Friday Links (8 Jun 07)

What the heck was that? Between the draft and Thursday night’s comeback (recap | boxscore), I hardly know where to start.

Lots o’ links today. Disclaimer: I hate to do this, but with the general craziness of the past few days, I haven’t read all of these in their entirety yet, ergo the lack of commentary. Okay, let’s get busy…



Incidentally, this and the game in Pittsburgh now make up for the two losses in Atlanta so we can stop griping about those…




Deep breath. Ready for more information overload? Great, here comes the PPR:

Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see the notable performances from the players who were just drafted. You’ll have to actually wait until they start playing professionally.


No notable performances


Will Venable: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI
Cesar Ramos: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 2 HR
Jonathan Ellis: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR


David Freese: 5 AB, 4 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; 3B, BB
Kyle Blanks: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 5 RBI; 2B
Nic Crosta: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 4 RBI; HR, BB
Manny Ayala: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR


Cedric Hunter: 5 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI; 2B
Rayner Contreras: 5 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; 2 SO
Aaron Breit: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO, 0 HR


That was a good outing for Breit?

Draft Wrapup

I’m watching the bottom of the ninth while I’m writing my Day 1 wrapup. And I can’t help but wonder if this comeback is a fitting analogy for the Padres’ “boring” day first day.


  1. After first review, a bunch of the day one draftees don’t look like they’ll be much help to the big-league club. And… down by four heading into the bottom of the ninth the Padres’ meager offense left a lot to be desired.
  2. As the ninth developed, you could feel the Padres coming on. With the bases loaded it seemed certain the Padres would win; we just didn’t know how. And… after re-reviewing the Padres selections, they look a lot more playable than they did at first blush.

Baseball America may not give us much love, but this is a solid draft so far.

On to the analysis!

Pick 1 (1st round, 23 overall) Nick Schmidt, LHP, Arkansas

Schmidt is a classic Grady Fuson pitchability-guy. However, unlike pitchability-LHP in the last two drafts (Cesar Ramos and Wade Leblanc), Schmidt does not have a back-of-the-rotation ceiling (Schmidt profiles as a third starter). After a solid sophomore campaign, Team USA stint, Schmidt’s junior year and SEC playoff performances had some experts suggesting Schmidt could go as high as 11.

11-3 with 2.69 ERA in 124.0 IP, 84 H, 42 R, 37 ER, 51 BB, 111 SO, 9 HR

Pick 2 (Compensatory A, 40 overall) Kellen Kulbacki, OF, James Madison

In early 2006, I began looking around for potential draft picks. I stumbled upon Kellen. He was in the midst of a 1.400+ OPS season. I was shocked to find out this hitter extraordinaire was a sophomore. Physically he’s a less-athletic version of Brian Giles. Kellen probably won’t ever earn a gold glove; his defense has been described as “average” to “well below average.” Kellen’s bat, however, will play.

.398/.538/.785 with 15 2B, 1 3B, 19 HR and a 56/29 BB/SO ratio

Pick 3 (Comp. A, 46 overall) Drew Cumberland, SS, Pace H.S.

A pure “70″ runner, Cumberland is compared by Baseball America to the Orioles’ Brian Roberts. Some reports question his arm-strength (and therein his ability to stay at SS), but those questions are not universal.

.505 BA with 10 2B, 1 3B, and 3 HR

Pick 4 (Comp. A, 57 overall) Mitch Canham, C, Oregon St.

Canham was part of the ’06 National Champion Oregon St. Beavers (and his team is still alive in the ’07 playoffs). His ability to stay behind the plate is widely questioned but his bat is just as widely praised.

.323/.454/.535 with 13 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, and a 37/36 BB/SO ratio

Pick 5 (Comp. A, 63 overall) Cory Luebke, LHP, Ohio St.

Another collegiate lefty, Luebke does not have Schmidt’s acumen, but he does impressive statistics. His 1.95 ERA in the regular season was almost a full run lower than the next closest Big 10 starter. Luebke was a bit of a reach here, but at worst he’s a valuable organizational soldier (more on that later). Luebke’s high unearned rate worries me, but his low hit-rate and low HR total are encouraging.

9-1 with 2.07 ERA in 117.2 IP, 93 H, 45 R, 27 ER, 28 BB, 97 SO, 5 HR

Pick 6 (Comp. A, 64 overall) Daniel Payne, OF, Georgia Tech

Payne is a grinder who gets the most out of his abilities — sort of a David Eckstein in center field. He does have above-average speed and went 20 for 26 in stolen base attempts while generally making a pest of himself in the batters’ box. In an organization that lacks a “sure thing” in center field, Payne is an understandable selection.

.370/.509/.543 with 20 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, and a 62/41 BB/SO ratio

Pick 7 (2nd round, 81 overall) Eric Sogard, 2B, Arizona St.

Another grinder (like Payne), Sogard has a little power. His tools don’t excite, but he does get the most of them. Fittingly for an ASU player, Sogard reminds me of Boston’s Dustin Pedroia (albeit a poor man’s version). Like virtually every Padre hitting draftee, Sogard has solid on-base skills.

.390/.485/.610 with 12 2B, 4 3B, 10 HR and a 38/23 BB/SO ratio

…more later…

Thanks, Peter. I think a lot of us were expecting more at the front end (hello, Rick Porcello), but I also think a lot of us don’t have the knowledge that Fuson has demonstrated in Texas and especially Oakland. Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed, but the Padres are doing a lot right these days, so I’ll defer judgment until later. I love the Kulbacki pick (yes, you’ve sold me on him), and Canham and Payne intrigue me as well.

The Mariners are in town for the weekend. Friday night’s game starts at 7:05 p.m. PT (you were expecting something else)? IGD yadda yadda yadda…

Finally, a few tickets are still available for Saturday’s doubleheader at Petco. Drop me a line by 11 a.m. PT on Saturday if interested; we’d love to see you there. Go Padres!

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51 Responses »

  1. Today is why baseball is tough for fans and good for players when things are going well. As fans, we’d love to have the NFL-style full week to bask in the glory and attention paid to the now league-leading Pads. For the players, strapping on the spikes and getting it on again today is much better than sitting around for a week getting a big head.

    Of course, opposite is true when things are going poorly – as a fan we’re glad to have another game to look forward to tomorrow and the players maybe need some time to regroup.

    Fantastic comeback last night, very opportunistic. Now the hated Mariners! Dodgers were just a warmup to the REAL rivals, like MLB tells us.

  2. Draft challenge: Reaction on this blog seemed to be unfavorable. To all those disappointed, post your substitute draft selections in this comments section. For purposes of your substitute draft, if you replace a picked player with your choice, assume the picked player will not be available when you pick again.

    I know it could take several years to see if you are a better drafter than the Padres, but it would help to inform those of us who are not draft savvy as to who were better choices.

  3. Hey GY, I’m heading to my first game at the Diamond tonite. Is there anything in particular I should check out while I’m at LE?

    Great, fantastic, unbelievable, indescribable victory last nite. I can’t believe the rolller coaster ride of emotions that game visited upon me. I’m not sure if I scared my animals (and my fiancé) more when Jake got squeezed vs. Betemit or when Branyan walked in the game winner.

    I can’t wait to meet all of you that show up tomorrow. GY, since our tix are technically for the nite game, have you determined where the Ducksnorts crew will sit for the LE day game?

  4. Before I show you what I posted yesterday, let me remind you that I would not have picked Headley where the Padres picked him (and thus may have lost him), and I also would have passed on Leblanc, Huffman, & Hunter. The Padres’ brass deserves a suspension in judgement on our part.

    I posted this yesterday:

    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…

  5. Geoff, your poll today should be who turned off the game (headed to the car) when Kent made it 5-1.

  6. What if we just play the ” what if we took the guyselected immediately after we we picked game?”

    If we’d done that we would have ended up with the folowing players:
    Michael Main, HS RHP
    Sean Doolittle, College 1B/LHP
    Jonathon Bachanov-a HS rhp that Peter liked
    Samuel Runion HS RHP
    Jordan Zimmerman, RHP
    Eric Eiland toolsy HS CF
    Arkansas #2 starter–he sounds fringy
    and Matt Harvey-acclaimed HS RHP

    It woudl hve been a young and risky draft, but I’m not sure that I don’t like it better than ours…

  7. At least we just took a HS catcher-there’s no way anything could go wrong with that :)

  8. when fuson said that they may take some shots today, he must have been referring to guys with high potential that have slipped late a la Latos. (Esp. seeing that our draft doesn’t seem too expensive yet…) Does anyone know who the guys are this year who have slipped tue to signability concerns?

  9. #2: I’m not as well versed as others, but my main disappointment comes in passing on Porcello at 23. I’m not ecstatic about Cumberland but I haven’t looked at who all was available there.

    #3: Not that I can think of; we usually just hit the ballpark and the gas station. Sometimes stop at In ‘N’ Out or Pechanga on the way home. As for Saturday, I’d like to sit behind the plate if possible, but with GA, it’s hard to know what will be available. I’ll shoot you an email.

  10. Some folks at Dodger Thoughts have different, uh, thoughts about that pitch to Branyan. Huh.

  11. Forgive me if I’m asking a question that’s already been hashed out — When Giles comes back, who goes: Sledge, Bocachica, the twelth pitcher or someone I haven’t considered?

    That is, if Giles is on the DL. Is he?

  12. Re: 11 based on past history as much as I hate it, I would Imagine P-Mac

  13. I keep thinking back to this draft and I really like it. Okay, not much of the raw, sexy upside that can give us a quick goose as we think about ourselves 5 years out, but I think we picked up some quality guys. Take for instance our first pick Schmidt. I just watched the #4 pick overall (Matt Moskos) pitch for Clemson and seemingly in every way he’s behind our boy. Velocity – lower today. ERA – higher. Opponents Avg – Higher. Record – Way worse. WHIP – Higher. I dunno, seems like our boy was a lot better pick. Futher, just to be redundant from yesterday, I really like what I saw from that Toledo kid on the scouting video. 90+ mph with a very, very lanky frame. I don’t care what BA says, this kid is bound to fill out. Anywho, I also really like the speedy shortstop and the OPS-freak from JMU. Overall, I’m pretty stoked about the draft thus far. Not as stoked as I usually am after Charger’s drafts, but hey, not everyone is AJ Smith and Buddy Nix..