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  1. How does Rizzo compare to Blanks?

    Comment by Brock — December 4, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  2. Iglesias is already on the 40-men roster, since he signed a major league deal……Gammons reported the the 4th piece is not a top prospect

    Comment by Pedro — December 4, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

  3. How does Rizzo have some defensive value? The kid made 15 errors at 1B in just about 100 games. I know errors aren’t a great measure, but at 1B it’s not like he has that many throws to make.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  4. Error calls are not ever consistent nor do they often make sense. I’d like to see 2-3 years worth of numbers before judging.

    Comment by PL — December 4, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

  5. when you consider that Kelly was pitching in double-A at the age of 20

    Is this one of those things that REALLY matters or is it just one of those things that sounds like it should matter?

    I ask because based on what I see and know, a 20yo future major league starter will do just fine in the lower levels, even against players a few years older. It’s something most of these guys have done since about 3rd grade.

    When/If these guys get to the pros, they’ll be playing against guys older than them as well.

    Another way to look at is that the 20yo’s talent is so great that the team moved him up to play against older players at a higher level. Either he’ll get better with more experience, or his talent isn’t as great as they thought. How do we tell the difference?

    In other words, what generally happens to 20yo’s in AA that struggle initially? Do they respond positively, neutral, or negative in future performance.

    I ask because I generally do not get all that excited about “prospects” in the low minors. He also seems like he could be one of those guys whose talent is at such a level that he overwhelms the lowest level, but moving up levels, which requires an increase in skill (as well as great talent), presents a challenge he has yet to conquer.

    What makes it tough is that not every with talent improves skill at a sufficient rate. Since all of these guys out-talent everyone up to professional baseball (or can out-talent everyone), it’s hard to know which guys will “learn” or improve skills, and which guys are basically “just the talent you see”.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 4, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

  6. Good deal for both sides-

    Casey Kelly is insanely athletic and repeats his delivery very well. While he struggled in 2010, his velocity went up. It’s easy to dream on him and see a 1-2 starter.

    Fuentes is super toolsy. He’s more of a lottery ticket but he’s there’s a chance he could be an exceptional player.

    Rizzo is the player I least liked from this group and yet, he had very good power numbers for a 20 year old in AA ball.

    Boston of course gets the guy they’ve wanted for years now- It wouldn’t shock me if this is a deal that helps both teams a lot over the next 5 years.

    Comment by Michael — December 4, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

  7. FIP is pretty meaningless in the minors. Minor league BABIP and HR rates do not regress to average. There is a huge true talent difference.

    If you adjust Kelly’s K-rate to a normal number of BF, it’s more like 6.5/9. Not good.

    Comment by snapper — December 4, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  8. If I’m a San Diego fan, I’m disappointed in the return for AGone. None of these players helps the Pads right away and none are a lock to be impact MLB players in the future.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — December 4, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  9. My point is the data doesn’t support the conclusion. I’d be much more skeptical if we were talking about any other infielder, but not alot is expected of 1Bs by major league scorers. I can’t imagine minor league ones are that different.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  10. None are a lock to be major leaguers period.

    Meanwhile AGon will give 5-6 wins next year for $6M.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  11. Rizzo’s errors mainly came as a result of lapses in concentration, according to scouts. His defensive tools (which you see from watching him) suggest he’ll be quite good as time goes on. Also keep in mind that he’s grabbing throws from other young players with limited defensive skills.

    All three players are young with high ceilings. It’s important to focus on the fact that Kelly is still learning how to be a full-time pitcher and to really find a routine between starts that works for him.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 4, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

  12. I am a Padres fan. And I am a bit disappointed…I would have obviously like to see a player with 400 ABs in AAA with a 300/380/480 line or something. Obviously.

    But…I’m okay with it. Three top ten prospects is not a minor haul. I was somewhat excited about the talent pipeline for the next few seasons and now I really am.

    If just one of the guys pans out, they’ll get a few WAR per year and probably get more value over the course of cost-controlled productive years from them. Instead of Gonzalez leaving and the Pads get two draft picks which are much much riskier than even A ball players.

    I think there’s also a bit of exploitation here–in order for any team to sign prospects out of the draft, they take on rather sizable risks with signing bonuses. Its hard to build a team through the draft without those risks. Essentially, trading for minor league players the Padres get to a) see how they do in their first year-three years of professional ball b) avoid paying them seven figure signing bonuses with no guarantees.

    Realistically, the Pads are not contending next year. And I’m glad the Jedi isn’t Ed Wade or Jack Zdrunicek and is convinced that just because the team was close last year, they’ll be close again this year. I’m looking at 2011 as a possibility (Maybin, Ludwick, Veneble, Blanks, Cabrera, Headley) because of their potentially decent core of players. But I’m looking at 2012-2013 and its very easy to get carried away with excitement.

    Comment by Mike Savino — December 4, 2010 @ 3:09 pm

  13. I don’t understand trading for Rizzo as he doesn’t appear to be any better than Kyle Blanks. However he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphona early in 2008 so maybe that push him back a little (although being 20 in Double A is pretty damn good).

    However, I’m skeptical of prospects, especially 1B, that don’t have great numbers in the minors. Rizzo hit just 263/334/481 in Double A last season.

    Comment by Tom — December 4, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  14. While it looks like the Padres got good value for the remaining year of AG, something bothers me about this deal. The city of San Diego chipped in at least $166 million to the construction of Petco park. Just like in Seattle, the fans no doubt expected that having a new park would mean they might get to keep beloved star players like AG, rather than continuing to be a farm system for the big market clubs.

    Whoopsadoodle. Six years into having a new park, the Padres still can’t keep a star player around. Even though the Padres were but two wins away from taking the Giants’ spot in the playoffs last year, the team has to get rid of its best player, reducing its chance of winning a pennant in 2011, most likely. This is a team that should be adding those few missing components to reload for next year, not rebuilding.

    I know the Padres are having money problems…is it related to low attendance or is the team still paying off its share of the stadium? Either way, if I’m a Padres fan I think I’m disappointed the team gave up on next season. They could have did what Seattle did with Cliff Lee and wait to see how the season goes before dealing him. Chances to go to the playoffs don’t come around too often.

    Comment by Short — December 4, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

  15. “They could have did…” Nice.

    Comment by Short — December 4, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  16. Kelly was fine last year. HIs FIP was 4.01. Take into account his age (which does matter despite your ramblings), and last year was not a true step back.

    Comment by James — December 4, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  17. “FIP is pretty meaningless in the minors. Minor league BABIP and HR rates do not regress to average. There is a huge true talent difference.”

    Wow, very scientific reasoning here. Care to back up any of the supposed “facts” you just stated?

    Comment by James — December 4, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

  18. Some of you guys are really overvaluing one year of Adrian Gonzalez, which is all Boston acquired. What did you expect, Buchholz and Iglesias?

    Comment by James — December 4, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  19. Marc,

    I think you are reading last year’s report on his fastball velocity. Most reports had him consistently sitting 92-93 touching 94-95 at times.

    Comment by PadsFan — December 4, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

  20. We expect actual legit ML talent, not low-minors lottery tickets that 80% of the teams in this league could have put forth without any significant hit to their farm.

    Comment by Joel — December 4, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

  21. Prospect analysis is difficult for the fangraphs crowd because minor league stats mean a lot less for a variety of reasons (limited variety of stats available, age advancement, competition (level, league), power/velocity projection, etc.). Suffice to say, Kelly and Rizzo are much, much better prospects than a cursory look at the MiL stats might show.

    For instance, via WEEI:
    “This is what Adrian Gonzalez did for the Portland Sea Dogs as a 20-year-old in 2002: .266/.344/.437/.781, 17 HR, 96 RBI, 138 games

    This is what Anthony Rizzo did for the Portland Sea Dogs as a 20-year-old in 2010, following his early-season promotion from Hi-A Salem: .263/.334/.481/.815, 20 HR, 80 RBI in 107 games”

    http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2010/12/04/a-look-at-what-the-red-sox-are-giving-up-for-adrian-gonzalez/

    Comment by John — December 4, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  22. Lapses in concentration, at 1B? That doesn’t sound right. You mean he’s duffing groundballs because he’s checking out the ladies behind the dugout? Can you point to any breakdown of the errors? I don’t see how grabbing throws from any young player would make a difference. Scorers, even in the minors, aren’t that ignorant, are they?

    As for Kelly, I get that, and that’s exactly why I don’t see how he’s leading a deal to acquire a legitimate MVP candidate. The Pads couldn’t get one top 20 talent for 5-6 wins next year? This feels like a pu pu platter of middle tier prospects. Kelly has the potential to be much more than that, but he hasn’t shown he can tap that vein.

    Fuentes and Rizzo seem like they don’t and won’t have the bats for their positions – patience and power. And Rizzo certainly isn’t Blanks.

    I’m pretty shocked that the Pads can trade AGon – with a full year left on his deal – and not get back one sure-fire major leaguer.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  23. Joel, please tell me what you think a fair offer would’ve been from Boston so we can all have a good laugh.

    And BTW, AA is not “the low minors”. Try to keep up.

    Comment by James — December 4, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  24. As a Sox fan, I’m probably a bit biased… but as I posted before, I think this is a pretty good deal for you San Diego fans.

    A lot of scouts love Casey Kelly. Keith Law and Jim Callis both believe he’s excellent, last years struggles notwithstanding. To paraphrase Law, Casey Kelly was so obscenely polished in 2009, you couldn’t really take his statistics seriously, he was a “man among boys” during his first professional year. This past year, he grew up a bit, his velocity greatly improved and he added some weight. What we saw was a guy who was pitching at 88-90 now throwing at 91-93 and sometimes hitting 94-95. His command and polish diminished but his “stuff” looked a lot better. However, at the same time, he still maintained his athleticism and was able to repeat his delivery effortlessly. Some games, the polish of the year before would come back, and he’d look like a top prospect, other times, it abandoned him and he looked bad…. but you’ve got to remember A) his age and B) the multitude of changes he experience over the year.

    He’s a project, but again paraphrasing Law, it’s easy to imagine him as a front line starter.

    Anthony Rizzo- I’m not the biggest Rizzo fan. Mostly because of where he plays. But the kid does have power and one might want to consider that he missed an entire season due to cancer. If he can improve his BB rate, he could be one of the better 1b prospects in baseball.

    Fuentes- is extremely athletic. While he hasn’t shown much power in games, he allegedly has shown some during BP and during his pre-draft workouts. He’s also relatively young for the league he played in and didn’t suck. He’s a pretty good prospect.

    You guys didn’t get a top 25 prospect but you did get 3 guys who probably range from 30-115. All of which with significant upside and potential to climb the ranks.

    As far as Sox prospects go- going into this season these were the guys I’d most be pained to lose:

    (Westmoreland)
    Kelly
    Iglesias
    Kalish
    Britton
    Fuentes
    Rizzo
    Ranaudo
    Vitek

    I’m happy about the deal, but I think come 2013 you guys will be to.

    Comment by Michael — December 4, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  25. Joel, please tell me what you think a fair offer would’ve been from Boston so we can all have a good laugh.

    And BTW, AA is not “the low minors”. Try to keep up. And btw, the Eastern League is arguable the strongest league in AA.

    Comment by James — December 4, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  26. That would never happen. In any trade. And you think 80% of teams can afford to trade two top 30 prospects (pre-2010) without any significant hit to the farm? What universe are you living in?

    Comment by doogolas — December 4, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  27. Age matters A LOT! Its all about context. Not many pitchers are dominating at AA at the age of 20, especially when it is your first full season as a pitcher. He easily is a top 20-30 prospect in all of baseball. He has plus command, plus control, 3 plus pitches, and will only be 21. Imagine in 3 years what he will be like? Especially in that park, which will help with his increasing fly-ball tendencies, as the writer pointed out. Kelly is a beast!

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

  28. I think 263/334/481 is pretty good for a 20 year old in AA. If both Rizzo and Banks are healthy then Banks has shown he can play corner OF…and as long as they are both succeeding with the bat then you could just trade one later for a player(s) that address a specific need…no rule against stockpiling talented players.
    The guy I’m kinda scratching my head about is Kelly…while I understand that scouts perceive he has a lot of upside, he seems like a project to me and not really an ideal centerpiece in a trade for an elite player if I’m San Diego. Like Rizzo, he was young for his level, so maybe that 2010 line is more encouraging than it appears.

    Comment by ms — December 4, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  29. You have to understand that Kelly was trying to work in his secondary pitches more this year, which is part of the reason why his K/rate is somewhat lowered, and bb-rate higher. He showed increased velocity this year on a consistent basis, and made huge strides in develring his secondary pitches more frequently, and for more strikes, especially as the year progressed.

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  30. 15 errors in 100 games at 1B is most likely NOT due to subjective error assignments.

    It’s mostly likely due to playing the position as if one were wearing boxing gloves.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 4, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  31. That’s what I was asking … re: age in AA.

    The batters that seem to do well in MLB, seem to do well with almost every jump in level, almost (seemingly) regardless of age.

    I was hoping there was a big data study done on young players at AA, and how their results could be used to project MLB production.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 4, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  32. 5-6 wins for $6M is overvaluing him?

    A major league ready prospect should have been a given. The problem is the Sox have little that is major league ready.

    Seems like a deal where the team was set first then the package was settled on. Given the familiarity of the parties involved, that’s not surprising.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  33. Kelly is only 21 now, and has 3 plus pitches, plus control and command. Be patient. He should be ready by mid 2012. He will be a star.

    Rizzo is only 21 now as well, and power, plate discipline, and pitch recognition as a 20 yr old in AA. Not many players can do that, and he had cancer a few years back. He is also a avg. to above avg. defensive 1B. He will be fine. Give him a few years. He should be ready mid 2012, and he will be only 23 then.

    Fuentes could be a very similar player to Ellsbury.

    Only a handful of prospects are “guarenteed” stars, such as Heyward or Posey, but Kelly is as close to being a guarenteed future star as your going to get.
    This is a GREAT package for the Pads, for only one year of Adrian.

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  34. Okay, but a lot of pitchers in AA are trying to work secondary pitches.

    It’s doubtful that there are very many high talented, polished pitchers in AA.

    The reason why AA is so popular is it is full of high talent prospects working on stuff against each other.

    Kelly is athletic and has a strong arm. That’s great.

    My question is “What are the chances he develops into a good PITCHER?”

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 4, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  35. James, The problem is the Sox didn’t realistically have the ready for the majors talent necessary to get 5-6 wins in one player. You really think this is the absolute best deal the Pads could have gotten? Please say yes so we can all have a good laugh.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  36. The problem is Rizzo has never shown the offense necessary to carry 1B in the majors. He *might* develop more power and patience, but for a top 10 bat I’d think a team should return more than might’s and could’s.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  37. Kelly is only 21 now, and has 3 plus pitches, plus control and command. Be patient.

    This is what I am getting at …

    “How does a guy have ….”

    [1] 3 plus pitches
    [2] plus control
    [3] plus command
    [4] good velocity

    and

    NOT dominate AA ball as if he were a man amongst boys? THAT is not making sense to me.

    With all those attributes (assuming accuracy), he’d be ready to start at the ML level. Either his command and control isn’t that good, or his pitches aren’t … but if he has basically “plus everything” with a good repeatable delivery, then they need to stop wasting his time in the minors.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 4, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  38. A 4.01 FIP in AA means he’s at least two years from the majors. That’s an eternity for a pitcher.

    Of course, FIP also ignores the fact that he got smacked around good (11 hits per 9). Athlete and stuff aside, he wasn’t fooling anyone. Even his K rate was pedestrian for a supposed top of the rotation starter.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  39. It’s not the best deal for 2011, but it’s a good deal for them regardless. They got three players who could all be worth 5 wins a year over their peaks for a guy they couldn’t afford to re-sign.

    Additionally, I think it’s fair to question whether or not SD’s pitching is likely to match last years production.

    Comment by Michael — December 4, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  40. I really do not like this trade for Boston.

    Comment by Joe R — December 4, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  41. I literally just questioned why he wasn’t performing as a Man amongst Boys, and then I read your comment ….

    To paraphrase Law, Casey Kelly was so obscenely polished in 2009, you couldn’t really take his statistics seriously, he was a “man among boys” during his first professional year.

    I just grow tired of the talk of prospects as if they already were what they *could* be. The list of busts is far too long to take that talk seriously.

    I value prospects, but I don;t get all that excited about what a guy has done at low levels of minors. AA is a good spot to start paying attention. At that point, you need to start seeing big jumps in skill improvement instead of just “relying on genetics/talent”. IMO, that’s where we often see guys exposed, or brought down to Earth. So, when Kelly’s numbers weren’t overwhelming and the descriptions of him basically having ML stuff, I gotta question it.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 4, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

  42. But you’re also dealing with a 20 year old in AA. If he remained in high A, no-one would have batted an eye. He probably would have posted an ERA around 3.00 with a K rate around. 9.5 and people would have been calling this a steal for SD.

    This is a guy who was aggressively placed in AA and wasn’t that awful. Scouts still love him.

    Also, scouts don’t believe that he has average stuff. Most scouts think he’s actually pretty advanced off-speed stuff, good command, and an improving fastball.

    That’s a good prospect, a very good one.

    Comment by Michael — December 4, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

  43. I’m bummed about Kelly but I’d argue the best part of this deal is that the guys they traded have comparable talents still in the minors.

    For Kelly, Boston’s got Ranaudo and Britton with similar ceilings. Additionally, Boston’s MLB rotation is pretty much set until 2013. It’ll be hard for anyone to crack that rotation.

    For Rizzo, they’ve got an inferior prospect in Lars Anderson, who still despite his awful 09 and ok 2010, still does some things very well (his plate approach is still advanced). His splits and lack of power are issues; but at least they’ve got some depth at 1b. Ryan Lavernway could possibly be in the mix too. Presumably, Boston extends Gonzalez, so this isn’t that big of an issue anyway.

    For Fuentes Boston’s got Lin, who’s a plus defender with a plus arm and good on base skills. While I like Fuentes’ upside a lot more, Lin softens the blow. Additionally, they’ve got the combination of Westmoreland (should he come back), Kalish, and possibly Vitek if he can’t stick at 3b.

    Comment by Michael — December 4, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  44. @ James Simply replacing Kelly with Kalish would have made the trade a lot better because Kalish is actual legitimate ML talent. Not that I think the offer would be “fair” consider AGon’s talent and contract but there’s not a lot any team could have done to make a fair trade given the circumstances. What we have now isn’t even reasonable.

    Comment by Joel — December 4, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  45. How to you analyze Rizzo and not mention that he has yet to prove that he can hit LH pitching at any level? This guy has Chris Davis written all over him. In 121 AB against LHP in AA in 2010 he was very bad:
    .207/.281/.380/.662 … with 4 HR, BB-rate=8.9%, K-rate=23%

    I don’t have his exact stats from previous seasons because minorleaguesplits is down, but I remember looking at them a few months back and they were on par with his 2010 numbers. I’m sorry, but until he can put together at least one average season against LH pitching I can’t rate Rizzo’s celiling as anything more than a platoon 1B.

    Comment by Darryl0 — December 4, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  46. I’ve seen him pitch more in the 89-93 mph range with the occasional 94-95… I go by what I’ve personally seen when I’ve had the chance to watch them. I agree though, word is that he’s been hitting the mid-90s, just not consistently yet.

    I guess in steady of concentration lapses, I should have said something along the lines of his effort waning from time to time.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 4, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  47. There is absolutely no way I would project any of those players to be worth 5 wins a year at their peak, much less all three of them. That’s just wishful thinking.

    Comment by Joel — December 4, 2010 @ 4:33 pm

  48. “It’s easy to dream on him and see a 1-2 starter.”

    And then you wake up to reality.

    “Fuentes is super toolsy. He’s more of a lottery ticket but he’s there’s a chance he could be an exceptional player.”

    An exceptional player with now power or patience. Got it.

    “Rizzo is the player I least liked from this group and yet, he had very good power numbers for a 20 year old in AA ball.”

    If you ignore every other tool. Which you are.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  49. The other question that I have about this deal is what good does Rey Fuentes do SD? Isn’t he just a smaller, faster version of Cameron Maybin? There’s no way the Pads can start them in the same OF at the same time given their lack o f power. The OP mentioned that Fuentes had to learn more patience at the plate, but that’s not his only problem. He has a mjor problem making contact. His K-rate this season was 21.6%, which is not going to work in the majors for a #1, #2 spot hitter with little to no power.

    It’s shocking to me that SD did not get either Jed Lowrie or Jose Iglesias, in place of either Rizzo or Fuentes, in this trade. As the prospect list clearly shows, the Pads really have no good SS prospect at any level in their system (Gyorko and Cumberland are not viable major league shortstops), so they have a real hole there, while Boston has a surplus – and an established veteran in Scutaro.

    Comment by Darryl0 — December 4, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

  50. Thanks for the feedback Marc, I really think you did a great job. I was only defending the deal from San Diego’s perceptive. Though I’m not sure if Kelly’s inability to be at 93+ has more to do with effort, or is what is to be expected from a guy pitching harder. For that, I’d def. defer to your judgment.

    I think they got 3 pretty good prospects.

    I was not aware of Rizzo’s platoon splits. It’s interesting if that’s true as Anderson also has very ugly splits.

    Comment by Michael — December 4, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

  51. Rob: You are literally the only person on Earth who thinks that Kelly is not a sure-fire major leaguer. And not that this will sway you in the least, but do a intertron search on Rizzo and you’ll see several reports on him, by people who get paid for their observations, as a plus defender.

    Comment by Paul — December 4, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  52. Not suggesting Rizzo will become the hitter Gonzalez is, but it is a little premature to suggest that he will never have the bat for “his position”

    Adrian Gonzalez at age 20 for the AA portland see dogs:

    266/344/437
    508 AB’s 54BB 112K 34 doubles 17 homers

    Rizzo at age 20 for the AA portland see dogs:

    263/334/481
    414 AB’s 45BB 100K 30 doubles 20 homers

    Some great players don’t put up SUPERSTAR type numbers at 20 in AA

    Comment by Padsfan — December 4, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  53. Agreed. As a Royals fan I was skeptical that they could get this much for two years of Grienke. Royals fans should feel pretty good right now about the kind of package to expect. This means, for example, that Texas taking Martin Perez off the table is not serious.

    Comment by Paul — December 4, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

  54. JGH – you keep saying this but I agree completely with circlechange if he was already demonstrating the attributes you have given him he would be refining (not working on) his secondary pitches and would be putting up absurd #’s in AA. His K:BB ratio would not be ~2:1 if he had plus command, plus control and 3 plus pitches – this seems more like a projection on your part (and I don’t disagree with this as a projection)

    He certainly could develop into the pitcher you are saying he already is, but he’s not there yet.

    And Fuentes could be a similar player to Ellsbury (who’s a bit overrated in my view), but he also could easily be worse. He’s going to have to work on both his walk rate (4-6%) and his K rate (~20%)… though he’s certainly young enough to improve these #’s.

    I keep hearing about Rizzo’s glove, but 15 errors at 1B is a lot, even in the minors and even with subjectivity. While errors is not exactly a definitive stat (esp in the minors), it’s a bit different than discounting minor league error totals at say SS or 2nd… He could be above average eventually, but I don’t see how anyone can say he’s anything but average (at best) defensively right now.

    Given SD’s choice between 1 year of AGon and 2 comp picks vs these 3 (and maybe a 4th throw in prospect), it’s not a bad haul for SD, but Boston prospects seem to get a lot more play in the media and would anyone be surprised if long term only 1 guy pans out from this package as an above average player? (in my view that’s not the definition of a “great” package)

    Comment by Hank — December 4, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  55. On Earth, Paul, huh? Let’s see Kelly get his hit rate below 10 we start calling him a sure-fire anything. He was young for his league. He’ll get another shot there. But he’s very far from the majors at this point. Many, many pitching prospects have had similar talent and done nothing with it.

    As for Rizzo’s defense, that’s where numbers help. As someone else here has said, 15 errors in 100 games at 1B is only possible if he’s playing the field with boxing gloves or can’t throw to second. Either way, it doesn’t look good for him, most especially because he can’t crack a .500 SLG.

    Padsfan, yes, we’ve all see WEEI’s take on the matter. That’s called selective sampling. Lars Anderson also looked good in his first crack at Portland…at age 20.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  56. Joel, I meant all three could be- as in all three have that potential. Not that all three of them are likely to achieve that level of production.

    Of the 3, I think Rizzo is the least likely. He’s more likely a solid regular of all goes well.

    Fuentes being a gifted defensive CF gives him a huge edge on getting that high. If he ends up being +10 in CF, it won’t take much bat to get him above 4.0 wins a year.

    I also think Kelly’s got a ton of talent. This opinion is shared by a lot of guys who do pretty well for themselves evaluating minor league talent (Law, Callis).

    People are looking way too hard at the stats here. I’m as big of a stat head as I know, fully indoctrinated. However, one area that I think we stat geeks fall short on is how we evaluate minor league performance. There are just too many unknowns to simply point at a pitchers K per 9 in AA, especially when they’re only 20.

    Comment by Michael — December 4, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  57. The info’s out there, if you care to look. BABIP and HR rates don’t play the same in the minors as they do in the majors. You could stand a pitching machine up on the mound and plug it in–is it going to achieve the same ball-in-play stats as the average pitcher? Of course not. Talent level matters.

    A player needs to be good enough to reach the majors, where the range of talent isn’t nearly as wide. That’s why ball-in-play stats tend to be much cleaner there.

    Comment by sean — December 4, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  58. First off, he had a finger problem this year, which created problems with his FB command, and the bite on his CB. Dont look at any numbers. This is a problem the majority of FG crowd has. This was a huge developmental year for Kelly. Not many pitchers are 20 yrs old, and pitching at AA, and also, this was his first full season pitching. Not only that, but he was hitting 92-92 consistently, and hitting 94-95 at times, instead of 88-89 when in A the year before. He also improved his secondary pitches, his CB and CH, which are both plus pitches, that he can command. This was a developmental year. Its not just about trying to get guys out, the Sox wanted him to try to work in his secondary pitches more, and get better feel in different counts. He is a much better pitcher this year, than last, and he was a top 15 prospect last year. Most pitchers at 20 are sophomores at college or in A ball. Kelly is a beast people. Stop looking at his raw numbers. Its all about context.

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  59. @doogolas – who are the two top-30 prospects here? Does anyone really think Rizzo is anywhere near that good?

    Comment by sean — December 4, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  60. This is what you guys are not understanding. STOP looking at raw numbers. As I said, he had a fingernail problem, which effected his FB command, and bite on his CB. He was 20 years old. Who cares if he didnt dominate at AA, he not supposed to. He does have plus control and command, and three plus pitches. The fact that he is only 20 and at AA, with these attributes, doesnt mean he will dominate. Not many pitchers do at 20. I love sabermetrics, but this is what the FG crowd cant grasp most of the time. He was trying to work in his secondary pitches more this year, and with the rise in FB velocity, and with the fingernail problem, his FB command was slightly off.

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

  61. Lots of prospects have the potential. But not one of these guys reaches the majors before 2013, if then. Given what the Pads gave up in a MVP candidate, that’s not a very good return.

    You tell me, which came first?:

    a) Hoyer picks the Sox then picks the prospects
    b) Hoyer picks the prospects and realizes it’s the Sox

    With a straight face I don’t see how the answer isn’t (a). Given that Hoyer no longer works for the Sox, his job is to get the best deal, period. I don’t see how anyone can argue he did when not one player is a sure-fire major leaguer.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

  62. You’re certainly right that minor league stats aren’t gospel. Scouting is very important. Tell me, does Rizzo have the kind of scouting pedigree to be drafted first overall in an amateur draft?

    Comment by sean — December 4, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  63. This deal is 3 rolls of the dice…

    – a decent shot at getting one above average MLB’r,
    – probably a small chance at 2 being above average
    – Good likelihood they will get 2 usable pieces

    The likelihood of all 3 being 5 win players is close to zero. In fact the chance that any of them being a 5 win player is not as great as you’d think. I know there’s a huge bandwagon behind Kelly – but take a look at the 5win pitchers this year; sure Kelly could become a Linceum, Wainwright, Greinke, Lester, Sabathia, etc… but is it a likely outcome? 5+ wins generally is a top 10-15 pitcher in all of MLB.

    Fuentes has an OBP in the .330’s… unless he turns into Gutierrez defensively and figures out how to cut down on K’s and improve BB’s he’s not a 5 win player.

    Rizzo I just don’t know enough about, but at 1B there is typically around five players at 5+ win at 1B in a given year… do folks see him being a top 5 type guy at 1st base in the majors? (look through the WAR leaders at that position the last 4-5 years and who’s been at or over 5 wins) Is his bat that good?

    Comment by Hank — December 4, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  64. If you want to argue that BA does a poor job of evaluating prospects, fair enough. But they are the gold standard and just rated these three 1, 3, and 6 in a system that is very strong in top talent, and deep. And their evaluations are shared by many other respected evaluators like Law.

    BA puts Kelly’s ETA in 2012. Rizzo was rated the best defensive 1B in the Eastern League by managers. Fuentes was rated the best defensive OF in the Sally league. You got three tooled up young players who are all very highly rated, well-rounded prospects.

    Totally get if you are pissed that your best player was just traded, but the opposition to this package is just not supported by the folks who rate these guys for a living. You are of course free to disagree, just saying most people think these guys are all very good.

    Comment by Paul — December 4, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  65. He has a VERY good chance. He is only 20 for christ sakes. As previously stated, you are either a sophomore in college or in A-ball. They wanted to promote him aggressively. Raw numbers dont tell the whole picture people. If he is still 23 at AA and still putting up similar numbers, then you can start to worry. Go and look at pitchers who are 20 and AA, and you will find that they very rarely dominate despite plus stuff. The hitters Kelly was facing are 2-3 years more advanced than the hitters Kelly was facing in A-ball. Martin Perez had the same problem as Kelly this year. He was 19 in AA, and he also had a 5+ ERA. So is he not a top prospect anymore bc he didnt have great raw numbers in AA, where hitters are 3-4 years more advanced? Of course not. He is still a top 10 pitching prospect, just like Kelly, Its ALL about context people.

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  66. Yes, a lot of picthers in AA are working on their secondary pitches, but not many are 20 YEARS OLD! working on their secondary pitches. That is the main difference

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

  67. Kelly and Rizzo are as close to locks as being productive ML ball players as you can find. And Hoyer didnt want ML players, like Ellsbury, bc they cost too much money. This way, they get 3 players with 6 years of control each. Maybe, Kalish would have been preferred over Fuentes, but Fuentes is only 19!, and will be ML ready by 22-23 years old. Kelly and Rizzo will be ready by mid 2012, if not sooner. Just watch poeple….

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

  68. Hank- no those are NOT projections–every scout, or people like Callis or KLaw agree with this assesment too. They dont just think he WILL develop his pitches as plus, but they believe right now, they are plus pitches, and will only get better with more repitition, and he DOES have plus command and control. You are not realizing that pitchers at 20 years of age do NOT have the quality of pitches that Kelly has, or the feel for pitching that Kelly has, with his plus command and control. Very rarely do you have a 20 yr old with Kellys stuff and control/command. He is a rarity people. He is an extremely valuable commodity.

    Comment by JGH — December 4, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  69. Who said BA does a poor job evaluating prospects?

    Kelly may arrive in late 2012, but he absolutely has to make major strides this year. That ain’t a given.

    Since when are managers the best judge of defensive talent? That’s a weak argument.

    As to their “tools”, neither Rizzo nor Fuentes has shown much given their positions and bats. Fuentes has speed. Rizzo has power. After that there hasn’t been much there.

    And I’m not a Padres fan. I just think that when a GM gives up a MVP-type talent he should get back at least one major league ready prospect. These guys are still two years away from that. Then when you add in Hoyer’s personal relationships, it’s obvious he optimized for the return after he had already settled on the team. That’s a horrid way to get the best value back.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

  70. I sort of agree here. I don’t really understand the Rizzo or Fuentes love. Fuentes reeks of 4th outfielder when his only great attribute is his speed. Maybe a center fielder as his legs can cover a lot of ground, but what else does he have? Does he have the type of bat that will work as an everyday player? Surely Boston has better players that can and are playing center field. Fuentes reminds me of Tyson Gillies both in talent and over hype.

    Rizzo is 20 and power is the last thing to fill out, but the rest of his hitting game isn’t that great. He’s not drawing walks to compensate for his making outs. Sure, he hit 25 dingers as a 20 year old, and that’s fine and dandy, but with the criticisms about his swing and his approach at the plate, he’s an amazing bust candidate at the higher levels.

    Kelly might be good, but weren’t the Sox mad that he didn’t stay as a short stop prospect? I thought he was projected to be lightning in the bottle at the 6 hole. I mean, if he’s rated to be a 5 WAR pitcher at his peak, that’s great, but I kept hearing about how he was a superior defender and hitter as a short stop. How much better would he have been without the move?

    Comment by The Typical Idiot Fan — December 4, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  71. Rob > How do you know “not one of these guys reaches the majors by 2013″? Keith Law projects both Kelly and Rizzo to reach the show in 2012. Fuentes is basically another 1st round lottery pick to go with Williams and Tate. With Maybin and those 3, the Pads have 4 shots at athletic, high ceiling OF’ers who project as + defenders with ++ speed and decent, but raw power.

    This Padre fan is happy with the returns. High ceiling guys carry more risk, but they’re also the players who transform franchises. Replacement level players can be found to plug holes – it’s the 5+ WAR exceptions who make differences. Kudos for Jed swinging for the fences as opposed to bringing in ML ready prospects with far lower ceilings.

    Comment by tommyGunZ — December 4, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

  72. “He is a much better pitcher this year, than last, and he was a top 15 prospect last year.”

    I could buy everything you were saying up to this point. He wasn’t legitimately that high last year and his stock will fall this year.

    The context argument is lame. It’s trying to say something while saying nothing at all. A MLB prospect has to produce. End of story. This year he’ll be 21 in AA. That’s still young. And if he doesn’t produce his status is going to take a huge hit.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

  73. Yeah, prospects two years from the majors, at least, are not locks on anything. Let’s see Rizzo slug .500 before we annoint him a major leaguer at 1B.

    Kelly needs show vast impriovement this year. That’s far from a lock either.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

  74. In order for Rizzo and Kelly to reach by 2012 – and not as September callups – they have to show huge improvements in AA this year. Kelly has to get his hit rate under 10 and Rizzo has to show patience to go with the power. Neither are a given with their track records. As for Fuentes, I see nothing to get excited about. His OBP to go with his speed reeks of a 5th OF.

    And if you’re really a Pad fan, you think this was the best deal they could have gotten?

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  75. I think you were misinformed: Kelly wanted to play SS, but there were concerns about his bat. He came to an understanding with the Sox: he’d play a full season (or maybe part of a season?) at SS, and if his hitting didn’t improve, he’d commit to becoming strictly a pitcher. Which is what happened.

    Comment by Justin Bailey — December 4, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  76. I do think that this is probably the best deal that was out there for one year of Adrian Gonzalez. If we’re talking during last offseason, there were probably better deals. But in this offseason, I doubt that there was a better offer.

    Comment by Paul — December 4, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  77. Padres have a top five farm system now, easily.

    Comment by OremLK — December 4, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  78. Fuentes is 3-4 years away, at which point Maybin will be too expensive to keep.

    Comment by DJH57 — December 4, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  79. “And if you’re really a Pad fan, you think this was the best deal they could have gotten?” – Absolutely. Would ANY team give up a truly elite prospect for 1 year of Gonzalez? It’s not like Mike Trout was in play or anything. I guess we could have gotten Martin Perez from the Rangers or something, but Perez also struggled in AA because he was so young for the league.

    Kelly and Rizzo were young for their level. Fuentes has added strength since being drafted and still went 42-for-47 in SB last year. He has to refine his approach, but that’s the most common deficiency amateur players have and Fuentes is a hard worker who has shown improvements in other facets of his game.

    All in all, I love this haul for the Padres. And I’m not even that high on Kelly.

    Comment by Fandamage — December 4, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

  80. So, no team was giving up MLB-ready talent? I find that very hard to believe.

    Furthermore, the best offer just happened to be from Hoyer’s former employers? I also find that very hard to believe.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

  81. This may have been the best deal out there….though I have no idea how you could possibly come to that conclusion unless you work for the Pads front office.

    What are you basing this on- what other offers are you aware of?

    Comment by Hank — December 4, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

  82. An elite prospect for a 5-6 wins in 2011 at $6 Million? Sure, why not?

    Did Hoyer look into Ackley or Matsuz or Perez? Heck, maybe the Rays move Hellickson or Davis or McGee. 6 wins in the AL East could mean all the difference in making or missing the playoffs in 2011.

    Like I said, I find it really hard to believe that the best deal just happened to come from the Red Sox. Cause this deal just isn’t great.

    P.s. You know an argument is a stretch when “hard worker” is thrown in as an attribute.

    Comment by Rob — December 4, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  83. “FIP is pretty meaningless in the minors. Minor league BABIP and HR rates do not regress to average.”

    This is very interesting. Snapper – if you read this and could link to any research on the topic it would be much appreciated.

    Comment by Someanalyst — December 4, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

  84. Thank you Sean for explaining. The range-of-talent argument, while compelling, is counter-intuitive to me.

    Comment by Someanalyst — December 4, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

  85. It is not one year. The deal is conditional on an extension being worked out before 2pm Sunday Dec 5th according to mlbtr.

    Comment by Someanalyst — December 4, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

  86. I actually live in Portland, Maine and got to see Rizzo play a few times. He looked good defensively the times I saw him, not as good as the defense I saw from Lars Anderson, but Rizzo’s bat should make up for it. He has a 16 errors in 134 minor league games in 2010, he put up a fielding percentage of .988. I know that’s that’s not ideal but Rizzo did only just turn 21 in August. In the season before he had 6 errors in 110 games, with a fielding percentage of .994, or .001 less than Adrian Gonzalez had in 2010. The kid is a stud, he’s only 21 and has legitimate power. It’s to bad he’ll have to play at PetCo, many fans won’t realize how good he will be.

    Comment by AronHam — December 4, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

  87. This deal is SD giving 1 yr of Agon (because they simply cannot afford to extend him) and Bosox getting 6 years of Agon (trade is conditional on extension being negotiated by tomorrow according to mlbtr). Bosox will get 1yr of 5-6 wins at $6m, then something like 5 years of 3-6 wins at $20m-$25m per.

    Points is, things necessarily look different from either side. These are teams taking different kinds of risks because of their different situations. The deal seems altogether typical, really. Gotta say, as a Jays fan, that Agon in Fenway is going to suck badly for everybody but the bosox :-(

    Comment by Someanalyst — December 4, 2010 @ 9:42 pm

  88. “Would ANY team give up a truly elite prospect for 1 year of Gonzalez?” But that wasn’t the deal Fandamage. The reason the deal was not announced for 2 days is because it was contingent on Sox being able to sign Gonzo to an extension. If not, there’s no way the Sox would have given the Pads these 3 guys + the PTBNL for 1 tear of Gonzo.

    Comment by Darryl0 — December 4, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

  89. Context is important though. I love numbers as much as the next guy, and they have their worth, but in looking at prospects they are just a piece of the puzzle. Prospecting is an imperfect balance of measuring stats, age, and tools. For most of us, we don’t get to watch prospects play and grade their tools. Even if we get to watch them play, how many of us can truly grade them on the 20-80 scale? I personally can’t say I accurately could. We have to rely on scouting reports from people smarter than us. That’s why it’s important not to get entirely lost in the numbers. Another factor that’s easily overlooked, though mentioned in one of the responses, is that none of us really know what the coaching staff asked Kelly to work on. Maybe they had him throwing 3-0 curveballs to develop confidence in it, or maybe they wanted him to focus on throwing his changeup more often with two strike counts. I certainly have no idea what was expected of him, but a 4.01 FIP in Double-A, at 20 years of age, as a first year full time pitcher is fairly impressive, when it is likely that he was asked to do things that he may not have been comfortable doing initially. This year will be another test, and one thing that will be important to follow is the level the Padres start him at and how he responds. If he opens the season repeating Double-A, that doesn’t necessarily mean reason for concern, but if he continues to give up a ton of hits, it becomes noteworthy.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 4, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  90. We can speculate all day whether it was the best deal they could have gotten or not. I think it was wise to move him before the season if they were going to deal him, but to simply view it as dealing one year of A-Gonz is a bit misleading. It is one year of A-Gonz, and type-A free agent compensation, for the prospects the Red Sox gave up.

    The thing I find most interesting about the haul the Padres got is that it gives a peek into the way the Padres brass plan on rebuilding. It appears they are looking to build ground up, which makes sense for an organization with top prospects such as Tate a ways away from being big league contributors. If they had more talent in the upper minors, this deal may look different, but they don’t. I’m curious to see what they get in return for Bell now.

    Comment by Josh Shepardson — December 4, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

  91. Please enlighten us with the team the Padres could have gotten a better deal from? The Cubs? Please list the MLB ready prospects the team you cite might have traded for A-Gon. Make sure you also list only those teams in need of a 1st baseman, with the financial clout to sign him to a minimum 20+ million dollar 5 year extension.

    Thanks!

    Comment by KenJr — December 5, 2010 @ 12:35 am

  92. This is where I’d like to see fullscale data research on 20yo in AA.

    I’m not impressed so much with his age and level as others. There’s a lot of diversity among 20yo.

    But I do see better k-rates for AA pitchers (if the 6.5 adjusted number is accurate), and the comments in the thread about Kelly is the has basically “awesome everything”. So, that doesn’t make sense to me.

    Does anyone have a link to how 20yo performance in AA generally translates to MLB success? I ask because Cameron Maybin was the last “20yo can’t miss prospect” and well, he missed. I suppose one could mention Rick Porcello’s name if they wanted.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 5, 2010 @ 12:42 am

  93. Do you really believe the Rays or O’s would give up top talent like that for one season of A-Gon? And if you tell me either of those teams would move that kind of talent, and then pony up a top dollar extension, I’ve got a bridge for sale if you’re interested.

    Comment by KenJr — December 5, 2010 @ 12:49 am

  94. The assumption (perhaps trap) with looking at this stuff and age is that “if he’s this good at 20, think how great he’ll be at 23″, and it doesn;t always work out like that. Talent is one thing, skill is another. The talent often remains, but not everyone develops the skill, particularly if everything has been easy up to this point, and they’ve been able to “out-talent everyone” (i.e., Andrew Miller).

    AA might have been the first real test of Kelly’s career. He may or may not respond favorably or improve at the rate his talent suggests.

    That’s why I keep asking for the large scale data research on 20yo pitchers in AA. In the last 30 years, his is definitely not the first or only one of a handful of 20yo’s to pitch in AA. Lets see how they generally do, and how they generally develop.

    While it’s not an exact science, it certainly gives us a development pattern or trend to base on, rather than just looking at “tools”.

    Looking at numbers is what guys do when they get to see a guy play everyday. Not looking at numbers has also been a mistake because a player will look great in the uniform, look like an athlete, but lack the skills to dominate at the next level.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 5, 2010 @ 12:49 am

  95. Errors are errors. Does it really matter the real or perceived cause.

    As a coach, I think you could call every error a lack of concentration if you wanted to.

    The only valid excuse I could think of for ignoring errors is if a player had his glove on the wrong hand or needed glasses.

    You might as well say, the only reason he had so many errors is because he misplayed those 15 balls. *grin* All the other ones he fielded just fine.

    At 1B, you basically have to [1] get in front of the ball, [2] run it to 1B. Now if his errors were throwing errors, such as turning DPs or something like that one might see room for improvement … but being a butcher with the glove rarely improves a significant degree.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 5, 2010 @ 12:53 am

  96. With Maybin

    Why are people still talking like Maybin is going to be a good player?

    Sorry, but a non-power hitter with a 25-30% K-rate is not a good thing.

    And for his D, while it’s limited … but -2.4 runs last year.

    Throw in a 7% walk rate for a fast guy, and he’s going to need a BABIP of .400 to be a decent ML hitter.

    We’ve got to get past the idea that “he was only 20″ in regards to Maybin. He’s not magically going to learn how to hit at the ML level.

    30% K-rate in 610 MLB at bats.

    At this point, league average (~2 WAR) has to be where his ceiling sits.

    All 3 of these prospects may “make it to the majors”, but only because they’ll be playing for SD, and they’ll get every chance they can to make this deal good for SD. But making it to the majors, and staying in the majors and being productive are two different things.

    I think SD was in a sucky position given the risk of waiting until the deadline and getting even less for AG (possibly) was the other option, or getting just draft picks if they kept him for the season.

    My big question is the valuation of prospects. I don;t think we have a really accurate method of doing it, and the scouts have been dead wrong on quite a few “can’t miss” prospects. It’s tough.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 5, 2010 @ 1:09 am

  97. There is no way Fuentes is the Padres no. 4 prospect. The guy weighs 160. Looks like Luis Durango. What’s the difference? Durango can switch hit and has won a couple minor league batting titles.

    Comment by Davey — December 5, 2010 @ 1:29 am

  98. Dude, don’t you think you’re over-reacting on Maybin?

    610 major league at-bats is hardly a good enough reason to give up on a 23 y/o with minor league success.

    So what if Maybin isn’t a super-duper star? His ceiling is certainly higher than “average”…

    Comment by divakar — December 5, 2010 @ 2:32 am

  99. And if Kelly had stayed an extra year in A ball and move to AA this year he wouldn’t be given as much ‘extra credit’ for being as advanced at his age – he would be an upper echelon single A pitcher that has to prove he can move up a level against more patient and better hitters.

    You can’t cut it both ways – advanced for his age implies he’s performing like 21,22, 23 year olds – not sure this is true yet at the double A level (though the ERA is a bit misleading); I think it is a factor that offsets his so-so performance at the level and if he was above average at AA at the age of 20 (or next year at 21), then I can see how people would put the the elite tag on him.

    I don’t think anyone is questioning that he’s a good prospect, but the majority of the coverage seems to be that he is an elite, can’t miss guy. Heck I think it was Law (I could be wrong) who said his defense was so good it was like having an extra infielder… while I’m sure given his background he’s a great fielding pitcher; that sort of hyperbole is symbolic of how coverage can get out of control.and outpace the results.

    Comment by Hank — December 5, 2010 @ 2:46 am

  100. Huh?
    He was voted the best defensive 1st baseman in the Eastern league in the BA tools survey.

    Comment by Radiohix — December 5, 2010 @ 3:45 am

  101. Would it be jumping the gun to say I’d love to see Kalish as our starting CF in 2011 (especially if Cameron can’t recover from his case of old age)?

    Might not hurt to have a few more months in Pawtucket, but he did MLE .252/.319/.412 (counting Portland, Pawtucket, and Boston stats) in 2010.

    So maybe love isn’t the right word.

    Comment by Joe R — December 5, 2010 @ 4:46 am

  102. A) ALL prospects except Strasburg and Posey and Heyward are over hyped.

    B) Red Sox prospects even more so

    C) Put up or shut up

    D) Hoyer blew it.

    Look at Rizzo’s stats. No high averages, no years without a lot of errors. He has no statistical evidence for being promoted to AA in the 1st place, besides pop which lots of worthless prospects have

    The list of guys who were like fuentes but couldnt get past AA is longer than you could believe

    Kelly sucked last year and is only well known and ovehyped because of the 2 position thing, the being a red sox thing, and the being a prospect thing. he is probably average at best.

    never thought ellsbury bard package would look good

    Comment by kylegocougs — December 5, 2010 @ 6:39 am

  103. keith law isnt a scout

    Comment by kylegocougs — December 5, 2010 @ 6:42 am

  104. i’ll give you the package tex gave us for cliff lee. a far better package.

    Comment by kylegocougs — December 5, 2010 @ 6:43 am

  105. The O’s were looking to sign Teixeira for top dollars. Matsuz has questions going forward. I see no reason there couldn ‘t have been a match.

    As for the Rays, who’s to say they wouldn’t have taken the 5-6 wins in 2011 for $6M then taken the two picks? They certainly have the talent to be moved without taking a huge hit to their farm.

    Funny that no one here is claiming Hoyer did anything but give his old organization the only crack. At least he’ll have a place to go back to when this deal ends as a big stinker.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 6:50 am

  106. Actually, it’s not obvious that they’ll pull back if they don’t reach a deal. Even the Sox recognize that 5-6 wins for $6M is a very nice return on prospects at least two years from the Show. Worse case they get the picks.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  107. Nah, it just so happens that the best deal came from Hoyer’s former employers.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 6:56 am

  108. Go check out the columns at boston.com and tell me this deal doesn’t happen if they don’t get the contract in place.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 7:09 am

  109. None of these guys are ML locks if you ask me. Fuentes makes some people think Ellsbury,but he makes me think Carlos Gomez. Ellsbury had a .390 OBP in the minors, Fuentes will never approach Ellsbury’s production.

    Rizzo has some power and is only 20. His defense is good for a 1B, FWIW. Those are the positives. But he has questions about his swing, his patience is borderline acceptable, and has an 820 OPS over what amounts to his 2 seasons in the minors. That’s not a lock to be a starting player in MLB. Especially when your home park is going to sap your one identifiable asset.

    Kelly is the best bet, but his numbers to me look like a 4 or 5 starter, or a good reliever. Some people have said ignore the numbers because of his developmental path, but you can’t ignore them completely. I don’t see top of the rotation for this guy.

    Comment by Kris — December 5, 2010 @ 9:06 am

  110. Durango is 5 years older, for one thing. Fuentes has better overall tools/skills for another.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 5, 2010 @ 9:44 am

  111. “The context argument is lame. It’s trying to say something while saying nothing at all. A MLB prospect has to produce. End of story.”

    Really? So you must’ve thought the Red Sox stole Josh Beckett from the Marlins then, because Hanley hadn’t produced much to that point in the minors.

    Comment by James — December 5, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  112. Yeah, where a guy is drafted means everything. Kinda like that Albert Pujols guy, what a bust.

    Comment by James — December 5, 2010 @ 10:02 am

  113. “Funny that no one here is claiming Hoyer did anything but give his old organization the only crack. At least he’ll have a place to go back to when this deal ends as a big stinker.”

    Comment by Dod — December 5, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  114. “Funny that no one here is claiming Hoyer did anything but give his old organization the only crack. At least he’ll have a place to go back to when this deal ends as a big stinker.”

    For the love of god, shut the fuck up. The Rays are going to give up three top prospects for one year of a player? The fact is no other team stepped up with a better offer. Just stop it, admit you’re wrong, and move on.

    Comment by Dod — December 5, 2010 @ 10:09 am

  115. “i’ll give you the package tex gave us for cliff lee. a far better package.”

    Dude, I hate to break it to you, but Smoak sucks. And I’m not basing this on his SSS in the majors.

    Comment by Thomas — December 5, 2010 @ 10:11 am

  116. And to the guy who trashed this deal and then said replacing Kelly with Kalish would make it much better: WAKE UP. The Red Sox would’ve preferred that too, the problem is San Diego, nor anyone who has a clue, would want Ryan Kalish over Casey Kelly.

    Comment by Thomas — December 5, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  117. Then again the same guy basically also said that there would be no fair deal that anyone could offer. For one year of a player. How does someone so clueless end up on this site to begin with.

    Comment by Thomas — December 5, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  118. Rizzo is 20 years old. If he entered into the 2011 draft with the same scouting reports on him now as a college junior, no doubt he’s a top-10 pick.

    Comment by John — December 5, 2010 @ 11:05 am

  119. Now he’s Pujols, huh? Thanks for a good laugh.

    Please learn something about selective sampling. It seems all you want are cases that support your point. For every trade like Beckett-Hanley there are ten more where the prospects amount to nothing more.

    Hell, just look at the recent Sox trades alone: Pedro, Bay, etc.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  120. Anger much? Try reading comprehension.

    The Rays give up *one* of those guys and it’s instantly a better deal. Same with the O’s and Matsuz. Or the M’s and Ackley.

    No other team stepped up because they weren’t given a chance. We know that because we can look at other recent deals. Better prospects moved with Lee. And he wasn’t worth 5-6 wins for $6M.

    Yeah, I’m just supposed to believe that of all other possible deals, the best one came from Hoyer’s old boss. Right.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  121. I think the M’s made a mistake when they turned down Montero for Lee. Just a personal opinion.

    Comment by greenfrog — December 5, 2010 @ 11:14 am

  122. If Smoak sucks, then Rizzo is a dogshit and Kelly is vomit.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  123. Without question they did. And that shows the true, market value of wins in trades. Lee would have given 3 wins at best for Montero, one of the top prospects in the game who keeps getting better.

    Now we’re supposed to believe that AGon – worth 5-6 wins next year – is worth lesser prospects?

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  124. Of course, if no other teams “stepped up with a better offer” we would have at least heard what they offered. Can you point to one report on any other team’s offer? See, that assumes, tough guy, that other teams were given a chance to bid. Good luck finding one such team. The Cubs were never a match.

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 11:24 am

  125. Wow San Diego got fleeced –

    1) A so-so pitcher
    2) A generic “1B prospect” and
    3) A fast outfielder with no plate discipline and no power (oh yeah, I’m sure he’s “good defensively” bla bla bla).

    San Diego just traded one of their best players ever and got basically…nothing back. This almost looks like a Pirates – Yankees deal (and no, I’m not a Yankee fan).

    Comment by MC — December 5, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  126. None, exactly why my explanation is Occam. We always hear about other offers. Why haven’t we here?

    Comment by Rob — December 5, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  127. I can’t find anything that says Casey Kelly has three plus pitches. This is what I found.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11491

    Casey Kelly is a myth. He’s hype. His fastball TOPS out at 94mph and sits 88-91 and I can’t find anything that says his offspead offerings are “plus.” He’s as overrated as a propsect can get. The numbers show it.

    Look at what Clay Buchholz and Phil Hughes – REAL stud pitching prospects with the stuff to back it up – at that age in AA.

    Comment by Frank — December 5, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  128. Padres keep Gonzalez according to Heyman: https://twitter.com/#!/SI_JonHeyman/status/11505751629500416

    Comment by JohnnyK — December 5, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  129. Boston.com what?

    Comment by Someanalyst — December 5, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  130. Looks like it might go through anyway despite of an inability to work out a contract extension – a balky shoulder is the apparent sticking point.
    The quality of the trade is still the same – they certain weren’t getting a “home team” discount in their negotiations.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/12/red-sox-acquire-adrian-gonzalez-1.html

    Comment by mettle — December 5, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  131. No, I don;t think so.

    30% K-rate isn’t likely something that going to decrease, and he doesn’t appear to be a power hitter, and his defensive metrics suggests a poorer fielder than the credit he’s been given for being really fast.

    If there is data that shows that 23yo can and DO decrease their K-rate significantly at the ML level, I would love to see it … it could change my opinion.

    I use Maybin as an example because he was regarded by scouts as can’t miss as they come, 5-tools and all that.

    I think him performing at league average over a full season would be a significant accomplishment for him.

    I just see FAR more prospects not making it than those that do, so I don’t understand why we still view young guys that are struggling and assume that they’ll somehow “find it” as if people haven’t been trying to help them, or they haven’t been working on things, or if they’ve been trying to underperform.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 5, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

  132. Again, you’re completely ignoring Maybin’s minor league accomplishments.

    As for this repeated refrain of “young guys who struggle and then make it” – I would ask you to present the counter example:

    young guys with a strong pedigree (draft position, positive scouting, *minor league success relative to age*) who flame out despite significant opportunity at the Major League level, and no injury to blame.

    You’re really not presenting any kind of reasonable argument here.

    I can’t tell what you think “development” means. Prospects don’t succeed at a 100% rate, not even 5-tool can’t miss ones. That’s obvious.

    But you have to play the numbers game in developing them. The better chances you give yourself, the better your success rate will be. Maybin certainly counts (still) as a good bet, if only because he’s still young and cheap with a proven minor league track record and a strong scouting pedigree.

    Comment by divakar — December 5, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

  133. start with 7yrs 161 million 23/yr.It’s more then Texiera makes a year!Don’t worry Theo gets it done.You don’t give up that much and not sign Agon!Sign Crawford and a couple of guys for the bullpen!And we’re ready to roll!Nice job with trade Theo!Anthony Renaudo will help us forget Casey Kelly!

    Comment by Name: Mark — December 6, 2010 @ 12:14 am

  134. In the world of the conspiracy theorist, there is no such thing as a coincidence.

    Of course it’s impossible for the fact that it being his old team made it easier to get a deal while simultaneously not allowing for any sort of discount. How old are you, 15? Why the hell would Hoyer hurt his own franchise for….for I don’t even know what, this is so asinine I can’t even believe I’m humoring you (not that you really believe it to begin with).

    Comment by Thomas — December 6, 2010 @ 5:45 am

  135. Um, moron, we’re not talking about trades. I was responding to the idea that “prospects HAVE TO produce” in order to have any value.

    Comment by James — December 6, 2010 @ 5:48 am

  136. The Pujols thing was an analogy, not a comparison. I’m stunned that you’re too stupid to understand the difference.

    Comment by James — December 6, 2010 @ 5:49 am

  137. These were scouting reports that gave an educated opinion of the value of these players, I’m guessing based on what was SEEN. No where does the article state that Rizzo IS a value defensively “Defensively, Rizzo could develop into a plus defensive first baseman with solid hands and OK foot work.” This seems suggests that the errors were perhaps due to limited range rather than ‘playing the position as if one were wearing boxing gloves.’ as CircleChange11 says:December 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm. I agree, it seems that Rizzo has a ways to go before he IS of defensive value, but the article also clearly states that he has at least 1 more full season in the minors before he is MLB ready.

    Comment by nateg26 — December 6, 2010 @ 8:44 am

  138. What the article’s scouting report does not include is that Kelly’s #’s were inflated significantly both in AA but even more so in Fall league by a few very poor outings, while most of his starts were considered by all accounts to have been successful outings. Sometimes the bottom line doesn’t tell the whole story. When you consider the size of the sample of a minor league pitchers’ innings and the volatility that is common with young pitchers who are still developing their arm angle it is very reasonable to look at the upside with more optimism than what his overall production has been to date.

    Comment by nateg26 — December 6, 2010 @ 8:51 am

  139. @Typical Idiot Fan. “Kelly might be good, but weren’t the Sox mad that he didn’t stay as a short stop prospect?”

    No. Mr. Bailey is exactly right. As for Rizzo’s walk rate, he walked 10% of the time between Salem and Portlan last year, so I’m not sure what you want from him. That’s not bad for a 20-year-old kid in advanced leagues who’s prime directive was to work on in-game power.

    Comment by blackout — December 6, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

  140. @CircleChange: “Cameron Maybin was the last “20yo can’t miss prospect” and well, he missed. I suppose one could mention Rick Porcello’s name if they wanted.”

    Well, both of those guys are too young to abandon — one reason why hitting the majors at a young age can work as much against you as for you, see Bailey, Homer — and you’re commingling hitters and pitchers. Most evaluators hold that ARL is less applicable to pitchers than to hitters due to the development curves for each group. Being a 20-year-old pitcher in Double-A is more impressive than not, but it’s no guarantee of future success and no indication that success is imminent. Double-A is a tough level for less mature pitchers as the hitters are generally able to recognize and lay off advanced breaking balls. Even if Kelly spent all of next year there and developed only slightly while also remaining healthy, that would be considered a coup. Just as important as successes are how he handles failures. In the end though, it’s less about being a 20-year-old in Double-A than a 20-year-old. Kelly has a ton of promise and a ways to go to realize it. Cliche, but true.

    Comment by blackout — December 6, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

  141. @Michael: “Cameron Maybin was the last “20yo can’t miss prospect” and well, he missed. I suppose one could mention Rick Porcello’s name if they wanted.”

    Again, the guy walked over 10% of the time in an aggregate 600 PAs at advanced levels of his age. Of all the areas for growth, patience is pretty far down the list imo.

    Comment by blackout — December 6, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

  142. Oops. Copy-paste booboo. Should have referenced the ” If [Rizzo] can improve his BB rate…” line in Michael’s post.

    Comment by blackout — December 6, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  143. @Rob: “Rizzo has to show patience to go with the power”

    This is getting comical…

    Comment by blackout — December 6, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  144. @CircleChange: “If there is data that shows that 23yo can and DO decrease their K-rate significantly at the ML level, I would love to see it”

    Data? Studies? How many have to have done it to change your mind? One?

    Comment by blackout — December 6, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  145. I’m a Padres fan, and I’m not the least bit disappointed in the return.

    I am disappointed in that the team can’t seem to find a way to creatively retain Gonzalez for the $20M/yr he’s going to take long-term, such as with deferred comp or simply realizing that he’s better than two $10M/yr players usually.

    That said, we have him for a year. Then we were going to get a later first rounder and a compensation pick at best. And everyone knew it. There were no illusions that we’d re-sign him.

    Several teams are out of the market simply because they have 1Bs, and many are out because they can’t afford a $20M/yr 1B.

    The Red Sox paid this for 1 year of Gonzalez plus not losing a draft pick (1 1st rounder if they don’t sign another Type A next year, etc.) plus the right to negotiate with him before the open market.

    I think there’s value for them there, but it isn’t so tremendous for any team that you were going to get this amazing haul.

    Comment by Alan — December 6, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  146. volatility that is common with young pitchers who are still developing their arm angle it is very reasonable to look at the upside with more optimism than what his overall production has been to date.

    Okay, but ….

    [1] We’re talking about a guy whose delivery has been described as “almost too menchanical/robotic”, and “too smooth”. In other words, he’s not developing his arm angle.

    [2] Are MiLB pitchers really developing their arm angle?

    As a pitching coach, I’d say (A) these guys have been likely pitching since age 10. They’ve already developed their arm angle. I’m doubtful that many pitchers inMiLB are learning and developing a new arm angle.

    Go to the outfield, catch a fly ball, throw it to the cutoff man … pow, you just found your natural arm angle. Now go developing good sound pitching mechanics focusing on ideal stride length (very few do), and late hip/shoulder rotation. Oh yeah, bring the ball in a circular motion, keeping your elbows below your shoulders. Don’t “show the ball to 2B/CF”, show it to 1B/3B. Now, just go practice it about 100, 000 times.

    In another thread, somebody posted the AA numbers of Lester, Baumgartner, etc. If we use that as a reference as many keep telling us to do, Kelly as a MLB 1 or 2 is not realistic … at all.

    Is there somewhere I can seach and find all of the 20yo pitchers in AA over the last 20 years? I will, and will report the findings. It’s getting repetitive with everyone yelling “He’s 20 in AA” when that signficant from a talent perspective, but since other 20yo pitchers have killed AA, it makes more sense to look at the performance of others as well … whether than just assume he’ll be awesome since he was in AA at 20.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 6, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  147. Again, you’re completely ignoring Maybin’s minor league accomplishments.

    Yes. Yes, I am. I’m also ignoring his prep stats.

    I learned a long time ago form the likes of Rob Allen, Luis Medina, Gregg Jefferies, Brnadon Wood, etc that MiLB stats cannot be treated as gold, neither can small sample sizes.

    If I were a maybin advocate, I would be touting his “tools”, not his stats/skills. The bothersome thing to me is that even with his speed, he has negative defensive metrics.

    One player at 23 that significantly lowers his K-rate, tells me it’s at least possible. If that one player is the only one out of 3,000 to do it, then I figure it’s a freak occurrence, and it’s not worth being concerned about. However, if that number starts approaching say 30% or 40%, then I figure he’s got a decent chance, even though the odds are still against him.

    The best thing about being proven wrong with relevant data, is that you learn something from that point on. I’m always willing to learn.

    People will keep using the “age” aspect of players like Maybin, and then someday he’ll turn 27 and the discussion ends.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 6, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

  148. No one has suggested that Hoyer is still being paid under the table by BOS.

    He may be wearing his brown Padre suit, but I think we know that Red Sox tatoo on his arm still tingles every time he makes a move.

    Let’s get a picture of the GM’s shaking hands, and see if they are both winking. If they’re not, we can always photoshop that in later.

    The best thing about conspiracy theories is that there is some small possibility of “might be true”, otherwise the CT isn’t fun. In this day and age, and with bazaar human behavior, almost anything “could be true”.

    My opinion is that there wasn’t a “fair trade” for AG out there (i.e., 5.5 WAR for 6M), and sadly, this may have been the best deal available … which is why I don’t think small market or low payroll teams ever have a chance. If they don’t feel confident with an MVP and CYA candidate, when are they ever going to feel as though they have a chance?

    They’ll just be one of the 8 teams “always rebuilding”, just what the league needs … another 4A team.

    But really, SD hit the jackpot with AG, because he wasn’t likely the centerpiece of the trade. He was the #1 pick, playing for his 3rd team. So, I’m not going to overcredit SD with what might be considered some of the greatest luck in MLB history.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 6, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

  149. Just reported Theo got it done 7 yrs/ 154Million.

    Comment by BobbyK — December 7, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  150. “People will keep using the “age” aspect of players like Maybin, and then someday he’ll turn 27 and the discussion ends.”

    As is appropriate. It’s not something to be used as the lone criterion, but it will remain a useful context until it isn’t.

    Comment by blackout — December 7, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  151. “In another thread, somebody posted the AA numbers of Lester, Baumgartner, etc”

    Lester was almost 2 years older than Kelly is now, when he was in AA.

    At 20, Jon Lester was pitching in A, (Sarasota) and putting up a 1.32WHIP and a 4.2 ERA.

    Comment by Rich — December 7, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  152. Obviously Jed Hoyer disagrees.

    He said in a press conference today that he considers Kelly and Rizzo to be the top 2 prospects in the Padres system. They were considered 1 and 3 in the Red Sox system.

    They’re good prospects.

    Fuentes is a 19 year old defensively excellent CF. He’ll be fine.

    Comment by Rich — December 7, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  153. What a joke of a trade if your a Padre fan – you got a pitcher that will probably blow out his arm by the end of the year ( Tommy John surgery, see you in two years? ) a 1B who will never hit over the Pena line (.196) in the MLB and an OF who will only play in the 8th and 9th inning for defense because he can’t hit a curve!!! What a joke Hoyer will become but don’t worry very much, it not that bad being the Reds Sox’s AAAA farm team – Congrats on a 55 game winning season!!!!!!!

    Comment by Robert — December 16, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  154. Anyone remember the Peavy trade – the Padres were to get the White Sox top pitching prospect (Poreada) and three others in this trade – except for the throw in Clayton Richards ( needed someone that was major league ready now ) the other three were jokes – the other three wont be in the majors this year, next year or the year after!! Trade Poreada now and we might get a minor leaguer in the top 1500????

    Comment by Robert — December 16, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

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