Remember how delusional Grady Fuson got when Baseball America announced the farm system as 29th in the league? I anticipate the team’s response following this:
Organizational Rankings: #25 – San Diego Padres
Our much revered Fangraphs has begun listing all 30 Major League clubs in descending order and, as you don’t even need to click to see, the Padres ended up at 25th.
The grading was broken down into Ownership, Front Office, Major League Talent and Minor League Talent. Some highlights:
This is an ownership group in transition, and we just don’t have enough information to give them any kind of grade.
This one seems kind of obvious. They go on to say that there is a sense of shadiness behind the sale to Moorad, as he still had a stake in the Diamondbacks. Personally, I think it’d only be appropriate if a conflict of interest blows up in our face. Nothing’s impossible.
Front Office: B-
Kevin Towers is a smart, likable guy, and currently the longest tenured GM in the game… However, there’s some serious question marks about how the team will be run going forward. With Alderson on the way out, does he take Asst. GM Paul DePodesta with him? Can Towers avoid being fired if the team struggles in 2009, especially with new ownership?
Really, not to be a bloodsucker, but it seems like they went a little soft on the front office. Towers’ legacy in San Diego speaks for itself, but he had a rough 2008. Go through our archives and you won’t see too many “Hey, we signed this guy!” articles, unless they were followed by a “Hey, we traded this guy for not a whole lot!” article. Then there’s our impossibly disappointing minor league system, the uncertainty going forward, and our general 2009 awfulness, and that B- grade seems a bit generous.
Major League Talent: C-
Regression needs to be expected from both, and there just isn’t much in the way of run production for the Padres outside of (Gerut and Giles) and Adrian Gonzalez. Chase Headley is a solid enough young player, but when he represents the hopes of your future line-up, things aren’t great.
Fangraphs makes a potentially dubious statement in “the pitchers aren’t as good as advertised, and the hitters are a bit better than everyone thinks.” I’m not sure why the pitchers are flat-out not as good but the hitters are just kinda sorta better. Petco Park still eats statistics for breakfast. The Three-G’s all had a road OPS near .900, with Adrian topping out at .946. Only Giles made it over .800 at home. Maybe the scrub seatholders are only a bit better on the road, but I don’t like defining the team by them.
Minor League Talent: C-
There aren’t any position prospects here that everyone loves, and the ranks of the pitching prospects are full of guys who throw 87 MPH and try to get by on smarts. It isn’t a horrible farm system, but it’s not a very good one either, and for a team in need of a talent injection, that’s a problem.
Hey, “isn’t a horrible farm system.” That’s pretty good! But seriously, this cuts to the core of this team’s problem. We can talk all day about the missing $30 million and how that’s hindering the team, but the fact remains that this team needs that $30 million because it has yet to start producing its own talent. While other teams in our league are filling out their lineups with homegrowns, the Padres have Chase Headley and Nick Hundley. And with the exception of Kyle Blanks, no one’s really close. I think this fact needs better representation in the Front Office grade.
I’ll leave you with Fangraph’s summation of this team’s fortunes going forward. Have a good weekend!
If you’re a glass half full guy, you can hold onto the fact that the D’Backs were very well ran while Moorad was in Arizona, and that the front office is full of guys who could run a team well. If you’re a glass half empty guy, then you see an organization that lacks talent, has only a couple of really valuable players (two of whom have full no-trade clauses), and who plays in a division with two teams that are better, younger, and have greater revenue steams. I have a feeling that San Diego is in for some tough times ahead.