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Selling the Farm

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Padres fans are very familiar with the core and complimentary pieces GM AJ Preller brought in this offseason - the same players he controversially refused to move at the trade deadline.  Bloggers have already spilled plenty of imaginary ink discussing their merits and their performances.  It isn't exactly fair to evaluate the dozens of players Preller moved before the season is even over, but you're going to do it anyway.  Before the Padres began their recent winning tear, the constant blogosphere refrain was that Preller sold off the team's future in order to finance a "win-now" run.  While Ws tend to silence critics, it isn't a bad idea to get early returns on the resources the Padres traded away.

Before discussing the pieces Preller forked over to bring them in, let's quickly recap the 2014-2015 trade acquisitions, ranked roughly in terms of value in 2014 and beyond:

Craig Kimbrel

Derek Norris

Wil Myers

Brandon Maurer

Justin Upton

Matt Kemp

Shawn Kelley

Melvin Upton

Additionally, there are pieces that aren't on the current 25-man roster, but could figure into future plans.  Tim Federowicz, Will Middlebrooks, Stephen Kohlscheen, Aaron Northcraft, and Seth Streich all figure to be organizational depth at the least.

MLB Pieces

Cameron Maybin - Spider Mayb started the season hot, but has cooled off considerably.  Cam is hitting just .190 in the second half.  While his bat has been a nice surprise for the Braves, Maybin hasn't seemed like the same athlete since his knee troubles.  His thievery has dropped off considerably from his 40 stolen base season in 2011 and he grades out as a below average center fielder after looking like a gold glove candidate from 2011-2012.

2015 fWAR: 0.8

Yasmani Grandal - Grandal has blossomed into a bona-fide stud offensive catcher.  While his defense and control of the running game has been rough, he also scores plus marks in pitch framing.  His surgically repaired knee will trouble Dodger fans as long as he's there (Grandal has only caught 76 of Los Angeles' 105 games and the Padres openly floated the idea of moving him to a corner infield position), but his bat can probably play anywhere.  Grandal is also pre-arbitration and the Dodgers will control him for several season before they have to commit to him as a long-term catcher.

2015 fWAR: 3.0 (before you ask, Derek Norris is sitting at 1.9 fWAR)

Carlos QuentinRIP

2015 fWAR: Loving Every Laugh

Jesse Hahn - Hahn had a great 2014 debut with the Padres.  He had a great 2015 debut with the Athletics.  However, he's probably going to be watching the rest of the season from home.  Already a Tommy John surgery survivor, Hahn has been an injury concern going back to the 2012 MLB draft.  Hahn has been afraid to throw the curveball (a pitch he threw nearly a third of the time in 2014) all season long, and the pain has finally put him on the sidelines.  Subsequently, Hahn's strikeouts have dipped from greater than 8 k/9 to fewer than 6 k/9Part of the problem with Hahn is that his body just appears to be too slight for his frame.  There aren't many MLB starters who throw a consistent 200 innings and weigh less than 200 lbs - much less pitchers who are 6'5 and under 200.

File footage of Jesse Hahn's diet.

2015 fWAR: 1.5

Jace Peterson - Along with Maybin he has cooled down considerably now that pitchers have an established "book" on how to approach him.  The batting line has dipped to .239/.318/.330.  He's shown to be a worthwhile defender at second base, but he will have to make major adjustments at the plate to be a long-term starter or super-utility player.

2015 fWAR: 0.7

Joe Wieland - You don't even want to know.  Wieland was once a decent mid-rotation prospect, but multiple elbow surgeries have robbed the command-and-control pitcher of his hallmarks.  Teams will still be able to use him as veteran depth, but his profile screams AAAA at this point.

2015 fWAR: -0.2

Rene RiveraLove is over.

2015 fWAR: -0.7

Seth Smith* - While not having as strong of a season as 2014, Smith has been a useful hitter this year and is under team control for the next two seasons for a not exorbitant cost.  He's almost 33 so there is still a lot of time for the Mariners to decide on his 2017 option.

2015 fWAR: 1.7

Alex Torres - 7 bb/9


2015 fWAR: -0.7

You really shouldn't compare WAR in vs. WAR out, but I did it anyway:  3.7 fWAR (out)*, 6.6 fWAR (in)

Future talent and farmhands

Ranked by a rough estimation of future value, given their current progress as minor leaguers:

MLB Tier

Trea TurnerThis is the one that stings - particularly in the era of Barmerista at shortstop.  Scouts are still divided on what Turner's upside really is, but he's currently a top-10 prospect in all of baseball - following up his "strong" 2014 with an "extremely strong" 2015 in the minors.  Despite his success, speed is Turner's only "plus" offensive skill and it hasnt' translated into stolen bases yet.  Age is his friend here, and the bat looks pretty well-developed despite the lack of MLB-caliber power, bat control, or patience.  He's unlikely to be overmatched as a big leaguer, but it is unclear what his calling card will be as a player.

Mathew Wisler - arguably should be on the MLB list since he has pitched 46 innings for the Braves this year after starting the season in AAA.  He stalled a little as a prospect and has so far had a bit of a "meh" pro debut.  Scouts have considered him a guy with mid-rotation upside, but his ability to miss bats has declined dramatically at every stop since AA in 2014.  For a guy who generates very few ground balls, the declining k-rate is troubling, but his stuff and poise should give him a chance to stick to a rotation somewhere until he can figure out, particularly with a rebuilding Braves squad.

Joe Ross - Considered a mid-rotation prospect, Ross has been absolutely lights out for the Nationals this year.  In this small sample, his MLB peripherals have ALL outpaced his minor league numbers.  Walks, strikeouts, batting average against, Ross is inexplicably pitching like a big league ace after being a minor league Joe Blanton.  Maybe he keeps this up - and maybe WWE matches replace the criminal justice system in the United States.

"Potential" Tier

Max Fried - A former top-10 draft pick, but he's thrown just 10 innings in the last two years.  Shout out to Tommy John.  Once he actually gets on the field he will still have a lot of developing to do.  The results haven't caught up with his talent level.  He'll be 22 years old in A-ball next season

Burch SmithThe Ghost of Tommy John strikes again.

RJ Alvarez - considered a setup-man prospect, Alvarez had mixed results in AAA this year, but has reached the big leagues for Oakland.  His control has been terrible, but his stuff should give him plenty of chances in the big leagues.

Organizational Depth Tier

Zach Eflin - AA results have been passable if uninspired, but his peripherals don't look like MLB material at this point.  Withe fewer than 5 k/9 as a minor leaguer, Eflin faces an uphill battle to force his way on an MLB roster, though he could end up a future Joe Wieland.

Jake Bauers - The forgotten piece of the Wil Myers trade - his numbers look great for a 19 year old in AA, but for the glaring lack of power.  Very much in the Yonder Alonso/Lyle Overbay mold - his game power still lags considerably behind what Yonder did at his level.  Like any 19-year old, Jake is a flyer at this point, but he could make for a flawed big leaguer or a future perpetual AAA All-Star.

Mallex Smith - Struggling mightily in AAA after posting excellent numbers in lower levels.  His struggles may be exploitation of the flaw in his game (nonexistent power) rather than an abberation.  AAA pitchers have been pounding the zone and challenging him (Mallex's walk rate has been cut nearly in half).  There are far more Luis Durangos than Ben Reveres.

Dustin Peterson - Thus far an average bat to accompany below average defense.  Will have to do more once he reaches the upper minors.

Johnny Barbato - I am told that Johnny Barbato is a person that plays baseball.