Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Instructional League

Sorry for the absence the last few days. I have been in Peoria, Arizona attending our annual scouting meetings at our Fall Instructional League. Though we're not at the St. Regis enjoying golf, the spa, and blowout dinners, it's always a good time.

We've been spending the mornings in meetings going over the 2008 draft - what we did well, what we did poorly, and what we learned - as well as doing some early prep for 2009. More importantly, we're all back together, scouts and player development personnel, for a few days to break down players, share ideas, and talk baseball.

The afternoons have been very valuable, because we've been watching our Instructional League games. Like most organizations, our FIL roster is diverse. We have players from AA to the Dominican Summer League all on the same team. Some are here to work on specific parts of their game, some are trying a position change, and others are here to get more at-bats and detailed instruction. The best part for us, front office and scouts included, is that we get to see all of these guys playing together.

During the spring scouting season comparisons are critically important and terribly difficult. You may have seen one player for two games back in March and another for three at-bats in late May (as well as 100 other players in between), and you have to be able to rank those players with some sound reasoning as the backbone. At Instructional League we get to see these players literally right next to each other, which helps tremendously to reinforce our thought process or to expose a shortcoming.

With both Fall Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League, this is a great time of year to be in Arizona. Though the crowds don't extend beyond friends and family, there are future big leaguers all over the place.


Anonymous said...

can you give a list of players playing in the various fall leagues?????

Frederick Mortimer - Topics of the Times said...

I love this blog. As a Rockies fan, I actively want you, the San Diego Padres, to fail. As a baseball fan, I actively want you, Paul DePodesta, to succeed.

Zach Sanders said...

Sounds like fun! I would love to have the oppritunity to sit in on those meetings. Any players stand out to you that are worth mentioning?

Unknown said...

Welcome back Paul,

Can you please expand on what you guys did well, what you did poorly, and what you learned from the 2008 draft? What kind of preparations can you do for 2009?

Your Padres said...

Jake Peavy did not go to the Padres and ask for a trade. The trade was proposed by the Padres. He was told by KT that it would be good for the club financially and Jake said there would be some circumstances where he would be willing to leave ... Axelrod

this is quite possibly my last straw with the padres. I love my padres, hel lhalf my clothing has padres on it .. but they continue to break my heart time and time again, and i don't think i can take it anymore.

Jake is once in a lifetime talent .. and this sad organization is going to trade him away for prospects, just so they can save a buck or two. and its not like they are running in the red either.

Its the same thing they did last year with Headley. Just tanked the season so they could save a buck or two.

I have spent countless megabytes defending this organization all around the internets .. I just don't think i can do it anymore.

I am officially ashamed to call my self a padres fan.

Best of luck to you guys. best of luck fleecing the fine people of San Diego.

Tom said...

This doesn't really relate to the IL, but since the original post discusses "process," that's where I'm hanging my hat.

How is it that the process-driven Padres seem to have changed course so radically from late July to early August? Brian Giles could have been traded to several teams before the deadline. The Padres had a very good offensive player and 3 million dollars to offer. The talk then was that the team wanted to retain him, because you can't replace Giles for 6 million. All very true. Then, within a week after the deadline, the team decides that it will move him. But now it's waiver time, a far more difficult path. What happened in that week to 10 days? Did the 2009 budget get radically cut? Did an extra five games worth of data convince you that the Padres really couldn't compete next season? It seems that a team so supposedly focused on process would NOT get caught with its pants around its ankles - again.

Now it's clear that Peavy is on the block, which realistically puts our next competitive window at 2010. And that's optimistic. For all the talk of the disciplined plan and the long-term approach, the Padres sure do seem to be schizoid right now. If ownership uncertainty is the root cause, it's a valid reason, but how does miscommunication between the owner and management CONTINUE to persist four years after the Mush Batt debacle?

Unknown said...

Hi Paul,

This is completely off topic from what is at hand, but people are going nuts talking Peavy trade rumors out here in Padres-land. I don't expect a glimpse behind the curtain, but anything you could add/clarify/dispel would be greatly appreciated.

And man, do you guys ever take a break? Seriously ;)

Unknown said...

Hello Paul, love your blog...

Are you familiar with the stat tRA, and if so, do you think it is the most important stat for a pitcher?

(I asked this once before but you posted a new blog right after so i figured you did not see it)

thanks paul!

Paul DePodesta said...

zv sanders,

There are a bunch of guys who are playing well in Arizona right now. One particular guy that is having a great Instructional League for the second year in a row is Yefri Carvajal. Just 19 years old, Yefri has big upside and is exciting to watch when he puts it together.

Paul DePodesta said...


I'll address your comment, which is a fair one, in the next post.

field39 said...

Pressure? I certainly hope you are feeling the pressure. If you guys decide to trade Jake. You best get: The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars, not the second coming of Melvin Nieves.