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. 1. I don’t care what Keith Law says, I’ve watched Schmidt pitch and I am happy with the selection. Sure, I would have rather had Porcello, but this guy is a bargain at #23. A proven college lefty with a good (not great) fastball and good secondary pitches. My only concern is how much work he has already had.

    2. Like the Kulbacki pick after talking to some friends in the industry. I am also a big fan of Eric Sogard.

    3. For the life of me, I don’t understand how they can pass on Matt Harvey for Brad Chalke and Corey Luebke. I love Chalke as a college player, but the guy is a poor man’s Brett Butler at the college level.

    4. After we took a chance on Latos, I was hoping the organizational commitment would have been there.