"What? I'm only gone 50 games." Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Holding On To Prospects Could Be Detrimental To Padres

Somewhere in January it was reported the Padres had a big trade on the table, where if Byrnes would have pulled the trigger, the trade would have “knocked our socks off” or “blown our minds” or caused excitement so extreme as to inflict physical damage. Well, being the masochists us Padre fans are, we are still here waiting unsatisfied for something to happen.

For awhile, I convinced myself to be content with the Padres holding on to their bullets. There is no need to blow up your entire farm for one player, especially if that player does not convert the team from pretender to contender. But then Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects for 2013

was released and my mind completely flipped. Six Padres were listed, four are carry overs from 2012. Their 2012 ranking is in parenthesis.

36. Austin Hedges

51. Max Fried

54. Rymer Liriano (40)

60. Casey Kelly (32)

70. Jedd Gyorko (90)

88. Joe Ross (49)

Players ranked last year all went down a few spots except for Gyorko, who is arguably our most sought out prospect. But what do these rankings mean? What percentage of the guys ranked between #50 and #60 become major contributors on a big league team? Whats the probability all of them becoming everyday starters?

I have no answer to any of those questions, but I did come to a conclusion.

Since 2010, Kelly has gone from #18 on Law’s list down to #60 where he sits today. He got a few starts with the Padres, albeit prematurely, and looked OK. He was always projected to be, at best, a #2 starter in the rotation but more likely a #3 guy.

You know who else was ranked around #60 not too long ago? Simon Castro. I do not want to compare but I do want to point out the delicacy of these rankings. Castro was ranked #64 on Law’s list in 2011. We moved him to Chicago in the Quentin trade. Castro still has not been called up.

Jaff Decker was ranked #50 on MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo list of top 50 prospects  in 2010.  In 2011, he was #46 on Keith Law’s list. He has since been leapfrogged by our current set of highly touted prospects.

Unless you have a guy like Jason Heyward, Mike Trout, Stephen Strasburg, guys consistently listed #1 or #2 on EVERYONE’S list, they’re not a sure thing.

In the Peavy deal, we acquired the two best pitchers in the White Sox’s  system in Aaron Poreda and Clayton Richard. Poreda was suppose to be a stud. He’s not even on our team anymore. Three of the four players we received in the trade are not on the team.

That is how delicate and hard gauging prospects is. A sure thing can always blow up in your face and all of a sudden you are left without an ace on the staff. Even the Latos trade took a knock with the Grandal suspension.

If Byrnes had a deal on the table set for Stanton or Upton, the trigger needed to be pulled. Both are proven players and are only going to get better. Holding on to prospects and rejecting trades for players ready to play now will leave the Padres selling us the team on potential. “Yeah we’re 35-64 but look at all the high-ceiling draft picks on the field.” Is that what you want to hear in 2 years?

Why do we have to be the team that sits on prospects when we have the bullets to be firing away and taking proven talent from teams? We’re still getting a feel for our new front office but Byrnes being gun-shy for a player of Stanton or Upton’s caliber leaves me wondering if banking on our highly ranked farm wont blow up in our face.





Next Padres Game View full schedule »
Tuesday, Sep 22 Sep7:10Arizona DiamondbacksBuy Tickets

Tags: Austin Hedges Casey Kelly Clayton Richard Giancarlo Stanton Jake Peavy Jedd Gyorko Josh Byrnes Justin Upton Keith Law Mat Latos Max Fried Rymer Liriano San Diego Padres Simon Castro Yasmani Grandal

  • Keegan Tatum

    I think we have to be honest with ourselves as San Diego fans. Justin Upton is very talented but, for whatever reason, performs below his skill set. He’s a classic case of a $20 million talent but a 5-cent head. Stanton has great power, but it’s never a good sign when a guy wants out of a franchise merely because their risks didn’t work out. [Admittedly I may not know the full extent as to why Stanton is so adamant about leaving Miami]. But does anyone believe Stanton would be happy in San Diego while being forced to wait a year or two to be on a contending team?

  • BroLeo

    if you really think about it, the trades that our GMs have made, since we moved downtown SD, have seen other teams get the most mileage out of the pitchers that we traded…NOT THE HITTERS. Why is that?…because teams know that our AAA division is a hitters division..and as such the stats that see from guys like a Gyorko or a Rizzo or a Blanks, can be deceiving.

    That not to say that any of those guys cant hit, but there is enuf evidence there, for other teams to be leary and/or concerned, especially if they’re looking for a major piece.

    Jake Peavy is a pitcher…ChiSox knew what they were getting. They wanted pitching, not hitting.

    Mat Latos is a pitcher..Cincy knew they were getting our ‘ace’. They wanted pitching not hitters.

    Adrian Gonzalez was traded for what?…he was traded for pitching, because Texas knew that was our so-called callng card (altho, they still got fleeced). And there was no way in Hell, Texas would have made that trade it meant they had to trade Adrian for hitting. That was not gonna happen because Texas knows that it not the strong suit of the Padres.

    Miggy Tejada was traded for what?..pitching, thats what. Wynn Pelzer, a very hard thrower, went to Baltimore.

    Cameron Maybin was traded for what?…he was traded for a pitching (Webb, Mujica)

    Just look at some of the bigger and ‘not so big’ trades that we have made, and you will find that teams we traded with, wanted pitching more than anything else. There is too much evidence relative to that fact, to disregard what motivates this team to trade with other teams.

    We need hitting and teams are very reluctant to trade with us for anything other than, them getting pitching.

    And that reality messed up an offseason for Byrnes, no doubt. Ownership coulda’ done more, but I think the market did more to damage any chance Byrnes would have had finding affordable hitting or better than average pitching.

    • blahdu

      um, a-gon was traded to the red sox, not texas