Because of the dimensions of PETCO Park, a lot of the position players lose offensive punch. Considering that two other stadiums (20 games, thereabout) are also pitchers’ parks, the Padres’ offense takes another huge hit. However, this means good things for their pitchers. Spacious outfields and a great center fielder in Mike Cameron bode well for their staff.
The San Diego Padres do not have anyone who ranks here.
OF Mike Cameron – If your team can stomach the low batting average, then Mike Cameron is your guy in center field. He’s the poor man’s version of Torii Hunter. Expect Cameron to hit around .260 or .270, but with a fair about of power (20 bombs) and speed (20 steals). If anything, he’s a valuable bench player.
2B Marcus Giles – He may burn me because of this, but I’m going to rank Giles in the second tier. The scrappy second bagger played through an injured hand that sapped his power potential, and now that it is finally healed, he could be go deep 15 times, drive in 70, and steal 12. Combine that with a decent .280 batting average and plenty of runs scored, and you’ve got yourself a good player. However, there’s always the chance that last season becomes the norm for him.
1B Adrian Gonzalez – It’s great to see Gonzalez finally show that talent he’s had for so long. He finished last year with an every day job and a .304 batting average with 24 homers. The power is not impressive, especially from a first baseman, but his batting average could help out your team. Keep in mind he’s just entering his prime, which means .310/25/80 with a few runs scored.
RP Trevor Hoffman – As he passes his 40th birthday, Hoffman keeps chugging along. The right hander hasn’t had an ERA over 3.00 since 2001, and he’ll consistently save in the low 40s every year. There’s very little to dislike here: Hoffy’s one of the best in the business, year in and year out.
SP Chris Young – This former basketball player from Princeton has great stuff, which can be seen from his taking no-hitters into the late innings multiple times last year. The only potential problem may be an abnormally low BABIP. His .235 figure ranked first in the majors last season, and good luck tends to even out. Still, draft him as a number two or three starter on your team, because he can rack up the strikeouts.
C Josh Bard – When he came to the Padres last year, Bard hit .338 with 9 homers in only 231 ABs. Does that make him a potential top five catcher for next season? Obviously not. Bard was on a hot streak, but he can be very valuable if drafted in the right spot. Expect him to rack up 15 or so homers with a .280 batting average.
OF Brian Giles – The last few seasons have proven that Giles’ power is gone. He shouldn’t be counted on for more than 15-20 bombs, even if he’s united with his younger brother, Marcus. We should expect a lot of extra base hits and a good batting average, however. My best estimate for his 2007 season is .290/20/90 with about 100 runs and a handful of steals.
SS Khalil Greene – For much of his career, Greene has had the propensity to get hurt. He’s never played in more than 139 games in three seasons. However, when healthy, the shortstop can hit 15-18 homers and drive in 65-80 runs. Those are valuable. What’s not valuable are his low batting average and lacking of runs scored. However, his middle name is Thabit, and that’s pretty cool.
RP Scott Linebrink / RP Olise Cla Meredith – Very rarely are you supposed to own relief pitchers in roto leagues, but in head to head, they can be valuable. Linebrink and Meredith are those types of guys. The former finished with a goodly amount of strikeouts and wins, while Meredith ended the 2006 campaign with a 1.07 ERA. These are very valuable things on a week-by-week basis.
SP Greg Maddux/SP David Wells – These two elder statesmen deserve to be ranked with each other. Both had success after coming to the west coast (Wells 3.49 ERA in 5 starts, Maddux 3.30 in 12). They both won’t throw in the mid 90’s, and neither will win 18 games again, but these veterans should hit their catcher’s glove a lot. We can expect low 4 ERAs and 12-15 wins from both.
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff – This kid can clearly hit. It’s what he’s done throughout his career in the minor leagues and there’s no reason to think that that success won’t last in the show. His defense, however, holds him back. Many scouts believe he’s a first baseman in the future, but he’ll be playing at third base this year, barring a collapse/injury in spring training. Expect a decent batting average with a little pop.SP Jake Peavy – If his ERA had been lower last year, Peavy would’ve ranked in the first tier. However, that 4.09 mark bodes trouble for fantasy owners. If you’re going to draft a pitcher in the first three rounds, he has to be able to help your team’s ERA and not give up lots of home runs -- which Peavy did 23 times last year. Expect him to do better because of the high number of Ks, but there’s a difference between expectations and results.
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