Padres Press Clips 08.04 - MLB. 2016-08-15¢ Padres Press Clips Thursday, August 4, 2016...
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Padres Press Clips Thursday, August 4, 2016 Article Source Author Page Padres eye future with revamped farm system MLB.com Cassavell 2 Ed-win: Padres overpower Brewers in finale MLB.com Cassavell/McCalvy 7 Blashtoff: Rookie launches 1st career homer MLB.com Collazo 10 Schimpf snags NL rookie honors for July MLB.com Cassavell 12 Coming off strong start, Friedrich gets ball vs. Phils MLB.com Collazo 14 Hand to rotation next year ‘really intriguing’ MLB.com Cassavell 15 Capps, Ross among Padres progressing MLB.com Collazo 17 Fowler criticism of Kemp, jettisoned veterans signals Padres shift UT San Diego Miller 19 Jackson nearly complete in Padres win UT San Diego Sanders 23 Carter Capps hopes to return by spring UT San Diego Sanders 26 Pregame: Schimpf named NL Rookie of Month UT San Diego Sanders 28 Minors: Reyes drives in six runs for Storm UT San Diego Sanders 30 Padres rout Brewers 12-3 as Guerra has rare rough outing Associated Press AP 32 Padres slug their way to series win NBC San Diego Togerson 34 All 30 MLB stadiums, ranked USA Today Joseph/Berg 35 Petco Park named best ballpark in baseball FOX 5 Phillips 36
Padres eye future with revamped farm system Preller has loaded up Minors with series of smart trades over past nine months
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com SAN DIEGO -- The first domino fell in November.
Closers are luxuries, and when a team has other needs to fill, they're almost always trade bait. The San Diego Padres had organizational needs to fill, so they dealtCraig Kimbrel to the Red Sox and received four prospects in return.
On the surface, it was a run-of-the-mill offseason deal, one club looking to contend immediately and one looking to build for its future. For the Padres, it signified more. The Kimbrel trade marked a philosophical turning point.
In the preceding year, a number of trades and free-agent signings had left San Diego's farm system depleted. Burdensome contracts presented serious obstacles toward replenishing that depth.
"There was opportunity in the short term to try to take a chance to put a competitive team on the field," said Padres general manager A.J. Preller of his team's spending spree during the 2014-15 offseason. "But there was also understanding at the time that we were going to acquire assets that potentially could be valuable to other teams. ... As a baseball group, you're always talking about: 'Here's the best possible scenario, but also here's other scenarios.'"
The best-case scenario did not play out. San Diego finished 74-88 in 2015 and had already parted with many of its top youngsters.
"That's your lifeblood," Preller said of the farm system. "You need to fill your organization with talented guys."
It was Preller's job to replenish the Padres' so-called "lifeblood," and in 2016, he has taken a three- pronged approach to doing so. In a nine-month span, San Diego entirely restocked its farm system. The Padres have acquired eight of their top nine prospects since the 2015 season ended, and 20 of their top 30. Gone are Trea Turner, Joe Ross, Zach Eflin and Matt Wisler. In are Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Josh Naylor and Cal Quantrill. Here's how the Padres got there:
The Draft Top 30 Prospects: No. 5 Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford; No. 9 Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State; No. 14 Buddy Reed, CF, Florida; No. 26 Reggie Lawson, RHP, Victor Valley HS (Victorville, Calif.); No. 28 Mason Thompson, RHP, Round Rock (Texas) HS After sacrificing their first-round pick in 2015 to sign James Shields, the Padres were on the opposite side of the equation in '16. Ian Kennedy and Justin Uptondeclined qualifying offers, giving San Diego a pair of additional first-round selections.
Throw in a lottery round B pick, and the Padres owned six Draft choices among the first 85 -- the most in the Majors.
All spring, Preller insisted, "the Draft is not a crapshoot." It became a catchphrase of sorts for him during Draft week.
With a steady dose of early selections, the Padres found themselves in on players at every tier, putting additional burden on the amateur scouting department. In a normal year, a handful of players simply aren't options because of Draft position.
San Diego didn't have the luxury of leaving stones unturned in 2016. The team drafted Stanford's Quantrill at No. 8 overall, a certifiable risk, given that he hadn't thrown an inning since coming off Tommy John surgery. High-school righty Thompson was also returning from the same operation. Lawson dealt with an oblique injury during his senior year of high school.
The Padres' Draft strategy, it seemed, was to use their plethora of picks to create a margin for error that allowed them to take risks on players they might not have otherwise selected.
"It's not risk," scouting director Mark Conner said at the time. "We're getting guys with upside and feel like once we implement them into our system of player development, it's going to come to fruition.
"It's a probability play for us that other people see as a risk because they didn't do the same work." International signings Top 30 Prospects: No. 6 Adrian Morejon, LHP, Cuba; No. 13 Jorge Ona, OF, Cuba; No. 21 Luis
Almanzar, SS, Dominican Republic; No. 22 Gabriel Arias, SS, Venezuela; No. 29 Jeisson Rosario, OF, Dominican Republic Like the rest of the baseball world, the Padres loved Yoan Moncada. Easy to see why. Moncada -- MLBPipeline.com's No. 2 overall prospect -- came to San Diego's backyard in July and took home MVP honors at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, launching a mammoth home run off the second deck in left field.
A year prior, the Padres had considered doling out serious money for Moncada. But Preller's tenure was just beginning. Continuity was lacking on the scouting staff, and San Diego hadn't yet invested elsewhere during that signing period.
If Moncada agreed with the Padres, they would've been hit with the maximum penalty, forced to sit out the following two signing periods with only Moncada to show for it.
"Do we try to invest in Yoan Moncada?" Preller asked. "Or do we try to invest in a large group?"
Seventeen months ago, Moncada cost the Red Sox $63 million, including taxes. That's approximately what the Padres have spent while running riot on the international market this year. They've inked eight of the Top 30 International Prospects, and about 30 overall -- with more likely to sign.
Of course, this is a group of players who are mostly half a decade away from making a big league impact. But Preller stressed the importance of bringing them along together.
"We want to have a program where we have our own guys come up through our system and learn the Padre way of playing baseball, from the time they're 18, 19, 20 years old," Preller said. "That's a good plan; probably as good a way to build a championship club as possible." Trades Top 30 Prospects: No. 1 Espinoza, RHP (Pomeranz trade); No. 2 Margot, CF (Kimbrel trade); No. 4 Naylor, 1B (Cashner trade); No. 7 Javier Guerra, SS (Kimbrel trade); No. 8 Chris Paddack (Rodney trade); No. 16 Enyel de los Santos, RHP (Benoit trade); No. 17 Logan Allen, LHP (Kimbrel trade); No. 19Hansel Rodriguez, RHP (Upton trade); No. 20 Carlos Asuaje, IF (Kimbrel trade) Moving Kimbrel was only the beginning. In the two months leading up to Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Padres flipped Shields, Fernando Rodney, Drew Pomeranz, Melvin Upton Jr. and Andrew Cashner.
In return, they received a total of eight players -- all of whom were younger than the five that departed. Four of those players slotted right into San Diego's top 20 prospects.
Of course, the Kimbrel deal alone handed the Padres four of their current top 20 -- and two players, Margot and Carlos Asuaje -- who could begin to impact the big league club before the 2016 season ends.
"You're constantly trying to build, you're constantly trying to add," Preller said. "There are all different ways to do it. We've seen it on the pro scouting side, starting with the Kimbrel trade, then the deals that we've had leading up to the Deadline -- [Pomeranz], Rodney, etcetera."
The Pomeranz and Rodney trades stand out in the bunch, mainly for the fact that neither were with the organization a year ago. Preller bought low on the pair, and he sold high.
Rodney cost San Diego less than $1 million over three months. He netted Paddack, the system's No. 8 prospect (who appears ticketed for elbow surgery). Pomeranz essentially cost the Padres Yonder Alonso. He netted them Espinoza, now the club's top prospect. (Alonso's OPS has not yet eclipsed .700 this season. Espinoza is the No. 20 prospect in baseball at age 18 and has drawn comparisons to Pedro Martinez.) The vision Preller is always eager to pore over his nightly game reports from Minor League managers and staff. Given the recent influx of organizational talent, he's downright giddy when they come in now.
"When you get these guys all on the field together -- that's what we've been building toward," Preller said.
There's inherent risk in putting the fortunes of a franchise on the shoulders of college-age kids. But San Diego is playing a numbers game: bring in enough young talent and a percentage of it will pan out.
It's not that simple, of course. Prospects don't grow into Major Leaguers on their