Wells’ Best Not Good Enough

David Wells pitched about as well as he possibly could on Tuesday night (recap | box score). He hit his spots, mixed his pitches, and threw strikes 72% of the time. You can’t ask for anything more from the guy.

A weak bloop double in the sixth off the bat of Ryan Freel got the Reds their run, and Aaron Harang didn’t give it back until he stumbled off the mound in the eighth and balked home Geoff Blum. That bought the Padres a few extra innings, but it wasn’t enough to bring them victory.

Blum, Mike Cameron, and Khalil Greene all hit deep drives at some point during the game that might have left other parks. This continuing phenomenon has given rise to the unfortunate monstrosity of a verb “Petco-ize.”

I am slowly coming to accept that I’ll have to listen to people whine about Petco Park as long as it exists. Never mind that the Padres have a .529 winning percentage as a franchise since moving there in 2004, that they’re coming off three straight winning seasons for the first time in club history, or that they’ve reached the post-season in consecutive years for the first time.

Somehow, if the Padres had remained at Qualcomm (love the memories, but if you’re going to close off a stadium as much as that, you might as well finish the job and slap a dome on top), they would be doing better than this? Or do we need a new stadium already? I don’t follow the logic, if there is any.

Or maybe we need a new hitting coach. Last year folks were calling for Dave Magadan’s job. Merv Rettenmund came in and, shockingly, nothing really changed. I’m sorry, can we pin any of this on Duane Espy?

Anyway, don’t mind me. I’m old. I’m cranky. I’m tired of people hating on the Padres when they finally, for the first time in years, have their act mostly together. When I read some of the crap I read about them, I start to question whether San Diego even deserves a good sports team.

Still, it would be sweet to win a World Series. If nothing else, we’d get to hear folks talk about how, without Petco Park, it could’ve been even better.

The Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see all the notable performances from the night before, but you will see the notable performances from those who are actually prospects.


Pete Laforest: 5 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 5 RBI; 2 HR, SO
Tim Stauffer: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR


Chase Headley: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B, BB
Cesar Ramos: 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR


David Freese: 4 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; 2B, SO
Jose Lobaton: 2 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; HR, BB


Cedric Hunter: 4 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 1 RBI
Ernesto Frieri: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 R, 2 HR


When should I remove Stauffer from my “watch” list? He is not a prospect. It’s actually sad to see, not because you want to see Padres’ prospects succeed, but because he’s a good guy.

Only Ramos’ third bad start of the year — and four runs in seven innings isn’t that bad… He also had a pickoff.

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[Ed note: Over the next two weeks, Peter will be profiling the top hitters and pitchers available in the 2007 draft. He'll cover approximately 10 per day. Enjoy!]

Draft Preview: College Hitters

The following are a collection of collegiate hitters who are draft-eligible. I compiled the list based on Baseball America‘s top 50 collegians and a few other players I “found” perusing statistics. BA‘s top 50 list is copyrighted, so I removed the ranking order; players are listed alphabetically. Stats are through games of May 14, 2007.

1B/3B Beau Mills (Lewis-Clark St.): .462/.551/1.000 with 21 2B, 0 3B, 31 HR, and a 31/17 BB/SO ratio — Mills is currently playing against lower-level competition (NAIA) but that bat will play. Mills is widely regarded as one of the top three or four college bats in the draft. Mills will likely be drafted in the 10-18 range. [Ed note: Mills is a transfer from Fresno State and the son of former big-league infielder Brad Mills.]

OF Danny Payne (Georgia Tech): .393/.522/.582 with 19 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, and a 53/37 BB/SO ratio — Danny is also 18-for-24 in stolen base attempts. The walks are nice, but if he can’t play center field, he probably doesn’t have enough power to play a corner.

OF Brian Rike (Louisiana Tech): .351/.471/.727 with 13 2B, 2 3B, and 20 HR, and a 39/32 BB/SO ratio — Rike has also gone 15 for 16 in stolen base attempts. Rike won’t be taken with the 23rd pick, but according to Baseball America, “Few college hitters have catapulted their draft stock as much as Brian Rike. …The 6-foot-2, 200-pound outfielder has turned himself into one of the top power/speed players in the nation.” With five picks in the first supplemental round, Rike could be on the Padres short list.

1B Matt Rizzotti (Manhattan): .346/.493/.583 with 8 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, and a 47/38 BB/SO ratio — Playing first base hurts him; he needs to hit that much more to get noticed. Only 10 homers isn’t great…

OF Kyle Russell (Texas): .358/.464/.877 with 11 2B, 4 3B, 26 HR, and a 35/54 BB/SO ratio — Set new home run record but reportedly has “aluminum bat swing.” High strikeout total worries me. Russell is also a draft-eligible sophomore, so he has more financial leverage than a typical junior. It’s unlikely, however, that he’ll replicate this season. I think he’ll sign with whichever team drafts him. (See also article at Baseball Analysts from May 1, 2007.)

1B/LHP Joe Savery (Rice): .353/.435/.490 with 15 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, and a 28/41 BB/SO ratio — I’m only looking at hitters here, so I wouldn’t take this guy as a bat; three homers as a first baseman? (See also article at MiLB.com for a report on his pitching ability.)

3B Brad Suttle (Texas): .359/.443/.596 with 13 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, and a 27/20 BB/SO ratio — Brad may be overshadowed by his teammate’s power (Kyle Russell); he also doesn’t have his teammate’s propensity to swing and miss.

OF/1B/C Jeff Tatford (Louisiana-Lafayette): .357/.496/.632 with 16 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, and a 38/40 BB/SO ratio — A senior. If Tatford can play behind the plate, he becomes much more interesting… He’s probably not a high round pick, but he could be someone the Padres target in the 5th to 10th round area…

2B Tony Thomas (Florida St.): .449/.542/.773 with 28 2B, 6 3B, 10 HR, and a 36/36 BB/SO ratio — Tony has also gone 26 for 31 in stolen base attempts. Tony is one of my favorite collegiate hitters in the draft. The speed and on-base skills will play and the power looks adequate for second base or center field.

OF Matt Webb (Centenary): .311/.527/.536 with 12 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, and a 59/39 BB/SO ratio — Another collegiate senior, Webb has gone 22 for 25 in stolen base attempts. The doubles, walks, and stolen bases make lower-level minors success likely. However, his ceiling is probably that of an organizational soldier.

C Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech): .376/.498/.639 with 17 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, and a 46/31 BB/SO ratio — Matt is going to be quite rich in a few months. He’s the consensus top collegiate hitter in the draft, and as a bonus, he plays catcher. He’ll likely be off the board in the first fiv picks.

SS Danny Worth (Pepperdine): .349/.421/.500 with 19 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, and a 25/19 BB/SO ratio — Apparently his glove will play at short. Nice on-base skills as well… More power would be nice, but the doubles may be an indicator there.

Thanks, Peter. That’s all the hitters we’ve got; I look forward to hearing about the pitchers next week.

Quick reminder: I’ve heard from several folks about the June 9 meetup, and I’ll be sending a note out to y’all soon; if you haven’t dropped me a line yet, please do so. Let’s represent.

The Padres and Reds wrap up tonight at 7:05 p.m. PT. We’ll have the IGD up and running by 6. Go Padres!

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39 Responses »

  1. Are saying the padres are doing well because of Petco? I thought it was because we have an excellent owner, strong executives in Sandy and his team, and KT who all have put together good teams over the last three or four years. The marine layer is very thick this week meaning heavy air downtown. IOWs, flyballs are dying out there. The look on Camys face when he smacked one deep and hard in the second inning didn’t express, “damn, the center fielder caught that,” rather it said, “damn I hate hitting in this place.” Hoe fricking hard do you have to hit a ball to get it out of Petco? Ask Griffey.

  2. I was at the game last night and knew from the moment I sat down that home runs would be few and far between last night. The air was really cold and heavy, I was surprised that KG Jr got it out.

    P.S. I voted for Adrian 70 times last night.

  3. #1: No, I’m saying that the Padres are doing well, period, so maybe now isn’t the best time to be complaining about the ballpark. We know that fly balls die out there and yet we still act surprised when they do. Why is that?

  4. 3: I think that people complain for the sake of complaining. I used the verb “Petco-ized” a couple times last nite, but that doesn’t mean I think that we can’t get it done at home. Even without those balls being killed by the air, we still only had 2 hits.

    I’m mildly concerned that the Reds have figured out how to contain Adrian, and I hope they don’t share their secret with the rest of the league. With Jake on the hill tonite, you can’t help but feel like we’ve got a good shot at winning the series.

  5. Love the ballpark and couldn’t care less about HRs. I do hate watching only 1 run “scored” through 12.

  6. #3: Yeah, you’re probably right. After all, here I am complaining about people complaining. ;-)

    Adrian has taken some ugly swings the past couple nights. Here’s hoping he can make the adjustment sooner rather than later and get back on track…