Is Hairston the ideal “PETCO Park” player?…
The deal that we talked about on Friday was made official on Saturday: Kevin Kouzmanoff and Eric Sogard to the A’s for Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham.
I had the opportunity to talk with Kouzmanoff on Saturday night and he was very thankful of the chance he got to prove himself as Major League player in San Diego.
The tone of my story on Saturday focused more on what the move means for the Padres and if this kind of move is something we might see more from new general manager Jed Hoyer.
Hoyer told me in November that finding an offensive player who can succeed at spacious and very pitcher-friendly PETCO Park was important to him. Now Scott Hairston might not be the perfect guy for the job, but his skill set and his offensive numbers at this ballpark are worth noting.
Have a look at the chart in my story regarding the most home runs hit at PETCO Park since 2007. Look at Hairston’s line. Look at Adrian Gonzalez’s line. Sure, Gonzalez has a greater sample size, but it shows there are right-handed players who can hit the ball out of PETCO Park and can succeed here.
“It’s going to be an organizational priority to build a Padres team
that fits PETCO Park and can maximize the advantages that it can
offer,” Hoyer said in November. “There’s a blueprint for success here
based on the size of the ballpark.
“It’s speed, pitching and defense. There’s a player who can be successful at PETCO and can benefit from the ballpark.”
I realize fans became attached to Kouzmanoff during his time here. Honestly, as he said on Saturday, he felt the same way about the fans.
But for a team looking to get better, that was looking for a right-handed outfielder, someone who could play center field, someone who is a good defender and won’t have the dramatic home-road splits others do, they made what looks to me as a very good baseball deal.
What are your thoughts?
Corey Brock, MLB.com @FollowThePadres