Now I now this is a familiar refrain from me at this point, but Sports Illustrated decided to pile-on and kick the crap out of the Padres for their lack of drafting success over the past 15 years.
Now, a couple of points:
Today, the Padres are among the worst teams in baseball. There are a myriad of reasons why -- their reluctance to sign high-priced free agents, their dependence on bargain-basement veterans, and their blatant disregard for offense, to name a few.
This is so mind-numbingly stupid that I don't know where to begin. Our record sucks, but we're not among the worst teams in baseball. We missed the playoffs by one strike last year and have posted four winning seasons in a row. I understand that he tries to qualify this ass-hattery by saying "today," but then he proceeds to go through and repeat the same stupid crap that the national press constantly gets wrong about our team. We're not against signing high-priced FAs so long as it's not a stupid move. We extended Jake at a very high price. We don't "depend" on bargain-basement veterans. The only such "bargain-basement" guy was Edmonds and he's been cut. Not really fair to call Giles this, as we've had him for a while. "Blatant disregard for offense" is also stupid, as we play in a ridiculous pitchers park and our offense was really not that bad last year (as GY has pointed out multiple times over the past year).
It is not as though the Padres always pick late in the first round, either. In the past 14 years, they have picked first, second, third and fourth. Each of those bonus babies went bust.
This statement is purposefully confusing, as it makes it seem that we've had these low picks fairly recently. Directly before the quote I pasted, the author comments that we've had four hurt pitchers in a row. Again, this is all done as if to suggest that we've wasted four low picks on hurt pitchers. It's dishonest writing, and it's done on purpose to try to futher the author's point.
Our author then profiles these picks. He tries to mea culpa by saying he's from San Diego and thus he KNOWS his Padres, but here's the kind of stupid crap he writes anyway:
Sean Burroughs, third baseman: Drafted ninth out of Wilson High School (Ca.) in 1998, Burroughs was a former star of the Little League World Series. In five major-league seasons, he was a solid singles hitter, but he managed just 11 home runs.
Burroughs was pretty widely considered a hot propsect and many thought he would develop as a pretty damn good third-basemen. Just because it didn't happen doesn't mean the Padres made some egregious error in drafting him.
Khalil Greene, shortstop: Drafted 13th out of Clemson University in 2002, Greene was the third shortstop taken by the Padres in the first round in six years. Finally, they got the right one. Greene won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2004, is among the best defensive infielders in baseball, and belted 27 home runs last season.
I love Khalil more than anyone else here, and even I wouldn't try to pretend that he won the NL ROY in 2004. That was actually Jason Bay, Mr. Jenkins. Greeney won the honor from Baseball America, which sadly, does not mean anything.
Matt Bush, shortstop: Drafted first out of Mission Bay High School (Ca.) in 2004, Bush never advanced beyond Class A. He was converted into a pitcher early last season, but he tore a ligament in his elbow and is still recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Bush was considered a top-ten talent, and although we shouldn't have popped him 1st, it's not like this was drafting a 15th round talent with the overall pick. Yes, Bush was a bad choice for number one. But it wasn't as bad as everyone consistently tries to make it out to be. It's not like we decided to go with a hobo on the street for this pick. Bush was profiled as top-ten.
Matt Antonelli, infielder: Drafted 17th out of Wake Forest in 2006, Antonelli advanced quickly through the Padres' system and nearly made the major-league team this spring. Instead, he was sent to Class AAA and batted .180 through April and May.
I think it's pretty weak to imply that Anotnelli's hitting .180 in AAA this year somehow makes him a terrible pick. He was progressing well and has since stalled. How many other 2006 draft picks are struggling in AAA? We don't know, since Jenkins doesn't tell us, but the implication is that Antonelli was not a great pick.
At the end, Jenkins tries to recover and say that despite all of these "horrible" picks, the Padres have been pretty damn good recently. Which begs the question: Why write this article in the first place?
Was there really nothing better to do with your column space, Mr. Jenkins? How about the phenomenal season Adrian Gonzalez is putting together, despite being mired in a weak lineup and playing half of his games in a place that saps power? Or maybe an article on the weird things that have happened to this team this year?
But no. Mr. Jenkins and Sports Illustrated decide to take the easy route and pile-on with an article ripe with dubious logic and outright factual errors. Go SI!