Baseball America's Goldstein on Padres Top 10
1) Josh Barfield - 2b - Mobile - Has had a very frustrating year, just can't seem to get going. Josh will have a big game, then regress. So far he's struggling to hit .250, but there has been progress. In April he hit 1 HR, in May he hit 5 HRs, his RBIs have also gone up substantially. Josh is starting to show more extra base power, so you can see it developing, but its going to take some time. He's still is a very good prospect. The jump from A to AA is incredibly difficult. None of the people we have spoken with have said his swing is bad and he certainly has all the skills to make the necessary adjustments. Right now it's about 50/50 he will stay at 2b. He can play the position without killing you and probably has enough bat to play outfield in the future if they want to move him.
2) Khalil Greene - SS - San Diego. Khalil has been very impressive defensively. He was always seen as someone who would be solid, but he has exceeded expectations both offensively and defensively.
3) Freddy Guzman - CF - Portland - I really like Guzman. Mainly because he knows what he is and is not trying to be what he isn't. He is a leadoff man, knows how to draw walk and has an incredible ability to steal a base. Freddy is a pure 75-80 runner (editorial note - scouts rank players on a 20-80 range). He has everything to be a starting center fielder for the Padres by 2005. Defensively he has a bad arm, but great range and is going to run down a lot of balls. He struggled a little bit at Mobile this year, but so far seems to be adjusting to Portland well.
4) Tim Stauffer - SP - Mobile - A great story, many scouts didn't think he would be as effective as he has been. His velocity is ok, just slightly below what is was before he got hurt. His strikeout ratio is a low, and I'd like to see him miss more bats. The way the Padres see it, if your last year's pick is already in AA, he is ahead of schedule. He currently profiles as a real number 3 starter.
5) Ben Howard - traded was traded to the Florida Marlins before the start of the season.
6) Jon Knott - OF/1b - Portland/San Diego - Jon Knott is a very good offensive player, got off to huge start in the Pacific Coast League. So far has bat has carried him to the big leagues and his bat will have to keep him there. He is a decent corner outfielder. The problem is he is going to be 26, so its difficult to project how much better, if at all, he is going to become. You have to hit a ton to play the corner outfield in the major leagues, if he keeps hitting as he did in Portland that may be enough.
7) David Pauley - SP-Lake Elsinore - David Pauley has been up and down, but lately he has pitched well. A non-Padres scout was really impressed by him in one of his recent outings. His control is still a concern, but he is striking out a good amount of people. Nothing outstanding, but nothing bad. Pauley has a pretty good fastball, pretty good curveball, but his control has been a bit of a problem. I think he can be solid back of rotation starter.
8) Kennard Jones - CF - Mobile - There are a lot of good things to say about Kennard. His game is very similar to Guzman's, his game revolves around speed. He knows how to take a walk. So far he has played ok, but he is still getting caught stealing too much. Kennard is still learning how to use speed, he has more power than Guzman, but he doesn't have the same instincts that Guzman has in center field.
9) Tagg Bozied - 1b - Portland - I'm not a great fan of Tagg, he is solely a first baseman. He really doesn't have enough bat to be a major league first baseman, is very limited defensively. Tagg has a very big long swing, very vulnerable to outside pitches and breaking stuff.
10) Chris Oxspring - SP - Portland - I'm a big Oxspring fan, but maybe I just like Aussies too. He pitched very well at Mobile last year, and got off to good start at Portland before he got hurt. He has a good fastball, nice slider and developing changeup. His real strength might be as a middle relief pitcher, has a good two pitch combo.
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John Conniff can be reached at Conniff@sandiegosports.net