Josh Byrnes has spoken. The Padres championship hopes rest with development of their pitching and their defense. And he is absolutely correct.
In a report by Don Norcross of the San Diego Union Tribune, Josh Byrnes’ career and plans for the Padres are summarized. He believes that success on a small payroll starts with buying in. Everyone has to believe it’s possible. Maybe they’ll bring back the Keepin’ the Faith campaign, but beyond that, the team needs better starting pitching and speedy position players.
I’ve made reference to it here before, but the Padres need to run their club much more like the Tampa Bay Rays. From this report, it sounds as if Byrnes agrees.
The Padres have a pretty stacked farm system and are already ahead of the game. Continued success in the draft is necessary. Having players under team control for an extended period of time is the only way a team like the Padres can afford them. The trick is finding players that fit the Padres system and players with a great deal of talent.
The five untouchables in the Padres organization are examples of what the Padres need to continue. Mat Latos, Cameron Maybin, Anthony Rizzo, Nick Hundley, and Chase Headley are players the Padres are building around. Their goal is to find and develop more players like them. In 2011, the Padres paid these five players less than $7,500,000 combined.
It sounds like Byrnes understands what needs to be done. His background indicates he has the talent to get the job done. However, a feel-good piece about Byrnes and his rise through the ranks of baseball is a far cry from actually producing a winning team. Time will tell.