Is Jed Hoyer the Answer in San Diego?

Devon TeepleAnalyst IOctober 25, 2009

The student has surpassed the teacher, so to speak.

Thirty-five-year-old Jed Hoyer is to be named the newest general manager for the San Diego Padres, replacing Kevin Towers who has held the position for the past 14 seasons.

The Padres were not expected to make a formal announcement over the weekend. Jeff Moorad, the newest Padres chief executive, did inform Towers that he would not be returning for the 2010 season.

One big factor that one has to accept, is that San Diego is not Boston. You do not have the luxury and the amenities that the Red Sox have.

The Padres are in a weak division, though most people claim the division is strong just like the American League Central. In my opinion, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the class of that division, though the Colorado Rockies and leader Dan O’Dowd are making serious strides to become a force as well.

Today’s teams are trying to make a conscious effort to conform to the current style of play. Runs are dropping, and the emphasis on defense and pitching is as high as it has ever been, though a  problem has been following the Padres since 1995; their inability to increase their run output.

Since 1995 the Padres topped out at 789 runs scored in 2001, and in 2009 they managed to score a 14-year low of 638. While their run production has diminished, their runs allowed have increased 10 percent since 2006. Not a good combination for a team that has slowly fallen behind the rest of the clubs in their division.

What can Jed Hoyer bring to San Diego that Kevin Towers cannot? Two World Series titles, and a quantitative analysis background.

Hoyer is a hybrid of statistical analysis and growing baseball knowledge, a candidate that can balance statistics with a scouting background. This type of candidate is already being utilized in San Diego’s camp.

Paul DePodesta rose to fame, or infamy depending on which side of the fence you are on, in Money Ball. Best known as Bill Beane’s assistant in Oakland, it was in that book that Sabermetrics was brought to forefront and hurled into mainstream sports.

“As we see it, we want every piece of information possible before making a decision,” said Hoyer in a 2007 interview. “We have spent a lot of time and energy in developing our quantitative methods, and we certainly use them in making player-personnel decisions.

“But we also have a lot of great scouts, and we read their reports and have lengthy conversations with all of them before making decisions. The idea that teams are either "Moneyball" teams, or "scouting" teams is an incredible oversimplification. You need to have both of those components—as well as medical and contractual—to make an educated decision on a player.”

Hoyer has been preparing for this day since 2002. He started in the baseball operations department as an intern, and became a baseball operations assistant the following year.  In 2005 when Theo Epstein was dealing with his own contract issues, Hoyer and Ben Cherington served as co-GM while that contract was being sorted out.

Boston’s payroll of $121,745,999 ranks fourth in the MLB, while the Padres $43,734,200 ranks second last. What does this mean for Hoyer and Padres? Possibly more quantitative and statistical analysis than anyone could have imagined.

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective . Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.  He can be reached at or