Friday, January 6, 2012

On the Rizzo Trade

A lot of initial fan backlash on this trade. I don't have a huge problem with this trade and may actually like it. It is clear from the Latos and now Rizzo trade that a top middle infield prospect that is close to ML ready is just not available. There is such a huge drop in talent from guys like Machado and Profar to the next level of middle infield prospect. Some fans wanted Wade Davis from the Rays. Why? I wouldn't put him ahead of Anthony Bass on the depth chart.

The biggest argument against this trade is from a "value" standpoint. Clearly, the Cubs valued Cashner very highly or Cates would not have been added. Many fans feel Rizzo has far more "value" than Cashner.

What I like about this trade is that the Padres get a reliever that should be very effective at Petco in 2012 and still control him for several more years as they work to figure out what Cashner's real future is. Cashner has solid stuff and a plus-plus fastball. His control has been improving each year and now he has a chance to work with Black and Balsley. The Padres essentially are getting a solid late inning relief guy with elite starter upside. The one thing the Padres deep stable of pitching prospects has lacked is an "elite" upside pitcher that is ML ready or close to ML ready. You could make an argument that Cashner has the best "stuff" of any Padres player or prospect. This represents the beginning of the next "phase" in the Padres future... aquiring and drafting "elite" upside players. I think you will see the trend continue in the 2012 draft. The days of drafting safe college players are behind the Padres.
Byrnes, IMO, has done an excellent job of continuing the movement for the future while simultaneously putting together a team in 2012 that may surprise. Cashner fits both the "win now" and "build for the future" scenarios.

I realize I may be in the minority, but they had the depth to take the gamble.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prospect Rankings: Probability Versus Impact

IMO, there are two general schools of thought when considering how to rank prospects. The probability school of thought tends to put more weight on factors such as pro experience and how close they are to the majors. The Impact school of thought is going to put more weight on factors like ceiling and positional relevance.

My Padres Top 10 Prospect Ranking - Probability:

1) Erlin
2) Darnell
3) Tekotte
4) Kelly
5) Rizzo
6) Brach
7) Belnome
8) Gyorko
9) Castro
10) Wieland

You will notice this list is heavily skewed towards players that are in the upper minors or have already reached the majors.

My Padres Top 10 Prospect Ranking - Impact:

1) Erlin
2) Castro
3) Fuentes
4) Wieland
5) Kelly
6) Tekotte
7) Gyorko
8) Hedges
9) Belnome
10) J Hagerty

You will notice that premium positions and ceiling are more heavily weighted for this school of thought in ranking prospects.

Overall Top 20:

1) Gyorko
2) Erlin
3) Hedges
4) Rizzo
5) Liriano
6) Sampson
7) Kelly
8) Wieland
9) J Decker
10) Spangenberg
11) Castro
12) Tate
13) Ross
14) Darnell
15) Hagerty
16) Tekotte
17) Belnome
18) Fuentes
19) Peterson
20) Quackenbush

Monday, September 26, 2011

Padres Prospects Update

On my last look at the Padres farm system, I may have left off several players that at the time were not prospects, not signed yet, or I just did not consider them prospects at the time.

Here are some additional Padres prospects to keep an eye on:


Robbie Erlin P - A great pick up for the Padres. He doesn't walk anyone and has an advanced feel for the game for a 20 year old. Could make a nice 2/3 caliber starting pitcher soon.

Jospeph Wieland P - Will likely be linked to Erlin for a long time. Another good pick up and a player with advanced feel and amazing control. A solid bet to be a middle of the rotation pitcher in the big leagues.


Nick Schmidt P - Every once in a while a forgotten prospect re-emerges and makes a name for himself. I imagine there is a lot of internal debate on whether or not to find a 40 man roster spot for Schmidt, so they don't potentially lose him to the rule V draft.

Andrew Werner P - Dominated A ball as a 24 year old. Viewed as organizational filler, but stranger things can happen. AA should tell us more.


Mark Hardy P - Like Werner, we need to see more at an advanced level. 23 and dominating A ball is a good start though.

Kevin Quackenbush P - Has completely dominated at each stop. This recent draftee could find himself fastracked like Spence was.

Connor Powers 1B - Had a breakout year in Fort Wayne. Stuck behind a bunch of 1B with similar abilities.

Rico Noel CF - With Maybin and Tekotte, it's hard to imagine Noel will ever get a real shot with the Padres. He showed improvement this year and can steal bases.


Matt Andriese P - Vey good debut out of the Northwest League.

Matthew Stites P - I think the Padres did well to draft him where they did. Could make a decent middle reliever some day for the Padres.

Austin Hedges C - Could be the steal of the draft. He is Major League ready defensively. I think he will move faster than others believe.

Duanel Jones 3B - Raw power and a project with upside.

Jace Peterson SS - Slow start, but I think he will have a breakout year in 2012.

Alberth Martinez OF - Another latin find for the Padres. Great American debut this year.

Rookie -

Joseph Ross P- I hear he has great mechanics.

Rodney Daal C - A young raw project.

Yoan Alcantra OF - Has a long ways to go, but like Martinez off to a great American start.

There are several other possible prospects I have not mentioned, most of whom just need to prove they can perform above rookie ball.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


With the winding down of the minor league season, it is time to take a second look at the Padres 2011 draft haul.

This draft may turn out to be a great draft for the Padres. They were able to sign all but 1 of their high profile draftees. Brett Austin turned down a reported $1.5 million and decided to go to school. What can you do? Overall, I am very pleased they were able to sign Kelly, Ross, and Hedges. Hedges may turn out to be the steal of the entire draft, as he is already major league ready behind the plate. Whether or not he can hit enough at the big league level will be the deciding factor in his future with the Padres.

Early returns on Spange and Peterson are good. Several of the college pitchers are doing great. Most noticeable is Kevin Quackenbush. His ERA is under 1 to start his pro career. Having already moved up to Fort Wayne, he could end up in the Majors next season ala Josh Spence. Others, including Stites, Pope, Andriese, and Hebner have looked good early on.

Overall, I feel confidant in my original grade on this draft. The Padres get an A.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Players deserving of a September Call-up

It's time to take a look at the players down on the farm that should get Septemeber Call-up's. I am only considering players not currently on the 25 man roster as of today.


Anthony Rizzo
Everth Cabrera
Matt Clark
Luis Martinez
Brad Brach
Samuel Deduno
Evan Scribner


With guys like Spence, Bass, and Tekotte already on the big league club, there really aren't any more AA players that I would consider calling up in September.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Padres July Trade Deadline: 2011

After much ado, the Padres made 2 last minute trade deadline deals.

Ryan Ludwick goes to the Pirates
The Padres shipped Ludwick off to the Pirates to clear salary and open up playing time to younger players that factor into the future. The Padres will get a non-prospect player to be named later or cash. I have no problem with this since they can use the extra cash from Ludwicks salary to sign some 2011 high school draftees. This also gives the Padres an opportunity to give more at bats to younger guys like Guzman and Blanks. The Padres can spend the next 2 months evaluating their young talent to see who will be in the fold next season.

Adams is traded for 2 AA control pitchers.
I like this move a lot. The Padres received two very nice young middle of the rotation projectable arms in Joseph Wieland and Robbie Erlin. Both have phenomenal walk rates. Trading 1.3 years(100 innings) of a relief pitcher for potentially 6 years each of 180+ innings is a hell of a deal. Wieland and Erlin may be prospects, but they are as safe as prospects can be. Many young pitching prospects are still learning pitch sequencing and command... these youngsters have both down at an advanced level. Good things are brewing at the AA level.

Friday, July 1, 2011

State of The Padres

I thought I would take a look at the overall health of the Padres farm system.

1B - Not a deep position on the farm for the Padres; but, with Rizzo and Blanks both under club control for years to come, they don't need to be.

Matt Clark
Cody Decker
Nathan Freiman

All three are potential replacement level players in the bigs. Freiman may have the most upside and could develop into a player given a full time chance somewhere.

2B - This is one of the deeper positions, IMO. The system is loaded with options.

Logan Forsythe - ML ready, will likely end up as utility.
Vincent Belnome - Could be a legit candidate for a top 100 prospect, could end up as utility.
Beamer Weems - Best in class at defense, offense a big concern... also a utility candidate.
Jonathan Galvez - Young with upside. Defense needs work but he is young.
Jeudy Valdez - Often overlooked, could end up as utility as well.
Jedd Gyorko - Being groomed for 3B but has the ability to play 2B, should be top 50 prospect.
Cory Spangenberg - Considered the future leadoff hitter and 2B, could move fast, could land as a top 100 prospect next year.

3B - Loaded with impact bats and defensive question marks.

James Darnell - Quikly emerging as one of the top hitting prospects in baseball, top 50 candidate. Defense suspect but slowly improving. Could be moved to LF or used as trade bait.
Jedd Gyorko - Considered the future at 3B once Headley is traded or leaves via FA. Best combination of defense and hitting.
Edinson Rincon - Another impact bat emerging. Big defensive question marks could move him to LF or use as trade bait. Could be a top 100 prospect for his bat alone.
Cory Spangenberg - Has experience playing 3B.

SS - Very weak position for the Padres.

Beamer Weems - Only SS in the system that is defensively ready to field this position.
Jeudy Valdez - Remains to be seen if he can field SS.
Jonathan Galvez - Big questions defensively but the most offensive upside of any potential Padres short stop.

Good thing Cabrera is still under club control.

C - This may be the weakest position on the farm as I count only 1 legit prospect. Phillips could be an adequate back up catcher until other options are found.

Jason Hagerty - Switch hitting catcher is improving offensively and coming along defensively. I don't expect a defensive stud but if he can hit in the majors I will take it. Legit top 100 prospect candidate.

CF - High ceilings. Low floors.

Blake Tekotte - MLB ready. Should make a solid 4th outfielder and adequate CF injury replacement. Top 100 candidate.
Reymond Fuentes - Defense is solid. Very fast. Limited power. I will accept the lack of power if he can learn to get on base. Potential leadoff candidate if he develops offensively. Top 100 candidate.
Donovan Tate - Highest upside of any system outfielder. Unfortunately the lowest floor as well.
Rymer Liriano - Has not responded well to being challenged but is still young.

The Padres have Maybin for several more years. Plenty of time to develop some of the upside talent at CF.

RF - Plenty of options at RF.

Aaron Cunningham - Good candidate to be a 4th or 5th outfielder.
Sawyer Carroll - Under the radar but has quietly produced at every level, another 4th/5th OF candidate.
Blake Tekotte - Can play all 3 outfield positions, could get a chance in RF in 2012. Top 100 candidate.
Jaff Decker - Having a see-saw year but still young and projectable. Could get his first call up in 2012. Top 100 Candidate
Daniel Robertson - Another guy that quietly produces and yet another 4th/5th OF candidate.
Reymond Fuentes - If his offense improves quickly he could get some time in RF next to Cameron Maybin to form one of the best defensive outfields in baseball.
Luis Domoromo - Very young and starting to produce in the lower minors, someone to keep an eye on.
Rymer Liriano - RF makes more sense then CF but still a long ways from the big leagues.
Donovan Tate - Like Fuentes, if he starts putting it together quickly he could see time in RF until he can take over CF. Still 3 years away.... if he can stay on the field.

RF is loaded with talent that is ready now or has upside impact potential.

LF - This is really the one OF position that the Padres will likely fill with a power impact bat.

Aaron Cunningham - Unlikely to get the LF job full time but certainly can field it.
Matt Clark - Matt Clark is getting some time in LF, my gut tells me he is just trying to make himself useful since there is no chance he plays 1B for the Padres unless Rizzo or Blanks is traded.
Sawyer Carroll - He is likely to suffer the same fate as Cunningham, very good minor leaguer that needs the right team to give him a chance. Could be usefull utility corner outfielder.
Daniel Robertson - Seems to be a favorite of many Padre farm fans, something about short players like Eckstein that make people want to root for them.
Jaff Decker - LF makes sense for Decker. He can field that position and has some power.
James Darnell - Bat is so good the Padres are trying him out at LF.
Edinson Rincon - Could be tried in LF. Likely ends up in AL as a DH prospect.
Luis Domoromo - Young with some upside. I suspect he ends up as a utility 4th/5th outfielder.

The LF job could go to Blanks in the near term. Decker and Darnell will be pushing right behind for a chance to make an impact at the ML level.

The Padres should have no shortage of usefull outfielders for the next 8 years.

RP - Another area of strength for the Padres at the big league level and on the farm.

Evan Scribner - Should become an average 7th inning type.
Josh Spence - Already been mentioned in a top 100 prospect list, solid bullpen piece that could be used in 7th inning, or in long relief, or as just a lefty specialist.
Nick Vincent - Very under the radar. Could be long relief or late inning guy.
Brad Brach - Closer or 8th inning specialist. Being compared to Heath Bell.
Erik Hamren -Likely destined for AAA bullpen depth.
Miles Mikola - Has shown improvement each time he has been promoted.
Zach Cates - Being tried as a starter but I still believe his potential is as a late inning RP.
Matt Jackson - Has shown flashes of dominance and may be taking a step forward this year, good candidate for a long relief role.

The big club is already flush with good young talent. Scribner, Spence, Vincent, and Brach are all ready now and could make it easier for the Padres to deal some of their bullpen talent.

SP - The system is deep in terms of usefull starting pitchers but lacks depth in front of the rotation caliber pitching.

Casey Kelly - Still young for AA, shown minimal improvement this year. Still 2 years away and has a 2/3 starter ceiling, IMO.
Anthony Bass - Ready now. Will provide value to the big club as a 3/4/5 type starter.
Jorge Reyes - Could be AAAA, back of the rotation, or long relief.
Juan Oramas - A hidden gem.
Simon Castro - Still a top 100 prospect but questions are popping up about his ability to pitch above the AA level. Ceiling as a 2/3 starter but high bust potential.
Matt Lollis - Seems to be taking a step back this year, but is still only 20.
Pedro Hernandez - Another hidden gem. Excellent control and so-so K rate make him a good back of the rotation candidate.
Keyvius Sampson - Young and dominant with acceptable control, good combination. May be the best SP prospect in the system. Projects as a solid # 2.
Matthew Jackson - I think he is destined for the bullpen.
Adys Portillo - Control is getting worse as his K rate is improving. This is actually encouraging to me. Once he has confidence in his stuff hopefully his control will improve. If this guy figures it out he can be a 2/3 starter.
John Barbato - Not much to measure yet, early returns are good. Has upside.

SP is young and solid at the ML level. This affords the Padres time to develop guys like Castro, Kelly, Lollis, Keyvius, and Portillo.

Very exciting to see the Padres with so many promising minor leaguers. Guys that I believe will get solid consideration as top 100 prospects in 2012:

Not a chance they all make it... but these are guys that can't be ignored. I can't imagine less than 4 or 5 of these guys being considered top prospects going into next year.

Also nice to see the Padres finally have some impact bat potential:

For fun, if I was to put togther a 25 man roster with Padre minor league prospects that have the best overall combinaton of defense, offense, upside, and proven production:

Darnell - 1B(just for fun why not try him at 1B in this scenario)
Spangenberg - 2B
Gyorko - 3B
Beamer Weems - SS
Hagerty - C
LF - J Decker
CF - Tekotte
RF - Sawyer Carroll
4th OF - Cunninham
5th OF - Fuentes
Utility 1 - Belnome
Utility 2 - Forsythe
Backup Catcher - Luis Martinez

SP1 - Casey Kelly
SP2 - Simon Castro
SP3 - Anthony Bass
SP4 - Keyvius Sampson
SP5- Juan Oramas
Swingman - Jorge Reyes
Closer - Brach
Set up1 - Scribner
Set up2 - Vincent
Lefty specialist - Spence
RP - Mikola
RP - Cates