Today Jeff Moorad officially welcomed Josh Byrnes as executive vice president/general manager. Byrnes isn’t exactly new to the organization. He was added to Jed Hoyer’s staff last year as senior vice president of baseball operations and helped establish the system that is in place right now. Here is a look at today’s news conference:
Over his 19 years of front office experience, Byrnes has worked alongside some of the most respected and admired executives in the game, including Cleveland Indians’ President Mark Shapiro and General Manager Chris Antonetti, Texas Rangers’ Senior Advisor and former Major League General Manager John Hart, Red Sox Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington, Pittsburgh Pirates’ General Manager Neal Huntington, Colorado Rockies Executive Vice President/Chief Baseball Officer & General Manager Dan O’Dowd, Texas Rangers’ General Manager Jon Daniels and Chicago Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations Theo Esptein.
This morning our own Jerry Coleman (WWII and Korean War Veteran, World Series champion, Padres broadcaster and all-around legend) was honored by the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
The museum received a restored F4U Corsair, which they dedicated to the Colonel today. Check out the images below:
In the middle of the Arizona Fall League, Padres prospect Jaff Decker took time to tell a little bit of his story and what he’s working on heading into the 2012 campaign. Check out the video from MLB.com:
A native of Peoria, AZ, Decker grew up just down the street from the Padres Spring Training Complex. He was selected by the Friars with the 48th overall selection in the 2008 draft and has hit .273 with a .411 on-base percentage and .475 slugging percentage over his four seasons in the Padres system.
He reached Double-A for the first time last year, helping the San Antonio Missions to the 2011 Texas League championship.
So far with the Peoria Javelinas this Fall League, Decker is hitting a monstrous .500 (11-for-22) with four walks. He has posted a .593 on-base percentages, having reached safely in 16 of his 27 plate appearances.
As highlighted by our “Future Friar” series (with features on Anthony Rizzo, James Darnell, Keyvius Sampson and Jedd Gyorko), the Padres farm system is quickly improving. Ranked as the eighth-best among MLB teams heading into the 2011 season, Baseball America’s Jim Callis thinks that may just be the beginning:
“The Padres system definitely is looking up. Many of their top prospects coming into the season had terrific years in the minors, including first baseman Anthony Rizzo, third baseman Jedd Gyorko and third baseman/outfielder James Darnell. Others took big steps forward, most notably outfielder Rymer Liriano and righthander Keyvious Sampson. San Diego also has added plenty of talent via the draft (starting with first-rounders Cory Spangenberg and Joe Ross), trades (getting lefty Robbie Erlin and righty Joe Wieland from the Rangers for Mike Adams) and the international market ($1.1 million for Venezuelan catcher Jose Ruiz).
The Padres have one of the better farm systems in baseball, and I expect their ranking to move up from No. 8. They had 18 different players make our various minor league Top 20 Prospects lists, tying the Rays for the most of any organization.
When we unveil our 2012 Top 100 Prospects next spring, I anticipate that the list will include Rizzo, Gyorko, Liriano and Erlin for sure, with several other San Diego farmhands having a shot. Other candidates include Darnell, righthander Casey Kelly, Ross, Sampson, Spangenberg and Wieland.”