IGD: Padres @ Braves (8 May 07)

first pitch: 4:35 p.m. PT
television: Channel 4SD
matchup: Justin Germano (0-0, –) vs Anthony Lerew (0-0, –)
preview: Padres.com | SI.com

Both teams have recalled right-handers from Triple-A for the second game of this series in Atlanta. Justin Germano and Anthony Lerew once were considered hot prospects by their respective organizations.

Germano, a 13th-round pick of the Padres in 2000 who since has bounced around a bit, ranked #13 among San Diego Prospects according to the 2003 Baseball America Prospect Handbook:

While he’s not overpowering, he has three potential average-or-better pitches and the best command in the system. His top pitch is a curveball that has been compared to Roy Oswalt’s. He also throws an 88-89 mph fastball that could pick up velocity because he has a lanky build, wide shoulders, and a quick arm.

In the 2004 edition, Germano slipped to #15:

His overhand curveball is occasionally a plus pitch, but Germano’s arsenal is average across the board. San Diego hoped that his lanky build and quick arm were harbingers that he’d add velocity, but his fastball has stayed at 86-88 mph and tops out in the low 90s.

Germano’s stock rose the following year, when BA ranked him #7 in the system:

Germano is a strike-thrower with an advanced feel for pitching. His fastball features good movement, and he can ratchet it up into the low 90s at times. His out pitch is his curveball, an overhand bender that he can break into or out of the zone.

This progression got Germano traded to Cincinnati as part of the July 2005 deal that brought third baseman Joe Randa to the Padres. Germano made two appearances for the Reds in 2006 before being shipped to the Phillies for left-hander Rheal Cormier. San Diego claimed Germano off waivers in March 2007, and now, nearly three years after making his big-league debut with the Padres, the prodigal son returns.

On the other side, the Braves picked Lerew in the 11th round of the 2001 draft. BA ranked him #21 in 2003, #9 in 2004, and #5 in 2005. Without going into great detail about Lerew’s repertoire and ascent to the big leagues, I’ll note that both he and Germano are just 24 years old. And not to be a downer, but to take an honest look at how both organizations have fared at developing players in recent years, here is a list of guys from those three BA books who have gone onto play regularly in the big leagues:


  • Adam Wainwright, RHP
  • Wilson Betemit, SS/3B
  • Andy Marte, 3B
  • Macay McBride, LHP
  • Jeff Francouer, OF
  • Scott Thorman, 1B
  • Horacio Ramirez, LHP
  • Kelly Johnson, SS/OF
  • Adam LaRoche, 1B
  • Ryan Langerhans, OF
  • Brian McCann, C
  • Matt Belisle, RHP
  • Chuck James, LHP
  • Kyle Davies, RHP


  • Xavier Nady, OF
  • Khalil Greene, SS
  • Josh Barfield, 2B
  • Jason Bay, OF
  • Shane Victorino, OF
  • Akinori Otsuka, RHP*

*Although technically considered a prospect, Otsuka had significant professional experience in Japan’s major leagues before coming to North America.

I don’t mean to slag the Padres here — I’m sure they’re well aware of their poor recent track record — but it’s instructive to note just how much a team can help itself by drafting and developing quality players. The Braves have done a remarkable job of continually replenishing from within, and the Padres would do well to emulate their example. Many of us will be watching closely next month as the MLB draft unfolds on television for the first time and the Friars try to make 7 picks among the first 88 work to their advantage.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a game to play. Go Padres!

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124 Responses »

  1. walking Chipper to get to Andruw? Does Chipper have killer numbers against Bell or something? I guess we were playing for the DP . . .

  2. Geoff, waiting with bated breath for my 2007 Annual to shop up in the mail.

  3. This doesn’t bode well for us, especially with how crappy we’ve swung the bats tonite.

  4. 102: show

  5. Nice play by Adrian to end the inning.

  6. Thank you Jeff Franceour.

  7. #102: Thanks, TD; I hope you enjoy it. :-)

  8. 105 … can you describe?

  9. 101: You can’t win there. You have to pitch to somebody and those three guys can kill it.

    Doesn’t it seem like every time this bullpen gives up a run or two it’s in coughing up a lead? (Give these guys some cushion every once in a while, offense!)

  10. 107: I’m sure I will.

    Wasn’t Soriano the voodoo guy in the movie “Major League?”

  11. Three guys hitting .250 or below in the ninth, followed by a guy at .206 if one of them gets on.


  12. Um, where did my two brilliant posts go?

  13. 108: First of all, the play doesn’t happen if Franceour doesn’t chase a ball at his ankles and outside on a 2-0 count. He grounded it to Adrian, who stepped on the bag and threw home to catch Chipper Jones in a rundown between third and home.

  14. Khalil has not looked good on this road trip.

  15. One of them was about the perception of mine that “every time” this bullpen gives up a run or two it’s in coughing up a lead. (Give the pitchers some cushion for once, offense!)

  16. Shit.

    We should have won this game. Germano pitched his heart out. We seriously need to figure out how to get the bats going.

  17. …And it’s tied up in Florida again.

  18. 113 … I “lost” a post earlier this evening also … GY … can you check to see if a couple of posts are stuck/hung/whatever on the server?

  19. 116 … agree … assuming your point is that the bullpen is far, far, far from being a problem/issue … it’s just that a “blown save” is so visible … and painful … it get very magnified … but the slow death of not getting many hits is the problem …

  20. Note to Padres hitters: choose better times to hit your home runs (like when there are runners on base) and stop hitting line drives / fly balls right at fielders. Also, stop having weak swings while ahead in the count.


  21. #119: Got ‘em. Sorry ’bout that!

  22. Fish win!

  23. 120: Right; notice the quotes around every time.