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What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica?

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Posted: 09/30/2013 5:43 AM

What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


What have we learned about these guys?

Burch Smith: Started the year in AA and got away with pure fastball. It seems to me that he isn't ready. Still learning how to pitch. Should start the year in El Paso, bring him up at the end of the year in 2014 and I think he has the potential to turn things around and be a pitcher like Cashner has. 

Robbie Erlin: I think he's shown he's ready. Got more confidence as he pitched in the majors. He can be a number 5 starter so we don't have to sign the likes of Dan Haren for 12 million dollars.

Tommy Medica: Until the National League has the DH the Padres need someone who can spell Carlos Q in left field. To me Medica, Guzman and Blanks kinda all do the same thing. They are LF-1B-DH-pinch hitter guys. With a five man bench I don't know if they can keep two out of the three or only one. I like what I saw of Medica even though it was a small sample. Defensively, he looked comfortable at first base and seemed good at picking low throws out of the dirt. He displayed good bat speed through the zone and hence, power, which the Padres desperately need. He drove  in runs and more importantly to me hit well at the end of his stint. A lot of times young guys come up and hit well early, but then clubs get scouting reports on them and they tail off. No so Medica. Than 14 pitch at bat against the Giants was very impressive. I know they like Guzman as a pinch hitter and spot starter. I like Kyle Blanks skill set but, like Logan Forsythe, it just seems like he's hurt all the time. I know that we still have spring training, but theoretically if I had to make a decision right now I would go with Medica. I know he has been hurt also, but that was catching. I think the Padres  do not need Tommy catching with Grandal and Hedges in the wings. What do you think?
In the O'Malley Boys I Trust

Last edited 09/30/2013 5:46 AM by hoffy51

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Posted: 09/30/2013 6:08 AM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


Pretty much agree with your points ... all three showed enough to show that they have a real future.  I will toss in a couple of other options:

1. On Smith and / or Erlin ... if one does not get the #5 slot they might get a spot in the pen. Working out of the pen might be a decent transition to pitching in the ML ... the pen may need them ... if their future is SP they can be stretched out late (a la Cashner) ... also note that some still think Smith's future is in relief.  It may be quite crowed in El Paso's SP if Smith and Erlin go down and get added to Wisler, Sampson, Andriese, Roach, Oramas, and (if they are back from injury) Wieland, Luebke, and Kelly ... all are legit AAA types in 2014 ... that would be 10 SP. That just might push a couple up to the ML rather than lag some back to AA.

2. I have seen enough of Medica to see his offensive potential. Since they will continue to work him some in LF during the winter, I would see him as the starting LF in El Paso to start the season (he still needs to get steady ABs while getting game reps in LF) and will be set up to get the call up when Quentin needs a DL stint (likely). Having another injury plagued year and being out of options should spell the end for Blanks and if they add a LH hitting OF to balance the bench ... Guzman could be the next one out.

Bottom line is that all three have shown enough at the ML level to convince me that they legit ML potential with a little more refinement.
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Posted: 09/30/2013 7:38 AM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


I've learned that Medica is the spitting image of a young Matt Holliday in the batter's box.
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Posted: 09/30/2013 9:26 AM

RE: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


I've been slow to come around on Erlin, but he sure had a nice September.

(Edit: I just looked up Erlin's numbers and realized just how "nice" his September really was:
5 GS, 32.0 IP, 27 H, 7 BB, 7 ER, 1.97 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, .227 BAA.  Awesome.)

I can't help but be excited about Medica. I hope (and assume) he'll be working his tail off to become a solid LF and 1B during the offseason.

Smith makes me nervous. His secondary pitches look pretty inconsistent, and often very hittable. I envision him as a reliever, at least in the short term.

Fuentes: Did he play himself out of "prospect" status this September? I know he wasn't impressive at the ML level, but with his speed, defense,and youth, hopefully he's still a prospect. A full season of AAA (at age 23) may get him ready to hit for a good average in the bigs.
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Last edited 09/30/2013 1:26 PM by USMC53

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Posted: 09/30/2013 3:47 PM

RE: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


I pretty agree with everything said.  I really like Erlin.  I wouldn't hand him the #5 spot but he is a solid candidate.  Burch is way more a work in progress with his stuff and what is in between the ears.  The pen might suit him well as he he won't have much time to over think.
Just warm up and throw him out there in middle relieve.  Medica has always been able to hit. As Hoffy said small sample size but I like want I see.  With Alonso coming back, I don't think it going help his development sitting on the bench.  Maybe as mention getting reps in LF  he could be an adequate LF.  Kyle Blanks is toast.

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Posted: 09/30/2013 4:39 PM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


In my mind, Medica is no different than the rest. 

While I like his promise, I remember being in the same frame of mind about Venable, Guzman, Blanks, Forsythe, Darnell, Hairston, Cunningham, (I could keep going)...

I know these aren't all equal comparisons. But as a longtime Padre fan, I'm hesitant to get too excited too early.
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Posted: 09/30/2013 5:16 PM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 



LevelAgain wrote: ...as a longtime Padre fan, I'm hesitant to get too excited too early.
I don't blame you, and you're probably much wiser than me, but I can't help myself. 
On the first day of the postseason, it's hard (for me) not to look at a kid who came up to the bigs and hit for a solid month without getting hopeful about postseasons future.  I've been burned by my big hopes before, and I will be again, but like I said, I can't help it.
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Posted: 09/30/2013 5:22 PM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 



LevelAgain wrote: In my mind, Medica is no different than the rest. 

While I like his promise, I remember being in the same frame of mind about Venable, Guzman, Blanks, Forsythe, Darnell, Hairston, Cunningham, (I could keep going)...

I know these aren't all equal comparisons. But as a longtime Padre fan, I'm hesitant to get too excited too early.
Agree on not getting to ahead of the development and expect too much to early (or ever). Need to see a lot more. However, on Medica, the organization is handling him very differently than most (if not all) of the other prospects ... suggesting they see something more.  Calling him up from AA (something rare for a hitting prospect) ... and playing him every day even when he was slumping and Blanks / Guzman were available is just significantly different ... and I don't see the reason being Alonso being hurt, they did have other alternatives. Consider how long Rizzo and Gyorko excelled in AAA before they were call up. Still, he may just eventually fade but ... just a bit more curious on my part.

As for Fuentes ... still see him as a legit prospect although never had considered him a blue chipper. Actually, his performance is more of what I would have expected as a AA call-up. With speed and defense combined with some minimal hitting he should be a MLer (even if just a reserve). If his hitting matures more, could be a very serviceable CF. Too young and too much raw talent to write off. Don't think they should have called him up this early.
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Posted: 09/30/2013 5:46 PM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


Overriding assumption:  Healthy team with no additional moves is easily over .500 in 2014 & should be in contention.

I believe Erlin enters camp as #5 starter.  His control should improve even more another year removed from surgery.

Smith was called up way too early first time around.  Would be surprised if he starts in AFL given IP, interesting to see what he does if he relieves, b/c he really needs to develop secondary pitches.  IMO he needs at least another 1/2 year in AAA.  I know they're overflowing with prospects, but I would keep him as a starter.  I HAD been thinking he would be most likely long relief guy on Pads if Luebke unlikely to be ready.  But I'm really starting to think Pads may keep Stauffer?  Have they "driven down" Stauffer's  value by exclusively using him in pen to where his 3rd yr of Arbitration might be affordable to Pads?  An elite long man might be a necessity on a contender over a prospect with potential getting his feet wet...

Medica was really impressive.  The thing that impressed me most is that he consistently drove in runs, which no one seems capable of.  But he's got only 1,000 AB in minors.  Blanks has 2,0000+ & 700+ MLB, Guzman 3,000+ & 800+MLB.  Medica needs 500 AB & to just play every day at AAA.  Again, if the team is realistically a contender, it does affect roster composition; Guzman is a "professional hitter": elite pinch hitter.   But he is what he is; a role player.  It's got to pain the Pads that they may have to let Blanks go for a song, and possibly watch him turn into a 1B or LF starter somewhere else hitting 20-25 HR; but he had 0 HR & 3 doubles over 100 AB last 3 months with injuries.  Medica does make it seem more likely that Pads will be comfortable without Guzman OR Blanks... which probably has to happen anyway.  Only 1 of these 3 guys can be on the 25-man roster barring injury.
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Posted: 09/30/2013 6:29 PM

RE: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


I initially reacted "no way" on Smith being a reliever when I first started reading this thread. However, thinking about it he could be a good 6-7th type guy blowing high 90's with a good change and developing breaking stuff for a season. Given the glut at AAA next year, I think he makes the team in the 'pen at the expense of guys like Brach and Mikolas. That said, I'd float him as a trade candidate. Love to see Headley and Smith for Kendrick and 11-20 level prospect from LAA assuming Kendrick will sign extension for 3+ yrs.

Erlin...agree number five default.

Medica just looks "hitterish" to adopt a BB phrase. The unsaid stuff from Endberg and Mark this month tells me they are looking to deal Quentin in the offseason and that he has kind of "ok'd" the issue given his knee issues. Texas could use him. Medica looks like a slugger to me in the Jack Clark mode...homage to my avatar.

Blanks is gone unfortunately but he is never gonna stay healty. He has AL team written all over him, but I see COL is looking for a RH slugger so they might bite. Guzman also probably gone too.

Notice everyone that we are talking about decent players being pushed off the roster! This a good thing!

 

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Posted: 09/30/2013 6:45 PM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


So, if Medica is being treated differently than other hitting prospects (which I can't argue), and the FO sees him as an alternative to Quentin (which I could fully understand), what is his defensive outlook?
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Posted: 09/30/2013 8:13 PM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


So if we are trading CQ what is his backup plan? Are they going to just roll the dice with what we have? Go out and sign a left fielder such as Beltran? Make another trade for another outfielder? Here is something to ponder...with payroll said to be going up 18 percent (I think I remember fowler stating that amount) could the bold moves be trading Quentin to give us another 9 mil to spend plus a prospect or two and go out and get one of the stud starting pitchers and then using either erlin stults or smith as part of a deal to bring in that outfielder? I feel like with us being forced to move guys of the 40 man to protect guys and the frustration of being so close again, I think we are going to be seeing a number of deals which will end up adding to our farm
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Posted: 09/30/2013 10:40 PM

RE: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 



Commie wrote:
...The unsaid stuff from Endberg and Mark this month tells me they are looking to deal Quentin in the offseason and that he has kind of "ok'd" the issue given his knee issues...

...Notice everyone that we are talking about decent players being pushed off the roster! This a good thing!
Out of curiosity, what did you hear (or interpret) from Dick and Mud that give you the idea that Quentin will/may be dealt?  Whatever it was, I didn't pick up on the same thing(s) from the games I was able to watch.

Totally agree on the last point.  I was just thinking as I read this thread that, for a 76-86 club, we have a good number of guys to be excited about, both at the ML level and just below.
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Last edited 09/30/2013 10:40 PM by USMC53

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Posted: 10/01/2013 2:51 AM

RE: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


Fuentes is a prospect I hope the padres dangle in a trade.  Do NOT trade Wisler Brynes.
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Posted: 10/01/2013 6:23 AM

RE: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 


Don't know what was said by the TV folks ... but on the radio pre / post game discussions there has been SPECULATION (but not attributed to the Padre sources) of the POSSIBILITY (but not suggesting the probability) of moving Quentin and Quentin's willingness to go along with a move. From what I could tell ... pure SPECULATION by the analysts.  Having said that ... I do think that is an alternative Byrnes is (is willing to) consider.

The Medica performance has, in my mind, created some comfort level in Byrnes which will open up consideration of more alternatives.  As for the LF ability ... remember the bar is relatively low with Quentin, Blanks, and Guzman. My guess is that after working with Roberts in September and getting more work during the AZ Winter League time, the Padres will know if he can cut it in LF even if he does not get actual game time. Remember how quickly the Padres ended experiments with Antonnelli, Rincon, Galvez ... the pros can make the call after just seeing the actions on the practice field.

I think the first impact is to make the moving of Blanks and / or Guzman much easier ... Medica, even if he is getting AB in AAA, he will just be a phone call away if they need ML coverage if Quentin gets injured. Denorfia will the the 4th OF for short term fills and Amarista and Forsythe have been used in the OF for that 5th OF support if needed.

However, if they decide to move Quentin, he may get a shot but would expect the Padres to try to get a new OF to put in the mix ... and still move Blanks and Guzman. Just don't think they will want to "rely" on Medica as the LF in 2014 ... and they know they can't "rely" on either Blanks (injuries) or Guzman (defense).

I will add another spin on Medica's long audition. If Byrnes is put in the position of voting for the NL DH in 2014 (or if it is just expected) ... Medica's performance (if they consider Quentin will be the Padres' DH) would be a factor in what approach they take in filling the LF slot. The more they like Medica ... the less they need to go after a front line LF. 

As an aside ... if they deal Quentin ... don't expect to get much in return. Remember that they only gave up Castro and Hernandez to get him ... basically nothing. The challenge will be to find a team to take his contract.  I think it is unlikely the move Quentin this winter.
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Posted: 10/01/2013 6:39 AM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 



dustymills wrote: So if we are trading CQ what is his backup plan? Are they going to just roll the dice with what we have? Go out and sign a left fielder such as Beltran? Make another trade for another outfielder? Here is something to ponder...with payroll said to be going up 18 percent (I think I remember fowler stating that amount) could the bold moves be trading Quentin to give us another 9 mil to spend plus a prospect or two and go out and get one of the stud starting pitchers and then using either erlin stults or smith as part of a deal to bring in that outfielder? I feel like with us being forced to move guys of the 40 man to protect guys and the frustration of being so close again, I think we are going to be seeing a number of deals which will end up adding to our farm
As I interpreted Fowler ... the budget has room for the payroll to go up 20% (about $14MM) BUT don't think he said it WILL go up.  Big difference between CAN and WILL ... sort of depends on what is available at what price.  

I would guess that Byrnes is looking for another OF (preferably LH hitter) whether Quentin stays or goes ... just the profile may be different. If Quentin is gone ... more of an established veteran how can hit middle of the line up (Beltran fits). If Quentin stays ... more of a versatile prospect type (likely via trade) or just a one year filler (e.g. Ryan Sweeney type). I will toss in a trade target if the Padres are willing to move young pitching (not Wisler) ... Kole Calhoun (LAA). Angels seem willing and clearly want young controllable pitching.
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Posted: 10/01/2013 9:18 AM

Re: What have we learned about Smith, Erlin and Medica? 



USMC53 wrote:
LevelAgain wrote: ...as a longtime Padre fan, I'm hesitant to get too excited too early.
I don't blame you, and you're probably much wiser than me, but I can't help myself. 
On the first day of the postseason, it's hard (for me) not to look at a kid who came up to the bigs and hit for a solid month without getting hopeful about postseasons future.  I've been burned by my big hopes before, and I will be again, but like I said, I can't help it.
Dont sell yourself short USMC  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeJVTimlyWk
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