Me, Elsewhere: Hawpe’s Future, Headley’s Homer

My latest at Baseball Prospectus ($) examines Matt Kemp’s dominance, Tim Lincecum’s slump, and other goings-on in the National League West. The Padres section, not surprisingly, focuses on Anthony Rizzo. It also touches on the question of what to do with Brad Hawpe, and when:

The trouble with Hawpe (now back in right field thanks to Rizzo) is that, despite improving numbers, he still looks overmatched by big-league fastballs. The larger statistical picture (31.1 K% in 212 PA) aligns well with anecdotal evidence, such as an at-bat against Nationals right-hander Tyler Clippard during Friday’s game.

Clippard started with a changeup down and away that Hawpe fouled off to the left side. Two 93-mph fastballs on the inner half followed, and Hawpe swung through both of them. If the Padres do decide to sell at some point, they had better hope that potential trade targets pay more attention to Hawpe’s strong May showing than to his diminished bat speed. Soon would be good, before performance has a chance to catch up with physics.

Anyway, there’s lots more where that came from, so go read it…

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On another note, I’ve been contributing commentary to the ESPN Power Rankings, each week highlighting a noteworthy aspect of the Padres’ performance. Sometimes I brag about the bullpen, other times I lament the lack of offense or inability to win at home. (The entire archive is available as well, so you can see the big picture.)

Every once in a while, I am shocked by what my research uncovers. For example, here is this week’s comment:

When Chase Headley went deep on June 9, it was the first homer this season by Padres No. 3 hitters, who are batting a combined .205/.301/.269.

Yep, a Padres pitcher (thank you, Mat Latos) homered before a Padres no. 3 hitter.

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8 Responses »

  1. Since I have AT&T and rarely get to watch the Padres games I’m hoping someone else can fill in my wonder. I’ve noticed in the box score that it usually takes 4 singles for the Padres to score (1st Inn last night), is it from our complete lack of speed/base-running prowess or is the ball just getting to the fielders too quickly?

  2. I don’t really see any teams wanting Hawpe. I do see him filling in at right field when Ludwick is traded unless they get a LF in exchange for him. Even though Venables defense and speed is superior to Hawpes, if Venable doesn’t start hitting and Hawpe hits a little he may hold a spot over Venable.

    As a fan I want them to be buyers and not sellers around the all star break, but realistically they have to finish June within at least 3-4 games of first for that to maybe happen. Prior to losing those 3 close games to Washington I had hope they could make a run.. losing those 3 that they could have just as easily won stings.

  3. Hawpe ‘won’ the Balboni award:

    I want him gone, too. Sunk cost, maybe, if no takers? Venable isn’t going to hit if he doesn’t play, and right now, he’s not going to play over Ludwick, Maybin, Denorfia. He should, however, play over Hawpe. Oh, cut Cantu already.

  4. I will take a half eaten sandwich for Hawpe, then bring up Blanks to get some platoon time in the outfield, occasional start at 1B, and some PH AB’s.

  5. OT … whilest over at BP reading GY’s article … I saw this *fantastic* article about the greatest ballplayer of all time – as of 1957!

    Just love it! Certainly raises my interest in Honus Wagner!

    Who’d make the top of this list today?

    Who’s at the bottom of this list (min 1000 PAs)?

    So many interesting/fun questions … imo …

    How about a Padres version of this list? By consensus of the DS community! Would be interesting to see who comes in 2nd :-)

  6. @ LM: Wow, Teddy Ballgame gets brutalized in those rankings! Only 3 of 20 players get below 100 on Team Play, two get 90, but Ted gets only 75! Only he and Cobb get 75 for Unselfishness. And he also receives the lowest score on hustle! I guess the walks, which led to the highest OBP of All Time, weren’t unselfish enough and he didn’t sprint to 1B like Pete Rose did when he walked, leading to a lack of hustle. I’m being a bit facetious here because I know Williams had some shortcomings in his attitude, but this seems a bit extreme.

    On a more serious note, Eddie Collins, George Sisler, Bill Dickey and Mickey Cochrane are better hitters than Williams? Really? I’m seeing some flaws in Mr. Carey’s rankings!

  7. I watched the Clippard AB and thought the same thing. More pitchers are going with fastballs that are waist-high and just throwing them past him. Although I liked the signings at the time, it appears that both Hawpe and Cantu are going to end up as sunk-costs for the Pads. I’d love to see Blanks come up and get some playing time.

  8. Blanks had a double and an HR last night … he’s making progress!