El Paso Baseball Link Dump

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while everyone. Here are a few links to get everybody up to date on the Stadium and what we may or may not know about the team so far.

English: In 1908, horse-drawn buggies and wago...

In 1908, horse-drawn buggies and wagons peppered the intersection of Mesa and Mills streets in Downtown El Paso. AND THERE WAS NO GALL-DARNED HIGH FALLUTIN BASKETBALL STADIUM IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN!!!Photo courtesy of El Paso Public Library. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This July 14th article from the El Paso Times doesn’t say too much as far as the construction of the stadium is concerned… pretty much just that it has started. The interesting notes here are that the Pacific Coast League Divisions and Schedule should be out by the end of this month. Also, the team name (Desert Gators – see link at bottom) should be announced by the end of the year. Yay!

 

In this article from the El Paso Times on August 2nd, people are still whining about the fact that the stadium costs money. The new mayor and city council hate the stadium and our future team (my opinion). But, who cares? It’s gonna happen and there’s nothing they can do about it… except complain like all of the people who commented at the bottom. HAHA, City Hall is gone and the stadium is being built regardless!!!! Suck it people who wish it was still 1908 in El Paso!

Here’s some awesome artist’s renderings of our awesome new stadium!

I have no idea what this dude’s note at the bottom about the baseball team means. I also have no idea why he hasn’t taken an updated picture for his column since this one was taken with his Grandma’s Polaroid.

Apparently Hayden Rash at H4TV (What is that?) just found out we are getting a team. I like his stance on the idiocy of people being upset about the demolition of a 32 year old asbestos filled City Hall. However, his assumptions about the seating and the poor parking are a little off. I like the guy’s comment at the end. It wasn’t me. Promise.

No complaints at all about this article at Ballpark Digest. It provides a great preview of the new stadium and gets me even more pumped! The Japanese comments at the end… not so much. But, maybe they’re pumped too! Woohoo!!!

 

Team Name Voting Begins!

Plaza de los Lagartos

Plaza de los Lagartos (Photo credit: Eric Enders)

Well, the top 5 names have finally been released for the El Paso (and everywhere else) public to vote on. Here are the nominees, in no particular order… actually, they are in a particular order from stupidest to less stupid.

1. Aardvarks. I don’t know what to say about this. A Google search of El Paso and Aardvark turns up a wrecker service and an auto repair shop, that clearly named themselves that in order to be first in the phone book (if you don’t know what a phone book is… it’s a book with a list of phone numbers to everyones land lines… land lines are phones that you have in your house – actually connected to your house – they don’t have internet – they don’t take pictures). There is a zoo in El Paso so, I guess maybe the name comes from that. I can’t find any information on the internet that leads me to believe they even have an Aardvark.

2. Buckaroos. (No, I’m not making this up) Apparently Buckaroo is how white people started saying Vaquero (Cowboy in Spanish). So, we are using an Anglicanized version of a Spanish word to represent the Cowboys who were mostly Mexican in this area, which by the way is full of Mexican people. But… we didn’t choose Vaqueros (or Estrellas) as a finalist. Nope, we chose Buckaroos!

3. Chihuahuas. OK well… we live in the Chihuahuan desert. We live next to the Mexican state of Chihuahua. There also seems to be an inordinate amount of big ol’ vatos around El Paso with tiny little Chihuahuas. That being said, this name is stupid. What player would be proud to be a Chihuahua?

4. Sun Dogs. This is the second best. Believe it or not. Sun Dogs. El Paso is the Sun City so, that part works. The dogs part? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the whole big dudes with little dogs thing I was talking about. I just don’t get it. I waited so long for these names to come out… not just because I was hoping that Estrellas would be there but because it’s OUR team! I can’t be happy about the Sun Dogs. It doesn’t even make sense.

5. Desert Gators. This is the one I just voted for and will vote for everyday from now until the 27th when voting ends. This is the best of the worst. It is also the only one that makes sense in reference to El Paso. We live in the Desert, we’ve already established that. Now, you may be asking yourself “why the gators?”. Well, I will tell you.

In San Jacinto Plaza in the heart of downtown El Paso, only a few blocks from the new stadium, there is a statue of “Los Lagartos” by Luis Jimenez. The statue is there in honor of the Alligators who used to reside in a moat within the plaza. For almost 100 years Alligators lived in San Jacinto Plaza until 1974 when they had to be moved to the El Paso Zoo due to a rise in vandalism (or maybe to eat the Aardvarks, CAUSE THERE AREN’T ANY THERE!). So, needless to say, the Gators are a source of pride and fond memories for many El Pasoans. The desert is a source of something for El Pasoans. Mostly sand and heat but, it can be beautiful as well.

Here is the link to the voting. There are no write-ins allowed, sorry. I would love to get Estrellas back in there, or maybe the Mountain Stars, Mountain Rainbows, Mountain Dew… whatever. Almost anything would be better than 4 out of these 5 finalists.

http://www.elpasotriplea.com/vote

 

 

The Future El Paso Whatever’s: Part 4 (The AAA Hitters)

Finally. The start of the players that, in my opinion, we have the best chance of seeing next season in El Paso. I might not go over every player in the Padres system but, I think for AAA and AA, I should. So, here we go. The Tucson Padres/El Paso Whatevers hitters.

1. John Baker (C) – .231/.375/.231 so far at Tucson, and his Major League stats this season are even worse. Currently on a one-year contract.

He won’t be here next year. Sorry. But, he could be managing here in a few years.- (This is what I get for taking two days to write my post. Baker was released yesterday. Guess I was right about not seeing him here next year, huh? BOOM!)

2. Jason Hagerty (C) – Hagerty is a back-up Catcher. Looks like he always has been. He’s a switch hitter, which you always love in a Catcher but, he hasn’t been hitting…

Tucson Padres

Tucson Padres (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

which is half of switch-hitting. .160/.323./.160.

If he’s still with the Padres next year, I think he will be in San Antonio. Unless, the Padres REALLY can’t find a back-up for El Paso.

3. Rene Rivera (C) – Rivera is in beast-mode this season. He is currently second in the PCL in batting. .343/.391/.488, 4 HR, 27 RBI. He is clearly the best Catcher on the Tucson roster. Dare I say, the best hitting Catcher in the Padres organization this year. Granted, his career numbers are nowhere close to what he’s doing this season. But, with Rivera batting so much better than either Hundley or Grandal with the Padres, does he deserve to be called up? Honestly, it may not matter if he deserves it or not. A clause in his contract means that he will have to be released if he is not on the Padres 25-man roster by June 15th. Could Hundley or Grandal be on their way down?

I hate to say it but, I think the Padres may be content with Grandal and Hundley. They definitely believe that Grandal is the Catcher of the future. They probably don’t want to send him down. Perhaps Hundley goes down. Perhaps they carry three Catchers? This is a stumper but, I’m about 80% sure that Rivera will be released, as crazy as it might sound.

4. Brandon Allen (1B) – If you like strikeouts, Brandon Allen is your man! This season he is kinda turning it around it would appear. He is only striking out 18% of the time, which is way better than usual. .260/.361/.439 is a decent slash. But, at 6’2″ and 235 lb. I think you should be hitting a little more than 6 HR’s so far. That’s very easy for someone who had 3 hits in 4 years of High School baseball to say, huh? I don’t care, it’s my blog, dang it!

He is on a minor league deal. I think he’s gonna be in Tucson all year. He’s hit that point in his career where he is playing on one year deals for any AAA team that needs him. I’d say 50% chance he could be with the El Paso Whatever’s.

5. Dean Anna (2B) – Well, well, well… Mr. Anna. What can I say. This dude has come out of nowhere this season! He has had a pretty good slash line everywhere he’s been so, I wouldn’t say it’s a complete surprise but, his numbers this year are amazing. .335/.411/.537 with 8 HR, 33 RBI and 41 R. That’s what I call a breakout. But, like the link at the bottom of this post explains, Anna is stuck in the minors.

Depending on what happens with the bench players in San Diego this offseason, I’d say there’s a 50% chance of Anna being in El Paso next season. He is very versatile and

Jonathan Galvez - San Antonio Missions

Jonathan Galvez – San Antonio Missions – Crazy time lapse picture, perhaps of a strikeout? (Photo credit: Jesse Acosta)

could easily stick as a do it all bench guy.

6. Cody Decker (1B) – Not that great of a hitter. Doesn’t appear to be a top prospect. Has a .521 SLG% which is not so bad. His .264 AVG and only 5 HR is only so-so.

If he’s in the organization still, which he should be… he will be in El Paso next season.

7. Jonathan Galvez (2B) – This guy has rocketed through the system since coming from the Dominican as a 17-year-old in 2008. Now 22, Galvez is sporting a .287/.353/.413 line with 36 R and 12 SB. He is striking out about 23% of the time and has done that at every stop in the minors. He still looks like a very solid prospect.

With Gyorko, Forsythe, and Cabrera with the Padres, it looks like we will be seeing Galvez in El Paso next season as well. Perhaps with extra time in AAA, he can cut down on his strikeouts. He is only 22. He has time.

8. Jesus Merchan (3B) – Jesus is a AAA bench player. He has found his niche in life. I’m sure he is a very nice man.

If Jesus feels like coming to El Paso, the Padres will probably take him on for a third year as a bench player.

9. Gregorio Petit (SS) – Despite a .302/.347/.392 slash so far this season, Petit looks like he has also found his niche. It is not in the majors.

Petit has changed AAA teams for three years in a row. I guess there’s a chance with El Paso being a new team that he may not realize he’s played for the Padres before and come on down to the borderland. We shall see.

10. Travis Buck (OF) – OK, look at Buck’s stats here and tell me he shouldn’t be nicknamed “Mister Inconsistency”. This guy is all over the place. Ohh, maybe it should be “Bipolar Man”. Not gonna play for the Padres this year… or next year.

He’s at the Minor League Deal part of his career. Could be in El Paso next year. Probably not, though. Although I would like to have a “Bipolar Man” jersey made up!

11. James Darnell (OF) – Darnell is the first person on this list who is actually on the 40-man roster. It would appear that Darnell was added to the 40-man in order to avoid the Rule 5 draft this past year. Why you may ask? I don’t know. I guess cause he hits really well in the low minors. He is on the DL right now but in his 7 games this year he has a .235/.316/.471. I guess he will be a September call-up, assuming he gets healthy.

If the Padres don’t try to pass him through waivers and lose him, he could be in El Paso. Looks like he will definitely need another season there.

English: James Darnell in 2010 spring training.

“Hello 40-man roster!” James Darnell  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

12. Jaff Decker (OF) – Man, I don’t even know what to say about Decker. He is also on the 40-man roster and it looks like it probably for the same reason that Darnell is. He was going to be Rule 5 eligible and no team wants to lose a 1st Round Pick. That’s kind of like admitting you were wrong and what guy wants to do that?.240/.363/.391 so far this season really isn’t too far removed from his usual numbers.

My guess is he will have one more season in AAA before the Padres give it up and admit they were wrong.

13. Dan Robertson (OF) – Robertson (.319/.398/.432), a 33rd round pick in 2008 has steadily worked his way up through the minors, hitting at every level. Not only does he hit, he walks and strikes out at the same 10% rate while also stealing about 20 bases a year. It looks like he will be eligible for the Rule-5 Draft this offseason. Here’s to hoping the Padres don’t just add guys to the 40-man roster that can’t hit.

He will probably be in El Paso next year. I can’t wait to see him play.

14. Kalian Sams (OF) – The Padres signed Sams after a decent WBC performance this year for the Netherlands. He was in the Mariners system for a while and never really produced much, always staying in the .250 BA range. Sams was recently promoted to AAA after working up to a .250/412/.713 line. His 10 Home Runs contributed greatly to that slugging percentage.

We should see Sams here hitting home runs next year. I’m predicting a homer on Opening Day, you can go ahead and mark it down! BOOM!

15. Mike Wilson (OF) – This guy is pretty inconsistent also. His numbers are all over the place, except one… he strikeouts out at a very consistent rate. So far this year, that rate is at 30%. Nowadays in baseball,  power can cover up a low batting average and high strikeout rate in the eyes of the people that matter. But, Wilson’s 2 home run’s aren’t covering up much. His .291 average might.

Because this is his first year with the Padres and only his second with a team other than the one that drafted him, I would say he is likely to be here in El Paso next year. The high altitude should help his Home Run numbers come back up to where they have been in the past.

Well, that’s it for the Tucson Padres hitters. I hate to say it but, there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to. Galvez will be nice to see. So will Robertson and maybe Anna. The prospect lists I have read don’t seem to reflect what the stats are showing so far this season. Perhaps by the end of this season, all of these stats will get to where all of the pundits thought they would be. Perhaps I will re-do all of these posts at the end of the season. We will see.

The Future El Paso Whatever’s: Part 11/2 (The Bench)

I knew as soon as I did the post on what the Padres lineup was on the day I did it, that the lineup would change. But, it hasn’t messed up this post too much. Cameron Maybin got called back up after his rehab stint and has already improved his .090 batting average 49 points. Kyle Blanks was all set to be sent down until Yonder Alonso was injured and had to go on the 15-day DL. So, without further ado… here is the Padres bench and our likelihood of seeing them in El Paso next year.

 

 

 

Padres Bench (and Cameron Maybin)

 

Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

1. Cameron Maybin (CF) – Cameron is locked up until 2017 and it appears to be a good thing. Before his recent DL stint he was batting .090/.167/.121 in a pretty small sample size. He went down to rehab at Tucson (which would have been El Paso were this 2014) and returned recently against the Rockies. He appears to be bringing it all together so to speak. His line in his first game back – 2 for 3, 2 RBI, 2 SB, R, BB. Not too shabby.

 

We won’t see him in El Paso unless something like this happens again. Not wishing anything bad on the guy but, I wouldn’t mind seeing him at some point next year.

 

2. Nick Hundley (C) – Not having too bad of a year for a back-up Catcher, where he will stay assuming Grandal plays like the Padres believe that he can. .238/.284/.371 with 3 HR and 13 RBI while throwing out 27% of base stealers. There is a team option on in him for 2015.

 

I think he will be staying in the Big Leagues until his option is declined in 2015 or he signs for the minimum. Sorry if I offend him or any Padres fans with this assumption.

 

3. Kyle Blanks (1B/OF) – Blanks is playing surprisingly well this season. Unfortunately, it looks like he still may be heading back down to AAA when Yonder Alonso comes back from the DL. Kyle’s line this season is .264/.355/.407 with 3 HR and 14 RBI. He is arbitration eligible after this season so, the Padres may have a little bit of a dilemma upcoming.

 

I think that a deal will get done this offseason to avoid arbitration. I also think there is a 75% chance that Blanks starts the season in El Paso next year.

 

4. Mark Kotsay (1B/OF) – Kotsay can still hit. Probably will the rest of his career… which should end after this season. He ranks in the 20’s in pretty much every career statistical category for active players. Dude’s been around a long time. .268/.328/.286. A lot of people believe that he should be DFA’d rather than Kyle Blanks being demoted. I think the Padres may want to consider it. It’s time to get a good look at Blanks prior to arbitration, whereas you are probably going to lose Kotsay no matter what this offseason.

 

o% chance of Kotsay playing in El Paso next year. I think he will retire this offseason. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he came to town as a roving hitting instructor for the Padres to work with people like Kyle Blanks down here with the El Paso Whatever’s.

 

5. Alexi Amarista (IF/OF) – .265/.301/.444, 4 HR, 15 RBI – He’s a pretty solid bench guy/glove.

 

There’s always a chance that you will see these guys dip down to AAA for weeks at a time. It’s going to be so awesome to have AAAA talent coming back and forth to El Paso all season! Seriously… not joking. You guys who haven’t watched AAA baseball have no idea how much this is going to put to shame any level of baseball that has been played in El Paso in the past.

 

English: Kyle Blanks in 2010 spring training.

Kyle Blanks in 2010 spring training with the Padres. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Future El Paso 1B.

 

6. Jesus Guzman (IF/OF) – Guzman has appeared in 43 games this season which is a pretty good amount. However, his .195/.275/.280 line to go along with his 23 K to 8 BB is going to mean that he may stay at 43 a while. He has a career slash of .266/.330/.418 and hasn’t been down to AAA since 2011. He is arbitration eligible this year.

I don’t think he will be with the Padres to come down to El Paso next year… unless something drastic happens.

That’s it for the Padres bench, and that whole Maybin/Blanks thing. My next post in this series will be about the Padres pitchers and then on to the minor leagues. Time to get back to the draft! See y’all soon!

 

 

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Rd 1 (Pick 13) – Hunter Renfroe

The pick is in and it’s Hunter Renfroe (RF – Mississippi State). I still love you Reese (sorry you have to be a Pirate, I did what I could)! But, I’m not totally disappointed with this pick, despite the fact that his swing is very Raul Mondesiesque. It appears that he has Mondesi’s defensive ability as well. I’ll take that anyday. Here’s some info on the guy we will be watching in El Paso in 2 to 3 years.

 

I’m not gonna say I’m disappointed in this pick but, I am sooooo wary of people who just perform for one year. I know that it can be hard for a Freshman to adjust to anything in college (for me it was going to class), but his .242/.318/.355 line in his first two years is a little worrisome. That being said, he got it together this year in a huuuuge way! .345/.435/.632 is ridiculous, I don’t care what you did before. When you take into account that he did it in the SEC it’s even more impressive. Welcome to the Padres Organization. I’m a rookie here like you. 🙂

 

His prodigious power could play very well here in El Paso someday. Sorry about Petco, though. 🙂

 

 

 

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It’s Draft Day! Part 2 – Reese McGuire Doing Things

Here is video of Reese McGuire throwing and hitting. My hope is that the weird little hitch he has at the end of his swing will help him drop down to the Padres at #13. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good looking left-handed swing… I just feel like there is a little something that a professional hitting coach will want to work on. Here’s to hoping it helps him drop to us. Sorry for wishing a pay cut on you Reese… and sorry for the man crush.

The Future El Paso Whatever’s: Part 1 (The Lineup)

Our team doesn’t have a name yet. Soon, though. Very soon. It also doesn’t have any players yet (I know, the Tucson Padres do but, I’m pretending our team is totally separate from them). I’m sure that some players from the Tucson Padres will end up here in El Paso but, who else do we have to look forward to seeing here in EP?

“The Future El Paso Whatever’s”  is a review of the entire Padres organizational depth chart.

One of the coolest things about having a AAA team in town is going to be seeing players from the Majors come down to work on things or rehab. Our guys here with the El Paso Whatever’s will also be moving up and down as needed to fill in for injured players. This first posts will be about the players that are currently in the Majors. We might not see too many of them. In later editions, we will get into the prospects that we may have here in El Paso next year… the true Ninos of the Padres.

The Padres Lineup

1. Everth Cabrera (SS) – This is Cabrera’s first full season in the Padres lineup and he is proving to be a very useful player. He is currently 10th in the NL in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) and has a slash line of .276/.361/.336 with 23 Stolen Bases. He will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this year.

English: Everth Cabrera, shortstop and second ...

Everth Cabrera, shortstop and second baseman for the San Diego Padres, at Fan Fest on April 5, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would say that we have no chance of seeing him here in El Paso next season, but then this Biogenesis thing happened yesterday. Cabrera has been linked to steroids and if MLB suspends Cabrera for 50 games, I would think it would be the beginning of next season. So, there’s a chance we could see him around the middle of May to get some AB’s in before returning.

2. Chris Denorfia (RF) – Denorfia is the Padres everyday RF and is signed through 2014. .299/.352/.390. Interesting stat: 6th in NL in Grounding into Double Plays (offense), 5th in NL in Double Plays from the Outfield (defense). Here’s a highlight reel… sorry about the music.

Really no chance of seeing Denorfia in El Paso, barring an injury rehab stint.

3. Chase Headley (3B) – Arbitration eligible this year. The talk in the pre-season was of how much the Padres needed to lock up Headley long term. He did have a good year last year. His play did warrant a new deal. This year however, he has a .246/.340/.385 line with 5 HR and 17 RBI. Not bad but, the Padres may get a better deal financially after this year.

He’s not going to be in  EP, unless he has an injury. Haha… that rhymes. I rap almost as good as those guys in the Denorfia Video.

4. Carlos Quentin (LF) – He’s playing like Carlos Quentin. He is with the Padres through 2016 when they will no doubt decline the mutual option and instead pay his $3M buyout. .230/.340/.443, 5 HR, 17 RBI. His stats are very similar to Headley’s. Is Headley gonna be looking for Quentin money? We’ll see. Quentin is 5th in the NL in HBP (Hit By Pitch), one of which was from Zach Greinke and caused him to have to break Greinke’s collar bone.

We may see him at some point to work on his swing. Probably not though.

5. Yonder Alonso (1B) – #1 in Fielding Percentage as a First Baseman. .284/.335/.416, 6 HR, 29 RBI. This guy’s a stud. He’s a Padre through at least 2018.

Again…injury, maybe.

6. Yasmani Grandal (c) – Just came back from 50 game steroid suspension. Last season, .297/.394/.469 in 60 games.

Yasmani Grandal

Yasmani Grandal (Photo credit: SD Dirk)

Like Everth Cabrera, Grandal is linked with the Biogenesis steroid scandal. It is very likely that he will be suspended 100 games. Like Cabrera, we will most likely see him sometime next year if he is suspended.

7. Jedd Gyorko (2B) – I was really excited to see Jedd play in El Paso when I found out we were going to have the Padres AAA team. But, it ain’t happening. This is Jedd’s first year in the Padres lineup and it looks like he’s not gonna be going anywhere. .278/.338/.434, 6 HR, 21 RBI. Gyorko is eligible for arbitration in 2016. It started off rough for Jedd but, he had pretty much the best May in history (I am prone to exaggeration, just so you know). Check out this article at friarhood.com. It’s one of my new favorite sites, by the way.

He ain’t coming back… unless he gets hurt.

8. Will Venable (CF) – Venable mostly plays against RHP’s. It’s not helping his batting average much, though. .219/.280/.397. His 7 HR and 19 RBI are pretty good though. In 87 chances in the outfield, he has a 1.000 fielding percentage. He is arbitration eligible this year.

Venable and Blanks (bats against LHP – we will discuss him Friday) are kind of up in the air when it comes to seeing them in El Paso next year. Cameron Maybin is the likely starting CF for the Padres. We will talk about him on Friday as well.

So, that’s it for the lineup. Tomorrow we will discuss the starting pitchers…. possibly the bullpen. We will see. Please comment with any questions, corrections, anything. I am learning about the team as I go, there’s a good chance I am completely wrong about some things. This blog is about my research into our El Paso Whatever’s, it’s a learning process. Regardless of who is here next year, the fact remains… El Paso will have AAA Baseball!!! Woohoo!!!