Tucson padres: '06 stars still plying trade in big leagues

2013-06-15T00:00:00Z Tucson padres: '06 stars still plying trade in big leaguesDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 15, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The 2006 Tucson Sidewinders won 91 regular-season games, went 40-14 over a two-month span and won their division by a remarkable 13 games.

The Pacific Coast League champions also employed an eye-popping 42 players that either had major-league experience or went on to get it.

It's hard to argue that in the 40-plus-year history of Triple-A baseball in Tucson, there has ever been a better team than the '06 Sidewinders.

And Friday night, less than three months before Triple-A baseball presumably closes its doors in the Old Pueblo, the Tucson Padres celebrated the title-winning team of 2006.

Fans received a free Sidewinders Triple-A champions T-shirt at Kino Stadium and were encouraged to wear any Sidewinders gear they still own.

It's part of general manager Mike Feder's plan to celebrate the past of Triple-A baseball in Tucson before it goes out of business and the Padres head to El Paso for the 2014 season.

"I think the important thing is Tucson has had a great tradition of Triple-A baseball dating back to 1969, so we'd be ridiculous not to acknowledge one of the best teams that's ever played here," Feder said.

Tucson beat Reno 6-5 on Friday on Sidewinders night. Ryan Radtke, the voice of the Aces, was the Sidewinders announcer in 2006 and was in the house Friday. In his 11 seasons as a Triple-A broadcaster, Radtke has never seen a team like that year's Sidewinders.

"There's a lot of things I remember from that season, but I think the shear dominance of that team is what I remember the most," Radtke said. "It was just a team that felt like it was going to win every single night, and they were honestly surprised when they didn't win.

"It was amazing how it kept going no matter who went up, who got hurt, who came in; they just kept it going every single night."

Here's a look at the five players from that team that have gone on to have the most successful big-league careers.

1. Outfielder Carlos Quentin

Current team: San Diego Padres

What he did in 2006: 85 games, .289 batting average, nine home runs, 52 RBIs

What he's done in the big leagues: Two-time All-Star selection, .253 batting average, 144 home runs, 451 RBIs, 391 runs, 643 hits

The lowdown: Quentin has struggled to stay healthy in his big-league career, but when he's been on the field, he's been productive. He's in his eighth year in the bigs and has spent time with the Diamondbacks, White Sox and Padres. His best season was in 2008 with Chicago when he hit 36 home runs and had 100 RBIs.

2. Catcher Miguel Montero

Current team: Arizona Diamondbacks

What he did in 2006: 36 games, .321 batting average, seven home runs, 29 RBIs

What he's done in the big leagues: 2011 All-Star selection, .270 batting average, 76 home runs, 354 RBIs, 627 hits

The lowdown: Montero has developed into one of the better catchers in the major leagues and twice in his career has more than 80 RBIs in a season. He's also proven to be a workhorse, playing in 140 games in 2011 and 141 last season.

3. Outfielder Chris Young

Current team: Oakland Athletics

What he did in 2006: 100 games, .276 batting average, 21 home runs, 77 RBIs

What he's done in the big leagues: 2010 All-Star selection, .236 batting average, 137 home runs, 430 RBIs, 474 runs, 785 hits

The lowdown: Young's production has slowed in recent years, and he's now a part-time player with Oakland. He still had some very productive seasons with Arizona, including 2007 when he hit 32 home runs and finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting.

4. Shortstop Stephen Drew

Current team: Boston Red Sox

What he did in 2006: 83 games, .284 average, 13 home runs, 51 RBIs

What he's done in the big leagues: .263 batting average, 82 home runs, 376 RBIs, 855 hits, 435 runs

The lowdown: Like Young, Drew has seen his production dip recently but is still a starting shortstop on a winning team. His best season with the D-backs was 2008 when he hit .291 with 21 home runs and 67 RBIs.

5. Outfielder Scott Hairston

Current team: Chicago Cubs

What he did in 2006: 98 games, .323 batting average, 26 home runs, 81 RBIs

What he's done in the big leagues: .244 batting average, 100 home runs, 294 RBIs, 556 hits, 284 runs

The lowdown: The Canyon del Oro High School graduate has had a successful major-league career, despite playing for five different teams over 10 seasons. His best season was last year when he hit 20 home runs and 57 RBIs for the New York Mets.

Today

• What: Reno at Tucson Padres

• Where: Kino Stadium

• When: 7:05 p.m.

• Radio: 1290-AM

¡Tus Padres!

• Highlight: Starter Sean O'Sullivan pitched eight innings, allowing three runs and 12 hits, and the Padres (36-32) won the first game of the four-game set with the Aces. O'Sullivan gave up a three-run home run to Mike Jacobs in the first inning before recording an out but then threw seven scoreless innings before giving way to righty Miles Mikolas, who earned the save despite giving up two runs in the ninth.

• Big number: 5: Five Tucson batters - Daniel Robertson, Dean Anna, Gregorio Petit, Kalian Sams and Cody Decker - had two-hit games in the win.

• Tonight's starters: Tucson RHP Brandon Kloess (2-1, 4.01 ERA) vs. Reno RHP Zeke Spruill (2-3, 4.71 ERA)

Daniel Berk

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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