Hit or Be Hit

I had some computer issues this morning, and I’m still wading through draft material, so I’ll save my thoughts on how the Padres did until Saturday or Monday — then we’ll have the entire draft to look at anyway. Based on the information at my disposal (which obviously is much, much less detailed than what the Padres have), I’ve upgraded my initial assessment of the Allan Dykstra pick (“Man, that stinks” were my exact words) to “Not what I would have done, but I’m beginning to understand the thought process behind it.”

John Sickels had the Padres taking Dykstra at #42. I’d targeted Dykstra at #42 or #46 in the mock draft I participated in, but the Diamondbacks (administered by R.J. Anderson of Beyond the Boxscore) nabbed him at #26. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if the Padres felt like Dykstra was their guy and he wouldn’t be available with their next pick (a reasonable assumption), then I can see the case for taking him at #23. I’m not defending the move — I would have preferred Zach Collier — just trying to understand the reasoning behind it.

Again, I’ll have more thoughts on all this in the coming days. Meanwhile, I highly recommend perusing Paul DePodesta’s blog for more information on the drafted players as viewed through the organization’s eyes.

* * *
Turning to Thursday night’s game, was that the most aggravating way to win or what? The Padres had runners in scoring position in each of the final eight innings of the game and only managed to plate two of them. Heck, they only won because Scott Schoeneweis forgot how to throw strikes.

In case you missed it, here’s the final, exhilarating sequence:

S Hairston walked.
B Giles walked, S Hairston to second.
A Gonzalez grounded out to pitcher, S Hairston to third, B Giles to second.
K Kouzmanoff intentionally walked.
P McAnulty hit by pitch, S Hairston scored, B Giles to third, K Kouzmanoff to second.

If that isn’t going to convince folks that baseball is exciting, by golly, then I don’t know what will.

On a more serious note, wins all count the same, so we’ll take what we get. And we’ll be grateful that we’re not Mets fans right now. As irritating as it was for us to watch that game, at least it had a happy ending. If I were a Mets fan, I’m not sure my television would be operational at this point.

A few quick notes on the contest:

  • Josh Banks looked great. That fluttering change-up thing he throws is beautiful. He made Carlos Delgado look ridiculous in the second and did the same to Ryan Church in the fourth.
  • Speaking of ridiculous, Banks throws eight different pitches? Yowza. I enjoyed Bob Scanlan’s post-game demonstration of how Luke Carlin flashed signs (please, don’t show us the middle finger).
  • Tadahito Iguchi had some terrific at-bats, spraying the ball all over the place before separating his right shoulder while unsuccessfully trying to avoid a ball off the bat of Kevin Kouzmanoff. Iguchi is expected to miss four weeks, with Craig Stansberry being the most likely candidate to replace him on the roster.
  • Brian Giles drew four more walks. He’s walked in 16.5% of his plate appearances this year, as compared to 11.6% last year. His overall offense is at or above 2004 levels. With a healthy knee, Giles has become a force again at age 37.
  • Carlin absolutely crushed that ball in the fourth. He hit it off the padding at the top of the wall in deepest right-center and just beat the throw to third. That’s a homer in almost every other ballpark. Carlin’s track record suggests he’s not a big-league hitter, but I like what I’ve seen of him and think he could have a career as a backup catcher, which is more than the vast majority of us can say about ourselves.
  • It’s really good to see Justin Hampson back in action.
  • Trevor Hoffman, who as we all “know” doesn’t pitch well in non-save situations, picked up the victory with a perfect ninth.
  • Scott Hairston‘s plate appearance to start the ninth was brilliant. He fell behind in the count, 0-2, but came back to draw the leadoff walk and eventually score the winning run.

The division remains up for grabs. The Padres, believe it or not, have the best record in the NL West over the past month. Granted, that record is 13-16, but the point is, nobody’s really doing much. Might as well be us, right?

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131 Responses »

  1. #1215: Colin Lynch, RFP from St. Johns U.

    This is it for me guys. Gotta head out to Adelanto to get ready for tonite’s game. I’ll try to pay attention to some of our High-A guys tonite.

  2. #94@Didi: I’ll give you a hint. It rhymes with Honey. If they really honestly thought Schmidt was more talented, they apparently were the same scouting team that came away from Verlander unimpressed. That would be discouraging. I’m not dogging the Padres for passing on Porcello, but saying they had him ranked below Schmidt on talent is a snow job.

    #91@Paul R: Porcello’s a 19 year old in high A. Many teams would have held him in extended spring training until the short-season leagues started; those that didn’t would have put him in low A. The comment on his velocity is interesting, but he has the frame to add more. And he still has 95 in reserve.

    #97@BigWorm: The Padres themselves have described the 2004 draft as disastrous. The first overall pick turning into a reliever (maybe) is pretty bad. The 2003 draft, overall, may have been worse. Bad luck with Stauffer and bad picks from then on. The saving graces are that Leo Rosales turned into Scott Hairston and Dick Hayhurst is a solid writer who should get a major league callup this year.

  3. #81@Phantom: re: Dan Robertson, CF from Oregon State University … Never heard of him … and while I’ve not followed the Beavers as closely this year as the past 3 years, I have listened to several games on the radio and read game stories in the paper periodically … here’s the local angle …


    Daniel Robertson proved his one season with the Beavers was productive as the outfielder was taken in the 33rd round (1,005th overall) by San Diego in the 2008 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.

    “I’m very excited,” Robertson said. “Right after I got picked, Mitch (Canham) actually called and said, ‘Welcome to the organization.’ San Diego is close to home and I’m really excited to get drafted by the Padres.”

    Robertson, a La Puente, Calif., native, transferred to Oregon State prior to the 2008 season from Concordia. In his one and only season with OSU, Robertson batted .327, hit 12 doubles, one triple and two home runs and drove in 27 RBI. He made four assists in the outfield and was involved in three double plays.

  4. #97@BigWorm: It was the worst draft maybe ever because not only did they blow the first overall pick (which almost always hits) but they got absolutely nothing else from the draft. Their 3rd round pick at least was involved in the A-Gon/CY trade so you could say he was instrumental in making that trade (although I’m sure he wasn’t the make or break player). The only other player that has a chance to contribute was their 42nd round pick of Kyle Blanks who was a draft and follow and wasn’t even signed until the following season.

    I hope they are right on Dykstra but with their past history you have to be skeptical. Again, if he busts but the some of the later picks turn out well it’s still a missed opportunity — another one in a long line that has really hurt the franchise.

  5. #102@Tom Waits: re: Dick …

    GY … that’s a bit agressive on the word-filter, no?

    TW … Hayhurst’s first name is Dirk … which I trust will not get asterisk’d ;-)

    He’s got a new diary up today …


  6. #102@Tom Waits: Without a doubt 2004 was a disaster. But “worst draft ever”? Like I said, how would you even quantify that? Especially since that draft was only 4 years ago, giving a couple of those guys a little more time to possibly develop into something other than a pile of torn ligaments.

    Honestly, I always thought the Padres 1999 draft was worse than 2004 just because of the sheer volume of picks we had in ’99 (although if I remember correctly Baxter was looking good before his tragic crash). I guess time will tell – if Blanks or Bush doesn’t turn into something I may change my mind.

  7. #105@LynchMob: Yeah, if you misspell his name (which I do consistently), it’s a nice light workout for the filter.

  8. #106@BigWorm: There was one pitcher we got in ’99 that turned out to be pretty decent. ;-)

  9. #106@BigWorm: The judgment will be largely on that 1st pick. There’s just so much value lost if Bush doesn’t pan out.

    If we look at the history of first overall picks (which I’ll include in my next post since GY’s filter always eats mine), very few of them ended up with zero major league value. We can’t say Bush will be at zero for his career, but things don’t look good.

    If Bush never makes it, his nearest comps would be:

    Brien Taylor, NYY 1991 (although he was a terrific pick on talent). The Yankees got almost nothing from the rest of that draft; Lyle Mouton is about it.

    Al Chambers, SEA 1979 (180 at-bats, but the Mariners got Bud Black and other good-to-useful players in that draft)

    Steve Chilcott, NYM 1966 (no major league contributions, but a few Met picks did have ML careers, including Kurt Bevacqua)

    That 2004 Padres draft does look like it has the legs to run in the Worst Draft Ever race.

  10. Different topic, but feel free to go on with the draft stuff, but anything in print about the inconsistent calls between the caught ball into the dugout last night vs. the time it happened with Bard against LA?

  11. Here’s a link to a list of first overall picks. You can also access the entire draft history for any year and team.


  12. #109@Tom Waits: The famous Steve Chilcott over Reggie Jackson pick.

  13. GY, post eaten with a link to baseball reference dot com slash draft.

    #108@Geoff Young: One player can save a draft. From 1999, Mike Thompson had a wee bit of value, but should have been traded after 2006. Still, those supplemental picks were like throwing money in a fireplace.

    Blanks may save 2004. Heck, Bush or Hayhurst may save it.

  14. #109@Tom Waits: Correction: Bevacqua was drafted by the Mets in 66 but didn’t sign. He signed with Cincy the next year.

    #111@parlo: Yeah, unfortunately the Bush pick could possibly be similarly infamous in the not-too-distant future.

  15. #108@Geoff Young: Oh, he’s not that good. . .it’s all Petco.

    I forgot Peavy was drafted that year.

    #109@Tom Waits: Agreed, it has legs. But it’s not a sure thing given that there is still some time for something to come out of that draft.

    You could almost throw Pittsburgh from 2002 in there except Matt Capps is turning out to be a decent closer.

    One thing is certain – the problems the Padres are having this year are directly related with those 2003 and 2004 drafts.

  16. #115@BigWorm: Yeah, we have to wait a while before we can be sure. It sure ain’t good to have 2 drafts back to back vying for that title.

  17. Buster Olney has written about the 1992 draft. I think it was in his book “The Last Night Of The Yankee Dynasty”(game 7, 2001 WS) . He goes into a lot of detail about the circumstances surrounding the picks. Nevin was picked first by Houston. Jeter was picked 6th. I am not a big draft follower but I highly recommend the book to anyone interested.

  18. #117@parlo: And the Houston scout who wanted them to pick Jeter quit soon thereafter, IIRC.

  19. #118@Tom Waits: YES! I also should add that its not a book about the draft, but there is a chapter about Jeter that provides a lot of insight into it.

  20. From BA:

    -More bloodlines at pick 1245 as the Padres select Zachary Dascenzo with their 41st round selection. Dascenzo is the son of former major leaguer and current minor league manager Doug Dascenzo. At 6-feet, 190 pounds, Dascenzo is a catcher out of Laurel Highlands HS in Pennslyvania.

    -Let’s back up to the 705th pick where the Padres selected righthander Nick Conaway. A righthander formerly for Oklahoma University, Conaway left the team over Christmas break due to a shoulder injury. Thus he was drafted and listed without a school. Conaway is a North Carolina native and was the high school teammate of North Carolina Tarheel standout Dustin Ackley (before Ackley trasferred his senior year).

  21. The draft is certainly fascinating. I look forward to looking back on this one in four or five years and seeing if anyone knew what they were talking about.

  22. #120@Didi: Thanks Didi! Although taking the first pitch is not the same thing as working the count or having a good eye. Khalil Greene does not become Brian Giles by taking the first pitch. It just means he will strikeout on six pitches instead of five.

  23. OT: The Giants are up 8-0 over the Nats going into the bottom of the 3rd. Grrr.

  24. #124@Turbine Dude: How are your precious Cubbies doing TD ? OK, I am only messing with you.

  25. #125@parlo: Ha ha. Actually, I wish they would go into a downward slide. Even though I grew up watching the Iowa Cubs (previously the Iowa Oaks) at Sec Taylor and watching the Chi Cubs at Wrigley, I’ve lived in SoCal since 1986 and have since been a die-hard Padre fan.
    I think watching Cubs games just remind me of my younger days.

  26. BTW, is anyone else having problems with MLB.TV?

  27. Within the overall numbers on Dykstra are these for the ACC only(ie the decent teams Wake faced). In The ACC he was 46th in BA at .287 and only had 6 HRS- not among the league leaders. Wakes top hitter in the ACC by BA is named WILLY FOX. Looking at the scores Dkystra must have totaly raked vs. High Point and Kennesaw State.

  28. #128@malcolm: Well, if you want to put a positive twist on it. The current Padre lineup has a tendency to make the worst picture look like a Cy Young nominee. So, if he can hit the bottom feeders he’s an improvement.

  29. #126@Turbine Dude: I grew up here, but my Uncle lived in Stamford CT and as a kid I spent several summer vacations with him in the 1970s. He took me to games at Shea. Those early 70s Mets teams still have a soft spot in my heart. They kind of remind me of the present day Padres. Good pitching, lots of 80 win teams, pitchers parks, no center fielder, no offense, etc.
    By the late 70s the Mets were bad, but the seed was sown. I rooted for Carlton Fisk, Reggie Smith, and George Brett against the Yanks every chance I could.
    As I get older, I look back on those Bronx Zoo Yankees with affection. Nettles, Catfish, Billy, Reggie, Pinella, Gossage, Guidry , Munson, etc. That was a special crowd.

  30. Baseball has a habit of doing strange things to the human psyche.