Blum, Bocachica, and a Slice of History

Eight series wins in a row? Really, I had no idea. Greg Maddux brought his A-game on Wednesday night (recap | boxscore), and Geoff Blum and Hiram Bocachica led the offense en route to a —

Say what? Blum and Boca-who-ca?

Yep. Blum drove in four runs on the evening, doubling his season total. All four came batting right handed. That’s four more than he collected from the right side in 2006.

I diss him because I love him. You know, anything I can do to help and all that.

Or whatever.

I have no explanation for Bocachica. His name is fun to say, and he helps ease the pain of “losing” DH Jack Cust. Works for me.

Trevor HoffmanThen there’s Trevor Hoffman. He became the first ever to reach 500 career saves with a scoreless ninth and we’ve got the pictures to prove it. Hoffman doesn’t have the stuff he once did, and he seemingly doesn’t care. He just goes out there and gets the job done. I expect he probably irritates the heck out of opposing hitters and fans in the process.

This is the part where I should tell you what Hoffman means to the Padres and baseball. But I won’t because a) you already know and b) everything I come up with sounds trite and sycophantic. Still, if you want a clue, just bear in mind that during the post-game interview, all Hoffman wanted to talk about was his teammates, the fans, and getting a ring.

(Somewhat lost in the history was Heath Bell‘s seventh-inning performance. Two pitches, two outs, threat ended. Bell saved this one as much as Hoffman did, and I’ll bet Hoffman would say the same. And he wouldn’t care because the bottom line is a Padres victory.)

The Friars find themselves in a virtual tie with Arizona (mistakenly referred to by many as “the surprising Diamondbacks”) and have a chance to sweep LA on Thursday. Oh yeah, Jake Peavy is pitching in the finale.

Enjoy. As we know all too well, it ain’t always like this.

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.


No games scheduled


Chase Headley: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 4 RBI; 2 2B, HR, BB, 2 SO – .354/.434/.646
Nick Hundley: 4 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; HR, BB, SO


Matt Antonelli: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI – .304/.401/.470
Wade LeBlanc: 7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR


No games scheduled


Okay, he’s not just talented; he’s clutch. Down by one with two outs and two runners on base, Chase Headley comes through with a two-run homer. It was his second homer and third extra-base hit of the game. Kevin Kouzmanoff‘s glove doesn’t warrant moving him off third base, but Headley’s bat needs a place in the 2008 Padre lineup.

Wade has been ridiculously dominant this year. He wasn’t a top prospect coming out of college and he wasn’t considered a top 10 prospect this past off-season. Yet all he’s done is dominate the hitting-friendly Cal League:

6-2, 1.82 ERA, 69.1 IP, 45 H, 17 R, 13 ER, 13 BB, 68 SO, 3 HR


I swear I didn’t do this intentionally…

With the draft today, there is some interesting symmetry in this PPR. Four names listed are above: two from the 2005 draft, and two from the 2006 draft — all from the Sandy Alderson/Grady Fuson regime.

Draft Stuff

San Diego selections (#23) in Mock Drafts:

Jonathan Mayo ( James Simmons, RHP, UC Riverside
Kevin Goldstein (Baseball Prospectus): Joe Savery, LHP, Rice
Jim Callis (Baseball America): Simmons


I don’t know what to make of it. All of the experts remind us that the Padres have a history of taking collegiate players. However, Kevin Towers and Grady Fuson have both gone on the record to note that the strength of this year’s draft is its high school talent. Now both James Simmons and Joe Savery are legitimate first-round talents. So it is completely reasonable and likely (if somewhat un-sexy) for the Padres to go with one of the above pitchers…

Now, as for the “what if” portion…

After originally being projected as the #2 overall pick, Rick Porcello is likely to do an Andrew Miller slide. Last year, Team Boras realized they were not going to get the money they wanted for Miller from the top teams in the draft. So they asked for the moon. In doing so, they scared several teams away until the Tigers popped Miller with the sixth pick and signed him to an MLB deal with a $3.55M bonus. Boras and Porcello are reportedly asking for deal similar to the $7M MLB deal Josh Beckett got with the Marlins in 1999.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus projects Porcello to slide all the way to the Tigers with the 27th pick.

I’m nearly dead-set against giving high school guys MLB contracts, but Porcello might be worth it. And keep in mind that while Porcello wants a Beckett-like contract, his bonus would still be in the $3-4M range. And the Padres could conceivably get him signed with a considerable bonus without the MLB contract.

Obviously it’s not my money, but can you imagine the following draft (BA rankings in parentheses):

23 Rick Porcello, RHP (4)
40 Nick Noonan, 2B/SS (41)
46 Travis d’Arnaud, C (49)
57 Zach Cozart, SS (59)
63 Wes Roemer, RHP (65)
64 Kellen Kulbacki, LF (66)
81 Grant Desme, OF (99)
87 Jordan Zimmerman, RHP (97)

Now do I expect the above? No, if we exchange Porcello for Savery or Simmons it will still be a nice draft and a lot more likely…

Thanks, Peter! As a reminder, I’ll be liveblogging the draft (not specifically from a Padres perspective) over at Knuckle Curve. Feel free to follow along, or just keep doing that thing you do right here. I’m sure all of our fine observers will have plenty to say as the draft unfolds, and Peter and I will certainly share our thoughts tomorrow, if not sooner.

I am so geeking out on this, it’s not even funny. Seriously, if I don’t stop the caffeine flow right now, things could get ugly.

Series finale tonight at 7:05 p.m. PT. As is our custom, we’ll fire up the IGD about an hour before then. Blah blah blah. Am I still talking? Shut up already. Okay, I will. See you at the IGD…

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276 Responses »

  1. John Moores = Rich Man acting like a poor man so it works.

    so do those rounds = $8 mil?

  2. Man, the Padres went College heavy with the picks.

  3. I like Canham there. 63 and 64 I don’t know enough about.

  4. # 63 SD – Corey Luebke LHP ohio St
    # 64 SD – Danny Payne OF Georgia Tech

    194 … I’m *NOT* happy with the Canham pick … I hope I’m wrong … I’ve seen him play a coupla times … was never impressed … last game I went to, he did hit a BOMB of a HR … but it sure seem’d like a “metal-bat-HR” to me … if he turns out better than Nick Hundley, I’ll be stunned … and happy …

  5. So far, the picks are:

    Schmidt LHP
    Kulbacki OF
    Cumberland SS/2B
    Canham C
    Luebke LHP
    Payne OF.

  6. Payne’s bio on the Ga. Tech website sounds Kotsay-esque.

  7. re: Luebke … interesting … the guy that drafted for the Padres in the Sickles mock draft last weekend drafted Luebke … with pick #177 (ie. 5th round) … so, perhaps a “reach” … but … it seems they picked a good player, one a case can be made for …

  8. BA coverage:

    Not surprisingly, the Padres are stocking up on college players–they’ve grabbed five in their first six picks. With the 64th overall pick, San Diego took a very exciting, fun player to watch: Georgia Tech outfielder Danny Payne. An undersized center fielder with excellent speed and decent pop in his tightly wound frame, Payne is extremely tough and plays the game at a high energy level. The guy simply makes things happen, whether on the bases, in center field, or on the mound–Tech’s closer, Payne has a strong arm that translates well to the outfield.

  9. Kulbacki looks good in a suit.

    That’s good to know.

  10. Okay, the draft is a mixed bag. Like Kulbacki and Schmidt, but very curious about Luebke and Payne. Also, from the scouting video’s it doesn’t look like Canham has much of an arm.. anyone get a clock on him? looks like maybe 2.0 to 2nd at best….Better hit a ton….

  11. 208: Thanks for posting that. It sounds like he’s can stick in CF, which is definitely something we need. On the downside, he kind of sounds like Eric Byrnes, and I despise Eric Byrnes, but for reasons unrelated to his production on the field.

  12. 208: interesting info. What’s up with his scouting video?? It’s a LHP with no video capturing play in the field. Is the video wrong??

  13. So, it looks like Matt Harvey is scaring away not just the Padres with his supposedly demand for the Moon, Mars, and the Saturn rings.

    I’m guessing the Padres will go with a pitcher next. So, it can still be Savery.

  14. 213: Nope, Savery went first round. Maybe his Rice rotation mate, Cole St. Clair, who is also big and lefty.

  15. Denny “I’m not Danny” Almonte drafted by the Mariners with the 75th pick. I figure they should check his birth certificate just to be safe….

  16. 214: Thanks for the info. I wasn’t paying attention.

    We do agree on the other point about Harvey, I presume. :)

  17. 213 … what I read is that Harvey’s just asking for 2nd round money … seems like the Padres still have that in the budget, doncha think?

  18. And the 81st pick is Eric Sogard, who is apparently Dustin Pedroia lite (if that’s possible).

  19. What’s the point of having all these extra picks if you just use them to get all these run of the mill type players? I’m not scout but it looks like there are just a bunch of ok guys and virtually no high potential type of players so far.

  20. again another lefty

  21. 217: We’ve got room for a big-time first rounder in the budget. I think we’re well under 6 million, maybe under 5, for our first 7 picks.

  22. 218: Dustin Pedroia lite is Ramon Vazquez. Wee!

  23. 217: I’m guessing he’s staying home and probably going to the Red Sox next.

    Who’s Eric Sogard of ASU? Dustin Pedroia lite…means he runs faster, right?

  24. Do any of these guys outside Schmidt actually look like guys who might play at PETCO?

  25. the padres have still not drafted a right hannded hitter

  26. 224: If Kulbacki hits, the reports on his defense may get better. Strange how that happens.

    The position players could all play major league ball even in a tough home park like Petco. Sogard’s the one who looks like an organizational soldier to me. But nobody outside of Kulbacki and maybe Cumberland seems to have any impact potential.

  27. DUDE!!! You know what we need? One more f-ing lefty!!!

    Seriously, WTF is up with this draft?

  28. Chalk. Zero home runs with an aluminum bat. Yippee!

    Why do I feel like we just drafted Kennard Jones again?

  29. Comment from Goldstein:
    “It’s Moneyball all over again, only this time for the Padres.
    23. Nick Schmidt – low upside, finesse guy
    40. Kellen Kulbucki – bat is the only tool
    46. Drew Cumberland – the one outlier
    57. Mitch Canham – college catcher, we went over him
    63. Corey Luebke – Command and control guy
    64. Danny Payne – undersized college grinder who gets on base
    81. Eric Sogard – Payne as an infielder”

    The Moneyball draft for the A’s was fine, mainly because they got Swisher. I don’t think there’s a Swisher in there.

    For those touted 8 picks in the first 88 in a class touted for its strong prep arms, we got 0 prep arms. 0 pitchers with decent upside.

  30. 230: I continue to be disgruntled. It’s not that we went college when everyone was going high school because everybody else took the good ones. There were premium talents at several slots that we just glossed over.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if several of those guys sign for below slot.

  31. 230, 231: Yup, zero prep arm and all the talk about the large pool of prep talents, only one got picked by the Padres.

  32. I’d have thought that the Padres would have picked at least one power prep arm with decent control and teach him to throw changeups.

    This is very disappointing. No a high risk high upside guy among them. Not a one.

  33. There is still a tiny bit of hope. Someone could come to their senses in the Padres’ war room and knock everyone else out until they were the only one left standing to make the pick. He’d probably have to hunt down Moores and steal his wallet too. Then he could courageously announce the Padres were drafting Matt Harvey or Kyle Blair or Jack McGeary.

  34. Can someone explain the significance of Boras asking for a Major League contract. Does that just mean that the contract is guaranteed or is there more to it than that?

  35. I read that Jack McGeary already committed to Stanford.

  36. 233: And unfortunately, not a single low-risk high-upside pick either.

    235: A major league contract means the player is on the 40 man roster immediately, gets paid more per-year than the normal minor leaguer, and has an accelerated timetable for appearing in the majors. The upside for the team is you can spread the bonus out.

  37. 236: Most of the HS kids have already committed somewhere. Many of them won’t go.

  38. 236: Everyone commits to a school; otherwise high school kids would have no leverage at all. The team picking them must then buy out that commitment, essentially.

    But you’re right in that McGeary’s commitment is believed to be much stronger than the other top talents.

  39. Well, at least I get to look forward to sweeping the Dodgers tonight.
    Let’s go Jake! Go Padres!

  40. 240.

    The way this day has let me down I have a hard time expecting a sweep tonight even with Jake on the mound. With that said… Man I hope we sweep those bastards!

  41. The feed showed a look into the Padres “war room” a little earlier. It looked like everyone was wearing dress shirts (mostly white) and ties. That surprised me. I pictured more of a slacks, polo-shirt/Hawaiian shirt for everyone. Is this Alderson’s influence?

  42. I’m not as upset as many of you seem to be with the Schmidt pick. While it is playing it a little safe, the draft should not be about taking wild risks just for the sake of taking risks. I do want there to be high upside guys taken in this draft, but I’m hoping that the Padres are taking a Blair or a Harvey in the 10th or 11th in the same way as they did Latos last year.

    Hey, we got a high schooler.

  43. I like this Toledo kid. Man, ooking at the scouting video, he’s just a skinny guy that has hardly hit puberty and he’s tossing it up there at 90+. Wait till this kid fills out, he could really get it moving…

  44. They draft a high schooler, and the mlb scouting report for him still uses the word pitchability.

  45. 245: Seriously, though, look at the video. This kid has a lot of filling out to do and he’s already got a pretty serious fastball and two other pretty good pitches. Just based on nothing more than my own instincts, I like this pick a lot.

  46. Schmidt – Like, not love, the pick
    Kulbacki – Huge man-crush on Kellen, though I wanted him later
    Cumberland – if he can play SS, nice, if not…
    Canham – Not a big fan…
    Leubke – Who? Why? Here?
    Payne – And if we’re lucky he’s….?
    Sogard – Poor man’s Perdoria – hopefully – ok pick…
    Chalk – I don’t know…
    Toledo – Interesting…

  47. 243: They’re not playing it a little safe. So far they’ve played it completely safe. There’s nothing wrong with balancing risk and reward, but this is the deepest draft in years and we’re still passing on potential in favor of predictability.

  48. I’m going to 2nd Peter’s opinion on the Padres picks thus far. It was a bummer to see Matt Harvey go the pick after ours…
    Pitchability isn’t a bad thing–the guy is still a high schooler throwing 93…

  49. 248 agreed