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B/w Donavan Tate and Starling, the crazy tool ceiling plays seem likely to take a hit in perceived risk/reward over the next few drafts.
Gwynn has been my stock answer for 2 outs, runner on 3rd, need a base hit to score the winning run for years. To me, that's what the hit tool is about. Gwynn didn't have the greatest power, but he could put the ball into the OF grass better than anyone else I've ever seen...
My vote would go to Devon White as well. He was amazing and seems to be largely forgetton.
Hadn't heard the bad news on Liriano, that's a terrible way to start my week. My observation on him is that it's always taken him some time to adjust at each level. Does that profile concern you more than usual for a player missing a season due to injury?
I think the easiest example of this is the Usain Bolt would get an '8' grade on speed, but is probably a horrible baseball player.
Part of this is the Padres depth goes a lot deeper than is represented here. Padres stack a ton of mid-level prospects who aren't even getting mentioned in this article.
Black is much more patient with youngsters than Bochy ever was....
Geoff,I'm wondering much of the bump in production in Petco is due to the unusual heat and humidity we've seen in San Diego over the past 5-6 weeks? I'll also be curious to see if the rumored park reconfiguration comes to pass as that would seem to aid LH hitters.
Everyone on that list was a pretty good player, but many of them ended up being viewed as disappointments in some ways (Jefferies, Offerman, Daniels all got superstar hype early in their careers).
Lake Elsinore is High-A. And yes, Spangenburg looks to be repeating his pattern of taking a few weeks to get acclimated and then take off. I expect he gets moved up to AA in June/July and the same pattern will appear again...
Spangenburg has done this before when he went to Low A last year from rookie ball. It seems like he needs to get comfortable for a few weeks, but once he gets used to the competition level, he starts stinging the ball.
Thanks for the overview Kevin, looking forward to his performance. I don't think he'll be up very long this time.
The folks I know from Orange County do not consider themselves as being from LA (those are fighting words for my wife and her family)...
I don't know about the players, but Padre fans sure get fired up for the Dodgers.
I think Cashner get the first opportunity.
As a Padres fan, I'm basking in the glory. Player development has never been a franchise strength, so it's a great accomplishment for the organization. However, does it concern anyone we gave the parties in charge of that development to the Cubs for a bag of beans?
That's certainly one conclusion. The fact that Braun was arguing that he'd submit a DNA sample to prove something was wrong with the sample that was collected tells me it's also possible the collector messed things up.
In my lifetime, both the O's and Pirates have won multiple World Series. Neither has won one recently, but at least you've got world championship teams to reminisce over. I'd say that's a pretty big edge over the Padres.
Nice article Geoff, thanks for laying it all for painful recollection. I'm just hopeful that one day the Padres can reward the me for being a lifelong fan.
Padres fan and this deal seems light to me. Rather have stuff Rizzo in triple A again to see if you can drive up his value.
The question is how often do those 4-star turn into elite players vs. 5 star players. Latos was a 4-star in 2008 & 2009 and he turned out very well.
I agree, it's about elite players at the end of the day, but I suspect that with a system this deep, the Padres have a chance of getting at least 1 elite player.
When I read about Starling, I seem to recall similar comments about Donavan Tate. Is that a good comparison to when Tate was drafted? Clearly, we know more about Tate today than we did at the draft.
I agree with the general premise of the article.
One other note is that the pitching in the AFL is considered inferior, so I suspect strikeouts rates for all players drop. If I'm correct in this assumption, conditions in which the improve strikeout rate is occuring should also be checked against the baseline for strikeout rate. If the baseline has moved significantly, you need to consider that factor as well.
I'd consider Bochy for San Diego. I realize he won a WS in San Francisco, but he was very successful in San Diego for a long time.
Rickey did it three times (Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates) and set those teams up with infrastructure than worked for decades after he moved on...Rickey is the best GM in history and one WS title in Chicago would not vault Theo past him..
Sigh, Matt Bush, dark days for this Padres fan....
Yes, that's the plan, balance 6 divisions of 5 with interleague play constantly happening.
I worked in the NYP league once upon a time and it's mostly college players, so he's playing against his peers (1st year college players) for the most part.
I think Hernandez's cocaine use was the key factor in that situation.
Agreed, one the most enjoyable moments of my day is scanning through these for Padres farmhands.
A local sports talk show was debating who the Padres' all-star would be a few weeks ago and they were debating Heath Bell vs. Mike Adams. Headley never got brought up. He's the stealth candidate even is his own home town. In fairness, he's been on an absolute tear since that show was on, but still...
Headley's been a full time 3b since 2010 although he was in LF until the Padres could trade Kouzmanoff and move Headley back to his natural position.
I believe MLB has increased the time between innings.
If you wrote this article 2 weeks ago, would Rizzo have been your #1?
Wonder how long the Padres can hold out on Rizzo at this point, the natives were definitely restless at the game monday. A fan in the next section over kept yelling "Hey Hawpe, where's Rizzo?" during Hawpe's At-bats.
I commend them for their patience, but the Padres production at 1b is getting ridiculous...
I'm with you on seeing Padres prospect on here. Amazed they don't try Ludwick at 1b and play Denorfia everyday if they really feel like they need to wait a bit more for Rizzo. If he's still over 400. with power in mid-May, they may just have to bite the bullet.
B). He hasn't hit for power and average in the same season before, two weeks is fantastic to see, but I don't consider that hard evidence that he's put it all together.
Lifelong Padres fan here, they've been preaching patience in waiting for the lineup to turn around. I suspect we won't see a move until mid-May at earliest. I think you'll only see that move if Rizzo is still hitting 360+ with power and Hawpe/Cantu continue to struggle this badly. The other thing that may play in here is Kyle Blanks. He just started his re-hab in AA.
Nice to see so many positive reports on Padres' prospects this year. Last year was pretty miserable as lack of reports reflected a down year for the system.
Good luck in your new ventures Christina! I'll echo many of the others and say that your transactions columns were one of the highlights of the site for many years now.
Yes, this was reported by the local Padres radio station. Source was attributed to Jed Hoyer.
When I was trying to break into baseball management as a career, I spent a summer with the Jamestown Expos in 1991. I invariably get asked by people if I saw any major leaguers that summer and for the hometown 9, the best product on that team was Grudzielanek. A handful of others got cups of coffee, but he was the only member of that championship team who made it into the pension plan.
Latos threw 184.2 last season, 190 is not unreasonable.
My take on this is that most players fail to become great. The fact that a young player is mix of players who became great and a bunch of them that never made it should remind us that most prospects don't become great players, not that having Adrian Gonzalez as a comp means they'll become him. Remember Adrian never really blossomed unti he came to San Diego.
I happened to be at Peavy's debut. The Yankees were in town which is a rarity in San Diego, so I suspect the great attendance was due to the impact of the Yankees & their fans than excitement for Peavy.
As soon as Moyer retires, everyone playing MLB will be younger than me. Without a detailed check, I'm guessing he's the last person playing a professional team sport that still is...
This year is big for Decker in my mind. If he can hold his offense together at AA, he might be a John Kruk type of player who's just a better ballplayer than he is an athlete.
Pretty disappointing year for the system last year. Most of the top 11 from last year declined, only Castro and Decker really held onto their spots and Cumberland was the only upside suprise of guys in the system. Without the Gonzalez deal, the system would look pretty bare...
Wouldn't have ever thought of this interview as something I'd like David to pursue, but it's a very good one to get. Thanks to both David and Jack.
Could the increasing disparity between hitters and pitchers parks be a factor. Seems like we have less "neutral" parks than in the past.
One guy who never seems to come up in these discussion is Devon White. I'm 45, so I didn't see Mays, but the greatest CF I ever saw was Devon.
I wouldn't say the Padres folded so much as ran out of gas. In late august, the pitching staff wore down. They recovered enough to take the Giants to the wall when the extra pitchers came up in September.
I'd ask for more than that unless the pitcher was Lester or Buchholz.
I'll be curious to see if the Padres/Red Sox deal everyone is expecting can actually happen. Familiarity isn't an advantage to the Sox unless Hoyer really liked a few guys more than others in the Sox organization.
I actually think Bell should be the first guy out the door. They've got ready made replacements in house and I would dangle Bell to see if he could bring back a bat from someone who overvalues the "closer" tag.
This pretty much summarizes my observations for the Padres minor leagues this year. It was almost a complete disaster. Will be interesting to see how that impacts the decisions made for the Major League club next year. I think there's an argument to be made to go for it, since the future looks pretty far off at this point.
I'm a Padre fan and I think they'll end up moving Bell this off-season. Padres have been pretty successful trading relievers they picked up off the scrap heap for solid returns and plugging in the next guy. Hopefully, that wasn't all Towers and some of the folks who found Linebrink, Otsuka, Meredith, Thatcher, Bell, Adams, Gregerson, Webb, Russell and Frieri are still with the organization. Bell is 33 for next season, I think they cash out on him.
However, I do expect them to keep Gonzalez unless someone dramatically overpays.
That's McClelland, Padre broadcaster frequently comment on how long he takes to signal the call. It's always the HP Umpires option to ask for an appeal. All the ones I saw Posey ask for were clearly checks. Definitely not the first time I've seen HP Umpire deny appeals.
Maybe I'm just seeing the 1st inning play through Padre fan lenses, but the ball clearly straightens out after the hop. If it was on the line, it should trail into the corner. The straightening bounce makes me think it ticked off the bullpen mound which has to be in foul territory.
The way that ball bounced, it sure seemed like it hit the bullpen mound to me. I'm not sure replay would have been able to overturn that.
Painful as a Padre fan to watch that game. Latos was actually pretty lucky to only give up 2 runs, he was giving up line shots all over for the first 3-4 innings.
In general, I rail against the mainstream Cy Young voting in particular. But this year I actually see the case for CC or maybe Lester. The AL East is superior to the AL Central and West that the difficulty of the opposition faced by the pitchers in that division needs to be a factor when you consider how to vote.
Make that 4 of us....
Nice to see Decker back on track!
The Major League record is held by Rickey Henderson, who was caught stealing 42 times in 1982. It's also the year he set the record for steals with 130.
Ditto for the Padres, other than Cumberland and Castro, not much good news out of the system this year. Nice to see Decker back on track, now if Darnell or Tate could just get going.
Padres pitching is unsustainable (esp. Garland), but the majority of the roster should hit better than they have so far, so I expect to see some of the pitching decline offset by offensive improvement. It sure is fun to see the Padres run the bases well. I can see Scioscia influence on Bud Black for sure.
I think the Padres will hang around at the edges of the race all season, but I think Colorado will have too much in the end.
While I agree about the AL East clearly being the best division in baseball, I'm not sure about rating the rest of the AL as clearly superior to the NL.
I remember that the Dodgers tried to make Mariano Duncan a switch-hitter so that when he first came to major he was a SHINO. He quickly turned back into an ordinary RH hitter, and I don't know for how long he tried switch hitting. He'd be an interesting one to look at as well.
As a Padre fan, it's been amazing to watch them keep finding arms. I hope that's an organizational ability and not something Kevin Towers brought to the organization. They've done a very nice job of carving out roles that give players opportunities and quickly promoting the strong performers into more high leverage situations.
I do think the park helps build the pitchers confidence.
While he was with the Padres, I remember reading that Greg Maddux wasn't the biggest fan of strike 1, but felt that going 2-0 was the real problem. I was surprised to read it at that time, but this article probably fits into Maddux's thinking. If you don't mind going down 1-0, that really opens up your options in the Game Theory scenarios. Of course, that philosophy works a lot better if you have Maddux's control.
The list was for players with more HR than UIBB.
Given Bobby Cox's incredible track record in breaking in young players, I'd let him make the call on Heyward. If he says he's ready and the Braves are trying to contend this year, it should be Bobby's call.
If your purpose is the develop the superstar everyone sees in Heyward, Cox's track record in developing young talent should definitely be part of the decision making process.
As a Padres fan, I've always felt that Kevin Towers (KT) was the best at finding live arms to stock a deep bullpen. Guess we are about the find out if it was KT or something organizational.
Palmeiro was an outfielder because he was a better OF than Mark Grace and they wanted to play both of them.
How are you controlling for Park Effects? Couple of the outliers in particular (Cox and Guillen) would seem to be impacted by Park Effects.
Thanks for your efforts Joe, I've always enjoyed your perspective. Good luck in your future endeavors!
What types of injuries commonly lead to "cascade" impacts? Conversely, what kinds of injuries stay localized? If this was well understood, the decision to play through and injury or rest would have another interesting decision point.
I do believe some people don't perform well under pressure. However, I believe elite professional athletes, which includes everyone playing professional baseball at the major league level, have been screened for that ability to perform under pressure long before they reach post-season play. Just to get the big leagues, the amount of times a player has hard to perform under pressure is large enough and important enough that those who can't handle that pressure have been weeded out.
Kevin Towers has always been able to find relief arms. When the Padres are good everyone acknowledges this, but even when the Padres are bad, they do a good job of sorting through the arms Towers has collected and end the year with a good pen...
Thanks for a Padres-focused article. I hope this late-season push will make the Padres reconsider trading Adrian Gonzalez as the future looks much brighter now than a few months ago when it was being discussed regularly.
Any reason why ages for Venezuelans should be viewed with less skepticism than other Latin American countries? Are there others that should be considered to be more accurate in general?
One item that I know is significant in basketball is the impact of home field advantage on officiating. I suspect the same thing happens in baseball. If the home team gets a few more favorable ball/strike calls, that would be quite significant given the impact the count can have on expected batter/pitcher performance.
I actually would give Hundley a little more time, but if you could find a top-notch C I wouldn't argue. I think we agree that Cabrera is more likely to be an integral part of the next division winning Padre team than Gwynn..my main point was that looking for 1b/3b/lf types is not what the Padres need to worry about, they need some athletes to cover the more difficult parts of the defensive spectrum...
As a Padres fan, I'd hope any deal with include pitching and some athletic up the middle talent. The organization is deep in 3b and I suspect several of those will wash out at 3rd as they move up the ladder and slide across the diamond. , some of which seemed bound to be 1b as their athleticism is further tested and found wanting.
I'm personally not sold on young Tony Gwynn just yet and while I'm excited about Everth Cabrera, I need to some more there as well. Second base is a complete wash in the system and I'm not sure there a player athletic enough to handle RF.
So I'd look for SP, 2B, CF, RF and SS in that order.
Any package the Padres trade Gonzalez for had better be incredibly good. Adrian is incredibly popular locally and the new ownership will get crushed by the local media if they trade their one offensive star.
It's probably the right thing to assuming you can get a package of top prospects, but it isn't going to sell well in San Diego.
I do love my some Bobby Cox. Unfortunately, I don't think a single season will do the trick here. Some team is going to have to have a long-term success with this tactic before the era of the Closer goes away....
Don't see Enzo Hernandez mentioned very often. He was one of the constants of the Padres when I first became aware of the game....
Nice to see Adrian recognized. He's definitely focused more this season on getting pitches he can drive. His 2B/HR ratio has been pretty wacky this season, so I expect the HR% to drop a little in favor of some more doubles.
As a Padre fan, my favorite thing about Adrian is actually his defense.
Sigh, the Padres can't even be the worst team in baseball in the right season. They do this last year and at least I could look forward to Strasburg staying home.
I think Joe knows Pujols is an inner circle HOFer and could be the best 1B in the history of the game by the time he's done. It's more of a comment of the insane heights Bonds reached in the first half of the decade. Pujols will likely end up as one of the greatest player we'll ever see and even in that context, Bonds' numbers look ridiculous.
It's gonna a long season for this Padre fan.
Generally, guys who are being sent out for sure are given numbers in the 60+ range. Numbers you commonly see on baseball rosters are reserved for players who are much more likely to make the team.
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