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Top Prospect Alert - Taggert Bozied

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 7/24/79, Age: 22, Bats/Throws: R/R, Height: 6’3’’, Weight: 230. Acquired: Padres - Drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2001 Draft (U. of San Francisco). 2001 Stats: DNP - Played in Indy League. 2002 Stats: (High-A - Lake Elsinore) .298 AVG, 161 AB, 12 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, 3 SB, 24 BB, 32 K, .389 OBP, .559 SLG.
    Tag Bozied is a slugging first-base prospect that was, until this week, part of a “Murderers’ Row” of sorts for the Padres’ California League club. Bozied, Xavier Nady, and Jake Gautreau have had the unique opportunity to play with each other at Lake Elsinore this year. The opportunity is unique because all three of them had defensive experience at first and third base prior to their entrance into the Padres organization. Xavier Nady has been unable to play the field thus far, and Gautreau has been shifted to second base for the time being, as the Padres have more of an opening there than at third at the big-league level. Bozied has been free to play either first or third, but with the exception of a few games at the hot corner (and a few in right field), he has been the first baseman for the Storm. Tag has the potential to be an offensive force, as he is blessed with patience, power, and good speed for a big man. Bozied led the NCAA with 30 homers as a sophomore, and although he did not approach those totals the rest of his career at USF, still has tremendous power. He is on pace to draw close to 100 walks for the year, showing quite a bit of plate discipline considering his spot in the order (third - in front of Nady and Gautreau). As far as hitting for average, he probably won’t be a batting title contender, but he won’t be Dave Kingman either. Bozied is disciplined enough to take what is given to him, and will hit the ball to all fields. He is a fairly complete hitter, although as with many players who walk quite a bit, he strikes out more than your average hitter. On the bases, Bozied has much more speed than you would expect from a player with his build. As his power numbers decreased last year, his speed seemed to improve. His 20 stolen bases in his final year at USF show promise of a Jeff-Bagwell like power/speed combination, if the Padres can find a place for him. Therein lies the problem: Bozied prefers to play third base, the Padres are content with him at first, and his best organizational opportunity might be in a corner outfield spot. At age 23, he needs to keep moving forward, and the positional logjam might present a problem for him (among other prospects). Other than that issue, Bozied just needs to move forward, as he has all the tools necessary to become an excellent major-league hitter.


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