The Friar Thermometer (8/24-8/31)

Padres Burroughs on fire Friar

The San Diego Padres have had a nice jolt since inserting Sean Burroughs into the leadoff spot, oh, and some guy named Brian Giles has not hurt too much either. The minor league affiliates have squandered playoff opportunities as we look at the "Friars Thermometer"- who is hot and who is not in the majors and minors.

Majors

On-Fire Friars:

1) Sean Burroughs - .448 BA, doubles, 2 triples, 4 RBI, 1.105 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage)
• Burroughs makes this list for the second straight week. The 22-year-old continues to impress the Padres in the leadoff spot harkening visions of fellow third baseman Wade Boggs' work in the leadoff spot for Boston.

2) Phil Nevin – .360 BA, 2 homers, 9 RBI, .680 slugging percentage
• Nevin has had his ups and downs since coming back in late July after his shoulder surgery in March. This week was some of the good times as Nevin goes deep twice including a grand slam to bury the D'Backs last Wednesday.

3) Adam Eaton – 1 start, 7 innings, 6hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts, 1-0 record.
• Eaton, it seems, has turned a corner in his development from a decent pitcher to one that could be a solid front-of-the-rotation guy. His fantastic work at the bandbox known as Minute Maid Park Friday night got the Padres off on the right foot in Houston.

Frozen Friars:

1) Gary Bennett - .235 BA, 1 RBI
• Bennett actually didn't have too poor a week offensively. He drew three walks and even stole a base, but it was difficult to find someone who slumped at the plate for the Padres this past week. Sorry Gary.

2) Kevin Jarvis – 2 starts, 0-2 record, 10 1/3 innings, 14 hits, 10 earned runs
• Padres' fans feel Jarvis and his rather sizable contract might be the albatross that holds the team back in 2004. Let's hope not, but Jarvis' performance this past week leaves a ton to be desired. His ERA rose from 5.33 to a robust 5.75.

3) Jaret Wright – 2 appearances, 4 innings, 2 earned runs allowed, 8.19 ERA for the season.
• Wright, an interesting gamble by Padres' GM Kevin Towers this spring, was released last Friday after pitching horribly for the Padres in 39 appearances this season. The Braves who, despite their great record, were desperate for relief help instantly picked him up. Wright, 27, has allowed 70 hits and 28 walks in 48 1/3 innings this season. I guess Towers lost the gamble. Oh well.

Minors

On-Fire Future Friars:

1) Jon Knott (OF/1B – Class AAA Portland) – 9 hits in 27 at-bats (.333), 7 runs, 2 HR
• The 25-year-old power hitter was rewarded after his nice season at Class AA Mobile with a promotion to Portland. Knott still holds the second spot in the Class AA Southern League with 27 homers.

2) Josh Barfield (2B – Class A Lake Elsinore) –12 hits in 34 at-bats (.353), 2 HR, 5 doubles, 10 RBI, 7 runs, 2 steals
• We really could just hold this spot for Barfield in perpetuity. He has truly been a man among boys at Lake Elsinore this season. The 20-year-old is having one of the best minor league seasons ever. On the season, Barfield is among the league leaders in eight offensive categories. He leads the league in RBI (125), doubles (46), hits (185) and extra-base hits (68), is second in hitting (.341), third in runs (99) and on-base percentage (.393) and fourth in slugging (.537). Simply an amazing season!

3) Dennis Tankersley (RHP – Class AAA Portland) – 2 starts, 12 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 13 strikeouts, 1-0 record, 1.50 ERA
• Tankersley was once not only one of the Padres' top prospects, but one of the best in all of baseball. He is still only 24 years old and continues to tantalize with devastating stuff. "Tank" still has a definite shot to make a major contribution to the Padres in the future. The question whether it will be as a reliever or as a starter remains to be seen.

Frozen Future Friars:

1) Kervin Jacobo (IF – Class A Fort Wayne) – 2 hits in 24 at-bats (.080), 1 double
• The 6'2" switch-hitting Jacobo has struggled after having started this season in the D'Backs organization. It does appear that he is above average defensively.

2) Alex Garcia (IF – Short-Season Class A Eugene) – zero hits in 12 at-bats
• Garcia has yet to turn 20 years old and is actually not having a poor year at Eugene. The shortstop has hit .271 with 14 steals and played decent defense. He was signed out of the Padres' Dominican academy.

3) Alfredo Fernandez (RHP – Rookie League Idaho Falls) –2 starts, 2 2/3 innings, 12 hits, 8 runs, 26.97 ERA, 0-1 record.
• Fernandez has had a tough first season in professional baseball here in the U.S. He is a big 6'4", 220-pound right-hander.

Dave Holtzman can be reached at dholtzman@hotmail.com

Check out Dave's website to find more information on the Friars. The news is always fresh and insightful at:

http://www.people.ku.edu/~holtzman

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