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Josh Bard

I drafted San Diego Padres left fielder Termel Sledge off his great spring training and the attendent positive reports about where he'd be hitting. Well, he's stuck at the bottom of the line-up right now. Surprisingly, and this is something fantasy players need to note, catcher Josh Bard has been batting clean-up.

Bard was a player whose 2006 could have lead many to conclude he would be a top ranked catcher entering 2007, but the fact he had been a generally non-descript back-up for parts of the four previous seasons caused hesitation even with experts who play in leagues with two catcher spots.

His pre-San Diego stats provide all the cover any fantasy prognosticator needed to justify their lack of faith.

Year Team Lg Age G AB R H HR RBI SB BB SO AVG OBP SLG
2002 Cleveland MLB 24 24 90 9 20 3 12 0 4 13 0.222 0.255 0.378
2003 Cleveland MLB 25 91 303 25 74 8 36 0 22 53 0.244 0.293 0.373
2004 Cleveland MLB 26 7 19 5 8 1 4 0 3 0 0.421 0.478 0.684
2005 Cleveland MLB 27 34 83 6 16 1 9 0 9 11 0.193 0.266 0.277
2006 Boston MLB 28 7 18 2 5 0 0 0 3 3 0.278 0.348 0.333
San Diego MLB 28 93 231 28 78 9 40 1 27 39 0.338 0.409 0.537
Year Team Lg Age G AB R H HR RBI SB BB SO AVG OBP SLG
2002 Buffalo IL 24 94 344 36 102 6 53 0 20 45 0.297 0.332 0.436
2003 Buffalo IL 25 35 115 14 38 5 21 1 14 17 0.330 0.408 0.522
2004 Akron East 26 10 30 5 5 0 5 0 7 5 0.167 0.324 0.200
2004 Buffalo IL 26 40 156 25 41 4 18 0 11 23 0.263 0.310 0.404

However, that all goes out the window given the Padres decision to bat him 4th. He can easily be the 2nd best NL catcher if his power and plate discipline from 2006 hold. The Padres couldn't have misjudged him so badly that he'd be in the clean-up spot, could they?