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A weblog covering the San Diego Padres.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

As Promised

Let's get down to this...

Padres' Draft-By The Numbers
High School: 13
Junior College or Community College: 13
College: 23

By Position
First Base: 5
Second Base: 0
Shortstop: 4
Third Base: 4
Catcher: 1
Right Field: 2
Center Field: 4
Left Field: 2

Right Hand Pitcher: 22
Left Hand Pitcher: 5

Canadians
1299-Omar Kadir
1386-Sean Cunningham

Puerto Ricans
702-Jodam Rivera
762-Kelvin Vazquez

I think it's interesting they only took one catcher. Perhaps they are satisfied with the catchers in the system, or they might have loaded up in last year's draft or through little noticed trades. William Killian was selected number 72 overall out of Chippewa Hills School. Maybe they have great hopes for him, especially because he was the second selection made by the Padres.

* * * * *
I will try and find as much information as possible on the Padres' draft picks over the coming days or weeks, but today is devoted to the Padres' first five selections. I admire all the bloggers out there who have been able to find information about the various selections their teams have made. There isn't always a lot to work with on the internet, even for a guy like Matt Bush, so there's a great deal of work involved in the research and then presentation. I hope I have made an adequate attempt to present my findings here.

#1-Matthew Bush (First Overall)
Shortstop-Mission Bay H.S.
5'10"/170LB
R/R

Matt was drafted as a shortstop, but he was also a fine pitcher for Mission Bay. Scouts say he isn't particularly fast, but has good instincts and a solid first step as well as good range and a terrific arm. In the days after the draft, the media began to call him a signability pick, and that may be true as he received a relatively small $3.15 million signing bonus.

The good thing is he is a local kid who by most accounts wanted to be a Padre and will not have a lot of pressure to rocket through the system with Khalil Greene more or less entrenched at shortstop for a few years. Matt provides the Padres an excellent shortstop prospect in their system for the first time in many years if you ignore the 1-year stint Greene had in the minors.

At the prestigious Area Code Games, a meeting place for top high school baseball talent from around America, Matt received top honors and came away with a few top rankings among the prospects. Those rankings included:

-#2 Best Pure Hitter
-#1 Best Defensive Infielder
-#1 Best Infield Arm Strength
-#4 Best Athlete
-#2 Best 2-Way Prospect
-#2 Best Fastball
-#1 Best Curveball
-#1 Best Slider

Mission Bay let him pitch just one game a week, keeping his arm fresh and his competitive juices flowing. He responded with some excellent stats from both positions.

Hitting
Average: .417
AB: 115
Hits: 48
Runs: 40
Doubles: 11
Triples: 1
Homeruns: 10
RBI: 32
Stole Bases: 15

Pitching
Record: 8-1
ERA: 0.46
Games: 12
Saves: 3
Innings Pitched: 59
Hits: 32
Strikeouts/Walks: 88/11

As noted yesterday, Geoff over at Ducksnorts has a terrific look at the feasability of signing high school shortstops in the first round, a problem the Padres are already well aware of after drafting Matt Halloran, who couldn't hack in the minors and is now out of baseball.

#2-William Killian (#72 Overall)
Catcher-Chippewa Hills School
6'1"/190LB
L/R

I found absolutely nothing on Mr. Killian. He is intriguing as a lefthanded hitting catcher, with solid size. The Padres will likely take their time with him now that they have Ramon Hernandez and Miggy Ojeda doing solid work for the big club. He was drafted pretty high, so there will be expectations on him to do well once he signs.

#3-Daryl Jones (#102 Overall)
First Base-Westchester H.S.
6'4"/205LB
R/R

Daryl Jones is a big first base prospect with excellent power potential and a very high ceiling. He played at Los Angeles' famous Westchester H.S., a top basketball breeding ground.

The Statistics:

Batting Average/OBP %/SLG %: .453/.577/1.040
At Bats/Hits/Runs: 75/34/38
Doubles/Triples/Homeruns: 7/5/9
Runs Batted In: 33
Walks/Strikeouts: 20/8
Stolen Bases: 18
Errors: 8

#4 Sean Kazmar (#132 Overall)
Shortstop-Community College of Southern Nevada
6'0"/190LB
R/R



Sean Kazmar is a talented shortstop with an excellent glove, an ok arm, and a decent bat. From the reports he sounds to me like a Jack Wilson, a guy who is a slick and hardworking fielder who should also be able to work his way into a decent hitter at the Major League level. The Oakland Athletics selected him in the 37th round of last year's draft and the Saint Louis Cardinals selected him in the 32nd round in 2002 out of Las Vegas High School.

There may be a signability issue here as Sean is the second shortstop drafted by the Padres in their first four picks, and also was an early verbal to the Georgia Bulldogs. By drafting him so high the Padres may be sending a message that they are serious about having him as a member of the ballclub.

Some quotes:

"Best defensive player in the state(of Nevada)."

"I love fielding the ball, especially when it's not hit right at me"

"I definitely have pro dreams, but mainly I want to go to college and get a little bit stronger and learn the game a little more," he said. "I want to mature, get bigger and hopefully play pro ball and go from there."

Kazmar batted .419 his senior year, hitting nine homeruns, driving in 50 runners and also netting 13 errors in 122 fielding chances. His play earned him major honors as the Sunrise Region's Most Valuable Player.

He then went to Community College of Southern Nevada where he won a national championship in the Junior College World Series. He signed with them over the interest of national powers LSU and Texas. What is interesting is that CCSN is a member of the Scenic West Athletic Conference, one of the rare baseball conferences that use wooden bats.

The Statistics:

Batting Average: .359
Hits: 88 (SWAC League High)
Homeruns: 2
RBI: 52

Batting Average in League Games: .350

He also participated in American Legion summer baseball, and experienced thrived with the aluminum bat, bashing an amazing 19 homeruns in 30 games.

""Sean is one of the premier junior college shortstops in the country, and we're very fortunate to land him because he might be one the best defensive shortstops we've ever signed," said (Bulldog head Coach David) Perno. "He plays with a ton of energy and has plenty of offensive skills to compliment his defense."

#5 Jonathon Ellis (#132 Overall)
Righthanded Pitcher-The Citadel
6'0"/190LB
R/R

Ellis is a very good righthanded college pitcher, ranked by the Hardball Times as the #14 pitcher in all of College Baseball(.pdf file). If true, he's a steal as the Padres' fifth selection.

Citadel Profile-Jonathon Ellis.

His sophomore-season ERA was 4.79, so he's very much an improving pitcher.

The statistics:

ERA: 2.18
Record: 12-3
Games/Starts: 18/18
Complete Games: 9
Shutouts: 2
Innings Pitched: 136.1
Hits/Runs/Earned Runs: 112/42/33
Strikeouts/Walks: 131/39
Doubles: 10
Triples: 1
Homeruns: 7
Opponent At Bats: 505
Opponent Batting Average Against: .222
Wild Pitches: 3
Hit By Pitch: 5
Pickoffs: 4
Stolen Bases/Stolen Base Attempts: 2/5
Fielding Percentage: .978
Batters Struck Out Looking: 39

Ellis does some marginal things very well, like picking off runners and keeping the same runners from stealing. Despite being right-handed, runners attempted just five steals off of him in over 130 innings pitched. I'm guessing he is VERY fast from the mound to home.

He can also fool many hitters, with an excellent 39 struck out looking and .222 opponent batting average against.

So there are todays first five Padre draft selections. They are an interesting group, and I'm really intrigued by Ellis, who could work quickly through the minors, and Kazmar, who if he signs could add great middle infield depth for the Padres' minors squads. He comes with high praise from every level he's played at, and his statistics reveal an ability to really hit the ball and even drive it for homerun power.

* * * * *
I said yesterday I'd reveal the names of incoming USC baseball recruits, and I will deliver.

Here they are:

Mark Trumbo - RHP - Villa Park HS
Anthony Encinas - RHP - Sante Fe HS
Matt Cusick - SS - Rancho Santa Margarita HS
Doug Reinhardt - 3B - Rancho Santa Margarita HS
Todd Macklin - RHP - Corona del Mar HS
Lucas Duda - 1B - Arlington HS
Roberto Lopez - 3B - Rancho Bernardo HS
Trevor Plouffe - RHP - Crespi HS
Nate Smith - 1B/P - Clovis HS

That's an exciting group, and a surprisingly large one at that.

Trumbo actually pitched a 4-0 shutout against Matt Bush in a meeting between their schools earlier this year.

The two "top" recruits among the bunch are Plouffe and Trumbo. Plouffe was taken number 20 in the first round by the Minnesota Twins and Trumbo was taken #533 (round #18) by the hometown Angels. Baseball America says he needs to be blown away by what a team offers because his old man is a big USC honk and wants him to be a Trojan. Plouffe, on the other hand, appears to be gone, much like another high school shortstop USC signed just two seasons ago, Sergio Santos who went #27 to the Diamondbacks and is now their #2 prospect.

Some of the USC signees played in the prestigious area code games mentioned in an earlier post and appeared on the "best tools" list. Here they are:

Trumbo:
#4 Best Fastball
#5 Best Curveball

Duda:
#1 Best Raw Power

Plouffe:
#5 Best Infield Arm Strength

I am also curious about Roberto Lopez, because he played at my high school alma mater, San Diego powerhouse Rancho Bernardo. Rancho Bernardo High School is a well known academic and athletic school in San Diego county, and if you've read Moneyball, you know very well who coach Sam Blalock is, and what the program has done. In fact, I've mentioned him on here before.

Just off the top of my head R.B. High has produced first rounders Jaime Jones (d'oh), Scott Heard (d'oh), Matt Wheatland (injury d'oh), Cole Hamels (yay) and third rounder Hank Blalock (big yay), among many others.

This is a healthy transition to my next section of this post-Rancho Bernardo H.S. players selected in the draft.

P.S.-I'll have more on the USC players very soon, talking about where they were drafted (if at all) and what I've found out about their abilities and statistics. Stay tuned.

* * * * *

Two former R.B. High players were selected in this year's M.L.B. first year player draft. They were:

Tom Caple


and

Hass Pratt


Caple was selected #1380 (46th round) by the Boston Red Sox, the second year in a row they have picked him. He was a two-time CalHiSports player of the year (I believe) while at R.B. He was an absolutely dominating hitter and pitcher, and signed with Texas before having some personality issues with legendary Texas coach Auggie Garrido. He then transferred to USD where he has quietly put together a solid but unspectacular career, earning first-team all WCC honors three years in a row. He is listed as an outfielder, but still has some pitching potential.

He definitely hasn't lived up to his billing and potential, but he did a lot of great things for R.B. Baseball and continues to be a pretty good baseball player.

He hit .345/.498/.495. He hit three homeruns, drove in 36 runners, and smacked 16 doubles and three triples. Caple also drew an impressive 55 walks to just 28 strikeouts and also was hit by a pitch nine times.

As a pitcher he was an unimpressive 1-8 with a 7.31 ERA in 13 games (3 starts). He surrendered an ugly 11 homeruns in just 28 innings pitched, but had a decent K/BB ratio of 21/9.

As a hitter Caple ranked #179 in the NCAA according to The Hardball Times and as a pitcher he ranked #1374.

Pratt was in the same college signing class as first rounders Wheatland and Heard, but ended up going the college route to the Miami Hurricanes over his selection by the Red Sox. He didn't do much his freshman year, but played decently his sophomore season before transferring to the Arkansas Razorbacks. He again had another solid season for the Razorbacks and was selected as a fourth-year senior in the thirtieth round (# 907 overall) by the Oakland Athletics. He started out as a third baseman, but has now shifted to first base.

Pratt hit .321/.397/.473 for the Razorbacks this season, tying for the team lead with eight homeruns. He drove in a team best 52 runners and smacked 13 doubles, walking 31 times and striking out 40.

Pratt ranks as the #646 hitter in the NCAA according to the Hardball Times.

* * * * *
I think I'll call it a day for now, as the Padres are taking a beating from Boston right now (it's 8-1 in the 6th and Schilling is doing pretty well).

I have two pictures from the Reagan event I'd like to add soon, so maybe later today or tomorrow on those. Please continue to stop by.

* * * * *
As I speak Jay Payton missed a homerun by about two feet off the Green Monster, doubling and moving Nevin to third. Terrance Long then grounded to short for the fielders choice RBI, making the game 8-2.

Boston's lineup is just nasty with Ramirez/Ortiz/Garciaparra.
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