Just in time for prospect season, we take a look at the idea of "windows" and a team's prime time to win. Inspired by what seems to be a once every three years rebuild for the Oakland Athletics, is there going to be a time where all their premier prospects hit and they'll have the best chance to win? Here we present the pleasures of trying to maximize production during one's service time.
Ninth in the series, we look at the San Diego Padres. Ranked 2nd overall by John Sickels, they have 0 A-rated prospects, but they're stocked in terms of B-rated prospects with 15. In Keith Law's organizational rankings released yesterday, he has them at #1 overall. Here's what KLAW says:
Without Anthony Rizzo, they no longer have a top-25 prospect in their system, but in terms of total future value of players likely to play significant roles in the big leagues, they're ahead of everyone else. Some of these players, especially from the 2011 draft, will develop into stars. But there are so many prospects here with high floors, players who would be top-10 or top-five in other systems but are 11-20 here (such as Robbie Erlin or Edinson Rincon), that they are well-positioned to compete even with modest major league payrolls during the next five to six years. Fans who were upset at the sudden departures of GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod for the Cubs should find solace in the fact that the prospects they helped bring into the system (along with many other scouts and execs, including Chris Gwynn, now with Seattle, and Jaron Madison and Randy Smith, still in San Diego) remain in place.
With the Padres top-ranked system, how long is it going to take before it all clicks?It's quite impressive that they'd what they were able to address immediately through the Mat Latos trade.
Both Alonso and Grandal are set to come up in 2012 (Alonso is expected to be their opening day 1B). In Volquez, they've got a middle-of-the-rotation starter, all this for a future ace in Latos. They've added Carlos Quentin to address their run scoring problems, but will he be a piece they intend to re-sign after this season? Here's what they're looking at for 2012:
*New acquisition, Current roster info from MLB Depth Charts
What's really impressive is that the Padres have 3 B+ prospects coming up in the next 3 years: LHP Robbie Erlin, RHP Joe Wieland, and RHP Keyvius Sampson. Their top prospect OF Rymer Liriano is set to come up in the same timeframe, currently 2014.
It was only 2010 where the Padres were in the thick of it up until the last day of the regular season. All 15 of their B-rated prospects are set to join the club by 2014, so while Alonso and Grandal will already have 2 years under their belt, you can see that their window starts sometime in 2014.