Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interleague Success

Well, it's been a while since we've been able to write that...eleven long years to be exact.

1997: 8-8
1998: 6-7
1999: 11-4

Hey, this interleague thing isn't so bad.

2000: 5-10
2001: 6-9
2002: 8-10
2003: 8-10
2004: 8-10
2005: 7-11
2006: 7-8
2007: 6-9
2008: 3-15 ouch
2009: 5-10

Yes, the last time we finished with a winning record in interleague play was actually 1999, and the last decade had produced a painful 63-102 record for us against the American League. 2002-2007 wasn't so bad, but it had gotten ugly the past couple of years. This year, therefore, we're more than happy to take the 9-6 tally and the four series wins.

There are a lot of theories about why the National League, in general, has struggled against the American League over the years - the dedicated roster spot for the DH, some higher payrolls, just more talent overall. We don't necessarily know the answer, but we do know we're pleased to buck the trend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Signings

Here are a few more signings for today:

#5 Rico Noel
#11 Brian Guinn
#19 Tyler Norwood
#29 Mykal Stokes
#31 Oscar Garcia
#37 Chase Marona
#41 Bryan Altman
#43 Mark Hardy

A number of these guys (Stokes, Garcia, Marona, and Altman) have already seen action with either Eugene or Arizona, as both teams began their seasons. With Noel and Guinn signed, we now have our top five college (including JC) position players signed.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Video for Rounds 11-20

Here's a little more video on some of our guys.

The Short-Season A Eugene Emeralds opens tonight! Check out the roster here. In addition to the 2010 draftees, we have a number of young talented players trying to make the jump, including pitchers Keyvius Sampson, Adys Portillo, Matt Lollis, and Pedro Martinez and outfielders Luis Domoromo and Rymer Liriano. The Arizona League Padres will start play on Monday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Signing Update

Today we announced that we've come to agreements with 20 of our drafted players. It's good to have two of the top four (our top two position players) already in the fold. We're also close on a few others that could be done before the opening of the short season this weekend, so I'll post those as they become official.

Signings include:

#2 Jedd Gyorko
#4 Christian Bisson
#10 Houston Slemp
#12 Chris Franklin
#17 Wes Cunningham
#18 Dan Meeley
#20 Paul Bingham
#21 Connor Powers
#22 Tyler Stubblefield
#24 Rocky Gale
#27 Matthew Branham
#33 Daniel Ottone
#34 Xavier Esquivel
#36 Rob Gariano
#38 Noah Mull
#39 Adam Schrader
#40 Justin Echevarria
#42 Cole Tyrell
#44 Robert Sabo
#50 Gunnar Terhune

We're well aware that many other conversations will take a while, and some will not result in agreements, but we're very happy with where we are just one week post-draft.

Video for Rounds 6-10

This video includes RHP John Barbato, RHP AJ Vanegas, OF Jose Dore, and OF Houston Slemp. 9th Round pick Josh Spence from Arizona State didn't really pitch this spring due to an elbow injury, so there's no video of him.

As you many be able to tell, Barbato, Vanegas, and Dore were all considered to be talented enough to go in the first few rounds of the draft, but they slipped a bit in the draft due to signability concerns.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Video for Rounds 3-5

Zac Cates

Christian Bisson

Jablonski (Rico) Noel

Monday, June 14, 2010

Putting a Face to a Name

We have video!

Over the course of the next week or two, I'll be posting video on some of our draftees. These are not professionally edited highlights. Rather, they are sample clips taken by our scouts, which I thought we'd share. Because of that, some players will definitely have more than others, though it won't necessarily correlate with where they were taken in the draft. Enjoy!

Today's installment: Karsten Whitson and Jedd Gyorko.

Karsten Whitson

Jedd Gyorko

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rounds 31-50

If I don't do it now, I'm not sure when I will.

Round 31
Oscar Garcia is a junior centerfielder from Northwestern State. He's a very good fundamental player who does all the little things well. While his slash line of .375/.469/.526 is impressive, it's his 41 to 12 walk to strikeout ratio that is truly unusual. He had just 12 strikeouts in about 275 plate appearances.

Round 32
William Scott from Walters State began our run of pitchers. A right-handed starter who is a converted outfielder, William's fastball is up to 92 mph. He also throws both a curveball and a slider, but his changeup might be his most advanced secondary pitch as of right now. He's committed to Kennesaw St.

Round 33
Daniel Ottone is a 6'4" right-hander from Western Carolina who worked out of the bullpen the last two seasons. Daniel generates a lot of groundballs with his fastball that runs between 91 and 94 mph.

Round 34
A four-year reliever and spot starter for Loyola Marymount, Xavier Esquivel has a fastball that will bump 92 mph. He'll also mix in a good curveball and changeup. A bulldog on the mound, Xavier has an aggressive approach that we like.

Round 35
Michael Ellis is a right-hander from Fleetwood Park Secondary School in British Columbia. Still just 17, he has a projectable 6'2" frame and has been pitching for the Canadian National Team. Despite his youth, he has a good feel for pitching, as he can change speeds and move the ball around the zone.

Round 36
Rob Gariano is a senior right-hander from Fairfield University. A starter throughout his college career, Rob also pitched as a starter and reliever in the Cape Cod League last summer where he struck out 31 and walked six over 26 innings of work. A great competitor, Rob has good command of three pitches and a fastball that normally goes between 89-93 mph.

Round 37
Allen Marona is a junior college pitcher from Northwest Shoals in Alabama. A converted SS who is new to pitching, Allen struck out 69 hitters in 39 innings this season with a fastball that will touch 93 mph.

Round 38
Noah Mull is a senior left-hander from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. This year he struck out 81 hitters in just 56 innings, but what also intrigues us is his ability to drop down and throw sidearm. Nothing like a little bit of funk in the 38th round to keep you going.

Round 39
Adam Schrader is a senior right-hander from Southwest Minnesota State. Adam is a good strikethrower, and his 6'3" frame is very projectable.

Round 40
Back to position players! Justin Echevarria is a senior catcher from SUNY Stony Brook. An experienced receiver, Justin has thrown out more than 40% of attempted basestealers over the course of his past three seasons.

Round 41
Bryan Altman is a senior infielder from the Citadel who has also spent some time behind the dish. Over the past two seasons, Bryan has hit 20 homers and 38 doubles in just under 500 at-bats.

Round 42
Cole Tyrell is another senior infielder who has seen some time at catcher in the past and could see more in the future. At the University of Dayton this year he hit .326/.392/.558.

Round 43
Mark Hardy is a senior left-hander from the University of British Columbia. At 6'4" Mark has good downhill plane to his pitches and generates lots of groundballs. His delivery also creates some deception, so he could be a tough at-bat for left-handed hitters.

Round 44
A redshirt junior, Robert is a right-handed starter for Kent State. Now two years removed from labrum surgery, Robert works very quickly and sets a great tempo for the game by attacking the strike zone with all three of his pitches.

Round 45
Michael Fagan is a left-hander from the San Diego Jewish Academy who has set all kinds of strikeout records in high school. This year he punched out 103 in just 46 innings and has close to 500 for his high school career. He's currently committed to Princeton.

Round 46
Dominick Francia is a centerfielder from St. Paul's Episcopal HS in Alabama. A left/left player, Dom has very good speed and instincts for the game, which helped him go 25 for 25 in stolen bases this season. He's currently committed to Louisiana Lafayette.

Round 47
Kraig Kelley is a third baseman from Collinsville HS in Oklahoma whom we listed as a catcher. A good athlete who is also a quarterback, Kraig's arm strength is plus, and at just 17 years old, he's younger than most draftees.

Round 48
Daniel Child is a right-handed starter from Jesuit HS in Northern California. At 6'5" and 235lbs, he has an XXL frame for a 17 year old. Daniel's primary pitch is a hard sinker that will touch as high as 94 mph. He's currently committed to Oregon State.

Round 49
Elliot Glynn is a junior left-handed starter from the University of Connecticut. A crafty lefty, Elliot uses his sinker to generate a lot of grounders. Last summer on the Cape he posted a 2.02 ERA in 40 innings of work.

Round 50
And then there was one. Gunnar Terhune is a senior centerfielder from UC Santa Barbara, but he's a product of St. Augustine HS here in San Diego. A versatile defender, Gunnar also stole 17 bags this year for the Gauchos.

Exhausted. Happy, but exhausted.

This draft was truly a potpourri. We drafted some big-time high school arms, middle of the diamond speed players, some athletic junior college arms with upside, a few polished bats... a little bit of something for everyone. Now it's time to get them signed and get them out to either Eugene or Arizona to start their professional careers as Padres.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rounds 21-30

It was a long day - it feels like we got Karsten Whitson a week ago...

Round 21
Connor Powers is a senior first baseman from Mississippi St with big power. Over the past two seasons he's hit 35 homers in 110 games while playing in possibly the toughest conference in college baseball. At 6'3" and 240lbs he's also an intimidating presence in the box.

Round 22
Tyler Stubblefield is a senior infielder from Kennesaw State in Georgia. A versatile infielder and an efficient basestealer, Tyler was 20 for 20 in stolen bases this spring while also hitting nine homers.

Round 23
Xorge Carrillo is a junior catcher from Arizona State who has been drafted on two other occasions. Originally from Tijuana, Xorge attended Central Arizona for two seasons, where he caught our 9th round pick Josh Spence, before transferring to ASU. A very solid receiver, Xorge should help the development of our young pitchers.

Round 24
It's a run on catchers! Rocky Gale is a senior catcher from the University of Portland. Rocky led the Pilots this year with a .347 average, but more impressively, he threw out 18 of 23 runners attempting to steal. 18 of 23.

Round 25
Josue Montanez is an 18 year old left-handed pitcher from Ramon Vila Mayo HS in Puerto Rico. With a projectable 6'2" frame, Josue works primarily with a fastball and a curveball.

Round 26
Cory Hahn is a centerfielder and left-handed starter for Mater Dei HS in Santa Ana. A good athlete, Cory is a good defender who runs well, has some surprising power, and is a good strikethrower as a pitcher. At this point he's committed to Arizona State.

Round 27
Matt Branham is a senior right-hander from the University of South Carolina Upstate. At 6'4" and up to 92 mph, Matt has struck out more than one hitter per inning over the past two seasons while throwing lots of strikes.

Round 28
Joe Almaraz is an 18 year old 3B from Lady Bird Johnson HS in Texas. A left-handed hitter, Joe hit .390 this season while also showing the tools to play good defense at 3B. An instinctual player, he has an advanced feel for the game.

Round 29
Mykal Stokes is an outfielder for Orange Coast College. A graceful athlete, Mykal is a good defender in the outfield who also has some easy power.

Round 30
Donald Snelten is a 6'6" left-hander from Lake Community HS outside of Chicago. Very projectable and just 17 years old, Donald has a fastball that runs up to 90 mph, good spin on his breaking ball and some feel for a changeup. That mix helped him strike out 64 hitters in just 36 innings. He's committed to the University of Minnesota.

Another 20 rounds tomorrow, but we're feeling good about where we are at this point. We received some really pleasant surprises in the early rounds, and we went after some very high ceiling players a little later. This was our strategy at the outset, but it worked out as well or better than we could have anticipated.

Rounds 11-20

Deep breath...

Round 11
Brian Guinn is an athletic infielder from UC Berkeley. A switch-hitter and two-year starter at Berkeley, he's more of a slasher at the plate with a chance to disrupt the defense. He also played in the Cape last summer.

Round 12
Chris Franklin is a senior right-hander from Southeastern Louisiana who also plays 3B. We see him as a pitcher, however, with a good fastball up to 93mph and the makings of a tough slider. In college he's been the type to play most of the game at 3B and then take the mound as a reliever, so it'll be interesting to see what he can do when focusing just on pitching.

Round 13
Miguel Pena is a 19 year old left-handed starter from San Jacinto JC in Texas. A good strikethrower he has a solid fastball up to 91 mph and a changeup, but his curveball is his money pitch. He was drafted in the 5th round by Washington last year out of high school but elected to attend JC and re-enter the draft.

Round 14
Tommy Medica was a catcher at Santa Clara University before a separated shoulder in a home plate collision forced him out of the position. A former Team USA catcher, he's an advanced bat with strength who can do damage.

Round 15
Sean Dwyer is a left-handed high school outfielder and first baseman with an advanced feel for hitting. A great worker who is mature beyond his years, Sean is already stronger and more polished than most high school hitters. On ability alone he would have gone much higher in the draft, but he is currently committed to attend Florida Gulf Coast.

Round 16
Connor Hofmann is a left-handed hitting centerfielder from our backyard - St. Augustine HS here in San Diego. A plus, plus runner and excellent athlete, Connor is committed to the University of Oregon.

Round 17
Wes Cunningham is a senior first baseman and outfielder from Murray State. In his three years as an everyday player he hit .380, .411, and .408, and during the same stretch went from hitting two home runs to hitting 22.

Round 18
Daniel Meeley is a 20 year old outfielder from Connors State in Oklahoma. A good bat, Daniel hit .443 this year with 21 homers. He's committed to Oklahoma University.

Round 19
Tyler Norwood is a 6'4" 19 year old right-hander from Southern Union CC in AL. He only spent minimal time on the mound in high school, but his velocity has continued to climb as he has been pitching. This year he showed a fastball up to 93 and the makings of a good slider and changeup.

Round 20
Paul Bingham is a senior infielder from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Despite being 6'2" and 200 lbs, he is a plus, plus runner. That impact speed led to 42 stolen bases this year in just 47 games.

Rounds are going quickly now. I'll try to post rounds 21-30 at some point before the end of the night.

Rounds 6-10

It was time for some upside! Most of these guys could be difficult to sign, as their talent dictates a higher round selection, but we felt that it was the right time to take them.

6th Round
John Barbato is a 6'3" RHP from Varela HS in Florida. The coach's son, John's fastball has touched 95 mph and normally works around 92. He complements it with a tough downer curveball and a good changeup. He has the arm speed, delivery, and repertoire of a starter. Currently, he has a strong commitment to the University of Florida, but we'll see what happens.

7th Round
AJ Vanegas is a 6'3" RHP from Redwood Christian HS in Northern California. An AFLAC All-American, AJ has top of the rotation stuff with a fastball up to 96 mph, two solid to plus breaking balls and a feel for the changeup. AJ hasn't been on many mock drafts due to his commitment to Stanford, but he's definitely a first round talent.

8th Round
A 6'1" outfielder, Jose Dore led the state of Florida in homers as a junior. A hamstring injury this spring slowed him, but that didn't hide his multiple tools. A solid defender and runner, he's not just a power bat. He's currently committed to Florida State.

9th Round
Maybe the third time is a charm for Josh Spence. A LHP from Australia, Josh was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 25th round out of Central Arizona in 2008 and then again by the Los Angeles Angels in the 3rd round out or Arizona State in 2009. After returning to ASU, he missed his spring season with an elbow injury. When healthy, he can really pitch with a great feel for changing speeds and frustrating hitters.

10th Round
A left-handed hitting centerfielder out of Eastern Oklahoma JC, Houston Slemp has the chance to incorporate both speed and power into his game. Houston was an all-state football and baseball player in high school before starting his college baseball career at Arkansas.

Jablonski (Rico) Noel

Bisson is really fast. Noel might be faster.

Rico is the CF for Coastal Carolina, and in his past 125 college games, he has stolen 104 bases. That's silly. Possibly more importantly, we think he's the best defensive centerfielder in the entire draft and is a perfect fit for PETCO.

A right-handed hitter, Rico is another guy we think has great makeup. With Gyorko, Bisson, and Noel, we have some small strike zones!

Christian Bisson

A junior second baseman from the University of Kentucky (and originally from Ontario), Chris is a player with exciting speed. Combining last summer on the Cape and this spring in the SEC, Chris has stolen 68 bases in 93 games. Wiry strong, he also has some strength and will get his share of extra base hits.

Another player with great makeup, he's absolutely driven to succeed. After not playing much as a freshman at Kentucky, he became the first UK player since 2000 to earn back-to-back All SEC honors.

Zach Cates

We love pleasant surprises!

Zach Cates is a newly converted pitcher from Northeast Texas CC. A former catcher, the 6'3", 200lb right-hander has a fastball than runs 90-95 to go along with a nasty changeup. Just 20 years old, this spring was Zach's first full season to concentrate on pitching, and he struck out 92 in just 69 innings.

We feel he has the chance to be a starter and should continue to develop as he spends more time on the mound.

Jedd Gyorko

We got ourselves a bat.

Jedd is a junior shortstop from West Virginia University who has done nothing but rake for three years. At 5'10" and 195lbs, Jedd is a strong infielder with right-handed power. This year he had 48 extra base hits in just 236 at-bats while only striking out just 24 times. Furthermore, last summer he hit .326/.386/.488 with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League.

A driven, hard-nosed player, Jedd is the type of grinder with the makeup to will himself to the Major Leagues. We were hoping all night that he might still be there when we picked today, as we feel he's one of the more polished bats in the draft.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Karsten Whitson

Sometimes you have to take your shot.

Karsten is a 6'4", 215lb right-hander from Chipley, FL with a fastball that runs between 90 and 95 mph. His main secondary pitch is a relatively polished slider that has been unhittable at the amateur level. While he has shown some feel for a changeup, he just hasn't needed to use it much up to this point, but we anticipate that he'll have a solid one going forward. A great competitor, Karsten pitches with an attitude, and I mean that in the best way possible.

As this year's big league team illustrates, we're going to win here in PETCO with great pitching, and we feel Karsten has the chance to pitch at the top of a rotation. Like any high schooler, it is going to take a while for him to develop fully, and we'll have a defined plan to increase his workload over the years to prepare him for the rigors of an ML season.

This pick doesn't come without risk, but that goes for any amateur player. In this instance, though, we have the chance to develop a dominant starting pitcher.

Now it's time to sit back and watch the next 40 picks and continue to strategize for tomorrow.

Draft Day!

There's just nothing like waking up on draft day.

In the past the draft lasted two days, and it was akin to an 800 meter race - an absolute sprint but realistically too long to sprint without nearly collapsing before the end (at least for me). There was no time allotted for each pick, so when the team in front of you finished announcing their selection, it was immediately time for you to announce yours. Even a 15 second pause was an indication that a team had just been plucked - losing their intended selection just before they picked. This pace lasted for two straight days, and it was frenetic.

Over the years the format of the draft has continued to change. The first change was allowing a full minute in between picks in the first round or two. It doesn't sound like much, but to those of us who were accustomed to the sprint, it was excruciatingly slow. In the last year or two we went to five minutes for each first round pick, and then a minute or two for the next couple of rounds before the rapid fire. Five minutes is an eternity in a draft room.

The biggest changes, though, have been to the schedule. Last year we did just the first two rounds on the first day, as compared to roughly 20 rounds in the past. This year? Just Round Round One (including the compensation round). That means that all of the teams will be working through the night to reload for the faster pace tomorrow.

This new schedule has some strategic implications, as it gives teams, especially those with multiple picks, the time to assess where they are and where they want to go. In the past, teams attempted to run through all of those possible scenarios in the week leading up to the draft to the point of exhaustion. When you have close to 900 players on your draft board, the possibilities are simply too numerous to model, but you can do your best to narrow it down. Tonight all of us will have a better opportunity to streamline our strategy once the top 50 players are off the board.

For my part, I'll do my best to blog live from our room as we're making selections. As we get deeper into tomorrow, I'll have to start grouping the selections and providing some information during our breaks, which come approximately every ten rounds. Keep the questions coming, and I'll get to them over the next few days.