Shortstop Khalil Greene is the Padres Most Valuable Player, Jake Peavy wins the Clyde McCullough Award as the club’s Pitcher of the Year, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez receives the Chairman’s Award for contributions to the community and Kevin Kouzmanoff is the Madres Favorite New Padre. Additionally, Heath Bell will be presented with the second annual Fireman’s Award by five representatives of San Diego Fire & Rescue.
The Padres 2007 minor league award winners will also be recognized during the ceremonies. Infielder Chase Headley wins the Minor League Player of the Year award, while right-handed pitcher Josh Geer earns Pitcher of the Year honors. In addition, Randy Ready is the Jack Krol Award winner for contributions in player development, while Scott Littlefield is the club’s Scout of the Year.
Greene, 28, set career highs in games played (153), hits (155), doubles (44), home runs (27), RBI (97), runs scored (89) and slugging percentage (.468). His doubles total along with his career-high 74 extra-base hits each rank fifth on the Padres all-time single-season lists. Greene ranked among top National League shortstops in RBI (2nd), doubles (2nd), home runs (3rd), and slugging percentage (5th), while his 27 long balls extended his own franchise record for a shortstop. His double and RBI totals are also new franchise records at the position. Greene posted career marks in the field with 690 total chances, 218 putouts, 461 assists and 98 double plays while recording a .984 fielding percentage (11 errors), a single-season franchise record for shortstops.
Peavy is honored with the Clyde McCullough award as the club’s Pitcher of the Year after being unanimously selected as the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner. Peavy led the Majors with a 2.54 ERA (63 ER/223.1 IP) and 240 strikeouts, recording a National League-best 19 wins in 34 starts. He was named National League Pitcher of the Month on three occasions, earning the distinction in May, August and September. The 26-year-old was also selected by vote of National League players to his second All-Star Game. He became the third Padres pitcher ever to start the All-Star Game, allowing one hit in a scoreless inning of work at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
Bell is being presented with the second annual Fireman’s Award after setting career high’s in strikeouts (102), innings pitched (93.2), games (81), holds (34), wins (6) and saves (2). He ranked first among Majors League relievers in strikeouts and innings pitched, while holding opponents scoreless in 69 of his 81 appearances. Bell, 30, will be presented his award by five representatives of San Diego Fire & Rescue.
Gonzalez, 25, receives the Chairman’s Award for contributions to the community. The award, founded by the Padres Community Relations Department in 1995, honors the Padres player who best exemplifies the community spirit of club Chairman John Moores and his family. As one of the Padres most active ambassadors, Gonzalez worked with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, participated in the Children’s Hospital Celebration of Champions, served as the celebrity spokesperson for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program and hosted a golf tournament to benefit the South Bay YMCA. He also supports his alma mater, Eastlake High School.
Kouzmanoff earns Favorite New Padre honors after his first full season in the Major Leagues. The 26-year-old ranked among National League rookie leaders in doubles (T-2nd, 30), RBI (3rd, 74), multi-hit games (4th, 35), home runs (5th, 18), hits (5th, 133), extra-base hits (5th, 50), total bases (5th, 221) and runs scored (T-5th, 57). Kouzmanoff hit .309 over his last 118 games, leading all Padres in batting average from May 10 through the end of the season.
Headley made his Major League debut last season, going 4-for-18 in eight games for the Padres. The 23-year-old spent the rest of 2007 with Double-A San Antonio, hitting .330 (143-for-433) with 38 doubles, five triples, 20 home runs, 78 RBI and 83 runs scored. He was named Texas League Player of the Year following the season. Headley was originally selected by the Padres in the second round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
Geer was named Texas League Pitcher of the Year after going 16-6 with a 3.20 ERA (61 ER/171.1 IP) in 26 starts with San Antonio. He tossed two complete games and recorded 102 strikeouts compared to 27 walks before being promoted to Triple-A Portland. With the Beavers, Geer went 1-0, winning his only start after 6.0 innings of two-run ball. Over parts of three minor league seasons, the 24-year-old is 34-14 with a 3.69 ERA (164 ER/400.1 IP) in 64 games (66 starts).
Ready led the Padres Double-A San Antonio affiliate to a 73-66 overall record and a Texas League title in his first year with the Missions. After a third-place finish and 31-39 (.443) record in the first half, San Antonio went 42-27 (.609) in the second half, finishing first and eventually beating Springfield in the best-of-five Texas League Championship Series. Ready’s club swept the Texas League postseason honors with Headley and Geer winning Player and Pitcher of the Year. At the conclusion of the 2007 season, San Antonio was named Minor League Team of the Year by Baseball America. Ready is set to manage at Triple-A Portland in the 2008 season.
Littlefield has been with the Padres since 2004, serving as National Crosschecker for the last three seasons. With five compensation draft picks in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Littlefield played a crucial role in the club’s player development. He traveled from coast to coast, sometimes watching multiple games in multiples states on the same day. The Scout of the Year award is named in honor of longtime Padres scout Denny Galehouse.