Over the next six weeks, MLB-DI will take a look at each teams draft class, breaking down the best — and most questionable — over the past week.
Next up: The San Diego Padres. The Padres have one of the top three farm systems in baseball, and with seven of the first 102 picks, San Diego had a great opportunity to make that farm system just that much better. Did the Padres take advantage?
To the jump!
The Decision Makers
General Manager: Josh Byrnes
Director, Scouting: Jaron Madison
Position Players: 21
Corner infielders: 02
Middle infielders: 07
The First Ten Rounds
Steal: Player was selected several rounds — or in the case of the first-round, several picks — earlier than his value indicated.
Solid: Player was taken later than his value indicated.
Average: Player was selected where his value indicated.
Slight-reach: Player was taken slightly earlier than his value indicated.
Reach: Player was drafted several rounds or picks earlier than his value indicated.
|01.07||Max Fried||LHP||Harvard Westlake HS (CA)||Average|
|CA.33||Zach Eflin||RHP||Hagerty HS (FL)||Steal|
|CA.44||Travis Jankowski||OF||Stony Brook||Average|
|CA.55||Walker Weickel||RHP||Olympia HS (FL)||Steal|
|02.68||Jeremy Baltz||OF||St. John’s||Reach|
|02.70||Dane Phillips||C||Oklahoma City||Slight-Reach|
|03.102||Fernando Perez||SS||Central Arizona CC||Solid|
|04.135||Andrew Lockett||RHP||Providence School of Jacksonville (FL)||Reach|
|05.165||Mallex Smith||OF||Santa Fe C.C.||Slight-Reach|
|06.195||Jalen Goree||SS||Bibb County HS (AL)||Average|
|07.225||Jose Madrid||RHP||Central Florida||Average|
|09.285||River Stevens||IF||Allan Hancock (CA)||Average|
|10.315||Stephen Carmon||SS||South Carolina-Aikenh||Average|
Fried was without question the best left-handed starter in the draft, and was the best player available when the Padres picked. He’s still got lots of projection, and the breaking-ball flashes plus-plus. If the velocity stays consistent in that low 90′s and the changeup continues to develop, he’s a future No.1 starter. I wouldn’t bet against him.
Based on process alone, Eflin was the steal of the 2012 draft. The right-hander sits in the 91-93 range — flashing 95 — with a changeup that is big-league average already. There are concerns about the bicep tendinitis, but with rest and a good rehab program it shouldn’t be a lingering issue.
Jankowski can absolutely go get it in center-field, and while he won’t hit many homers — my 45 potential power grade might be a bit strong — but he does have good plate discipline and it wouldn’t stun me if he was a future lead-off hitter.
When the year first started, I had Weickel rated as my third best prep pitcher after showing well at the Prospect Classic last June. Unfortunately, the velocity wasn’t there this spring, and the breaking-ball was inconsistent to put it mildly. Still, there’s plenty of arm strength, and some slight changes to his release point could get him back to the prospect I believed he was last summer, and if not, he’s still a great value in the late sandwich round.
Baltz became a name to watch after a solid sophomore campaign, but he’s a poor outfielder who likely has to move to first-base, and the bat doesn’t profile there. Clearly a signability pick.
Phillips has above-average power and bat speed, but has almost no chance to stick behind the plate and doesn’t have the arm strength or speed to play in the outfield.
I thought Perez would go on day one as a guy that can hit and be a fairly easy sign, so the Padres did well to pluck him in round three. He’s going to end up at third-base, but he has average power from the right side and above-average pitch recognition.
Through day one of the draft, this was my favorite class. No other team acquired three top thirty talents, and Jankowski was a solid selection as well. Unfortunately, from that point on, they had to play it safe, and outside of Perez in round three, there isn’t much to write home about. With that being said, if San Diego does find a way to sign their first four picks, this could easily be the best draft in the National League, if not all of baseball.