Furious Five for Friday
2) Freddy Guzman - Portland - Hitting .313 with 11 stolen bases in as many attempts since being called up from Mobile. Freddy will probably play at least two more months before being considered, but the early returns are promising. Could be called up before September and provide the Padres with some much needed speed for the stretch run.
3) Josh Barfield - Mobile - Josh is still leading the BayBears in RBIs and second in home runs, but a .241 batting average and 63 strikeouts in 228 ABs is a concern. His past performances in Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore still make him a highly sought after player.
4) Brad Baker - Mobile - Having a great season as a closer in Mobile, but so did Jeremy Fikac and JJ Trujillo. Baker has a 1.86 ERA and 15 saves, real question is how will that translate to the upper levels?
5) Jordan Pickens - Fort Wayne -One of the better hitters in the Midwest League. Pickens is carrying a .985 OPS with 11 home runs in 45 games. Could be possible mid-season promotion to Lake Elsinore. Downside, another right handed first baseman.
Honorable Mention - Tagg Bozied, Brian Whitaker, Michael Johnson, Luis Cruz, Marcus Nettles, Peeter Ramos and Fernando Valenzuela Jr. Also, we should see Portland's Justin Germano back on this list fairly quickly. Finally, all the Mobile starting pitching staff deserves some serious accolades for pitching the BayBears into first place with a subpar offense.
Editorial Note - Hopefully the Padres will start to play Xavier Nady and especially Jon Knott. Knott has put some serious numbers so far in Portland, and really at every stop he has been at in the Padres organization. With Ryan Klesko being injured and the team in the midst of its American League schedule with the designated hitter, the Padres should see what these two sluggers can do.
John Conniff can be reached at Conniff@SanDiegoSports.net