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. 246: Yeah, I actually really like “pitchability” applied to high school pitchers, especially when part of the scouting report also mentions athleticism and a good arm. I would think it makes them less likely to bust.

    He is 6’3″ and only 175, which bodes well for him filling out and gaining velocity.

  2. When I used the phrase “a little safe” I should have been more specific. I was referring to the Padres first 3 picks. While Kulbacki might have been a little overdrafted, Schmidt was actually a value and Cumberland seems like a guy who’s got some upside.
    The rest of the supplemental was super frustrating.

  3. Toledo is really quite interesting, but I know virtually nothing about any of the players in this year’s draft.

  4. …on the clock…

  5. 251: BA’s report says that Toledo’s not likely to fill out much.

    I don’t outright dislike this draft, but Toledo is the first pitcher that excites me. We passed on SO MANY big arms. I’m sure the Padres will throw a Wade LeBlanc comp on the two college lefties, but I’ll throw the Cesar Ramos comp back at them. And LeBlanc is doing exactly what a polished college pitcher should do in A ball. I won’t call that pick a success until he does something in AA.

  6. The Ramos comp works for Luebke (no strikeouts) but Schmidt does comp to Leblanc – they both strike out a guy/inning in college…

    #134 – Corey Kluber – yawn…

  7. 255: Schmidt’s numbers in college are quite a bit better than Ramos’, and Schmidt has played in a better conference.

  8. 248: Good point.
    Interestingly, no Matt Harvey. But then, everybody else was passing on him too. Weird. I thought he was in the top 10 pitcher list in the draft.

  9. Who scouted Kluber for us? Kevin Nicholson? LOL

  10. There’s not even video of Kluber…good grief. Peter, do you know anything about him?

  11. 256, 257: I don’t believe that much in college stats. The kids throw once a week to wildly different competition levels. We drafted another LHP with fringe stuff and very little room for growth. Hey, we drafted 2 of them.

  12. I just noticed that Horton went 90. We really thought Sogard and Chalk were better picks?

  13. My draft so far:

    23 – Porcello if I think I can afford him/Schmidt if not
    40 – Kulbacki – I’ll stay w/ the pick because I wanted him and because Noonan and d’Arnaud are gone
    46 – Kyle Blair RHP, Los Gatos H.S.
    57 – Jordan Zimmerman RHP, Wisconsis Stevens Point
    63 – Grant Desme, OF, Cal-Poly
    64 – Zachary Cozart, SS, U Mississippi
    81 – Travis Mattair, 3B, Southridge H.S.
    87 – Nevin Griffith, RHP, Middleton H.S.
    117 – Sam Demel, RHP, TCU

    Beyond that, I’m grasping at straws…

  14. a BUNCH of guys I liked up and down BA’s top 200 went in the 30-50 range…

  15. 259 … Leucadia Chris? Hey, it’s been a while! Good to see ya!

  16. Surely we could have drafted Nevin Griffith at 87 for his name alone. Plus Sickels had a lot of nice things to say about him.

  17. 266: I just realized that perhaps some the name Nevin would bring back bad memories for the fans. I guess that’s why we couldn’t draft him for the name alone.

  18. 263: argh. The Padres passed on Nevin Griffith, too.

  19. I guess Lance Zawadzki fulfills our need for a cool name. I’d have preferred Nevin Griffith though.

  20. #117: Yep, Latos was our best pick. At this point, I have to remind myself that Fuson has a terrific track record and hope that he sees something that isn’t readily apparent in these guys.

    That’s about as positive as I can be right now…

  21. Thanks Lynch Mob. Great to be here.

  22. GY … not to be pushy … and I know you’ve had a BUSY day (THANKS!) … but it’s time to put this draft behind and get on with IGD … it’s Jake@Petco-time … bring it on!

  23. I have to get my word in before I go to the game, but I think I have to side with Tom Waits on this one. I am disappointed by today’s draft picks overall. While I do not totally agree with Tom that this draft was deep, I do agree that the Padres have played it completely safe. Despite all the extra picks, the supposed 10 million (And I would be surprised if they spend 60% of that on these picks), it appears that the team will not take any risks whatsoever. You would think that they would feel comfortable taking a few chances with some of the extra supplemental picks, but instead they used them to fill up the minors with pitchability types and “real baseball players” who play “above their skills.” Where’s the upside?

    I like some of their picks, but why wouldn’t they take a chance on Main, or Portello? I am really only excited about Kulbacki, Canham, and Toledo. In a draft deep in high school pitchers, we take 10 college players out of our 12 total picks.

    I feel duped, especially since they selling Latos as part of this year’s haul. That Dominican academy better be a boondoggle, otherwise they are wasting their money. Why can’t we take some chances like Arizona? *sigh*

  24. I know very little about the draft, but it would have been really nice if the experts on this board had made their own selections in lieu of the Padres, right after the Padres popped theirs. If you have done so, my apologies, I didn’t read through all 275 posts – too much carping. Then please line up your picks. If you didn’t, your carping is largely worthless unless you promptly go back and make your alternative selections. Then, several years down the line, we can see who had the better of it – anonymous draft board commentor A or Fuson/Gayton. :)