Padres pin contention on ballpark

Originally Published: February 23, 2005
By Kevin Goldstein | Baseball America
The Padres promised their fans they would put a winning team on the field when Petco Park opened ... in 2002. While the opening of the new stadium was delayed by two years due to construction and legal quagmires, the team made good on its word. San Diego stayed in the National League West race until the final weeks of the 2004 season and went 87-75, its first winning season since reaching the World Series in 1998.

Much of the success centered around homegrown players. Khalil Greene, a 2002 first-round pick, won Baseball America's Rookie of the Year award and quickly established himself as one of the NL's top shortstops. Sean Burroughs still hasn't provided typical third-base power, but he solidified the leadoff spot and set career highs in batting (.298) and runs (76). Brian Lawrence and Jake Peavy tied for the team lead with 15 wins, with Peavy also topping the NL with a 2.22 ERA.