Used to be that Jesus Guzman had a reputation.

A “four-A player,” as Padres first base coach Dave Roberts puts it.

Between 2008 and 2011, he was, in fact, a triple-A player — and an effective one at that. Over those four seasons Guzman hit .319 with 44 home runs and 209 RBIs.

Yet, until two years ago, the Venezuela native had appeared in only 12 major league games, all with the San Francisco Giants in 2009. Suspect defense at first base was the compelling case against his lack of advancement. The Giants later dropped him from the 40-man roster.

Their subtraction turned out to be the find of the Padres’ 2011 season. Promoted in June, Guzman hit .312 with five home runs and 44 RBIs in 76 games. Projected over a full season, he would have finished with 45 doubles and 90 RBIs.