Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rule V Draft

We just completed the Major League phase of the Rule V draft, so I wanted to give a brief overview of the players we selected. It's probably not what you've come to expect of the Padres.

In the first round with the third overall pick, we selected shortstop Everth Cabrera from the Rockies. Everth played in Asheville in 2008, Colorado's A-ball affiliate. A high energy player, the 5'9" shortstop can absolutely fly - 73 bases in 89 attempts this year. A legitimate leadoff hitter with some power to go along with the speed, Everth has a lot of upside potential.

The easy comparable to throw around due to the size, position, and speed is Rafael Furcal (though Everth does not have Furcal's plus, plus arm). Now, Furcal's a great Major League player, and Everth hasn't played above A ball. That said, when Furcal was Everth's age (season played at 21) he split the year between A and high-A hitting .322/.392/.389 and stealing 96 bases in 126 attempts. Everth hit .284/.361/.399 (less average but more power and more efficient stealing bases). The next year Furcal was the starting SS for the Braves. It's fun to dream.

In the second round we selected RHP Ivan Nova from the Yankees. Consistently rated as one of the Yankees top 20 prospects, the 6'4" right-hander spent the 2008 season pitching for Tampa in the high-A Florida State League as a 21-year old. Our scouting reports indicate that Ivan has a 90-95 mph fastball and shows a plus curveball and a plus changeup. As with most young pitchers, the key is consistency, but the stuff is definitely there. We believe he has big league starter potential in the long run.

As I stated at the beginning, this is a different look for the Padres. We didn't take a semi-polished AAA reliever or a guy who could potentially just fill a role, we decided to take a couple of shots on guys with big upside who could truly impact our organization. As with all young players, Rule V picks in particular, patience is absolutely critical. We can't expect either Cabrera or Nova to tear up the Major Leagues in 2009 - neither has even played one game in AA yet. However, these guys have skills (explosive speed at a premium defensive position and a power arm) that could make them key players in the future.


Unknown said...

I like the idea of going for younger guys with more potential. They'll hopefully fit right in with the young '09 Padres.
Anyways, my concern is that it seems like you have Cabrera projected as the potential starting SS. Other than the arm, which I presume to be average, you neglected to mention how you have rated him defensively.

By the way thanks for the surprisingly quick post! I appreciate it!


Wade said...

Is the Jake trade dead? it was just reported on another site that Kevin Towers is saying it is dead?

Wazzel Sport's Humor said...

I was hoping personally for Chuck Lofgren, but I really like the Cabrera pick and the upside he would have over a Lofgren. The Furcal comp seems like a decent one, but is Cabrera good enough defensively to stick at SS? I saw that last year he played the majority of his games at 2B.

It might be a longshot to expect a player who hasn't played above A ball to stick with the club all year, but as you noted, Rafael Furcal was able to pull that off, so it is reasonably possible (he wouldn't even need to match Furcal's fantastic rookie performance). Plus, one of the benefits of being a team in transition is that you could theoretically stash Cabrera on the bench the entire year.

Heck, in theory you could even play him a lot at SS next year, regardless of performance. With Padre Shortstops hitting .244/.291/.348 last year, those aren't exactly big shoes to fill. The sad thing is that wasn't even the worst SS production in the division as the Giants got .228/.295/.281 out of the position

While I think the odds of Cabrera making the transition to the bigs as successful as Furcal's is about as likely as Kevin Kouzmanoff leading the league in walks, I do think there could be a good enough chance for Cabrera to have a role on next year's club and show some flashes of brilliance while being a good piece to have moving forward. And really, the rule V being what it is, I think Padres fans would be thrilled just for Cabrera to be able to stick on the Padres team for the entire year

sewers said...

Paul - thanks for the update. I've read on a few sites that Cabrera is a 2B. Is this true and if so, do you see him as a better fit at short even though he lacks a Furcal-type of arm? Thanks again!

Pip said...

What kind of a psychological impact does keeping a couple of A-ball guys on the big-league roster do to your prospects in AAA (or even AA) who see themselves getting passed up by these picks? Or do they understand the situation? Also, how does the picks' inexperience play into your assessment of whether to keep them?

Crescent said...

Wait, you're going to keep 2 21-year-olds who have not played above single-A on your 25-man roster all of 2009?

jay destro said...

hey paul...

i am curious, why do you think none of the clubs out there took a shot at mike macdougal?

Unknown said...

Did we lose anyone? What are the implications for our farm system?

David Harris said...

Interesting picks. I like the gamble on Everth, but it looks like this brings our 40-man to 39. Not a lot of room should a big trade go down. Does this perhaps indicate that there is less pressure to trade Peavy? I sure hope so. It even leaves a spot to bring back Hoffman. One can only dream.

fwbaseball said...

Would be curious to hear your thoughts on the two guys that got taken, Diaz and Madden. I enjoyed watching them both while they were in Fort Wayne.

Paul DePodesta said...


We see him as a SS, and our scouts believe he can stay at that position. His arm is plenty, it just isn't Furcal's, which is about as good as it gets. We also believe he can play 2B and even CF.

Paul DePodesta said...

Pip and Crescent,

Their youth and lack of experience absolutely plays a role. That's why the majority of Rule V picks don't stick in the Major Leagues and get returned to the original Club. We'll see how these guys might fit in once we're in Peoria in February and March. However, we wouldn't have taken them if we didn't think they'd have a chance to compete.

Paul DePodesta said...

We did lose two players in the minor league phase of the Rule V: RHR John Madden and CF Javis Diaz.

John is a low 3/4 reliever who has done a nice job over the past two seasons in Lake Elsinore and just turned 26.

Javis is a a 24 year old outfielder who can run, but he started losing playing time this year in Elsinore.

In most cases, players are exposed in the minor league phase when we believe that they will likely have a better opportunity with another Club as of next spring. Sometimes it's simply a numbers game - who is moving up a level, who is going to get the playing time, etc.

cmarmo said...

Hi Paul,

I was curious about the selection process during the Rule V draft. From your experiences, how much preparation goes into this type of draft? Do you draft for potential or need...or both? Also, how do you determine who gets protected (by being major league ready?)? That's the kind of process I am talking about. Thank you for your time.


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul, why pass on the AAA portion? said...

In the case of Nova, it sounds like the Yankee organization was really high on him and thought he had among the best 'stuff' in the org. It's interesting that a guy with a low-to-mid 90's fastbal, plus changeup, and plus curveball did not have more success in A-Ball.

Paul, what have you heard is the reason he had trouble getting A-Ball hitters out with that kind of stuff and do you think he has a better chance to improve spending a full season as a mop-up guy in the majors with a great pitching coach like Balsey as opposed to getting a full season as a starter in AA?

Crescent said...

Thanks for the response, Paul. We miss you up in A's country.

Anonymous said...

Does cabrera have a chance to be the starting SS?

if not would you consider keeping him as a utility player?

Unknown said...


I have read the Furcal and Deivi Cruz comparisons with Cabrera. How would you compare him with Callix Crabbe?

Also, about Nova, is there a pitcher he reminds you off?

Paul DePodesta said...


Basically we wanted to give the kids already in our system the first chance to win any outstanding jobs next spring.

Paul DePodesta said...

You Know Me,

I'll wait to answer until sometime in March! We would definitely consider keeping him in a utility role, as his defensive versatility and speed could fit nicely.

Paul DePodesta said...


I'm not really sure I get the Deivi Cruz comparison other than the fact that they were both SS's taken out of A-ball. Cruz was 23 at the time (two years older) and was a steadier defender. However, Cruz was never really a runner, whereas Cabrera led all of minor league baseball in SB's last year.

As for Callix, Cabrera is similar in stature and they're both switch-hitters, but again there are many differences. Callix was much more polished, as he had played all the way up through AAA and never struck out very much at all. on the other hand, Callix had played virtually no SS for years before we took him. He was really a 2B and an inexperienced OF. Also, though a good runner, Callix doesn't have impact speed like Cabrera does.

Anonymous said...

kind of off topic Mr. Depodesta, but i was doing the "math" on the 09 payroll and it seemed to add up to about 35 million before raises to hairston, gerut, bell, and rodriguez. is that an accurate number because i keep hearing people say they need to trade peavy to be under 40 million. i dont know if im missing something or if people just dont know what they are talking about

Unknown said...

I mentioned Deivi Cruz because Randy Smith said that Cabrera reminded him of Deivi, but more athletic. I did not get it as well.

Thanks for the insight, and happy holidays.

Wazzel Sport's Humor said...

Deivi Cruz...ouch.

I wouldn't insult Cabrera like that, he seemingly is a much more talented player than Deivi. Unless the comparison you are making involves the pearly white teeth Deivi possessed, I don't see it either

WebSoulSurfer said...


Cabrera, like Deivi Cruz, is really a 2B, having played 171 of his 219 games in the minors at that position.

He hasn't played much at SS, only 45 games in his professional career, and hasn't looked good when he did.

In 3 games I saw the Tourists play against the Del Marva Shorebirds and the Charleston Riverdogs, he started one game at SS and looked lost. One throwing error and another play that should have been called an error.

Yes, 3 games and just one at SS is a small sample size, but from the people that follow the Sally League and the Tourists in particular, I got that it is typical of what little time he gets at SS.

On the bright side he did steal 4 bases in the 3 games.

Maybe he will do better than Travis Denker, EGon, and Matt Antonelli to win the 2B position in Spring Training, but from what I saw and from what I was told by those who watched him play daily, he is not a SS.

His .946 FP and his 9 throwing errors of 11 total errors in just 45 games at the SS position seem to bear that out as well.

And now you have a 25 man roster slot filled by someone, 2 someones actually, who have very little shot at making the team.

Kind of ties your hands if you want to make trades, doesn't it?

I just don't understand either of the Rule V pick ups and nothing you have said makes it any clearer why you picked these two.

Denis Savage said...

Love the Nova pick, especially since I have seen him pitch and think he has electric stuff.

To touch on something that padresrevolution said, Nova has suffered from a few things over the last two years. He has not been able to consistently put hitters away by expanding the zone (hitting too much of the plate), and, it seems, he is very hard on himself. That means a big inning is hard for him to get away from because he takes a bad pitch to the next at-bat. It is something he is cognizant of and vows to work on.

This is a very exciting pick. I know they say that the potential to find a gem is much harder with the new Rule 5 rules, but Nova is one of those guys who could be viewed as a spectacular Rule 5 pick in a few years and touted inside the top-10 lists that come out each year.

Anonymous said...

Other than the errors I liked Callix Crabbe a lot. He brought a lot of energy to the field. And made solid contact on almost every pitch he hit, didn't have a lot of luck though as they all ended up in someones mitt.

IF Cabrera can do the same without the errors I'll be a happy guy.


Hello Paul Depodesta,

I'm a BASEBALL Agent based out of SAN DIEGO and here to play Devil's advocate.


The Reasons why the PADRES should of signed VIZQUEL.....11 TIME GOLD GLOVE WINNER, wouldve been a GREAT mentor to CABRERA, and holds the record for most games played at shorstop, somewhere north of 2,584 games at shortstop, which gave him sole possession of first place, passing Luis Aparicio on the all-time list.

The REASON why they didn't want to sign him? TEXAS gave him a minor league deal, couldn't the PADRES have matched that?