This is Part 11 of a 13-part series examining the 65 men who have collected exactly one hit as a member of the San Diego Padres. The current installment features a former college teammate of Kevin McReynolds, one of the three 1989 18th-round picks who played for the Padres, a failed catching prospect, a player who wore Willie McCovey’s “retired” no. 44, and a man who ran better than he hit.
Pos: C Years: 1990 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 8 15 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 6 .067 .125 .133 -29
Reynolds was selected by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 1980 June draft. This is the year the Mets took Darryl Strawberry with the first pick overall, and popped future managers John Gibbons and Lloyd McClendon as well as Mt. Carmel High School alum/future GM/Moneyball author (okay, two out of three) Billy Beane.
Reynolds attended the University of Arkansas, where he played alongside former Padres outfielder Kevin McReynolds. In the minors, Reynolds didn’t show much as a hitter, batting .238/.309/.358 in 701 games. On reaching the big leagues… well, he was kind of like teammate Dwight Gooden, only without the Cy Young Award:
Player PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ Ronn Reynolds 381 .188 .228 .256 32 Dwight Gooden 849 .196 .212 .262 32
The Padres signed Reynolds in January 1990. He got into eight games, essentially serving as San Diego’s fourth-string catcher behind Benito Santiago, Mark Parent, and Tom Lampkin.
One of those games came on July 1 against the Cubs. Everyone hit that day (even Mark Grant). In the bottom of the seventh inning, with his club leading, 9-7, Reynolds blooped right-hander Les Lancaster’s first pitch down the right-field line for a double that drove home Mike Pagliarulo. In what would prove to be a critical play, Fred Lynn was thrown out trying to score behind Pagliarulo to end the inning.
The normally reliable Craig Lefferts coughed up the lead in the eighth. The big blow came with runners at the corners and two out. Ex-Padre Luis Salazar stepped up and smoked a three-run homer to left-center, giving the Cubs an 11-10 lead they would not relinquish.
Reynolds never collected another big-league hit. He spent most of the 1990 season at Triple-A Las Vegas and then called it a career.
Pos: RHP Years: 2003 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 18 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333 82
Of the 26 men selected in the 18th round of the 1989 June draft, three reached the big leagues. All three (Roa, LHP Matt Whisenant, RHP Donne Wall) spent time with the Padres. I don’t know what that says about anything, but there it is.
The Padres claimed Roa off waivers from the Colorado Rockies in July 2003. In his second appearance for San Diego, on August 7, Roa knocked the final hit of his big-league career.
Working in relief of shell-shocked starter Kevin Jarvis (the Padres later sent Jaret Wright and Mike Matthews to the mound, if you can remember that pitching staff), Roa took his turn at bat in the fifth against Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano and singled on a “ground ball to deep third base.” With his team trailing, 9-0, Roa tried for second on the play and was nailed for the second out.
Hey, this was 2003. Nobody wanted to be there.
Roa worked mopup in a few more games (the Padres went 3-15 when he pitched) and was released after the season. The Twins picked him up and he did a credible job for them in 2004 before retiring.
Pos: 1B/OF Years: 2000 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 14 27 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 7 .037 .133 .074 -43
The Florida Marlins picked Roskos out of a New Mexico high school in the second round of the 1993 draft. (Talk about miserable drafts; the only guys who did anything were right-handers Brandon Villafuerte and Bob Howry, neither of whom signed with Florida.)
Roskos, a catcher at the time, put up nice numbers (.308/.373/.541) at Double-A Portland as a 22-year-old. John Sickels liked him (Roskos got a B grade in Sickels’ 1998 book), which meant that I liked him.
After getting a couple cups of coffee for the Marlins, Roskos signed with the Padres in November 1999. Thanks to a great spring training, he made the club in 2000. Roskos then went 1-for-27, effectively ending his career.
The lone hit came on April 20 at St. Louis. Batting eighth and starting in right field, Roskos struck out and flied out against starter Rick Ankiel (who launched his first big-league homer in this game). Roskos had better luck against right-hander Gene Stechschulte, whacking his first pitch to left-center field for a double in the sixth. Wiki Gonzalez advanced to third on the play; he would score on a Chris Gomez groundout that cut the Cardinals’ lead to 14-1.
Listen, if you “missed” 1999-2003, could you do me a favor and score me some of whatever you took to make that happen. Because I was there, and it sucked.
Anyway, that was Roskos’ final big-league hit. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, then kicked around the Padres and Cubs organizations in 2001 before hanging ‘em up at age 26.
Roskos is one of five non-pitchers to post a career OPS+ of -22 or lower since 1901 (min 50 PA):
Player Years PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ John Roskos 1998-2000 53 .082 .151 .143 -22 Eric Reed 2006-2007 68 .098 .167 .098 -28 Howie Moss 1942-1946 76 .097 .145 .097 -29 Enrique Cruz 2003-2007 77 .083 .143 .097 -35 Fred Tauby 1935-1937 56 .077 .111 .096 -46
Pos: RHP Years: 1994 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 22 10 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 5 .100 .100 .300 0
In 1988, the Padres used their 10th-round pick on the University of Toledo’s Sager. (The Giants drafted a guy named Turtle Zaun that round; pity he never made it… baseball needs more turtles.) This was the year the Padres got Andy Benes and a whole lotta nothing. Well, Bryce Florie… who helped land Greg Vaughn.
Sager’s main claim to fame is that he’s one of many men who donned no. 44 for the Padres after they allegedly retired the number to honor Willie McCovey. That may not be much, but it’s more than you or I have.
On the bright side, Sager did notch one big-league hit and it was a doozy. On April 30, 1994, in Montreal facing a dominant Expos team that later would get completely screwed by the player’s strike, Sager tripled to right against Pedro Martinez. It drove home Archi Cianfrocco and Brad Ausmus, and cut Montreal’s lead to 4-3.
Martinez then retired Bip Roberts to stop the bleeding. Martinez combined with four relievers to beat the Padres. Sager had to settle for being one of two men in Padres history (Jerry Manuel is the other) to have collected one hit for the club and to have that hit be a triple.
Pos: OF Years: 1974-1975 G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K BA OBP SLG OPS+ 39 24 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 .042 .042 .042 -76
The Padres popped Scott with the second pick overall in the 1970 January draft (Cleveland took Chris Chambliss first). Scott came from Compton’s Centennial High School, which also produced big-league outfielders Al Cowens and Lonnie Smith.
Scott was used, if at all, primarily as a pinch-runner during his brief stay in San Diego. Although he posted decent numbers in the minors (.270s-.280s, some power, some speed), they weren’t good enough to earn him a shot at anything more than a bit role with the Padres. For as bad as those teams were, they had some pretty useful outfielders (Dave Winfield, Johnny Grubb, Bobby Tolan, Gene Locklear).
Scott did get to bat every once in a while. On September 25, 1974, he started in center field against the Giants at Candlestick Park. Batting second, behind Enzo Hernandez (really?), Scott singled in four trips to the plate.
The hit came with one out in the sixth, off left-hander Mike Caldwell, who was wrapping up a fine season. Scott grounded a ball into left field, swiped second base, and was left stranded. The Padres ended up winning, 3-2, thanks to late heroics from the aforementioned Winfield and Grubb.
The expansion Toronto Blue Jays purchased Scott from the Padres in October 1976. In their inaugural campaign, with nothing to lose but games, they gave him the opportunity to prove that the Padres were wrong about his abilities.
He did not.
Scott batted .240/.266/.305 (55 OPS+) in 247 plate appearances and was not heard from again. He spent 1978 at Triple-A Springfield in the Cardinals organization and then retired at age 26.
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And if that isn’t enough for you (so greedy!), here are some links…
- Michael Young, The Baseball Media, And What’s Gone Wrong (BBTIA). My SweetSpot colleague Joey Matschulat offers a well-reasoned treatise on the nature and impact of trade rumors.
- Day’s fastball dominated ‘black baseball’ (MLB). Justice B. Hill recounts the exploits of Leon Day.
- New feature: THT reference articles (Hardball Times). Studes introduces this bit of coolness.
- Trying to remember the 2010 San Diego Padres: Game 5 (clowns on the field… twice) (Avenging Jack Murphy). The latest installment includes Chris Denorfia’s first Padres hit and a crowd full of San Diegans chanting “tase him.” What’s not to love?
- San Diego Padres Top 11 Prospects (Baseball Prospectus). I like Kevin Goldstein’s list (reports on everyone other than Casey Kelly are behind the paywall). I don’t agree with everything, but his makes sense to me in a way that some other lists don’t. James Darnell (no. 12) is too low for my taste, but Jonathan Galvez at no. 11 is a gutsy pick, and those are always fun.
- The World Of Predictions: Where Fernando Tatis Was Better Than Scott Rolen (SBNation). Hey, look, Rob Neyer has a new home!
- Courtin’ Garf (Woe, Doctor!). Bryant recaps the recent Padres Town Hall Meeting. Photos and stuff.