The San Diego Hall of Champions honored former Lake Elsinore Storm player Chase Headley as a Professional Star of the Year for 2012 during the 67th annual Salute to the Champions banquet Feb. 25 at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego.
Headley was also recognized for two Professional Star of the Month awards during 2012, and former Storm player Logan Forsythe was also acknowledged as being a Professional Star of the Month last year. Both players were with the San Diego Padres in Spring Training and were unable to attend the banquet in person.
The 28-year-old Headley led the National League with 115 runs batted in during 2012. He was third in the league with 86 walks drawn, seventh with 85 runs scored, eighth with 31 home runs, and ninth with a .376 on-base average. In his 1,397 innings in the field he committed ten errors in 425 total chances.
Headley earned two Professional Star of the Month awards during 2012. In April he batted .253, scored 16 runs, drove in 14 runs, hit four homers, and only committed two fielding errors. He had a .388 on-base percentage and a .470 slugging percentage. In August he earned the first of two consecutive National League Player of the Month honors. He led the league with 33 hits and also had 10 homers, 31 runs batted in, 20 runs scored, a .306 batting average, and a .611 slugging percentage. The Padres had an 18-10 record during August.
Forsythe was a Professional Star of the Month for September, when he played in 23 games and batted .311 with 28 hits and 22 runs scored.
The Padres selected Headley in the second round of the 2005 draft. He spent all of 2006 with Lake Elsinore, batting .291 in 129 games. His 141 hits included 38 multiple-hit games and his 12 home runs and 73 runs batted in included four homers and eight RBI during the week of May 29 through June 4, when he was named the California League’s player of the week. His 74 walks drawn ranked fourth in the California League, and his Lake Elsinore statistics also included 79 runs scored and 33 doubles. He was both a mid-season and post-season league All-Star selection.
Headley spent most of 2007 with the Class AA San Antonio Missions, but when Padres’ third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff went on the disabled list in June Headley was called up to replace him. Headley was returned to San Antonio when Kouzmanoff was activated, but major league teams can expand their active rosters from 25 to 40 players as of September 1 and after the minor league season concluded Headley returned to the Padres. He batted .222 in eight games for the Padres during 2007.
Headley’s 121 games at San Antonio during 2007 produced a league-leading .330 batting average, and he was a unanimous selection for Texas League player of the year. He also led the league with a .437 on-base percentage and a .580 slugging percentage.
Headley began 2008 with Class AAA Portland, and the Padres sought to convert him to an outfielder to find room in the lineup for both him and Kouzmanoff. After batting .305 in 65 games with Portland, Headley was called up to the Padres on June 17 and became the team’s left fielder. In 91 games for the Padres during 2008 he batted .269 with nine home runs.
Headley spent all of 2009 with the Padres, appearing in 156 of the team’s 162 games. He batted .262 with 12 homers, and his 31 doubles shared the team lead. The Padres’ off-season trade of Kouzmanoff allowed Headley to return to the third base position for 2010. Headley played in 161 games in 2010 and batted .264 with 11 home runs. Although a broken finger limited him to 113 games during 2011 he hit .289; his 110 hits included 28 doubles and four homers and he compiled a 16-game hitting streak.
The 26-year-old Forsythe was a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds of the 2008 draft. His 2008 professional season consisted of nine games with Peoria of the Arizona State League and three games with Eugene of the Northwest League.
Forsythe began 2009 with the Storm. After 66 games with the Storm, the Padres promoted him to San Antonio where he played another 66 games that year. Forsythe hit safely in 50 of his 66 games with the Storm, compiling at least two hits in 20 of those contests, and was batting .322 when he was promoted. His 76 hits included 13 doubles, three triples, and eight home runs. Forsythe scored 46 runs for the Storm while driving in 30. His 61 walks with Lake Elsinore gave him a .472 on-base percentage while his extra-base hits produced a .504 slugging average.
The presence of Headley at third base caused the Padres to move Forsythe to second base during 2010, and he spent the entire year with San Antonio. A broken hand limited him to 107 games that year, but he still led the Texas League with 75 walks.
Forsythe began 2011 with Class AAA Tucson and split the year between Tucson and San Diego. His 32 hits in his first 62 major league games included nine doubles and a triple, and although he only batted .213 he hit .308 with runners in scoring position.
Forsythe played in 91 games for the Padres during 2012, batting .273. His 86 hits included 13 doubles, three triples, and his first six major league home runs to give him a .390 slugging percentage. He scored 45 runs while driving in 26, and his 28 walks drawn resulted in a .343 on-base average. Forsythe also stole eight bases for the Padres in 2012.