Time to restock

Baseball America clears it up
once and for all: the Padres will make five picks in the first 47
overall in the next draft. Which means it’s a huge opportunity to
upgrade the farm system.

What type of player will they go after? Impossible to say for a lot of reasons, but here‘s what  the current scouting/drafting staff did in their one draft in San Diego. Most of that staff had been in Boston since 2005. Which doesn’t necessarily mean a whole lot, since the budget in Boston is probably much different than the one in San Diego. But just for fun, here are some of the guys the Red Sox drafted early in the 2005-09 drafts.

What you’ll find are good players (some of whom were traded for MLB stars), some late-round gambles that didn’t end up signing (but proved to be good enough to be high picks in later years), and a few that didn’t pan out. But they didn’t miss on a whole lot of these picks:

2005
OF Jacoby Ellsbury (1)
RHP Craig Hansen (1), who they traded for Jason Bay (and got Manny out of town)
RHP Clay Buchholz (1S)
INF Jed Lowrie (1S)

Also drafted Pedro Alvarez (14) and Allan Dykstra (34) later in the draft, both of whom ended up being first-round picks after college careers. Alvarez was a No. 1 overall pick and is going to be a core player for Pittsburgh.

2006
OF Jason Place (1)
RHP Daniel Bard (1)
LHP Kris Johnson (1S)
RHP Caleb Clay (1S)
RHP Justin Masterson (2), traded for Victor Martinez
LHP Dustin Richardson (5)

Bard is probably Boston’s closer when Jonathan Papelbon leaves. The rest (Masterson aside) aren’t considered prospects at this point. Richardson is a fringe prospect, but I just wanted to include him because he appeared on the show “Knight School,” where Bob Knight berated walk-ons on television. Also drafted (but didn’t sign) 1B Brandon Belt (11) and 1B/OF Matt LaPorta (14). Belt got rave reviews in the Arizona Fall League; the Brewers took LaPorta in the first round the next year and traded him to the Indians for CC Sabathia, who basically pitched them to the playoffs.

2007
RHP Nick Hagadone (1S), traded for Martinez
SS Ryan Dent (1S)
1B Anthony Rizzo (6), traded for Gonzalez

They didn’t get a pick until 55th overall, which hurts. Dent was a high-school pick and is still considered a prospect. C Yasmani Grandal (27) didn’t sign, but went to Miami and became the Reds’ first-round pick in 2010.

2008
RHP Casey Kelly (1), traded for Gonzalez
RHP Bryan Price (1S), traded for Martinez
SS/2B Derrik Gibson (2)
OF Ryan Westmoreland (5)

They like Gibson’s speed and Westmoreland was their No. 1 prospect until a rare brain condition shut him down, maybe forever.

2009
OF Reymond Fuentes (1), traded for Gonzalez
RHP Alex Wilson (2)
3B David Renfroe (3)

Wilson got to Double-A in his first full season in 2010. Renfroe struggled in Short-season.

In 2009, the Angels had two first-rounders and three supplemental-round picks, which is almost exactly what the Padres have coming their way in 2011. They turned those into three high-schoolers and two college guys:
OF Randel Grichuk (held his own for Cedar Rapidsin the MWL)
OF Mike Trout (MWL All-Star and one of the top prospects in the game)
LHP Tyler Skaggs (MWL All-Star, part of trade with D-Backs for Dan Haren)
RHP Garrett Richards (MWL All-Star)
LHP Tyler Kehrer (Lots of strikeouts, lots of walks for Cedar Rapids)

The point is, if you follow the Padres, you should be excited about the upcoming draft. Given the staff’s track record (and the recent returns from a similar situation), it could be a turning point for the franchise. Turning even 2-3 of those picks into MLB regulars would be crucial for the Padres as they try to become more self-sustained and consistently successful.

Cliff Lee:

I love Cliff Lee and his shunning of the Yankees as much as anybody. But before we nominate him for sainthood, let’s look at the numbers. If we trust what’s being thrown around.

Yankees offered (not counting options/incentives) 6 years/$132 million: $22 million per year
Rangers offered (not counting options/incentives) 6 years/$138 million: $23 million per year
Phillies offered (not counting options/incentives) 5 years/$120 million: $24 million per year

So while Lee left some overall money and a guaranteed year on the table, he’s making more over the next five years than he would have made anywhere else.

Even if the numbers are a little off, I think he’s one of the few athletes who “gets it” to the point that he realizes he’s set for life regardless of where he would have signed, and five years of playing somewhere you enjoy beats six years of somewhere that you’re not sure about.

  • Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt… I think you and I could pitch every fifth day and the Phillies would still be the favorites in the NL East.
  • Remember
    when Yankee fans spit and threw things at Lee’s wife? It had to have
    had an effect on things. How crazy is it that they’re choosing to go to
    Philly, where they boo Santa Claus?
  • How are the Phillies
    affording this? And do they really think they can unload Joe Blanton or
    Raul Ibanez without eating a significant part of their overpriced
    contracts?
  • Lee’s signing sets the Royals up to completely hose somebody
    (probably the Yankees) for Zack Greinke. If somebody else jumped out
    offering a quality starting pitcher, they could do the same.

Random thoughts:

  • The Yankees signed Russell Martin. Presumably with their tail between their legs. Of all the old guys on the Yankees’ roster, it’s amazing Martin is only 27 and he’s the one with the broken hip.
  • The Phillies’ Top 10 Prospects list is posted over at Baseball America.
  • Speaking of BA, I have a strong feeling that former TinCaps Jedd Gyorko and Matt Lollis will be in the Padres’ Top 10. Not that it’s going out on too long of a limb.
  • San Diego officially signed RHP Dustin Moseley. He could be a long reliever or help out in the rotation.
  • Back in the 80s, video killed the radio star. More recently, it killed Brett Favre. Does anyone really care about him anymore, other than wanting him to go away? It’s a lesson we first learned from Hulk Hogan when he only wrestled on cable once a year and the rest was on pay-per-view: If you’re on TV too much, people get sick of you.
  • If you didn’t believe in it before, believe it now: Favre’s streak ending is yet another example of The Wertheimer Effect. If the Vikings move to Los Angeles, you’ll know why.

Musical guest… Foreigner!

Take care!

DW

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