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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

BA: Padres Top 10

Carrillo could be in the big club’s rotation by mid-season. He had been shut down by the time that Mobile got to Five County (his last start was August 20), so I didn’t get to see him pitch. That was one of the downsides of the SL’s schedule last year - not getting to see as much of the Southern Division teams as I would have liked. Carrillo’s five SL starts were against a couple of the Southern League’s better offensive teams - 2 against Jacksonville, 2 against Montgomery, and 1 against Birmingham - and after his first start (in which he allowed 4 runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Suns, two of which scored after he left the game) he was outstanding in each one. I don’t think he has much more to learn in the minors, and I think he’ll make a nice complement to Peavy at the front end of the rotation.

Mobile played very well at the end of the season, and I think Kottaras was a large part of the reason for that. The Bay Bears got a string of outstanding pitching performances in August with Kottaras handling most of the catching duties. He looks a bit like a Jason Kendall-type at the plate - makes consistent contact, hits line drives and the occasional longball, will take a walk - and also looks like he handles the pitchers well.

Barfield could be the Pads’ starting 2B on Opening Day. I saw him in ‘04 at Mobile and wasn’t terribly impressed - he seemed to me to be very tentative at the plate and in the field - but he rebounded very well in ‘05. He’s hit well in good hitting environments, less well elsewhere, and he does strike out a fair amount. In terms of skill sets, I think he’s very similar to Loretta except that he doesn’t make contact nearly as often and won’t be quite as productive overall as a result. But I don’t think the Padres will lose a lot if Barfield gets the job (he will be competing with Bobby Hill in ST, and I think he’ll win that fight).

The quality drops off very quickly after the top couple of players. Barfield and Johnson would probably be at the end of most top-10s, and below them you have a lot of question marks. BA says the system is bordering on barren, and I don’t think they are wrong. Fuson has a job to do here.

Mike Emeigh Posted: December 14, 2005 at 02:22 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, padres, prospect reports

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   1. Pleasant Nate (Upgraded from 'Nate') Posted: December 14, 2005 at 04:29 PM (#1776795)
I haven't seen any Top 100s for 2006 yet, but I'm fairly certain Carrillo won't get his due in most of them. I'd guess he'll average somewhere in the 70s, but he should probably be a top-30 guy despite his "lack of upside". There's too much polish and too much certainty that he'll contribute at the major league level not to put him that high, and I see no reason he can't become a quality #2 starter.
   2. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 04:49 PM (#1776821)
I am also a believer that Kottaras should be in avery top 100, maybe even a few top 50's if not higher.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:11 PM (#1776856)
Chase Headley? What kind of a baseball name is that?
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:13 PM (#1776859)
Also, from the first-round history on the right side, I'm surprised to see that Mark Phillips is entirely out of baseball. I'd heard he had some head issues, but you'd think a lot of teams would want to take a look at a lefty with that kind of arm.
   5. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:23 PM (#1776871)
I saw Carrillo once in person last year, versus Andrew Miller in April (granted, metal bats were involved). Compact, consistent delivery, maintained his velocity well, didn't use his curve very much or have the kind of movement on his fastball than is often reported. On the other hand, it was his worst outing of the year so I'll give him a little slack. (Worse still was Miller, a probable high-first rounder, who gave up a zillion walks before departing early - this may have been the ugliest game I saw all year).

Otherwise, what Mike said. It's nice to see Johnson turn around his career (is it just me, or has he been around forever?).
   6. Tony H. Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:24 PM (#1776874)
So Matt Bush is seen as the best defensive infielder in the organization, and the system is barren (or bordering on barren), yet he can't even make the top 10 prospects? Is he that awful a hitter? I know he's been terrible, but have all the Padres hopes for him completely disappeared?

I don't really follow the Padres that closely.
   7. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:28 PM (#1776884)
More changes appear inevitable as free agents Brian Giles and Ramon Hernandez were expected to sign elsewhere...

Outfielder Ben Johnson...will get a chance to replace Giles.

Uh...
   8. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:34 PM (#1776900)
Bush is that bad with the stick. .221/.279/.276 in Ft. Wayne. Complete waste of a #1 pick.

I want to know if it would kill BA to make little amendments to the things they put in these lists when an offseason move has occured well before its publication. The Dodgers list projects that Guzman could be the starter at SS to begin 2005 if Izturis isn't quite ready to get on the field then. The intro to the Padres section says the organization will have to make lots of changes because Giles and Hoffman will probably leave as FAs.

Furcal did not sign with the Dodgers on Monday morning, and Giles and Hoffman did not resign with San Diego this morning. Not exactly late breaking news. Get with the program, BA.
   9. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:37 PM (#1776911)
It's probably hard to remember what needs chainging in their articles - as opposed to re-ordering lists (which they do) after transactions.

It's been one (plus a short season) year, give Bush a break. While he clearly looks like a lousy top pick (and did at the time, though obviously less so than now), it's early - let him drink legally first.
   10. Tony H. Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1776924)

It's been one (plus a short season) year, give Bush a break. While he clearly looks like a lousy top pick (and did at the time, though obviously less so than now), it's early - let him drink legally first.


That's kind of what I was thinking, too. But I know BA gets a lot of it's information from sources inside the club, so I can't help but think that they don't have any hope for him at all. I'm curious if people who have seen him play think he has any chance of ever hitting.
   11. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:42 PM (#1776926)
It's nice to see Johnson turn around his career (is it just me, or has he been around forever?).

Since 1999, which is virtually forever in prospect-land. He's still just 24.

-- MWE
   12. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:50 PM (#1776952)
I'm curious if people who have seen him play think he has any chance of ever hitting.

Maybe (although I'd need to see him play to get a better read - I haven't). He has a couple of positive markers. He doesn't strike out a lot, and he seems to have a reasonably good batting eye; his walk rate isn't high, but it's respectable. It may just be that he needs to get stronger; his numbers look like those of a guy who just manages to get the ball into play, and it could be that he's not yet physically capable of doing much more than that. If I were the Padres, I'd have left him in short-season ball last year, and I think he'll be left in low-A this year. As a #1 overall, he'll get more chances, but he really does need to show something in '06.

-- MWE
   13. MM1f Posted: December 14, 2005 at 05:51 PM (#1776959)
"9. Nick Hundley, c"

I hope they took his father away.

On a serious note, the second half of that list doesn't look like muhc.
   14. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: December 14, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1777462)
Here's what Goldstein said about Bush in the chat:

"He has tumbled, but it wasn't hard to find scouts that still liked him. Very good defensive player despite the error total. I don't think he'll ever be a guy who can hit at the top of an order, but he could develop into a Royce Clayton type."

BA Chat
   15. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 14, 2005 at 10:34 PM (#1777518)
I liked both of Goldstein's long shot guys on the mound - Krosschell (I was one of the guys who asked about him) and Manny Ayala, who did well both in the California CC leagues and the Golden League (though super long shot is still a good description).
   16. MM1f Posted: December 15, 2005 at 01:59 AM (#1777822)
"I saw Carrillo once in person last year, versus Andrew Miller in April (granted, metal bats were involved). Compact, consistent delivery, maintained his velocity well, didn't use his curve very much or have the kind of movement on his fastball than is often reported. On the other hand, it was his worst outing of the year so I'll give him a little slack. (Worse still was Miller, a probable high-first rounder, who gave up a zillion walks before departing early - this may have been the ugliest game I saw all year)."

I was at that game too, at UNC. God, that turned out to be exactly the opposite of what I came to see.

On a related note the Tigers basically gave away Kenny Baugh, who was 5th in the IL in ERA, to the Pads for a mediocre 20 or 21 yo A ball reliver.
   17. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 15, 2005 at 02:11 AM (#1777839)
Yeah, but Baugh's "stuff" is gone and his K-rate was low. He's not going to be a quality MLBer.
   18. MM1f Posted: December 15, 2005 at 03:35 AM (#1777938)
Oh, not denying that at all. I just don't know why it was nessecary to give him away. Im pretty sure he wasnt on the 40man and its not like he was costing anything more than a random AAA salary and he wouldnt be the worst emergency fill in starter. Not a move to really worry about i just found it odd.
   19. Norcan Posted: December 15, 2005 at 08:20 AM (#1778173)
Why does every minor league pitcher have to be judged solely on his strikeouts? There have been plenty of pitchers who didn't have great k-rates or k/bb ratios in the minors who went on to become fine fine pitchers or will concrete their status as such with a couple of more fine seasons. Pitchers like Curt Schilling, David Cone, Ben Sheets, Brett Myers, Pedro Martinez (not great k/bb), Randy Johnson (not great K/bb), Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux, Roy Halladay, John Smoltz.
   20. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 15, 2005 at 01:50 PM (#1778255)
Why does every minor league pitcher have to be judged solely on his strikeouts?

Strikeout rate for minor league pitchers is one of the best indicators of future major league success. It's hardly perfect, but when a guy is striking out 5 and 6 guys per nine innings in the minors, as Baugh has been, it's usually a reason to think that he doesn't have enough quality pitches to fool major league hitters for long.

Minor league K rates for the pitchers Norcan mentioned:

Schilling: 7.39
Cone: 6.64 (6.92 in AAA)
Sheets: 7.44
Myers: 7.35
Pedro: 8.57
Unit: 9.64
Lowe: 5.64 (7.19 in AAA)
Maddux: 5.67 (5.02 in AAA)
Halladay: 5.88 (5.08 in AAA)
Smoltz: 6.51 (7.14 in AAA)

Most of these guys were either over 7 from the beginning, or got to or close to 7 by the time they reached AAA. Maddux and Halladay are exceptions, and Halladay was over 7 in his brief period in AA ball, before he was rushed to AAA by the Jays.

-- MWE
   21. Jimmy P Posted: December 15, 2005 at 03:00 PM (#1778285)
let him drink legally first.


He didn't wait to drink legally, why should we?
   22. Norcan Posted: December 15, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1778612)
Mike Emeigh: 6-7 k/9 in the minors isn't that good, it may be above average in the majors but not in the minors. It's a figure someone would look at and not think too highly of. There are plenty of pitchers who put up those k-rates or better.


The numbers you cited for the pitchers are their minor league totals. If you looked at the pitchers' individual minor league seasons, there are some less than dominant k-rates.

Schilling: 5.29 (First season of Triple-A)
Sheets: 7.53 (AA) 6.50 (AAA)
And so on.

With Pedro and Randy, I was citing the non-spectacular k/bb ratios which are so commonly used to rate pitching prospects in the minors. Their stats otherwise were very impressive, especially the few hits per 9 they consistently gave up, which they carried over into the majors.

My point was, after a triple-a season of that low k-rate, Schilling could have been dismissed as only a fringe prospect.

There are other rate stats that are just as important as k-rate, like hits/9 and hrs/9. I like to know how hard a pitcher is getting hit in the minors, how well batters see him, whether or not he pitches in the middle of the plate too much, how heavy are his pitches, how much do they move. A pitcher can strikeout 8 batters/9 in the minors, but if he's a flyball pitcher who gives up 9-10 hits/9 and over 1 hr/9, he's not exactly making hitters miss the ball all too well.
   23. Spivey Posted: December 17, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1781930)
My point was, after a triple-a season of that low k-rate, Schilling could have been dismissed as only a fringe prospect.

Scouting is important as well.

Most of the guys you listed either were young for their level, had 'stuff' that was considered far better than Baugh's, or both.

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