Headley doing well in Double-A
By Tom Krasovic
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 30, 2007
While rookie third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff struggles for the Padres, batting .119 in 67 at-bats, third baseman Chase Headley is flourishing with Double-A San Antonio.
Headley, a switch-hitter who will turn 23 next month, is batting .354 in 79 at-bats with eight doubles, four home runs and 16 RBI to go with a .433 on-base percentage. Batting left-handed, his primary role as a hitter, Headley is batting .404 with three home runs and a .500 on-base percentage.
Padres officials have said it is unlikely they would summon Headley to the majors any time soon. But the former University of Tennessee star was creating a buzz even before the season began. Headley had gained some 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason, and he had several good at-bats in spring training, one of which produced a triple off Padres No. 2 starter Chris Young.
Entering this season, all of Headley's 190 games had come below Single-A, yielding a .282 batting average, a .382 on-base percentage and 18 home runs.
If the Padres are to get immediate help from their Triple-A affiliate, it appears that it will come from veteran minor leaguers. Portland's younger players, such as pitcher Cesar Carrillo and infielder Luis Cruz, are off to slow starts. A 23-year-old middle infielder acquired from the Red Sox in 2002, Cruz is batting .151 with four errors in 20 games.
Will Venable, one of the Padres' top prospects, has a knack for making contact against a wide variety of pitchers. The left-hander is batting .391 in 21 at-bats against left-handers.
Contributing to Lake Elsinore's 18-8 win yesterday, third baseman David Freese hit a grand slam and left fielder Chad Huffman hit a three-run home run.