The San Diego Padres are 19-28 on the season. That would be the worst record in baseball if not for the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for Houston and Minneapolis.
In any case, the Padres and their fans are in full “who gives a crap?” mode for the season. There’s no way this is ending well, so screw it, lets bring up the prospects and let’s see what happens. The Marlins seem to get away with it all the time, why shouldn’t the Padres?
The first prospect on every Padres fan’s mind is first-baseman Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo was acquired from the Red Sox as part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal, and is essentially major-league ready as we speak, though he’s very young (he’ll be 22 in August). He’s developed all kinds of power and has been white-hot from the start of the season until now for the Tucson Padres in AAA. My favorite stat is his insane 1.193 OPS through 40 games. Ridiculous.
Aside from his youth, the Padres’ best prospect has Brad Hawpe blocking him at the major-league level at the moment as well.
And yes, I share nearly every fan’s reaction to that statement: Brad f-ing Hawpe? Really?
Hawpe did start the season awfully (.161 avg in April and no home runs), as did the rest of the Padres. But Hawpe is hitting .323 in May with two home runs, and believe it or not, the Padres are actually trying to win. Which is a sad thought in and of itself.
Either way, Rizzo is probably coming up this season, and Hawpe is probably heading out of town, which is fine since Brad Hawpe sucks and has 43 strikeouts in 129 at-bats, which is right around a third of his at-bats, for you math majors.
Actually, Rizzo’s awesomeness might show that the Red Sox have totally abandoned any semblance of the cost-effective approach that got them their 2004 title. Sure, they were paying guys quite a bit of money, especially Manny Ramirez, but the Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez deals are classic Yankee-style, sign-‘em-so-the-other-guy-doesn’t deals. Apparently, the Sox were too impatient to let an uber-prospect like Rizzo develop at the major league level or just wait a season with a place holder at first base.
On the flip side, the coming of Rizzo might also mean the beginning of another era in which the Padres take advantage of a very productive first baseman only to lose him once he’s going to be an unrestricted free agent. Pretty much a guarantee if Rizzo ends up good and the Padres’ ownership sticks on its current track.
On that negative note, here’s hoping we all get to see Anthony Rizzo really, really soon. And that he doesn’t suck. Please, God, don’t let him suck.