At THT: a look at how Prince Fielder might age in Detroit. You may recall Fielder signed a whopping nine-year, $214 million deal with the Tigers earlier this offseason.
Check out Brooks Baseball for a ridiculously awesome PITCHf/x tool released by Dan Brooks, Harry Pavlidis, and Lucas Apostoleris (among others, I’m sure). Now stop drooling. Here’s the introduction article.
Also, be sure to check out The Hardball Times newly unveiled Dispatch section, where THTers analyze the game using PITCHf/x data.
On the subject, I’m hoping to add more PITCHf/x analysis here at Friar Forecast.
In new(ish) semi-weekly tradition, here are some links for your perusal:
At Chicken Friars, Justin hopes that the Padres can extend Cameron Maybin this offseason. He’s not alone. Maybin recently switched agents, delaying any chance of ironing out an extension in the near future. Hopefully he’ll get locked up soon enough.
Tom Krasovic and Friarhood held a chat. Tom answered a bunch of questions about the Padres.
At GLB, there’s an entertaining review of the Josh Byrnes meet up — check that, tweet up — that took place Wednesday night at a San Diego bar/restaurant. Sounds like a good time.
Fun discussion with RJ’s Fro, Avenging Jack Murphy, and Geoff Young about the Padres relationship with the media/fans.
Good Q&A with Randy Smith, Padres vice president of player development and international scouting, at Mad Friars.
Marc Hulet offers his top 15 Padres prospects at FanGraphs, listing Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal 1-2.
Brad Johnson has some good analysis of the latest baseball news at The Hardball Times, including the huge trade between the Yankees and Mariners.
Geoff Young has a comprehensive look at the Angels and third basemen at Baseball Prospectus.
My latest article at The Hardball Times offers some analysis of the San Diego Padres offseason.
While we’ve covered most of the transactions here at Friar Forecast, the article offers a complete recap plus some thoughts on the direction of the organization in general. Check it out.
The San Diego Padres ownership transition from John Moores to Jeff Moorad’s group was delayed on Thursday, when owners failed to vote on its approval. It appears that there are some financial concerns surrounding the groups’ ability to take over the Padres.
Important to note, the owners didn’t vote down Moorad’s group; they simply didn’t vote at all. Apparently the vote will take place after more information is revealed. It could be done by conference call, according to Bud Selig. A 75 percent vote is needed for approval (Dex has all the details).
It’s just business as usual for the Padres this offseason. Upheaval in the front office, big trades involving Mat Latos and Anthony Rizzo, acquiring Carlos Quentin, now complications regarding the sale of the club. It’s been a strange few months, to say the least.
Still, the ownership transition wasn’t expected to be completed for a few more years, so it’s well ahead of schedule – thanks to urging by John Moores. It’s obviously hard to tell the significance of this delay. It could be a minor snag or the beginning of the end for the Moorad-led group. We’ll have to wait and see.
Corey Brock discusses the Padres offseason, including the Anthony Rizzo trade and Jesus Guzman’s role on the 2012 club.
At Friarhood, Peter Friberg analyzes shortstop prospect Beamer Weems. In 990 minor league plate appearances, Weems has hit .235/.362/.354. Last season at Double-A San Antonio, Weems finally showed some pop, hitting nine homers (and 27 extra-base hits) in 309 PAs. He had hit just three home runs prior to his 2012 campaign.
Weems’ plate discipline and power surge make him an interesting prospect. Peter notes Weems’ very solid defensive reputation, and that’s where his value probably lies. If he can become a plus defender at shortstop in the bigs, he doesn’t have to do all that much with the bat.
Melvin takes a look at the big trades of the offseason and notes that the difference between Anthony Rizzo and Yonder Alonso may end up deciding just how good (or bad) these moves were.
I still think the two first baseman are close in overall value, but obviously the Byrnes’ regime isn’t as high on Rizzo. Jed Hoyer certainly feels differently. If anything, dealing Latos for Alonso (and company) and then flipping Rizzo off to Hoyer in Chicago shows that Byrnes, while seemingly similar to Hoyer in background, has entirely different plans for the future of the Padres organization than the former general manager did.
Avenging Jack Murphy has some deep philosophical thought on plungers and relates that to the Padres offseason. In all seriousness, I share a numbers of his concerns about the strange proceedings post-Hoyer.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the recent influx in content here at Friar Forecast. We plan to keep it that way as we get closer to the season. Keep visiting and interacting with the site (we love comments). And make sure to follow us on Twitter. Now the links ….
San Diego Padres manager Bud Black talks pitching with David Lauria of FanGraphs. FanGraphs also has a couple of pieces on Petco Park’s impact on offense (more specifically, how it might affect Carlos Quentin). Note that while Petco is a more friendly home run park for right-handed hitters, it suppresses total offense for righties and lefties about equally (it’s tougher on doubles — a more frequent event — for right-handed batters).
Dex loves the Quentin pick-up, and over at GLB he posted a poll asking how he’ll perform in 2012. Of the 300 some voters, 72 percent believe Quentin will play at least 120 games and 53 percent think he’ll homer 20 times or more. I wasn’t a big fan of the deal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Quentin gets 500 plate appearances and hits 20-25 homers.
Bill Center at The Union-Tribune (now with better URL) has an article on the Padres potentially extending Cameron Maybin and/or Carlos Quentin. Quentin will be 29 next year and, unless he has a breakout-type year, I can’t see the Padres extending the already slow, injury-prone slugger into his early thirties.
At Friarhood, Steve Adler posted an interview with recently jettisoned right hander Mat Latos. In the interview Latos does little to squelch the notion that he may have some maturity issues. He’s still only 24 years old and I doubt it had much to do with his trade to Cincinnati (Josh Byrnes has said as much). The Padres got a really good package for him. Still, “maturity issues” aren’t exactly a trait you’d look for in a potential multi-million dollar investment.
Don’t take this as sour grapes, though. Latos will have every chance to prove the naysayers wrong in Cincinnati. I wouldn’t be surprised if he remains a borderline top-of-the-rotation starter over the next few years with the Reds. Like I mentioned, this trade was largely a baseball one.
On the prospect front, Baseball America reports that Adys Portillo made strides in the Venezuelan League, including a five inning, one hit performance in November. Randy Smith on Portillo:
He has a “burning desire to be successful. Even after getting hit around, he bounces back the next day,” Smith said. “I think he gets it; he understands he is a work in progress and does not get too high on a good day or too low on a bad one.”
As a 19-year-old, Portillo struggled last season in his first real taste of Single-A ball. His strikeout rate actually improved (25 percent), which is encouraging, but he walked six per nine and posted a 7.11 ERA in 82 and a third innings.
Chicken Friars takes a look at the Padres middle infield and starting rotation heading into 2012. The middle infield of Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett is not one to get too excited about. If anything, though, their combined production should improve in 2012, as they should regress back toward career norms.
The greatest Website in the history of the Internet, Cot’s Contracts, is moving to Baseball Prospectus. The look and feel will remain largely the same, there’s some extra tools to play around with, and it’ll remain free. Not much to complain about.
I’m still writing at The Hardball Times every other week. My latest piece is one the Boston Red Sox bullpen.
Our own Ben Davey also writes for MadFriars about the San Diego Padres minor league system. Check out his recently posted interview with Matt Eddy, the Padres expert at Baseball America.
Lots of great discussion on BA’s methodology, Rizzo and Alonso, Drew Cumberland’s return, and the Padres system in general. Both articles are free, but consider subscribing to MadFriars for the rest of their top-shelf prospect coverage if you’re not already.
My latest article at The Hardball Times is on Jed Hoyer’s tenure in San Diego.
While it probably isn’t news to most of you, it is a somewhat comprehensive review of Hoyer’s major transactions with the Padres. Let me know what you think.
Rounding up some opinions from around the Internet ….
- Gaslamp Ball finds that the Latos trade is 81 percent “fresh” (from the Padres perspective).
- Steve at Friarhood thinks it’s rotten (for now, anyway).
- Hank’s Padres discusses the deal.
- Our own Chris Kelly isn’t a big fan of the trade.
- More from Avenging Jack Murphy, Chicken Friars, Tom Krasovic, and Padres Prospects,
- Red Reporter has a Q&A with GLB
- Justin at Basement-Dwellers loves the deal for the Reds.
- Redleg Nation gets to know Mat Latos
The San Diego Padres are off to a good start, winning three of their first four. They took two of three in an opening series in St. Louis, outscoring the Cardinals 14-6.
Yesterday, the Padres won their home opening against the San Francisco Giants 3-1, behind an excellent debut from starter Aaron Harang (6 IP, 6 K’s, 1 R) and a three run third inning.
Starting off 3-1 – against good clubs, too – probably shouldn’t change your opinion of the 2011 Padres much, if at all. Still, there’s not much more you could have asked for so far, and hopefully the Padres can ride a hot start to another big year.
Onto the links ….
Geoff Young talks about Cameron Maybin’s very exciting Padres debut.
Ray covers the Padres opening series at Friarhood.
Mat Latos threw a 70-pitch simulated game on Monday. “All the reports are good,” according to Bud Black. The Padres pitching has been sharp so far, but they could use a healthy Latos as soon as possible (as could 29 other teams).
Trevor Hoffman returned to San Diego Tuesday, making a familiar entrance from the bullpen to throw out the first pitch. You might remember, Hoffman was the Padres closer before Heath Bell.