Learning to Drive

Hard to offer meaningful commentary on a game that wasn’t televised. I assume from the 10 runs and five homers that the offense performed well. Either that or Micah Owings pitched like… well, you get the idea.

Padres at Ballhype

As you know, I’ve been doing some work with Ballhype of late. Just wanted to give everyone the heads-up on something that I should have pimped a long time ago: a group for Padres fans. This is one more way to connect with folks who dig the Friars as much as we do. Give it a spin if you’re so inclined…

It seems weird that a guy with 10 home runs this late in the season could have three multiple-homer games, but that’s Brian Giles for you. And congrats to Adrian Gonzalez for establishing a new career high with 25 homers.

Gonzalez had a tough stretch earlier in the year after he fouled a ball off his foot, but otherwise he’s been just as good in his second season as he was in his first. Actually, he’s been better in ’07. Forget batting average, and focus on these:

Adrian Gonzalez’ Development as a Hitter
Year PA P/PA BB/PA ISO XB/H G/F
Statistics are courtesy of ESPN and are through games of September 3, 2007.
2006 631 3.90 .083 .196 .364 1.42
2007 601 3.79 .092 .219 .432 0.92

Most of this is pretty straightforward. Gonzalez is drawing more walks this year and hitting the ball with greater authority.

One number I find fascinating is the P/PA. Gonzalez is seeing fewer pitches per plate appearance and yet his on-base skills have improved. This seems like the patiently aggressive philosophy in action: Let ‘er rip or let it go.

The other number that stands out to me is Gonzalez’ groundball-to-flyball ratio. First off, how does a guy with his “speed” break a .300 batting average while hitting a ton of grounders? Second, the fact that Gonzalez is hitting so many more balls in the air this year reinforces what the increased ISO already suggests: he is still learning to drive the ball.

Kinda scary when you think about it…

Padres Prospect Report

by Peter Friberg

You will not see much more minor league baseball. The San Antonio Missions and Lake Elsinore Storm are each head to the playoffs. And I’m not entirely certain what’s going on with the Eugene Emeralds…

[Ed note: The Emeralds have games at home Tuesday and Wednesday night. They are 21 games out of first place, so the post-season appears to be out of the question. ;-) ]

Friday, August 31, 2007

AAA

Fresno 10, Portland 9

Yordany Ramirez: 3 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; 3 BB
Clay Hensley: 5.0 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR
Jared Wells: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR

AA

San Antonio 5, Midland 4

Chase Headley: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 RBI; HR
Nick Hundley: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; BB
Mike Ekstrom: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR

High-A

Postponed…

Low-A

South Bend 4, Fort Wayne 3

Aaron Breit: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR – thank you

Short Season-A

Salem-Keizer 14, Eugene 5

Luis Durango: 4 AB, 0 R, 3 H, 0 RBI; BB, 2 CS – NWL BA leader (.371)
Kellen Kulbacki: 4 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; 2B

Rookie

Season complete.

Commentary:

I’m encouraged to see Yordany Ramirez post better numbers after being promoted (skipping a level no less): .269/.298/.385 in High-A and .315/.353/.433 in Triple-A.

[Ed note: Beware of small samples; Ramirez still isn't much of a hitter.]

Likewise after struggling for most of the season, Aaron Breit allowed 1 earned run in his last two starts (10.2 IP). Breit has a nice arm and everyone liked him coming into this season. If he resumes his 2006 level of dominance (3.08 ERA) in 2008 he’ll reinsert himself into the Padres long-term plans.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

AAA

Fresno 4, Portland 1

Will Startup: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR

AA

San Antonio 5, Corpus Christi 1

Nick Hundley: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; 2B, SO
Wade LeBlanc: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR

High-A

Lake Elsinore 12, Inland Empire 1

David Freese: 3 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; BB, SB
Kyle Blanks: 4 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI
Mike Baxter: 4 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 3 RBI; HR, BB, SO
Corey Luebke: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR

Low-A

Game 1: Great Lakes 6, Fort Wayne 4

No significant performances…

Game 2: Fort Wayne 11, Great Lakes 2

Eric Sogard: 4 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 3 RBI; 2B, SF

Short Season-A

Eugene 4, Salem-Keizer 2

Drew Cumberland: 4 AB, 0 R, 1 H, 0 RBI; BB – Eugene debut
Kellen Kulbacki: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 1 RBI; 2B, SO

Commentary:

If you aren’t paying attention to Eric Sogard, you aren’t paying attention.

Sogard’s college stats (ASU):

.400/.488/.612 with 12 2B, 4 3B, and 11 HR, 39 BB, 24 SO

Sogard’s minor league numbers:

.255/.336/.365 with 11 2B, 0 3B, and 4 HR, 24 BB, 31 SO

Don’t be surprised when his numbers take a positive jump in ’08 — and no, this isn’t because Keith Law likes Sogard — I’ve been including Sogard in these reports for weeks — it’s because he’s good.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

AAA

Fresno 7, Portland 6

Cedric Hunter: 0 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 1 RBI; BB – AAA debut: bases-loaded walk
Jared Wells: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR – 3.00 ERA as reliever

AA

Corpus Christi 5, San Antonio 2

Chad Huffman: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 0 RBI; SO
Will Inman: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO, 1 HR

High-A

Inland Empire 10, Lake Elsinore 1

David Freese: 3 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI; 2 SO

Low-A

Fort Wayne 8, Great Lakes 3

Eric Sogard: 5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 3 RBI; HR, SO

Short Season-A

Salem-Keizer 14, Eugene 5

No significant performances…

Commentary:

The more I see of Will Inman’s stats, the more I think he probably should/will be back in Double-A San Antonio for at least the beginning of ’08. He’s easily one the top pitchers in the system, but he isn’t dominating Double-A the way he has dominated every other level.

Inman’s San Antonio statistics:

3-3 with a 4.17 ERA in 41.0 IP with 33 H, 6 HR, 19 BB, 40 SO, and a .224 BAA

Inman’s composite Double-A statistics:

4-8 with a 4.80 ERA in 80.2 IP with 71 H, 13 HR, 35 BB, 82 SO, and a .241 BAA

[Ed note: The main issue with Inman right now appears to be his control. There aren't enough data points to make any firm conclusions, but this wasn't a concern with Inman in '05 or '06, so hopefully it's just part of the learning curve.]

Monday, September 3, 2007

AAA

Final regular season game…

Portland 3, Fresno 2

Cedric Hunter: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; HR, SO

AA

Final regular season game – playoffs begin Wednesday @ Frisco

San Antonio 6, Corpus Christi 4

Matt Antonelli: 3 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 2 RBI; BB, SF
Chase Headley: 5 AB, 0 R, 4 H, 1 RBI; 2B

High-A

Final regular season game – playoffs begin Wednesday @ Inland Empire

Lake Elsinore 7, Inland Empire 2

David Freese: 4 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 2 RBI
Kyle Blanks: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 RBI; HR
Jose Lobaton: 3 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI
Ernesto Frieri: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR

Low-A

Final regular season game…

Fort Wayne 6, Great Lakes 2

No significant performances…

Short Season-A

Eugene 12, Salem-Keizer 7

Drew Cumberland: 4 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 0 RBI, BB
Yefri Carvajal: 5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI; SO
Mat Latos: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR – only 1 HR all season

Commentary:

Happy Labor Day! System Sweep!

Thanks, Peter. Game 2 of the showdown in Arizona starts at 6:40 p.m. PT. We’ll have the IGD up and running about an hour before then. With luck, the first-half version of Chris Young will show up and lead the Padres to victory…