Yes, You Should Care

Including us here at Padres Public, Padres fans do a whole lot of feeling sorry for ourselves. Being that the Padres are 520 games under .500 for their existence, we’ve been through ownership debacles with Tom Werner and John Moores/Jeff Moorad, and a decade of drafting and development the Kevin Towers Way, it’s fairly justified. However, I’m going to encourage you to drop it when it comes to one area: young players and prospects.

Swoon

Swoon

On Friday, Jason Cole of Lonestar Dugout posted a video of Padres catching prospect Austin Hedges throwing out a runner at second, with a 1.83 POP time. Hedges’ POP has been well-documented, ranging from 1.75 in drills to 1.90 with regularity in games as a high schooler, but it’s different actually seeing it. And seeing the confidence in Hedges as he jogs off of the field before the ball even reaches second base. Amongst Padres fans, that video quickly went viral. A swoonfest of massive proportions occurred. If you missed it, you can view the video here. Towel off, give yourself a few minutes to compose yourself, and come back here. We’ll wait.

Swooning ensued…but so did the usual refrain: “Who cares? The Padres will just trade him anyway.” Stop the boat. We’re starting this with prospects now?

My stance on the Padres’ perception problem is well-documented, so I get where this mentality is coming from. And, like I’ve said, its up to the Padres to change it. That said, if you consider yourself a Padres fan, there’s no reason not to get excited about players like Hedges, Liriano, Fried. Spang all you want, and check out Wisler, too. Read about Padres Prospects’ Top 25. It’s an exciting time in the Padres system, where there’s a lot of depth and some exciting talent in the lower levels of the minor leagues. Our system should be churning out talent on a regular basis, replacing players who move on (and yes,  every team has players move on). It’s a new phenomenon for the Padres, one I hope to continue seeing.

With the big league club, Chase Headley has blossomed into a star, and Jedd Gyorko is on the opening day roster. These are players worth rooting for, even if you think the front office isn’t. If you feel that you can’t make the emotional investment in players because of the club won’t commit, I put it to you that apathy is no better enabler for a club with a commitment problem.

This isn’t an attempt to sugarcoat things; the onus is on the Padres to change the perception fans have about ownership making a commitment to fans and players. What I’m saying is that issues with the front office shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying prospects and young players within the system and on the Major League roster. I know, because this is where I’m at today. Maybe it’s the new parent in me, but it’s exciting to watch these players mature. And maybe, along the way, this club will also develop into a big leaguer.

Join us, and swoon away.

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  • Melvin

    I just swooned all over the keyboard.

  • David- SDAztecsFan

    Its a slippery slope you speak of when you see fans souring on seeing our prospects with rise to the bigs with the Pads. The Padres have time and again pulled the rug out from the fans hopes and dreams to see our players for more then a few seasons, before they trade them for draft picks or cash. I feel like I see Padres fans in a state of Pavlov. Padre fans see a good player and get excited, followed soon thereafter feeling melancholy in knowing the Padres brass will trade him once he starts to produce at a decent level. I know we all hope for a different outcome, but also know in our heart of hearts, that past experiences have burned deep into our psyche and its those negative thoughts are tough to change.
    I do love the Padres and am excited about the prospects we have in the farm system. I just hope this ownership group will be the one which stops grooming our players for OTHER MLB clubs.

    • You know that it won’t be this ownership group when Fowler has already stated that their main goal is “to win more than they lose”.

    • VM David

      I hear where you’re coming from. Like I said, I’m there in the sense that I think the front office has a lot to prove. They really need the screws put to them.

      What I’m getting at is that a player like Hedges is special. Or, appears to be. Why not enjoy it and worry about the rest later? Instead of saying “who cares, they’ll just trade him anyway?”, enjoy the player and put pressure on the club to keep him if he follows up on his promise. If we’re going to be baseball fans, keep the good and the bad separate.

  • I think that the only way to not feel totally discouraged by the Padres’ prospects (no pun intended) for the future is to just try to enjoy the young players entirely in the context of the present. They’re like a summer romance–enjoy them while they’re here, but know that sooner rather than later, they’ll be gone.