Grady Fuson Q&A

Grady Fuson is confident in a few things: each PDC will be renewed, another draft pick will sign, Sean Kazmar will play solid defense, and two pitchers will return at Instructs. There are other uncertainties. touched upon those subjects in more on Tuesday with the San Diego Padres vice president of scouting and player development.

Is there any worry with the Player Development Contracts with each of the affiliates after extending your deal with the Wizards on Tuesday?

Grady Fuson: I think we are good with all of them. Fort Wayne was the toughest one but we are done.

We are a couple of days away from the August 15 signing date. Has there been any progress in signing the remaining draft picks: Allan Dykstra, James Darnell, Jason Kipnis and Brett Mooneyham?

Grady Fuson: Let's start at the top. Dykstra is hit-and-miss right now. We have had dialogue. We continue to have dialogue. It is hard to tell where it ends up on the 15th.

Darnell, I feel very optimistic about. I think we are very close. I feel optimistic that will get done in the next day or two.

Kipnis is the one that probably won't get done. We are worlds apart there.

Mooneyham is pretty much committed (to Stanford) and you put that together with what their asking price was. We have not had a lot of dialogue with that. We heard what their initial price kind of was. Me, Kevin and a few scouts went out about a week ago to watch him throw. The combination of Stanford and what we saw – I don't know if we all feel that is one to get after. He is certainly a big time prospect but he is asking for top-10, top-12 slot money in the first round and we don't quite feel he is that.

The whole thing with Mooneyham was in case other things started to fall apart and we didn't have money spent. And then let's evaluate the player more as the summer goes along and if the player is attractive at that state then maybe that is what we spend the money on. We never had that kind of money floating around to sign him.

You mentioned Sean Kazmar to me before the year as someone that would step up and have a big season. Now, he has been added to the 40-man roster and is with the big league club. You called it and he has delivered.

Grady Fuson: Every once and a while – you make enough opinions you will make one right.

We do have an infield issue defensively in the big leagues and the one thing this kid can do is play defense. The greatest thing he has done is he continues to grow a little bit as an offensive player.

It has been a big question for me as to why he has not done more offensively in his minor league career. From an evaluation standpoint, he has all the necessary skills to be a very good hitter. And not just a hitter that will hit singles – one that has the ability to take a walk, the ability to hit doubles, the ability to hit a homer. I have always thought, ‘Why couldn't this guy be a .260 hitter in the big leagues with 20-30 doubles and 5-10 homers and play a solid middle infield?' Whether he becomes an everyday player or a nice utility piece – I have always loved his passion, his makeup, his energy for the game.

For the last two years, we have spent our time always trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The last two months offensively, he has done very, very well. He has probably been more consistent than at any other time in his career.

How have Matt Bush and Nick Schmidt advanced in their injury rehabs?

Grady Fuson: Schmidt has been very, very good. Bush is good. There haven't been any setbacks. We expect them both to be live and ready to go in the Instructional League.

Rayner Contreras has not played since early July. What is his status?

Grady Fuson: He had a lot of personal problems that were atoned to his family back in the Dominican and some of it to his new family here in the states. He has a lot of personal issues that need to be attended to.

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