Bad Baseball – Bad Drafts

Posted by on June 8th, 2015  •  0 Comments  • 

This isn’t very good, and it’s probably the reason the product hasn’t been very good on the field either.
 
When you have 12-losing seasons in a 15-year run, when your postseason playoff record is miserable, and your playoff appearances seem like years ago,you have to pinpoint a reason.
 
The San Diego Padres need to look no farther down the hallway than their baseball scouting department.  The Padres drafts have been horrible, going back to the decade of the 1990s, and do you know how long ago that was?.
 
Now that AJ Preller has taken over as GM, with his people in command, coming off the wild winter of wheeling and dealing, you’d hope things got better.  But the Padres front office will be like you and me later today, watching the early stages of the Baseball 1st Year draft on TV.  They don’t have a lst round pick, because that choice went to the Kansas City Royals as compensation for the signing of big money, big game James Shields.
 
The Friars won’t select till the 51st pick in the second round and then follow that with choices in the third round at picks 86-and-98.  Of course you can find great players anywhere, like Albert Pujols or Mike Piazza, taken in places like the 27th and 35th rounds.
 
But the history of this franchise, and the choices in the past are horrible.
 
Do you know the last star they drafted in the 1st round was slugger Derrek Lee, an opening round pick in 1993, more than two plus decades ago?  And he wound up being traded to the Florida Marlins.
 
In 22-years, the Padres have had only a couple of impact players coming out their opening round selections.  In 2002, Khalil Greene became a star for a short time in San Diego, playing great at shortstop and hitting home runs, but was done and gone shortly, dealt away to the Cardinals, then walking out of baseball because of anxiety attacks.
 
Sean Burroughs was hoped to be a savior, the son of former Texas Rangers slugger Jeff Burroughs, but he never delivered the kind of power they hoped, then had to fight thru nagging injuries, and was peddled on to other clubs, never having a satisfying career.
 
That’s it, that’s all this franchise has to show in the first round dating back 22-years.
 
Bad luck hurt this team.  1st round pitching prospect Tim Stauffer had two shoulder surgeries.  Cruelly, Corey Luebke is trying to rally back from two elbow surgeries, another opening round pick cursed by injuries.
 
And the Padres curse to at choices like Matt Bush, last seen serving a prison term, or the latest failure, Donavan Tate, fighting thru substance abuse and non-stop injury issues.
 
And the new regime has dealt off some of the more recent top picks, pitcher Joe Ross and shortstop Treu Turner, both headed to the Washington Nationals in various deals.
 
Preller brought with him a reputation in scouting and in international signings.  He has not done much in his less than a year on the job in the international venue, making runs at Cuban stars, but not landing any.  And he will sit for awhile till his staff gets the chance to draft somebody midway thru the second round.
 
I thought about what has befallen the Padres, and said to myself, if Kansas City can finally win after decades of disappointment, if the Pirates can get to postseason after 2-decades of failure, then yes it can happen in San Diego.
 
The only difference though, there are no Eric Hosmer-Alex Gordon-Mike Moustakas like players coming to San Diego like those who have rescued Kansas City.  And the Pirates are fuelled by all star Andrew McCutchen, a star in his own right, and the fact 7-of-the 8-position players in the Pittsburgh starting lineup, when they were here last week at Petco, are their own draft picks.
 
The Padres have lots of marquee names in the lineup tonite, but little home-grown, and very little ready to contribute yet from El Paso-San Antonio.  And because they don’t draft high again tonite, it may be a bit longer till they can say ‘built in San Diego’.
 
Dismal, disappointing, the real “D” words when describing the Padres, and the other “D” word, drafting.

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