Two months into the 2007 season, I find myself getting more and more frustrated with the offensive production of Khalil Greene. Khalil played in only 20 games in the 2003 season, but has been on the major league roster ever since. He's now 27 years of age and has played in 448 games in the big leagues, with 1,584 at-bats. I think now is as good a time as any to take a hard look at his career thus far in a Padre uniform. The question I'm putting out there is this: Is Khalil a guy that after battling injuries and a slow start ready to finally take off? Or is he, like so many others, just another Padre mistake on Draft Day?
Sadly, my confidence in him continues to decline with each horrendous at-bat. Let me preface this by saying there is NO argument as to whether or not Greeney has the glove for this league. There is no doubt. The spinning play from last week, the diving stop last night, the effortless way he makes exceptional plays in the field are impossible to ignore. He is a great defensive shortstop...but is he all leather and no wood?
Batting Average: After last night's oh-fer, Khalil has now dropped all the way down to .214. You can argue he's just in a slump. Fine. But the best batting average he's posted in his career was .273 in 2004. In 2005, it was .250. And last season was .245. Does he have what it takes to be a .300 hitter?
Decline: Look at the numbers I just gave you again. What's scary is that Khalil isn't improving with each season...he's actually getting worse with each season. Does the blame lay with the coaching staff or with Khalil?
On base percentage: His is terrible...and it's never been very good. Khalil strikes out way too much...and doesn't walk nearly enough. In 187 at-bats this season, he's walked just 10 times.
Speed: Simply put, he doesn't have any. He has 14 stolen bases in his career. He hasn't even made an attempt this season. Because of his lack of speed, he hits into far too many double-plays.
Power: Khalil is good for around 30 doubles and 15 HR's a season. Not terrible, but not great either. I know some of you are thinking Petco and that's fair. Let's talk about Petco.
Petco Park: Khalil is awful at home. The numbers do not lie. In his first three full seasons he hit .236 at home and .277 on the road. In 2007, the difference has grown even wider. In almost the same number of at-bats, Khalil is batting .275 on the road...and just .161 at Petco. In 93 home at-bats, Greeney has drawn 3 walks and stuck out 21 times.
Injuries: I hate to even bring it up again...but it's impossible to ignore. Khalil has only played in 121 games in each of the last two seasons. Which leaves us with a Geoff Blum-type player starting the other 40 or so games. Can he withstand a full season in the majors? Is he capable of giving us 150 games or more?
As it looks right now, we have a starting shortstop with a history of injury problems that can't hit for average, has no speed, not much power, can't hit in his home park and can't get on base. BUT...his glove is amazing. Is that good enough? Is he on the verge of putting everything into place? We don't exactly have a potent offense...and it's difficult to continue to justify having an offensive black hole in the shortstop position for much longer. I hate to create a hole just to have to turn around and fill it...but if KT gets the right offer around the trading deadline and Khalil hasn't improved...is he gone?