Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Players To Be Named

Today we acquired RHP Eduardo Perez and LHP Michael Watt from the Dodgers in exchange from Greg Maddux.

Eduardo is a 20-year old, 6'2" right-hander from Venezuela. Our scouting reports indicate that he has an advanced feel for pitching, throws consistent strikes with four pitches, and has the makings of a terrific changeup. Due to an elbow fracture in 2006, Eduardo has pitched just 87 innings here in the US but has posted a 3.61 ERA and has struck out 81 hitters in those innings.

Michael is a 19-year old, 6'1" left-hander from Capistrano Valley HS in California. He was the Dodgers' 2nd round pick in the 2007 draft (#86 overall). Michael has a fastball, curveball, changeup repertoire, with his changeup grading out as above average already. He's a very good strikethrower and can move the ball around the zone as evidenced by his career 2.4 walks per nine innings and his 8.6 strikeouts per nine. We've also gotten tremendous reports on his makeup - competitive, tough, aggressive.

We're excited about adding these pitchers into the mix (Watt was actually scheduled to pitch against our Instructional League team today). Not only are these two interesting arms, but also they really complement our draft from this year. As many of you know, we targeted hitters in the early rounds of the 2008 draft, but with the trades that we made (Clark, Wolf, and Maddux), we've been able to add four young arms (two of whom are high school age) into the system - Scribner, Reineke, Perez, and Watt. That doesn't even include our international signings.

When looked at as a whole, our acquisition of young talent this year has turned out to be a nice balance of hitters, pitchers, high school age, and college age.

39 comments:

Z.V. Sanders said...

Congrats!

Getting a former 2nd rounder as a PTBNL is quite a feat. How early do you think they could help out the Major League Club?

Paul DePodesta said...

It's going to be a while, zv. Neither player has pitched at full-season A-ball yet, but both have a shot to start there next spring.

Alex said...

While both seem to be far away from the bigs, it's a pretty nice haul for Greg Maddux. It seems like the Pads got two guys about worth what the comp picks for Maddux would have been, except the Pads didn't have to pay any bonuses.

When you factor in that had the Padres kept Maddux and offered him arbitration he might have either accepted it or retired, compensation picks were hardly a sure thing.

Seems like a good haul, in truth, I didn't expect the Pads to fair this well prospect wise when I first heard about the deal. These two also seem to have more upside than Reineke or Scribner, although I'd like to see what Scribmer can do as he moves up to higher levels, because as dominant as he's been, he's always been a bit too old for his levels (although I guess that's not in his control)

David Harris said...

This is a great return for 1/3 season of Maddux. I have been very anxious to find out details on the PTBNLs from this trade and it looks like you guys pulled off a great one. Only time will tell, but some of these youngsters are bound to pan out.

Plus, it sounds like we may be looking at a couple of arms for Lake Elsinore next year, so we can travel up the road a few miles to see them first hand.

joey-at-dodgerthoughts said...

As a former Dodger fan I love this deal. Maddux has little future and you bring in 2 young studs. I can't wait till these kids stick it to the Dodgers in the near future. Great job Paul.

I'm your 2nd biggest fan.... behind d4p. LOL...

Wes said...

These guys look exciting. It seems like great choices are being made for building the farm system.

Paul -- Is there a ratio for how many pitchers tend to actually pan out, as compared to fielders? It seems like there's been an emphasis on picking up pitchers in drafts and trades, so I'm wondering if young fielders tend to develop more predictably than pitchers do.

Loren said...

At least lemonade was made out of lemons, good job Mr Depodesta. Some good young arms to add to those good bats we got in the draft and in high A ball.

hector said...

One thing I hate about the philosophy the team has about pitchers is that it focuses too much on bringing in control pitchers like Geer, Germano, and basically 3 and 4 type arms instead of going for more high ceiling types like Latos.

If you are going to win big, you win big with guys like Latos and not the control guys.

After all, isn't easier to teach control than to teach velocity?
You either have velocity or you don't, but the pitching coach should help improve the control.

DiVerz4 said...

Well done on this deal. I'm a big fan of yours Mr. Podesta, and I think it's great that you've made yourself so accessible to the public with his blog. I loved an essay (or speech) of yours from a few years ago on the changing of systems in baseball. I've looked on the internet, but I can't find it.. If you have a copy of that text could you possibly make it available?

Also, I have one quick and irrelevant question.

Obama or McCain?

Kevin said...

I just discovered this blog after being linked here from ussmariner.com and this is really sweet. Having actual transparency into a front office is unheard of up here in Seattle, I wish we could have that same! I've been a fan ever since reading Moneyball, and I like the trades.

Chase said...

Any insight into the grievance filed against Khalil Greene?

Paul DePodesta said...

wes,

That's a great question. Hitters are definitely more predictable than pitchers. What I should really say is that pitchers are even more unpredictable than hitters, as neither are all that easy.

Paul DePodesta said...

hector,

I think I'm going to write a post in the future about your complaint/question, because I think it's a legitimate one and a good discussion point.

Paul DePodesta said...

diverz4,

Sorry, but I won't open that debate here. :)

As far as the speech, I'm sure as time passes more and more of the content will find its way into the blog. Some of it already has.

Mason said...

Diverz4-

Nate Silver has the election-PECOTA market cornered, anyway. :-P

Alex said...

hector,

I'm not speaking from a position with any sort of evidence, but logically thinking about the Pads home park, which pitchers do you think would benefit most from?

A strikeout is a strikeout in any ballpark and a walk is walk in any ball park. With the possible exception of Coors field (and how its elevation can affect breaking balls) strikeouts and walks should seemingly be park neutral.

Let's say Player A pitches 200 IP, 90 runs allowed, 210 hits allowed, 35 walks and 105 strikeouts
Let's say Player B pitches 200 IP, 90 runs allowed, 180 hits allowed, 70 walks to 210 strikeouts

Now, seemingly player B has a lot more upside because of his high strikeout rate, but for this imaginary year, their production to a team was pretty much equal. Now assume these pitchers were going to produce EXACTLY the same next season and they were both going to pitch in PETCO. Who would be affected more?

Both would be affected positively, but it seems logical that Player A, who allows a higher rate of ball in play, would see a greater impact out of PETCO because he provides the park more chances to affect him positively than player B. Player B is more directly in control of his fate because so much of his success is predicated on the fact that he can strike people out at high rates. In this scenario, it is likely that player A is the more effective pitcher at PETCO, because there production was equal before and he allows PETCO to benefit him more often than player B. Conversely, if these two pitchers were going to an offensive park, say Citizen's Bank Park, player B might be more effective because he is going to allow less balls in play and thus prevent that park from helping hitters as much.

Now, I used a very crude example that excludes a TON of factors, but that is more or less the logic I see. Walks and strikeouts for a pitcher are the two fundamental pieces of their performance, and it's not about finding one or the other. It's finding the balance between the two. Obviously pitchers have some control in their groundball rates, and HR rates to some extent, but that's a whole other bag of worms

Hope that helps a bit hector, but obviously when Mr. DePodesta gets around to posting on the topic he can explain it in a much better way

JC said...

Wow can't believe you guys are really filing a grievance against Khalil Greene.

I can understand the premise for doing, for surely there has to be more personal and effective ways. Wouldn't something like this strain the relationship with the organization?

hector said...

Alex,

Notice I did not mention strikeouts. For me a very telling stat is whip, but without ignoring mph.

We have seen control pitchers like Maddux & Glavine get hammered during the playoffs and Smoltz and other hard throwers be the studs.

Mr. Depodesta, how would you describe Brad Penny? I have always liked that guy, the Padres seem to get the best of him, but overall I really like the way he pitches. Once he Dodgers fail to pick up his option for 2009, I would love it if the Padres make a run at him, and also Oliver Perez.

If Texas does not offer Milton Bradley a multiyear contract, I hope the Padres can offer him one. He has made a great difference in the lineup and production in Texas and here in San Diego. I would rather have him than Giles.

So, my wish list for 2009:
Re-Sign Hoffman
Re-Sign Prior
Sign Brocail
Sign Bradley
Sign Penny
Sign Perez
Sign Furcal
trade Greene
discard Giles

adi davidovitz said...

Following jc, aren't you afraid that filing a grievance will deter other players from playing for you?

Peter said...

Paul,

i'm looking for a rules clarification on PTBNLs. I can't seem to find anything in the ML Constitution/PBA/MLR. Thank goodness you are here!

I'd always assumed that PTBNLs who were on the 40 man had to change leagues. But the Adam Dunn deal included Micah Owings as a PTBNL. I understand the the non-waiver deadline complicated things, but still Owings was on the 40 man and did not change leagues.

I know this departs from the Padres-centric purpose of the site, but i thought this was as good a time as any given the subject heading - could you just outline the rules behind PTBNLs for us?

Kurt said...

Mr. Depodesta -

Comment regarding hitting since the Padres are in search of a hitting coach.

The Padres utilized Mike Epstein (rotational approach) as a consultant back in the mid-90's with some degree of success. It appears that the most recent hitters that were selected by the Padres (based on video analysis) use the rotational approach (Jaff Decker).

Wally Joyner after his resignation did not discuss his technical approach to hitting (which appears to be linear based on his swing), just the mental approach that he was trying to communicate to the hitters.

Teaching the mental side to hitting is fine, but there are significant differences to the "rotational" approach (power, OB%, SLUG%, big ball) and "linear" (line drives, ground balls, move the runner over, little ball).

When conducting this search for the next hitting coach, will the organization take into consideration the instructional philosophy (technique) such as "rotational" vs. "linear"?

Do the Padres minor league system embrace a particular hitting technique?

John said...

Following the comments about Khalil Greene: I think any ballclub would file a grieveance against a player that did something like that. If you owned a company, let's say a constuction company and one of your employees refused to wear a hard hat on construction sites and something hit him in the head and he was out for two months. You'd have to penalize the guy in some way or else it'd be an easy way to get out and still get paid. Not to mention your insurances goes up because you're not requiring employees to wear hard hats, your setting up for a bad example, and someone could die the next time it happens. Baseball is just like any other business.

Richard B. Wade said...

Alex, strikeouts are affected by park.

Hector, you really think "discarding" our best hitter will make the team better?

Alex said...

Richard B Wade,

Could you explain a bit how/why park would affect strikeouts (aside from Coors)? Does it involve pitchers being more careful in certain parks vs others? Where is this data proven?

You Know Me! said...

Mr. Depodesta

can you give us a list of all the players playing winter ball. so far ive only noticed carillo, blanks, ekstrom, in arizona and decker to the dominican complex

hector said...

Richard,

It is better to get rid of a player a year too early than a year too late. Giles' stats look decent, not great.

At this point the Padres can get 2 very good draft picks for him. He is 38 and although this decade has seen players be productive into their 40s, I would rather get new blood.

12 HR and 63 RBI hardly make you the best hitter on the club. Playing RF is a power position, and he hits more like a great 2B, he does not offer speed, and like I have said previously, he hurt the club by refusing the assignment to Boston. He showed that winning was not his priority, and that is sickening to me, and it is contagious.

Also, If you sign Bradley to replace him, Bradley makes the lineup a lot better.

Gavin said...

Hector, can you please stop using RBI's to judge a player's performance - I think most of us realize by now that RBI's are overwhelmingly coincidental.

Giles is still an above-average offensive producer, the stats completely support that. He effectively would cost $6M to bring back so I don't see how you let him go. Besides, you would still have to offer him arbitration and have him decline (unless I'm missing something here) to obtain draft compensation. I would have to figure there is no chance of that since he would surely make a higher figure in arbitration.

Also, let it go about him not wanting to leave for Boston. I for one hate Boston and wouldn't go either. What if your boss told you that you were being transferred across the country, leaving your family and overall happiness behind? You'd be making the same salary in a lesser role, but hey, the company makes more in gross sales!!! Would you be in a hurry to go? I doubt it. The point is, these guys are human too.

After we've been spurned by players in the past leaving via free agency, I would think some loyalty and love for SD from Giles would be appreciated.

On another note, one way strikeouts would be park-affected would be due to the size of various foul territories resulting in extra pitches thrown.

Alex said...

Gavin and Richard,

Yeah, I suppose I was speaking too quickly when I spoke about strikeouts being completely park neutral. I looked into it and read some interesting reports on which parks affect strikeouts. Still, for the most part the differences aren't too dramatic, although I suppose they shouldn't be ignored.

Either way, my argument was more one of theory than anything, I left off a whole host of other factors (HR rates, GB rates, defense, etc.) and was just trying to give a hypothetical example more than anything.

Walks and strikeouts each have weighted values and where these values intersect is most important, but it was my opinion that in theory PETCO would benefit a control pitcher to a greater degree than it would a power pitcher. That could be completely wrong for all I know.

Obviously it doesn't mean power pitchers don't benefit from PETCO, but I believe if you have two pitchers whose weighted values intersect perfectly (only one gets his value from K's, the other from preventing walks) the pitcher that prevents walks is more likely to have a greater success in PETCO (and benefit from a good defense if you field one)

Richard B. Wade said...

"12 HR and 63 RBI hardly make you the best hitter on the club. Playing RF is a power position, and he hits more like a great 2B"

Well, if those are the stats you use to determine how well someone hit, then of course your analysis is going to be painfully inaccurate.

Brian Giles hit .306/.407/.456 over 653 PA. The next best line on the team was Adrian Gonzalez' .279/.364/.510 while playing a less valuable position in the field. 43 points of OBP is significantly more valuable than 54 points of SLG.

hector said...

Gavin,

Giles would have made more money because there was a trade kicker written into the deal.

I don't see how you can spend that kind of money on him for his production. Say the Payroll is set at 60 million. That means you are spending 15% of your payroll on him.

I'd rather see some of the young blood instead and use the money for the rotation or Bradley.

I can get over the fact that winning is not the most important thing for the guy, and you have no idea how irritating it is.

RBI may be coincidental the way you study numbers, but the game is played on the field for someone on the 3 spot 90 games/39 rbi that computes to 70 rbi out of the 3 hole for 162 games. Completely unacceptable!

Don't get me wrong, I like seeing Giles on the lineup, but I do not think his salary matches his production specially for the position he plays and the spot on the batting order.

On the defensive side, he is a free pass on hits (1st to 3rd) as much as the stolen bases on our catchers. He does not have an ARM out there, so it is also a free run with a runner on 3rd. Did you forget about the throw he made when Holliday scored on the last play of 2007?

I am sure Giles would take a multiyear offer from many teams than a one year arbitration from San Diego... so we would get some draftpicks.

Matt said...

When the trade took place you said you said you did not want to name any of the minor leaguers but you would after the trade was finalized. Can you now tell us who the other players were to choose from?

mweldon said...

I find it really irritating when people criticize a player for exercising his no-trade rights, which he probably negotiated for in lieu of a higher salary.

deathlydemise666 said...

I can't recall hearing anything about the Astros or Royals PTBL

Deadline is a week away isn't it?

Denis Savage said...

I saw Watt pitch during the Instructional League and think he has a good feel for pitching. His curveball was a little loopy but the changeup was solid and the pen I saw him throw a few days later was much better with the curveball showing sharper break. A nice kid with a good head on his shoulders.

My question is - does Perez know he has been traded? How hard is it to contact a kid who is in Venezuela to tell him he has a new team? Do you have to go knock on his front door and hope he is home?

Paul DePodesta said...

deathlydemise666,

We received Reineke from the Astros, so there wasn't another player.

We're all square right now. No more players coming our way.

Paul DePodesta said...

matt,

I just meant the players we actually acquired. I don't think it would be fair to the players or the Dodgers for me to mention the other players under consideration.

Paul DePodesta said...

denis,

It can be tough once you're in the off-season. Teams give each other the contact information for the players involved in any transaction, but it doesn't always go smoothly. Fortunately, if we have a really hard time for whatever reason, we can usually get in touch with an agent or we likely have someone on the ground in that particular country like our local scout.

Richard B. Wade said...

"Did you forget about the throw he made when Holliday scored on the last play of 2007?"

Obviously you forgot. Holliday should have been called out on that play.

hector said...

Richard,

There should have been a leprechaun under that rainbow of a throw. Runners take as much liberties with Giles arm than our catchers.

A decent throw makes the slide a non issue.