The Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual included a section called “Overlooked ex-Padres.” I’d wanted to call attention to four players–Ollie Brown, Mike Ivie, Ruppert Jones, and Bip Roberts–that maybe didn’t get their due in San Diego. The idea was noble, but the execution could have been better.

Since I’ve spent much of the offseason writing player comments for Baseball Prospectus 2015 (#ShamelessPlug), I’m in the mind-set of condensing a man’s contributions to his team into a short paragraph with snappy phrases. In that vein, I thought it might be fun to revisit those players from DS2008 and write capsules for each of their seasons with the Padres.

Previous installments have focused on Ollie Brown, Mike Ivie, and Ruppert Jones. Now we finish with Bip Roberts.

BP1987

Roberts, who attended the same high school as Nothing in Common star Tom Hanks, was selected by the Padres in the Rule 5 draft. Unfairly compared to former San Diego speedster Alan Wiggins, the diminutive switch-hitter enjoyed moderate success from the left side of the plate but was useless from the right side. After swiping 90 bags over the previous two seasons in the minors, Roberts was not a threat at the big-league level. Although his 14 steals were second on the Padres, a 54 percent success rate made him a liability. Roberts, whose given name is Leon, hit .378 in September and played a respectable second base, both encouraging. If he hits grounders and refines his running game, he could be more than a guy with a cool nickname.

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The Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual included a section called “Overlooked ex-Padres.” I’d wanted to call attention to four players–Ollie Brown, Mike Ivie, Ruppert Jones, and Bip Roberts–that maybe didn’t get their due in San Diego. The idea was noble, but the execution could have been better.

Since I’ve spent much of the offseason writing player comments for Baseball Prospectus 2015 (#ShamelessPlug), I’m in the mind-set of condensing a man’s contributions to his team into a short paragraph with snappy phrases. In that vein, I thought it might be fun to revisit those players from DS2008 and write capsules for each of their seasons with the Padres.

Last time, we examined Ollie Brown. Now we turn to Mike Ivie.

BP1972

Taken first overall in the 1970 draft out of a Georgia high school, Ivie is a strapping kid with light-tower power and a shotgun arm. He made a mockery of the California League in his full-season debut, despite being one of the circuit’s youngest regulars, and reached the big leagues less than a month after his 19th birthday. Ivie’s defense needs refinement, as he currently allows an unseemly number of passed balls, but his offensive potential at a premium position suggests a star in the making.

BP1973

The good news is that, despite being one of the Texas League’s youngest regulars, Ivie pounded baseballs at Double-A Alexandria, finishing second in homers to San Antonio’s Gorman Thomas. The bad news is that, after a series of bizarre events that saw Ivie leave spring training for his Georgia home, he is no longer a catcher. Unfortunately, Nate Colbert presents more of a roadblock at first base than Fred Kendall did behind the dish. Although Ivie’s bat will play regardless of position, one can’t help but wonder if the Padres should’ve taken another prep backstop, Darrell Porter, with that first pick back in ’70.

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The Ducksnorts 2008 Baseball Annual included a section called “Overlooked ex-Padres.” I’d wanted to call attention to four players–Ollie Brown, Mike Ivie, Ruppert Jones, and Bip Roberts–that maybe didn’t get their due in San Diego. The idea was noble, but the execution could have been better.

Since I’ve spent much of the offseason writing player comments for Baseball Prospectus 2015 (#ShamelessPlug), I’m in the mind-set of condensing a man’s contributions to his team into a short paragraph with snappy phrases. In that vein, I thought it might be fun to revisit those players from DS2008 and write capsules for each of their seasons with the Padres.

First on the agenda: Ollie Brown.

BP1969

Selected as the first pick overall in last year’s expansion draft, Brown–the older brother of Braves prospect Oscar Brown–is expected to be the Padres’ everyday right fielder. Don’t be fooled by his .249/.303/.350 line in sporadic playing time with the Giants over the last four seasons. He led the California League in homers and SLG back in ’64 and is still only 25 years old. Despite being a right-handed hitter, he has struggled thus far against lefties at the highest level, but that could just be a sample size issue. Now freed from having to look over his shoulder at the younger and more exciting Bobby Bonds, Brown should thrive in his new home.

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