Once Upon My Mind: Jeff Weaver, Johan Santana, Corey Patterson, Milton Bradley, Jayson Werth

Myron at Friar Forecast is looking back at old Padres drafts, and in his first installment, he covers 2000 (Mark Phillips, Xavier Nady, Mewelde Moore…). I thought it might be fun to see what I’d said about those players back in the day; unfortunately, much of that stuff didn’t make it over from the old server.

On the bright side, the Internet Archive stores everything so I’m now in the process of dumping those old articles into the WordPress thingy. Oh, and I did find a few random bits worth noting; I had Moore in the “Honorable Mention” category headed into 2003, along with Jason Bay, who somehow got stuck behind these guys.

I still have work to do, but over the weekend, I managed to make it through almost everything I ever wrote for Top Prospect Alert. It’s amusing (and humbling, in light of what actually happened) to see what I said a decade ago. Here’s a small sample:

On Ben Broussard and Kory DeHaan:

Broussard, the Cincinnati Reds’ 2nd round pick in the June 1999 draft, has a quick bat and showed nice power to the gaps. The left-handed hitter out of McNeese State reminds me a bit of Oakland’s Jason Giambi.

DeHaan, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 7th round pick in the June 1997 draft, reminds me of a Steve Finley/Andy VanSlyke type player, with perhaps less power.

No, and way no.

On Mario Ramos and Jeff Weaver:

Ramos is a smallish southpaw built in the Ron Guidry/Jim Parque mold… Fellow southpaws Mark Mulder and Barry Zito get the headlines but Ramos should be a fine prospect in his own right.

Uh, right. How’s about Weaver?

When I saw Weaver in college, two things immediately struck me about him: first, he was murder on righties but southpaws abused him; and second, he threw 136 pitches. Weaver is a fine prospect but I do worry about his college workload, and he needs to find a pitch to counteract lefties; otherwise opposing managers will continue to stack their lineups — nearly 60% of the big league hitters he faced as a rookie batted from the left side.

In an attempt to regain some semblance of credibility, I would like to point out that Weaver never did figure out left-handers (and opposing managers knew this). Check out his career splits:

  • vs LHB: 3650 PA, .257/.304/.385 (think Todd Benzinger or Geoff Blum)
  • vs RHB: 4121 PA, .295/.359/.501 (think Jeff Kent or Derrek Lee)

See, I’m not so dumb after all! (We won’t mention the time I thought Jared Camp was a better Rule V pick than Johan Santana. Hey, at least I wasn’t the only one; what if the Marlins hadn’t traded Santana for Camp? A rotation headed by Santana and Josh Beckett would have been nice.)

On Corey Patterson, Milton Bradley, and Jayson Werth:

An excellent defender in center field and with speed to burn (33 steals in 42 tries), Patterson’s one area of weakness right now is strike-zone judgment (25 BBs/85 Ks in 475 ABs). A reluctance to draw walks can stall a player’s development at higher levels; however, there are exceptions — Vladimir Guerrero was one, and I suspect Patterson will be another. Patterson also had an explosive Arizona Fall League campaign, all the more impressive because he was playing against much older and more experienced players, and could see action with the big club as early as this season.

Patterson and Guerrero in the same sentence? Sure: “Corey Patterson… he’s no Vlad Guerrero.”

All jokes about “being a gamer” aside, Bradley is a serious prospect with serious tools. Often compared to a young Rondell White, the switch-hitting Bradley batted .329/.391/.526 in 346 Eastern League at bats.


  • Bradley: 3785 PA, .277/.371/.450, 115 OPS+
  • White: 5852 PA, .284/.336/.462, 108 OPS+

And finally, we come to Dex’s favorite player:

Werth hit .305/.403/.394 in 236 Carolina League at bats before posting a .273/.364/.355 line in Double-A. He controls the strike zone (54 BBs/63 Ks in 387 at bats, combined) and has very good speed (23 for 27 in stolen bases, combined). At 6’6″, he doesn’t look much like a catcher; a move to another position is possible, but wherever Werth ends up, he should be a good one.

That’s two in a row where I say something kind of smart. Werth did move to another position, and he did end up being a good one. Hooray for me. Let’s not talk about Patterson or Santana, eh?

Tagged as: , , , , , ,

2 Responses »

  1. It should be pretty easy to analyze the old Padres drafts; in fact, I can do it pretty easily right now: 1st pick bust, 2nd pick bust, etc.

    Seriously, it’s going to be really ugly to go back and look at those drafts. It’s absolutely amazing that the Padres had a winning record in 2004-2007 despite getting about zero from their drafts.