Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The 2010 MLB Draft is upon us! The first round is in the bag! Bryce Harper is a millionaire! Can you feel the excitement in the air? NO?! Well that's probably because you are a Padres fan, you poor schmuck. The Padres haven't had a reason to be excited about a first round pick in a really, really, reeeeaaallly long time. For those of you who are aware of our first round draft woes, and also for those of you who are not, I decided I would do a little research to see just how bad our history with the first round pick is. To see what Karsten Whitson's chances are of making a difference.

Karsten, bro. It's not looking good.

Here's a rundown of our last 10 years of first round picks and what they are doing now:

2009 Donovan Tate OF Cartersville (HS)

Injuries since being drafted include a sports hernia, broken jaw, sprained shoulder, and a concussion. We at The Kept Faith have just learned Tate was also recently diagnosed with a "brain cloud" and is on his way to a remote island to jump into a volcano.

2008 Allan Dyskstra 1B Wake Forest U

Currently mashing .208 in single A.

2007 Nick Schmidt LHP U Arkansas Fayetteville

Up in Lake Elsinore, Schmidt is 5-3 with 3.26 ERA after last season going 2-8 with a +7 ERA

2006 Matt Antonelli 3B Wake Forest U

Played only 21 games in the majors, and hit .195 in AAA last year.

2005 Cesar Carrillo RHP U Miami

In AAA this year has a 4-3 record/ 3.97 ERA with 31 K's in 61 innings.

2004 Matt Bush SS Mission Bay (HS)

2003 Tim Stauffer RHP U Richmond Va

Started 14 games last year and was 4-7. Has spent this year bouncing around the rotation, the bullpen, AAA, and the DL.

2002 Khalil Greene SS Clemson

Currently working on his hip hop record.

2001 Jake Gatreau 1B/3B Tulane

Traded in 2004 for 3B Corey Smith. Neither ever played a game for the Friars.

2000 Mark Phillips P Hanover (HS)

Never made it past Single A ball.

In the last decade alone (if you take Khalil out of the picture) 1st round drafted hitters have played 21 games and racked up 1 HR with a .193 BA. Pitchers have made 42 appearances with a 10-15 record and a 4.5 ERA. And those two stats belong to Matt Antonelli, and Tim Stauffer, respectively. Now i know most would argue that the 1st round isn't as important as I am making it out to be. Jake Peavy was taken in the 15th round of the 1999 draft and he was awesome, right?! Even more recently, Mat Latos was an 11th round pick in 2006 and Chase Headley a second rounder in 2005. But here are a list of some dudes who were taken in the first round in the last 5 years:

2005: Ryan Braun, Ryan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, Troy Tulowitzki

2006: Evan Longoria, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw

2007: David Price, Jason Heyward

2008: Buster Posey, Justin Smoak

2009: Mike Leake and Stephen Strasburg.

These guys are all making a serious impact for their respective teams, with Posey and Strasburg about to be making one or at the very least drumming up a little enthusiasm. Remember enthusiasm? I mean, c'mon, how many of you just can't wait for Tim Stauffer to return to the bullpen?! Huh? HUH!? Now, I'm not saying we could have taken these guys, as a lot of them were taken before we had a chance to draft them. My point is that first rounders CAN make a huge difference, and in the case of Mike Leake, you don't always have to wait 5 years after you draft someone for that player to make a difference. Also, in the case of Tim Lincecum, a ball club who doesn't have a Yankee's type payroll can get a Cy Young pitcher for half a million dollars a year for his first few seasons.

Hey, just for fun, let's check out the next 10 years before that! Shall we?

1999 Vince Faison OF Toombs (HS)

Never advanced past AA.

1998 Sean Burroughs 3B Wilson (HS)

Hit 11 HR's in 5 seasons.

1997 Kevin Nicholson SS Stetson U

Played 37 games with the Padres. Batted .216 with one HR.

1996 Matt Halloran SS Chancellor (HS)

Never went past Single A ball with the Padres.

1995 Ben Davis C Malvern Prep HS

Played 1 full season with the Pads. Hit .239 and was traded to Seattle.

1994 Dustin Hermanson P Kent State

Made 34 appearances with the Pads, racked up a healthy 7+ ERA whilst doing so.

1993 Derrek Lee 1B El Camino (HS)

Played 22 games with the club before being traded. Since 2000 has hit over 20 HR's in all but one season for the Cubs and Marlins, hitting 46 in 2005.

1992 Todd Helton 1B Central (HS)

Did not sign. Has hit 326 HR's and has a career .329 BA with the Colorado Rockies.

1991 Joey Hamilton P Georgia Southern

Played 5 seasons with the Pads. Went 15-9 in 1996.

1990 Robbie Beckett P McCallum (HS)

Had "Rick Vaughn"-like velocity (and control) and was waived by the club in 1996, never making it to the big leagues.

In 20 years, the best first round pick was Derrek Lee. But we traded him after playing just 22 games with us in '97. Todd Helton didn't get the money he was looking for and refused to sign. Sure, Sean Burroughs was exciting when he first got to the bigs, but was soon known as "The Bachelor" because all he could hit were singles. Joey Hamilton could arguably be the best return on a first round pick from the last 20 years, but that's with him going 55-44 in 5 years.

I couldn't go back any further, because I just don't want to know. I did learn that of all our 1st round picks Dave Winfield is the only one to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was drafted in 1973.

We have Kevin Towers (GM from 1995-2009) to blame for the majority of the picks, and John Moores to blame for not firing him sooner. Did Towers deserve such immunity because of the '98 World Series? Sure, that was fun, until we were swept by the Yankees, popping our proverbial baseball dream balloon. How did this guy keep his job for 15 years making mistakes like this? San Diego, i would tell you it's like drafting Ryan Leaf, except that it's more like DRAFTING RYAN LEAF EVERY YEAR. To be fair, you also have to give the middle finder to Randy Smith (GM from 1993-1995) and Joe McIlvane (GM from 1991-1993). These two, along with owner Tom Werner decided not to spend the money and screwed up what could have been a Todd Helton-Derrek Lee-Troy Glaus led farm system. All three would have been coming up right around the '98 series time.

Lucky for us, Towers time is over. And while we can't judge Jed Hoyer's record as a GM since this is his first year with that job, a look back at the moves the Red Sox with Hoyer as Assistant GM made are kind of a mixed bag. They did take Jacoby Ellsbury in 2005. However Jason Place who they took in 2006 has progressively gotten worse each year in the minors and is batting a non robust .127 this year in AAA with the Portland Sea Dogs. 2008's draft pick Casey Kelly is 1-3 with a 4.57 ERA, also in Portland. Having said that, I would still trade most of our first round picks for a Jacoby Ellsbury. Or any dude that would actually be able to start in the big leagues and not be a total head case. But maybe in San Diego that's just too much to ask. Oh well.

Welcome to the Faith, Karsten Whitson. Here's hoping you can throw a wrench in these old wheels.

The next Joey Hamilton? Or Mark Phillips? You decide.....


Dallas. said...

The Bachelor is pretty amazing.

Виталик said...

Waiting for Big If album..