh Barfield, 2b Padres
2005 Josh Barfield, 2b Padres
2006 Cesar Carrillo, rhp Astros
2007 Cedric Hunter, of Padres
2008 Chase Headley, 3b Padres
2009 Kyle Blanks, 1b Padres
2010 Donavan Tate, of Padres
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Jake Gautreau, 2b Out of baseball
2002 Khalil Greene, ss Out of baseball
2003 Tim Stauffer, rhp Padres
2004 Matt Bush, ss Rays
2005 Cesar Carrillo, rhp Astros
2006 Matt Antonelli, 3b Padres
2007 Nick Schmidt, lhp Padres
2008 Allan Dykstra, 1b Padres
2009 Donavan Tate, of Padres
2010 *Karsten Whitson, rhp U. of Florida
* Did not sign

Donavan Tate, 2009 $6,250,000
Matt Bush, 2004 $3,150,000
Mark Phillips, 2000 $2,200,000
Sean Burroughs, 1998 $2,100,000
Adys Portillo, 2008 $2,000,000
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San Diego Padres

Adrian Gonzalez anchored the Padres lineup from 2006 through 2010, producing at a rate on par with any hitter in the National League this side of Albert Pujols.

Despite Gonzalez's contributions, San Diego finished in the bottom half of the NL in scoring in all five seasons, finishing as high as ninth in 2007 but plummeting to the bottom in the subsequent two seasons. The Padres won the NL West in Gonzalez's first season in San Diego, finished well out of the money in two other years, and missed the playoffs by one excruciating game in the other two seasons.

With one of those near-misses fresh in mind, the organization made the difficult decision to trade Gonzalez, a San Diego native in the final year of his contract. The Red Sox long had been viewed as natural trading partners because so many Boston expatriates populate the San Diego front office, from general manager Jed Hoyer to assistant GM Jason McLeod to vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes.

The two sides ultimately consummated a deal in December that sent Gonzalez to Boston for righthander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, center fielder Reymond Fuentes and veteran Eric Patterson.

Kelly and Rizzo finished 2010 in Double-A and ranked as Boston's best pitching and hitting prospect at the time of the trade. McLeod drafted those two as well as Fuentes in his former role as Red Sox scouting director, taking Kelly and Fuentes with first-round picks in 2008 and '09.

The Padres are seeking to put together enough offense to back up their consistently good pitching, which carried them to the top of the NL West for the better part of 2010. San Diego roared to a 76-49 start and held a 6 1/2-game division lead on Aug. 25. The Padres then lost 10 games in a row, scoring a grand total of 23 runs, to allow the Giants back into the race. San Francisco moved into first place on Sept. 10 and went on to win the division and the World Series.

San Diego's Bud Black still earned NL manager of the year honors because his team's performance defied all reasonable expectations. Led by 22-year-old Mat Latos and a stout bullpen, the pitching staff paced the major leagues with 3.59 runs allowed per game.

In an effort to find some offense, San Digeo used its pitching excess to execute four trades in 2010. At the trade deadline, the Padres swapped Nick Greenwood to the Cardinals and Corey Kluber to the Indians in a three-team deal that netted Ryan Ludwick, and sent Wynn Pelzer to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada.

In the offseason they parted with five relievers, acquiring Cameron Maybin from the Marlins (for Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb), then getting Jason Bartlett from the Rays (for Brandon Gomes, Cesar Ramos, Adam Russell and second-base prospect Cole Figueroa).

The Padres had to look outside the organization for offense because their farm system hasn't been up to the task. San Diego used 10 first-round or supplemental first-round picks on position players from 2006-09, and not one projects as a surefire big league regular. Outfielder Donavan Tate, the No. 3 overall pick in 2009, has struggled to stay healthy since signing for a club-record $6.25 million.

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