Expanded scouting department made deal easy

Expanded scouting department made deal easy

Expanded scouting department made deal easy
PITTSBURGH -- A week ago Sunday, the Padres made a deal with the Rangers that saw San Diego send one of the best late-inning specialists in the Major Leagues -- Mike Adams -- to Texas for a pair of highly-regarded Minor League pitchers.

An expanded professional scouting department -- one that has seen eight new hires since A.J. Hinch took over as vice president of the department -- played a very integral role in identifying and heavily scrutinizing the two players the Padres received in the trade.

Hinch said the Padres had upwards of nine different looks at pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland while they were pitching in the Rangers' system, with more than a handful of different scouts filing evaluations on the two players.

That wouldn't have been as easy before.

"If we would not have had the resources, we would not have had this many evaluations," Hinch said. "Half of our staff saw them at one time or another. The size of the staff and the commitment to pro scouting played a big role."

Hinch said the Padres had something else working in their favor in regards to scouting Erlin and Wieland -- the two have been teammates for most of the season. They played together in Myrtle Beach of the South Atlantic League and were later promoted to the Texas League with Frisco.

"It was pretty thorough. All of us saw them at different times, some good nights and not too many of us saw them on bad nights," Hinch said. "And as we got closer to the Trade Deadline, and we focused our attention on certain players, the more guys saw them."

There was a lot to like with both players, Hinch said.

"Our job is to build a file on each player we see," Hinch said. "What you find is that you pull out a lot of similarities. A lot of us saw the same strengths and weaknesses.

"Our grades on the two were pretty much a consensus. Some guys liked Erlin more than Wieland. But some guys liked Wieland more than Erlin. I'm not sure I ever asked [San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer] who he liked better."

Erlin, a 20-year-old left-hander, got a no-decision in his first start in the Padres system on Tuesday with Double-A San Antonio last week. He tossed six scoreless innings and had six strikeouts. He's a combined 8-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 21 games this season.

Wieland, a 21-year-old right-hander, also earned a no-decision in his first start with San Antonio, allowing one run in six innings with seven strikeouts.

He's a combined 10-3 with a 1.79 ERA in 22 games this season, including a no-hitter two days before the Trade Deadline -- against his future team, the Missions.

"We knew our bullpen was always going to be popular with other teams, so we started scouting those teams based on their need for relievers," Hinch said. "We did that with a lot of players we didn't acquire. We didn't just focus on these guys."

In the end, though, the Padres feel like they got the players they wanted, even if it meant parting with Adams.

"They're good prospects, but right now they're still prospects. They've got development left," Hinch said. "We feel good about their probability and chance for being starters in the big leagues."