Saturday, July 12, 2008

Signing Update

Today we've officially signed our third round pick, Blake Tekotte from the University of Miami. He has reported to Eugene in the Northwest League and will hopefully be in the lineup sometime soon.

Blake is a leadoff hitting centerfielder who can make an impact on both sides of the ball. His defense in CF is very solid, and offensively he brings speed, on-base skills, and some surprising power. Needless to say, we're very happy to have him signed and part of the organization.

20 comments:

You Know Me! said...

whats the deal with dykstra? get r done!

deathlydemise666 said...

How many outfielders does that make it to compete for AB's in full season ball next season?

Decker, Codirolli
Carroll, Verbick, Robertson, Tekotte
Carvajal, Durango, Chalk

That's without including the guys having less than stellar years. Luckily the entire storm outfield is making a push for AA.

roadshift said...

with a player like blake, who not only looks like a leadoff hitter, but is speedy and at least moderately intelligent when it comes to base running - do you let him run free at such a low level?

it seems worrisome to me, when a top of the order guy is still so raw when it comes to stealing bases, but is already in AAA and almost ready for the majors.

(mccutchen?)

Matt said...

Mr. DePodesta,

Your blog is fascinating to follow as an aspiring Sport Management student. It is very impressive that you manage to stay in contact with all of the "would-be" general managers, even as the trade deadline approaches and your down time is all but non-existent. It just seemed important to let you know that this blog is fun for fans to read, but it is invaluable to someone that is hoping to break into the business. I look forward to continuing to follow the Padres season with a slight voyeuristic look into the organization.

Thanks again for donating your free time to us, the fans.

Matt

Don said...

None of these players will make a difference with the philosophy that this team is using in Petco. A pitchers part of this size requires speed, gap hitters and occasional pop. Not walks and occasional pop. We have solid defense and good starters, our bullpen has failed and so has our hitting. These players are great for the future with a change at the top of the Leadship of this team.

intentionalblogonballs.com said...

don, are your assertions based on some kind of study you've done, or are you just assuming these things based on your own limited knowledge?

intentionalblogonballs.com said...

Unrelated to this signing, but on the topic of Padres prospects, Joe Sheehan of BaseballProspectus had this to say about one Will Inman:

"Today, Inman provided a great lesson in the value of observation versus stats. He’s had solid performance lines in his four professional season, and the stats make him look like a midrotation prospect. In person, he’s…awkward. I’m not sure how you get to the third-highest level of your profession and still do things the way Inman does, but he has. He has the longest arm action I can remember seeing, the kind of motion you cringe while watching. It also should leave him very exposed to lefthanded hitters. I could see him as a Jeff Nelson reliever, which limits his innings and lets him chew up righties. Anything else…unlikely.

I can’t emphasize what an eye-opener this was. I’m not going to sit here and say that performance analysis is invalid and I’m headed over to start a Web site devoted to the advancement of scouts, but the gap between what a player does and how he does it-and what that means for his future-was really put into stark relief by watching Inman."

I was wondering if you'd care to respond to that "scouting report."

D W said...

DePo,
Thanks for the chat on Friday, it was genuinely informative, interesting, and fun. I learned quite a bit about PETCO, draft strategies, and some front office viewpoints I had not considered until then.
Again, thank you.
-Curious About Edmonds

Kevin said...

A friend of mine sent me a synopsys of your comments from the BP event last week at the ballpark. Now he was told not to publish anything, but there was some really interesting info presented, especially about how the OF at petco actually plays vs. perceptions of how it plays. I was wondering since they can't publish anything (they have a blog) if you would be expounding on some of the things that you talked about on your own blog, because I thought many of the points would be of interest to a lot of people.

ross said...

Paul, I want to thank you for speaking before Friday nights game at the Baseball Prospectus ballpark event.

Its reassuring to have this kind of transparency in the Padres front office. Thanks to this blog plus the numerous radio interviews that Sandy Alderson, Bud Black and Kevin Towers do it really shows that the Padres are committed to winning even when things don't work out how you planned.

I am thoroughly convinced that the padres best years are ahead of them. I'm excited to see the moves that the organization has made to bolster their farm system and can't wait until it pays off on the field.

So, thanks again for bringing hope to a long-time Padres fan.

Steven said...

Don,

If I'm not mistaken, Mr.Depodesta described Blake as -

"a leadoff hitting centerfielder who can make an impact on both sides of the ball. His defense in CF is very solid, and offensively he brings speed, on-base skills, and some surprising power."

I agree with you about the current major league roster, too many guys striking out and not enough speed/athletism on the club.

But this post by Mr.Depodesta seems to be describing a player that actually would be a nice fit for Petco.

He's athletic, can play CF (if he plays there at the ML level is another story), he has speed (great for Petco as you pointed out) and the "surprising power" is never a negative. Remember, doubles are very important and gap power isn't bad in this park (provided the ball doesn't hang up too much - line drive hitters good, long loft fly balls - bad). You also have to play on the road too and while LF is a shot at home, RF isn't too hard to hit the ball out and a couple good right handed power sticks would compliment Adrian pretty well in my book.

The fact that Blake is an "on-base" skills guy shouldn't be the focus. It seems to me lots of people read that and automatically think "moneyball".

But getting on base is certainly a good thing in a leadoff-CF type. You want athletic players who get on base, guys who can also run (maybe beat out a single, steal a base) and play defense. These are things lacking with the current club (along with getting on base and driving in runs - if you look at players in the heart of the lineup, Khalil, Kouz, these guys just aren't getting on base).

If anything we want to build around players like this Blake kid, good athletes, not the Jack Custs/J.Gomes of the world (or the 3-true outcome type players who aren't true athletes and can't play any D).

In Moneyball they talk about going after guys who don't have your typical body types... The Jeremy Browns of the world (think softball players who can rake and get on base but can't touch their toes).

I just don't see Blake as fitting in that mold.

field39 said...

Geeze. Half of your draftees have yet to sign, and Decker is allready outclassing the Arizona league. I am assuming you are pleased with his fast start.

Schlom said...

What is the status on Kipnis and Figueroa? Or is it most likely that they will sign around the August 15th deadline (if at all)?

Alex said...

Don,

Wouldn't you say drawings walks is actually one of the most valuable abilities for a pitchers park since it is seemingly unaffected by the size of the park? If a guy has a BB% of 10% isn't it likely that he'd have that same percentage regardless of Park? A heavy hitters park might have a slight impact on walks, but I wouldn't expect the difference to be very significant.

I'd guess there are 3 core types of offensive players that PETCO benefits especially (or at least won't hurt dramatically).

1) Players who gain value out of drawing walks. If this is one of the best strengths of this player's game, it is something unlikely for PETCO to affect much and thus his production could be weighted higher because he could conceivably produce the same numbers in spite of park. For example, a Kosuke Fukudome type player probably wouldn't be affected too greatly by PETCO because his greatest offensive skill is taking pitches and drawing walks. His power would be hurt a bit of course, but because his power rates are not that high anyway, there isn't that much production to be affected.

2) Players whose offensive value comes from their speed. Players like Tavares, Ichiro, Figgins, and Pierre all get a large number of infield hits and are able to use their speed to gain those hits. Such factors are not impacted by Park so it is unlikely these players would be affected. NOW, many of these players are overvalued anyway, so it's not necessarily beneficial for the Padres to gain this type of player. However, if such a player does come at a good price and has comparable production rates to other options, I think it'd be smarter to go with the speed guy who gains his offensive value from speed, which park's do not affect. Dave Roberts is a good example of this, and he was actually quite successful with the Padres.

3) Players who gain significant value from their defense (especially in OF). Defense is particularly important at Petco because there are slightly more balls in play at Petco than average because of the low HR rates. With a lot of OF ground to cover, it is important to have good outfielders to cover it. In general, a good defensive player cannot be hurt by a park like Petco, but if anything only have a chance to be even MORE productive.


Those are my 3, but you cannot completely build your team to park anyway, because only half your games are played there (and no matter what, power is still needed, even if it is negatively impacted. Still, park is something that ultimately has to be taken into consideration because, well, half your games are played there. Another option is getting players with elite power, so that Petco can only affect it to a lessened degree, but in that scenario it is going to be affected negatively in any case.

Ideally the Pads could get player (s) that have all 3 of these qualities and thus can have extra value at Petco than any place else.

A power oriented player that hits .260/.300/.525 with 35 HR's at a neutral park will have a particular cost (say 10 M) because of his production, but at PETCO he certainly wouldn't hit that same line, all other things being equal. His power would be affected, meaning less homers, more balls in play, and subsequently a lower BA and isoP. His cost would still be the same 10M.

Another player might hit .300/.390/.390 with 2 HRs at a neutral park and command a salary of 7M. Now, let's assume everything else is equal (defense, baserunning, etc.) and it is clear that the 10M dollar player is more productive, likely why he's making the extra $. However this 7M player in PETCO likely wouldn't see nearly as much dropoff in PETCO because his value comes from putting the ball in play often and drawing walks at a high rate (things that PETCO shouldn't affect). His offensive numbers would still be hurt, yes, but likely not by as much as the 10 M player. It is even conceivable that the 10M player might be affected so much, that his production would match the 7M player's if they both played at PETCO (in alternate universes, since these two play different positions). It is clear that the 7M player has much more value at PETCO than the 10M dollar player, which is essentially the point I'm trying to make I guess.

Anyways, this wasn't supposed to turn into a long rambling post about which players suit Petco best, but I saw Don's comment and just went on way too long.

I wanted to talk about Blake Tekotte, but I'll make a second comment, since this went on way too long

Alex said...

On Tekkote,

This pick could prove to be a decent value pick in the 3rd round. He played college ball at one of the top baseball universities in the country and put up comparable numbers to his teammates the 12th overall pick, Jemile Weeks. Certainly numbers aren't everything, especially with amateurs, but he matched Weeks numbers as close as you can really. Weeks numbers showed slightly more power, but Tekotte showed slightly more plate patience.

They both play premium positions (CF and 2B respectively), played at the same school against the same competition, and Tekotte is even 5 months younger.

Tekotte hit .357/.470/.580 with 11 HR's, 42 BB's to 36 K's, and 26/32 SB's

Weeks hit .367/.453/.633 with 11 HRs, 33 BB's to 37 K's, and 21/22 steals


I'm not arguing Tekotte is better than Weeks by any means, but their numbers are about as identical as you can get, Tekotte is younger, and he was a 3rd round pick rather than a top 15 pick. Obviously college numbers don't always translate, etc. but on paper these two appear close and thus this could prove to be a nice value value in the 3rd round for the Pads

Paul DePodesta said...

Blake just recorded his first professional hit - a double.

Gavin said...

Paul, can you comment on the suspension of Rayner Contreras? He seemed to be having a solid season and turning into a prospect to watch.

Paul DePodesta said...

kevin,

I believe I touched on a handful of those items in some earlier posts. If there's something else in particular, please let me know.

jason said...

What's up with Dykstra's hip?

ross said...

Jason,

Someone asked about Dykstra's hip during the Baseball Prospectus talk and Depo said that he couldn't comment on it. All he could say was that they were working on a deal and he's optimistic that it will be done soon.

Baseball prospectus had this to say about Dykstra's negotiations today:
"Meanwhile, a deal that looked to be done is now completely up in the air. Another Boras client, Wake Forest first baseman Allan Dykstra had all but agreed to a $1.4 million bonus as the 23rd overall pick, but a physical revealed some hip problems that were thought to have been previously corrected. Details are sketchy, but the Padres and Boras are suddenly far from having a deal done, with many of the complications coming from the agent's side, as Boras is well known for putting his own additional medical waivers as addendums to the standard contract."

I'm surprised that baseball hasn't implemented something like the combine where the top prospects in the country are invited to showcase their skills and, more importantly, have physicals done. Just so this sort of thing doesn't happen. The Padres could really use this, it seems like a lot of their top picks end up hurt.