David Pauley may not compare favorably to Jake Peavy – but in all fairness not many do or will.
Included in the deal that netted Dave Roberts from Boston for Jay Payton and Ramon Vasquez, Pauley will eventually be the key to whether this was a good deal or not for the Padres.
Roberts is better suited to the NL game that Bruce Bochy favors and General Manager Kevin Towers upgraded the speed of the lineup in the process while also giving the team a centerfielder who can cover some ground.
But in the end it comes down to the little things and Pauley could end up being a big thing.
Pauley was actually scheduled to start the first game for the Mobile BayBears in the Championship series against the Tennessee Smokies. Hurricane Ivan cancelled the series and likely paved the way for Pauley to be traded.
“That was going to be interesting,” Tye Waller, the Padres’ Director of Player Development said.
And a good showing probably would have precluded his inclusion in the deal. Not many 21-year old pitchers are blowing their way through Double-A these days.
They say you have to give up something to get something and it appears the Padres did just that.
“The guy definitely has a good arm,” Waller said. “He is young. We had a lot of expectations for this guy long term.”
Those expectations have now been transferred over to the Red Sox. The deal for Travis Chick likely made this move more acceptable. Giving up one of the few pitchers in the system that still have youth on their side is a blow. Pauley was ranked as the 13th best prospect in the Padres’ system by MadFriars.com.
The Padres definitely lost a guy with upside.
“He is a young pitcher learning how to pitch,” Waller said. “He is usually one of the younger guys in the league and is able to have some success. He gets himself in trouble because of the inexperience.”
At the tender age of 21, Pauley had plenty of time to develop the maturity that goes along with being a Big League pitcher.
“I like this guys arm,” Waller explained. “He has a power fastball. A big league curveball. We wanted him using his changeup more often and continue to get game experience.”
He will get that experience in the Red Sox system. It could be that Pauley never develops as intended or it could be that Pauley turns the corner and becomes the pitcher many in the Friars organization believed he could be. Which way he turns will determine whether this trade will go down as boom or bust.