Susdorf added to Elsinore roster

The Padres signed former UCLA outfielder and 2004 Rangers draft pick Billy Susdorf to a minor league contract last week, and assigned the right-handed hitter to the Lake Elsinore roster Monday.

With the Lake Elsinore Storm struggling to score runs, the Padres yesterday announced the signing of former Texas farmhand Billy Susdorf, who will join the club as it begins a road trip to Stockton and San Jose tonight.

Susdorf, who turned 23 earlier this week, hit .277 with a .405 slugging percentage in 328 at-bats for the Clinton Lumberjacks of the Midwest League last year. Although he has just 10 home runs as a professional, the Padres think some of the 31 doubles he had at the lower levels will translate into homers in the hitter-friendly Cal League.

Susdorf has also shown some speed in his career, swiping 17 bases in 85 games last year. With only one Storm player sporting a total above three, the extra flash on the bases will be a welcome addition to the squad.

The move is an indicator that the organization intends to be cautious with some of the young hitters who have helped the Fort Wayne Wizards to the Midwest League lead in runs scored.

"You get tempted to want to move a guy who's having success," said Mike Wickham of the Padres' player development team. "But it's way too early."

Susdorf, a six-foot one-inch righthander, was a sixth round pick in the 2004 Free Agent Draft after a three-year career at UCLA in which he hit .316. He was released by the Rangers at the end of spring training.

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