Dykstra was selected in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2008 draft by the Padres. The Dykstra selection was a somewhat controversial one from the get go (which first round selection isn’t?). I didn’t really mind the pick. Ben wasn’t a big fan.
The pick really kind of spiraled downward as it was revealed that Dykstra had a chronic back hip issue and major swing problems. In the minor leagues, Dykstra didn’t deliver at the plate, at least not to high expectations.
He hit .226/.397/.375 in 537 PAs at Single-A Fort Wayne in 2009, his first full season of professional ball. He displayed great patience (perhaps too much), but also a penchant for striking out. He showed relatively little power for a first basemen.
Last season in High-A Lake Elsinore, Dykstra hit .241/.372/.438. He whiffed 26 percent of the time, but did show better power (partly thanks to a better hitting environment).
Dykstra will be 24 this season, and he still has a chance to turn things around. He certainly hasn’t been a complete bust, and it’s still to-be-determined whether he can truly handle quality pitching.
The Padres dealt him to the Mets, who have some people very familiar with Dykstra – namely Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta. For the rights to Dykstra, the Padres get a former first rounder (supplemental, 42nd overall) of their own in the form of Eddie Kunz.
Primarily a reliever in the minors, Kunz’s struggles tell us one of two things. Either the Padres got hosed here, or Allan Dykstra’s prospect status has really dropped. The ground ball specialist Kunz has thrown 238.3 innings in the minors, striking out 157, walking 134, and allowing 17 home runs (4.87 ERA).
This probably isn’t a deal that’s going to make or break an organization (to say the least), but I can’t say I like it from the Padres perspective. Dykstra has his issues, but there appears to be a chance that he could still develop into a useful major league player. I don’t really see that with Kunz, especially in a bullpen as deep as the Padres.
Dealing Dykstra probably came in part because of a bit of a logjam that has developed at first base/DH in the minors (think Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Blanks, Matt Clark, etc.). That likely being the case, it’s not hard to see why the Padres may have been shopping Dykstra. Still, you would like to think they could have got a better chip in return.