Padres GM Hoyer talks about the draft and the roster

I'm not gonna lie.  This is a pretty boring interview.  Hacksaw asked questions that Darren Smith covered a few weeks ago.   They also talked about Whitson for way too long.  Be thankful that I listened to it for you and took notes.

XX Sports Radio: Jed Hoyer Interview with Lee Hamilton (MP3)

  • 2010 was special in a lot of ways. The Padres played great baseball until late August.  A lot of what they accomplished was because people thought they couldn't do it.  There was a chip on their shoulder.  Hoyer hopes that the team plays with the same edge as they did last year.
  • Good conditioning and good luck led the Padres starters to make 129 of their 131 starts.  That's very unusual in this day and age.  After Chris Young went out they didn't miss any turns at all.
  • The team roster had a lot of turn over.  If they would have kept everyone the payroll would have been $65 million. There was some strategy to get some draft picks as well.
  • Hoyer hopes that once the farm system starts producing players he won't have to be as active in the off season as he was this year.  The Padres are over reliant on free agency and that's a dangerous place to be.  That's not a successful long term strategy.
  • Hoyer hopes for a good draft this year and to continue making strategic trades when they need to.
  • Trading Adrian Gonzalez was tough but there was no way he was coming back the Padres after free agency.  Boston was by far the most aggressive team and they offered the best package.  It's very difficult to acquire free agent pitching, so the Padres need to develop their own.
  • Anthony Rizzo has "top of the scale make up", he'll find a way to succeed.  He's a quality power hitter.
  • Karston Whitson was an outlier.  The Padres had every intention to sign him.  The Padres had a disagreement with Whitson's agent.  This year's draft is vastly better than last year's.  They liked Whitson's talent but all is not lost, because they have a 10th round pick this year.  The Padres have a big draft budget, they have every intention to sign these guys. Being unable to sign Whitson is the wrong thing to focus on.  "That was a miscommunication to be polite about it."
  • The Padres continue to sign players out of the Dominican Republic.  They sign players at 16 years old so it takes time, sometimes 6-8 years before you see the players in the lower levels of the minor leagues.

Part 2 - Hoyer answers caller questions (MP3)

  • Hoyer would bet that Jason Bartlett or possibly Orlando Hudson will be the team's lead off hitter.  It's Buddy Black's decision.
  • Hoyer isn't worried about Ryan Ludwick in Left Field.  Will Venable is a better defender than Ludwick.
  • Hoyer is a huge Will Venable fan.  He's a work in progress when it comes to hitting.  He'll turn into a very good Major League player.  Towards the end of the year Hoyer expects to see Venable lower in the line up.
  • The Padres have 5 picks in the first 58.  This is one of the deepest drafts in memory.
  • Donovan Tate has a ton of talent.  Last year was a lost year with injuries.  He was the MVP of the instructional league.  He's mentally ready to go and physically he looks fantastic.

Part 3 - Hoyer answers more caller question (MP3)

  • You can't evaluate the Whitson decision until after the draft this year.
  • Caller thinks Petco Park doesn't have enough Padres branding in the ballpark.  Hoyer says he'll pass along suggestion to Laura Broderick.
  • The Padres farm system is moving in the right direction.
  • Simon Castro is incredibly talented and did everything he could in AA last year.  He's ready for AAA.
  • Jaff Decker looks fantastic. He's in great shape, the best of his life.  He gets hurt at the wrong time.
  • The Escondido Ballpark is a question that should be directed towards Moorad or Garfinkel.
  • Dustin Moseley will compete for a starter job but will probably end up in the bullpen.  He's a contact type pitcher.  He adds depth to the bullpen. 
  • Jorge Cantu is going to be a very crucial acquisition for the team.  He'll get a lot of at bats.  He's a contact hitter that knows how to drive in runs.
  • The clubhouse will be motivated because some of the players are coming off bad years and have a lot to prove.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. was offered a raise but he was able to make more money else where.
  • David Eckstein had a good year last year. Without Adrian, Hoyer needed to create more balance in the line up.  Orlando Hudson is more diverse and younger.
  • Hoyer couldn't be happier with the direction of the front office.  He really likes Loretta, Roberts and Hoffman.  They give the front office a new perspective.  Hoffman likes to reach out to young players and show them how to be a major leaguer.
  • The fewer decisions that need to make in Spring Training the better.  The Padres need to see how the offense will perform without Adrian Gonzalez in the line up.  The health and performance of the pitching staff will figure into the success of this year's team.
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