Friday, March 25, 2005

Brad Baker Report

Last weekend it was catchers. This weekend, we're dealing with relievers, and there are some good ones breaking in right now.

Brad Baker, RHP, San Diego Padres
Drafted 40th Overall, 1999 Draft, HS, Northfield, MA
Bats R/Throws R
24 YO, 6'2", 180 lbs

What a long, strange trip it's been for Baker. He was drafted by his hometown Red Sox (who have long-standing tendency to draft locals) and he rewarded them with some good seasons in the low minors, ranking as one of their better prospects back when Tony Blanco was the apple of Peter Gammons's eye. Then he was traded to the Padres in 2002 and after some health problems and a lot of flakiness, he was sent to the bullpen, where it all came together.

2004 Mobile: 1.57 ERA, 24 BB, 68 K, 37 H, 2 HR, 57 IP
2004 Portland: 0.93 ERA, 4 BB, 17 K, 5 H, 0 HR, 10 IP
mL Career: 3.47 ERA, 269 BB, 568 K, 490 H, 27 HR, 557 IP

The stats tell you a lot in this case. He gives up more walks than you'd like, but he has a changeup that's almost impossible to make good contact with and a 90 MPH fastball for show. He misses a lot of bats, doesn't give up hits, and when he does give up a hit, it almost never goes over the fence. He isn't the stereotypical power reliever, but he's damned effective, and he should fit in nicely with Trevor Hoffman and Akinori Otsuka.

ETA: Early 2005
3 1/2 Stars

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