Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday notes

* As it stands now, the Padres will face Stephen Strasburg on July 8.

* I'm interested to see how recent draftees Jameson Tailon (Pirates) and Karsten Whitson (Padres) fare. Tailon was drafted second overall after drawing comparisons to Josh Beckett. Selected ninth, Whitson doesn't throw quite as hard as Tailon but his fastball has more movement. He's also meaner on the mound.

* The Padres knew it would be difficult to sign shortstop Christian Colon when they drafted him in 2007. Colon, who dropped to the 10th round because of his pricetag, wanted about $600,000 to give up a scholarship to Cal State Fullerton. As it has turned out, Colon would've been worth the investment, and then some. The Royals drafted him fourth overall this month and are prepared to offer him a seven-figure sum. Even if scouts are right about Colon ending up at second base, he's the kind of middle infielder the Padres would love to have in their farm system. I've heard different accounts on how far apart the Padres and Colon were -- anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000.

* In 2008, when the Padres guaranteed $5.5 million to a quintet of 16-year-olds, four of them from Latin America, part of their incentive was to create a splash in markets where they long have underachieved. Padres executives trumpeted those signings ad nauseum. The club was, to some degree, trying to build name recognition in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. From a scouting view, however, the investments were fraught with risk. It's incredibly hard to project 16-year-olds, especially when they seldom, if ever, play organized baseball. The Padres, for instance, knew far more about Colon than they did Dominican shortstop Alvaro Aristy, yet they decided to guarantee $1 million to Aristy. From what I heard from non-Padres scouts at the time, Aristy had very little chance of panning out. Padres rivals saw more value in the club's $2 million investment in Venezuelan pitcher Adys Portillo.

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