Tweaking the Padres Draft Process

I don’t have much to say about Wednesday night’s loss, so maybe instead we can continue our earlier discussion on the 2007 draft. Among other things, we now know that third-rounder Tommy Toledo and 10th-rounder Christian Colon didn’t sign.

Rich at Baseball Analysts has a full breakdown of the first round, including bonuses. One thing we learn is that, despite MLB’s efforts to artificially regulate the market (some might call it “collusion”), the average first-round bonus increased by about 8 1/2%. Obviously, that’s not the effect MLB had hoped for, but c’est la vie. The question of what can be done to improve the draft process is a fascinating one, but it’s so broad that it probably deserves its own blog.

I’d like to focus instead on what the Padres can do to improve their own process. Assuming that the mechanics of the draft itself aren’t going to change, what specific, actionable items can the Padres take to gain a further competitive advantage in the drafting of amateur talent? Again, the key phrase here is “actionable items” — don’t hit me with “spend more money”; that’s a copout and we all deserve better.

What I’m looking for are problems and solutions. For example, a problem might be that the current draft philosophy is too conservative, too risk-averse. A solution to that particular problem might be to give stronger consideration to high-school pitchers (a historically poor risk as a group, but one that has yielded some nice individual returns) in the early rounds.

So, acknowledging that the Padres have come a long way in the past few years, what are some next steps they might take to improve even further? I’m listening…

Padres Prospect Report

by LynchMob

With Peter gone, you get a bit more liberal definition of “prospect,” i.e., guys I’ve heard of and/or root for :) — and I take requests.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Sacramento 8, Portland 4

Brian Myrow: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 3 SO
Paul McAnulty: 4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; BB 2 SO


No game.


Lake Elsinore 5, Rancho Cucamonga 1

David Freese: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B, SO
Chad Cooper: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; 2B, SO
Steve Garrison: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO (2-1, 1.24)


Quad Cities 7, Fort Wayne 6

Cedric Hunter: 5 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; 2B, SO, CS

Short Season-A

Eugene 11, Vancouver 8

Luis Durango: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 RBI
Mitch Canham: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 3 RBI; 2B, BB


Mariners 14, Padres 4

Drew Cumberland: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI
Edinson Rincon: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; BB


Edinson Rincon just turned 17 and these were his first hits for the AZL Padres (.083/.185/.083 in 24 ABs, born on 8/11/90).

Here’s some (very) low quality video of Yefri Carvajal from Sunday’s Eugene Emeralds game… his first three at-bats were underwhelming, then he got a hit in his final at-bat…

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Portland 5, Sacramento 2

Craig Stansberry: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; BB, HR (#11)
Mike Thompson: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
Will Startup: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO


San Antonio 6, Springfield 4

Matt Antonelli: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B, SB
Chase Headley: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI
Nick Hundley: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; 2B, HR, SO
Cesar Ramos: 5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 SO (11-8, 3.59)


Rancho Cucamonga 10, Lake Elsinore 3

Craig Cooper: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 2B


No game.

Short Season-A

Vancouver 11, Eugene 2

Mitch Canham: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; SO
Yefri Carvajal: 4 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI ; 2 SO (played OF)


Athletics 12, Padres 2

Drew Cumberland: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; BB, SO
Edinson Rincon: 3 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI – 2 game streak :)


There was some debate in recent comments about Will Startup… he’s been used in relief at AAA all season…

Cooper Brannan, former Marine, took the loss in the AZL Padre game … he’s now 1-3, 8.41 …

Thanks, LynchMob, for once more delivering the goods! The Padres seek a series win Thursday night against Colorado. First pitch is 7:05 p.m., PT; we’ll have the IGD up and running an hour before then. Go Padres!

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57 Responses »

  1. 48: I can think of many things that piss veterans off more than signing bonuses. The big one would be an owner telling him he can only make 5 million a year because there’s a salary cap.

    A “huge” draft budget is 10 million dollars, and only a couple of teams even come close. Teams have plenty of money. Teams have no problem paying their average draft budget to a replacement-level player every year. Not multiple replacement-level players, a single one. They’re not losing major league talent because they’re paying too much to amateurs. Teams still find ways to pay Jason Marquis, Royce Clayton, and David Wells.

    The player’s union has no problem with teams doing anything they want to keep bonuses down, as long as its not codified in an agreement. If the owners had not fought for draft pick compensation for free agents in the first place, the union would have no say in the matter.

  2. 48, 49: Many of those veterans got big-money deals themselves. Nevin got 700,000 fifteen years ago and he hadn’t shown he could hit with wood yet. That was 15 years ago, before baseball revenues had jumped so much. Grizzled veteran Darrin Erstad got 1.5 million when he was a fresh-faced collegian. Is he going to give some of that back in protest?

    As I said in 51, the player’s union has a say in it because the owners tied free agency to draft picks. Yet another example of the owners trying to regulate themselves into doing business one way, only to see it blow up in their faces.

    It’s not just that a union doesn’t want to negotiate on behalf of people who aren’t members. They can’t. A lawyer can’t grab me on the street and force representation on me. You don’t even have to belong to the union to play in the majors (Damien Miller).

    I’ll ammend my statement about “never.” The union might agree to a hard draft cap if there was also an agreement to never ever ever even talk about a major league salary cap. Or if the cap was set at 60+ percent of revenue, with revenue determined by reputable independent auditors. But probably not then, either.

  3. An aside here, though somewhat related, I think that a good baseball judge (GM/Scout) should always keep a good balance between stats or “radar gun speed” versus instinct. Read this J.McKeon excerpt :

    One of his strongest beliefs is that a young pitcher must pitch extended innings to build up a strong arm. He (McKeon) does not like the way many of today’s pitchers are “babied” by management. He believes in a different kind of Moneyball.

    “Moneyball is basically computer stats,” Jack says. “I think my style is more observation and going with your gut.

    “I never learned my baseball out of a book. I learned it by doing it and watching the best in the game do it. I go all the way back to Branch Rickey.”

  4. It’s bizarre to me the way old scouts like Trader Jack assume that the stat guys are here to put the scouts out of business, as if any GM wants to just throw traditional scouting away. I guess it makes sense; no one wants to feel obsolete.

  5. Also, one thing I like about not living in San Diego is never hearing Phil Nevin on my radio.

  6. Anyone heading out to see the Pads tonight? I am trying to get photos (camera phone or digital cam.) of every MLB ballpark on my blog by the end of the season, don’t have Petco yet. If you are interested in having a photo you take posted on my blog just take one at the game and email it to me.

  7. Brady Clark in the fold, signed to a minor league deal.