Padres bloggin' since 2007

Fun fact of the day (04/02)

April 2nd, 2008 by

Since the beginning of the Petco era, the Padres have had one player finish in the top ten for MVP voting every year.

In 2004, Mark Loretta finished 9th, following a season in which he finished third in the league with a batting average of .335, fourth in the league in doubles, and first in sacrifice flies. He posted an OPS+ of 138 this year.

In 2005, Brian Giles finished 9th, following a season in which he finished third in the league with an OBP of .423, first in walks, and sixth with an OPS+ of 146.

In 2006, Trevor Hoffman finished 10th, following a year in which he lead the league in saves and finished second in the Cy Young voting. He ended the season with an ERA+ of 189 and a WHIP of 0.97.

In 2007, Jake Peavy finished 7th following a season in which he lead the league in ERA, wins, strike outs, and WHIP. He won the Cy Young award and rounded out the season with an ERA+ of 159.

The only other team in the entire National League who can match this boast is the St. Louis Cardinals. Albert Pujols alone has finished in the top ten every year, winning the award in 2005. He was joined by our own Hollywood Jim in 2004. Four teams have had a top 10 finalist three times: Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, and the Florida Marlins.

With this type of streak, the question in front of us becomes “Can we maintain?” Will the Padres be able put a player in the top 10 again? If they do, who will it be? Khalil? Adrian? Jake again? Let us know what you think.

The great showdown: who is your preferred Padres President / CEO?

  • Jeff Moorad (63%, 10 Votes)
  • Sandy Alderson (37%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 16

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Posted in awards, misc | 1 Comment »

Baseball Prospectus Top 11 Padres Prospects

February 21st, 2008 by

Kevin Goldstein’s Padres prospect list is out and holy shitballs, Chase Headley and Matt Antonelli are five star prospects! There have been rumblings that these two are solid yet not top caliber guys. Goldstein disagrees, and ranks our top boys with the likes of Andy LaRoche, Cabrera trade centerpiece Cameron Maybin, and Dan Haren bounty Carlos Gonzalez.

Headley and Antonelli will find their place around the young core of Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Adrian Gonzalez, and Khalil Greene.

The “perfect world projection” is the most fun part of Goldstein’s analysis, as our imaginations go wild with expectations of what might be. Goldstein expects middle of the order offensive production from Headley, while his position on the diamond is still to be determined.

He sees Antonelli as:

An offense-oriented second baseman who can hit leadoff, smack 15-20 home runs a year, and steal 25-30 bases.

If I were a cartoon my eyes would be wide open with dollar signs flashing at these projections. The dollar signs of course refer to the untold advertising riches reaped by the proprietor of a blog dedicated to the newest MLB dynasty, the San Diego Padres.

Here’s the final list:

Five-Star Prospects
1. Chase Headley, 3B/OF
2. Matt Antonelli, 2B
Four-Star Prospects
3. Matt Latos, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
4. Drew Miller, RHP
5. Cesar Carrillo, RHP
6. Drew Cumberland, SS
7. Wade LeBlanc, LHP
8. Will Inman, RHP
9. Kyle Blanks, 1B
Two-Star Prospects
10. Kellen Kulbacki, OF
11. Mitch Canham, C

The next surprise is Kyle Blanks as a two star at number 9. Though the star system is designed to eliminate the near pointless debates on minor list order discrepancies, I have to say I expected a high ceiling guy like Blanks a bit further up the list. Goldstein identifies Blanks’ larger, limiting physique as his biggest hindrance. Goldstein also clarifies the ranking by mentioning scouts’ general disagreement on Blanks’ projection.

The current minor league system is a testament to the abilities Sandy Alderson and Grady Fuson have to improve our team’s future. The turnaround these two (among others) engineered in three short years is more than commendable.

As a small market organization, we are lucky to have smart business men in charge who keep us competitive with our more abundant neighboring markets. I’ve said it before, but what an encouraging time it is to be a fan.

PS, If any Baseball Prospectus bigwigs are reading this, let me make up for my blatant ripoff of your content with a no kickback endorsement of Baseball Prospectus’ subscription offerings. Now holla at us in our new poll! Who should be after Latos?

Posted in awards, players, spring training | 3 Comments »

Do We Even Care About Ability?

January 25th, 2008 by

Khalil Greene Named 2007 Padres MVP

…when captain .290 OBP is the team’s most valuable player? Why can’t we move past these homecoming king valuations when determining the most worthwhile contributors to a professional club?

I don’t know if it’s the poor use of poor to begin with counting statistics like RBIs that gets to me the most, or if it’s my sneaking suspicion that blond hair and good looks are what compound the over-rating of Khalil Greene.

I’m not saying he should be actively shopped this winter. That usually gives away the leverage necessary to make a good trade. But if there is / was a similar package to that of Nick Swisher, and I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibilities, I think you have to take it. No question.

Who would replace him, you ask?

Granted, there isn’t anyone in the farm who is ready for the job, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good options (formerly) out there. When only the best defensive shortstop this side of Ozzie Smith was available for mere pennies on the dollar, that answers that question.

Adam Everett at $2.8 million is the true definition of a moneyball signing, even when one considers the .299 career OBP (coincidently higher than the 2007 numbers posted by a certain Padres shortstop). Everett was undervalued in the market this year, and the Padres should have jumped on him.

This would leave an overhyped Greene available for trade, while gaping holes begging for young talent exist in center, or a corner outfield spot (Giles to left? Anyone? Not saying he needs it at this point, but it’s something worth planning for).

Back to the MVP

VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player is a nice stat for our use here. It incorporates all aspects of run scoring for a hitter, can be used for pitchers to compare with hitters, and adjusts for the importance and difficulty of each position on defense. It does not adjust for defensive ability however, so I would give a slight additional edge to Gonzalez, Greene, and Cameron.

Padre 2007 VORP
Jake Peavy 77
Adrian Gonzalez 38.4
Khalil Greene 23
Josh Bard 22.5
Mike Cameron 20.4
Milton Bradley 19
Kevin Kouzmanoff 18.6

What’s a blogger / former Padres disappointment to do at this point? Do I really need to explain the above? Greene is a good player no doubt, but not what he is made out to be.

Lets just convince our girlfriends / wives that Padres players other than Khalil Greene are also good looking. I have a personal hankering for Kouz, but that’s me.

Melvin Update (1/25): I can’t believe I forgot to mention Khalil’s defense in the original article. The thought was brewing in my head during the writing process, but never got out. Perhaps the endless binges of Moonshine and balut have finally caught up to me.

Here are Greeney’s (Greeny?) OOZ and RZR stats courtesy of the Hardball Times.

Year RZR OOZ
2004 0.839 46
2005 0.799 37
2006 0.832 36
2007 0.848 59

Compare these numbers to Adam Everett (linked above), keeping in mind Everett was hurt in 2007. RZR stands for revised zone rating, or the percentage of balls hit into Green’s zone on which he made the play. OOZ stands for out of zone, or the balls hit outside his zone he turned into an out.

They show Greene’s 2004-2006 was good, but not great. Only in 2007 did his play catch up to his reputation.

For reasons why I think this phenomenon exists, check out my article Tighter, I Can’t See His Pores!

Posted in awards, gripes, hot stove, players | 5 Comments »

NL MVP Post

November 25th, 2007 by

The NL Most Valuable Copy Creator Award

I went to write a post on Jimmy Rollins and the NL MVP, but noticed Joe Sheehan said all I was going to write. Whatever, call me a cut-and-paste blogger, but he nails it:

This vote reflects the storyline, not the performance. All of the measures of performance that we have, from Value Over Replacement Player to Wins Above Replacement Player to…well, pick your favorite stat…yield roughly the same conclusion: that Jimmy Rollins was somewhere between the fifth- and eighth-best player in the NL this year…

There is one point I can’t so easily take credit for, however:

The three best players in the league finished fourth (Wright), seventh (Peavy) and ninth (Pujols) in the MVP balloting, not because their performance was lacking, but because their teammates were.

The teammate performance aspect of MVP voting I can claim, but who knew our homie Jake Peavy tied for the second best WARP in the NL?

This is the reason I get all snarky when people cite MVPs and All-Star births in evaluations. I view this as fun fluff to talk (and post) about, but it tells you something if a debate participant brings it up in actual analytical discussion.

Posted in awards, media, statistics | 2 Comments »

Friar for MVP

November 19th, 2007 by

1. Player X is MVP for leading his team to the playoffs, something Player Y failed to do.

2. Player X is MVP because it stands for Most Valuable, and X’s team would be nowhere without him. Player Y’s team has has other good players, making X less valuable.

See a problem here? How is it that both of these are arguments are used as rationale for MVP voting? They’re complete opposites.

…more than anything, it was Rollins’ grinder persona that kept the team positive and focused…

So on and so forth. It’s so comical to me, we watch sportswriters make it up as they go along to push whichever player they’ve already decided should win.

Just pick the best guy. He isn’t a mascot. He can’t control others’ performance.

Posted in awards, gripes | 1 Comment »

Peavy wins Cy Young

November 15th, 2007 by

Peavy is 12th-ever unanimous NL Cy Young

He’s the first pitcher to be unanimous since Randy Johnson in 2002. He’s also the fourth Padre to win the award, joining Mark Davis, Gaylord Perry and Randy Jones.

In terms of Padres pitching accomplishments, Peavy’s season is up there. His ERA+ of 159 beats Perry’s mark of 121 the year he won and Jones’ 120, although Davis had an ERA+ of 192 his Cy Young season. Hoffman, for that matter, has received votes for Cy Young four times, three in the top 5 and two in the top 2, and had his best season in 98 with an ERA+ of 263. But comparing starters to relievers is comparing apples to oranges.

Not that any of that should take away from what Peavy accomplished. He finished with the pitching triple crown and finished with a comfortable lead in each category.

Now he’s free to turn his attention towards signing an extension.

Posted in awards, players | Comments Off

Peavy for MVP (My Partner Failed to Mention)

October 21st, 2007 by

…this stat. But don’t worry, I got your back.

Gonzalez VORP: 38.4 (49th of MLB hitters)

Peavy VORP: 77 (1st of MLB pitchers)

Jake Peavy pitches every five days, but that doesn’t diminish his value when he’s the best guy in baseball every five days. When he does play, he dominates the opposition’s ability to score runs. That gets the Padres offense off the hook.

This year Jake was the best pitcher in the world. That makes him MVP of his team.

Posted in awards, players | 3 Comments »

MVPadre

October 17th, 2007 by

Adrian Gonzalez

There’s a lot of talk about Khalil or Peavy being the MVP of the team this season, but it’s very easily Adrian. Since it would take too long to list the categories that he led the team in, I’ll just list the categories that he didn’t lead in:

OBP: Giles .361 (Adrian .347)

3B: Cameron 6 (Adrian 3)

BB: Cameron 67 (Adrian 65)

SB: Cameron 18 (Adrian 0)

HBP: Kouzmanoff 10 (Adrian 3)

I got a feeling about next year and that HBP crown.

What really jumps out at me about Adrian is that he was 4th in the league in Win Shares for first basemen, behind only The Albert Pujols, the alien inhabiting Carlos Pena’s body, and Prince Fielder.

Not bad.

Posted in awards | 3 Comments »

Before it’s too late

October 11th, 2007 by

Choices for the Padres will come up shortly but I wanted to get this out before more things happen in the playoffs that I won’t be able to unknow.

AL MVP – Alex Rodriguez, NYY

I can’t imagine that this needs any explanation but here goes.

Rodriguez finished first in the AL in the following categories:

-SLG

-OPS

-OPS+

-Runs

-Total bases

-RBI

-Win shares

-RC

-Home runs

And he was even second in the league with HBP, with 21. That’s impressive.

Runner up: Ortiz, BOS

He quietly put up big numbers, finishing in the top two or three in most statistical categories.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in awards, players | Comments Off

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