January 23, 2007

Profiling my favorite Met

Mike Steffanos at Mike's Mets, writes a profile on my favorite Met, Juan Padilla and his Oakley's:

I have a personal liking for Juan Padilla. He seems like a good kid, he's fearless on the mound, and he does those cool magic tricks for his teammates and the media. He's the kind of guy who maximizes a limited amount of talent, and you can't help rooting for him.

By the same token, a look at his numbers in 2005 make you suspect that the good results benefited from more than his share of good fortune. A 4/3 strikout/walk ratio doesn't often yield an ERA under 2. The walk totals were actually somewhat high for a pitcher who doesn't strike anyone out. Perhaps I could put more stock into those numbers if he had accomplished them over the course of a full season, rather than less than half.

Now 30, coming off a major injury that cost him a full season, and with a short major league track record, Juan Padilla has a lot of work ahead of him. Realistically, Padilla's career path is that of the quintessential Quadruple-A pitcher. He puts up solid strikeout numbers in his minor league stops, but the strikeouts go down and the walks go up when he is facing major league hitters. Although he has had some success in the majors, based on what he's shown so far he is unlikely to ever be more than a fringe major leaguer. I concede that it's possible that Padilla's 2005 numbers represent a breakthrough, but it's more likely, given his overall body of work, that it was simply a career year with achievement that he's unlikely to duplicate.

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