Since A.J. Preller took over as General Manager, he has tasked himself with rebuilding the Padres in a more sustainable way by focusing on amassing young talent through trades, international signings, and the draft. There’s always a certain level of volatility with that young talent, but you hope that if you can acquire enough prospects, then you can spread out your risk, leaving you with players not only for your future team but also for trades. After all, cheap, controllable talent is the most sought after commodity in baseball.
Through that lens, I wanted to consider this year’s draft, but let’s you catch up if you haven’t been keeping up with the first two days of Padres’ picks.
Round 1: MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville High School
Round 2: Luis Campusano, C, Cross Creek High School
Competitive Balance Round B: Blake Hunt, C, Mater Dei High School
Round 3: Mason House, OF, Whitehouse High School
Round 4: Sam Keating, RHP, Canterbury School
Round 5: Jonny Homza, MI South Anchorage High School
Round 6: Aaron Leasher, LHP, Morehead State
Round 7: Margevicius, Nick, LHP, Rider University
Round 8: Basabe, Olivier, SS, Faulkner University
Round 9: Alex Cunningham, RHP, Coastal Carolina
Round 10: Dominic Taccolini, RHP, Arkansas
In the first round, Preller had the opportunity to choose between two more polished college pitchers, McKay and Wright, and Gore, but he ultimately chose the guy that many thought had the highest ceiling even though it entailed significantly more risk. Then he went with a similar strategy in the second round, drafting arguably the highest ceiling catcher despite a plethora of safer players available. In fact, the first five rounds witnessed the Padres exclusively select high school players that were going to need serious time to develop but possessed plenty of room to grow.
From rounds six through ten, Preller drafted five straight collegiate players, but he nabbed a few who weren’t expected to be drafted for a couple of more rounds. For instance, Leasher struck out batters left and right, but he never maintained an ERA under four in his collegiate career, so the potential is there, yet he’s far from a finished product.
Now, not every college pick is that way, but nevertheless, Preller has approached this year’s draft more aggressively than most general managers, looking for high upside rather than balancing risk/reward. It’s a gutsy move that requires patience, but considering the Padres’ system is overflowing with young talent, you can’t knock Preller for shooting for the moon.
Padres: Clayton Richard stifled the Reds offense all night as he missed a complete game by just one out. Additionally, Franchy Cordero launched two more home runs while Jose Pirela continued his streak of multi-hit games.
Chihuahuas: It was a lacklust offensive night for the Chihuahuas, but Rienzo did a solid job of limiting an offense with some of the more interesting Mariners’ prospects (Tyler O’Neill, D.J. Peterson, & Dan Vogelbach).
Missions: While it has been over a week since Ty France exploded for 6 RBI’s, he has showed no signs of slowing as he has hit over .340 the last ten games, including a couple of hits last night in the Missions 8-4 victory.
Storm: Jerry Keel made his first start for the Storm after playing for both the TinCaps and Missions this season, but he was hammered for 7 runs in five innings as the Storm lost for the second straight day.
TinCaps: The TinCaps defeated Lake County behind the bat of Brad Zunica, who went 3-4 with 2 RBI’s.