Padres Grab Eflin, Jankowski and Weickel in Draft’s Supplemental RoundPosted by in MLB Draft | Player Update | Scouting Reports
The Rule 4 Draft is a beautiful blend of art, science and intestinal fortitude. Every year General Managers, assistants, Scouting Directors and scouts put their job on the line in an effort to find their organization’s next wave of talent.
This year Chad MacDonald, Jaron Madison and Co. are putting their reputations on the line with a $9.9 million budget in their back pocket. So what does just under 10 million dollars buy you these days?
To lead things off the Padres drafted Max Fried at seven.
San Diego’s next selection was right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin at 33. Eflin was ranked 31st on Baseball America’s Top 500, 26th in Baseball Prospectus’ Top 30 and 14th on ESPN’s Top 100.
Eflin is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound pitcher out of Hagerty High School in Florida. His velocity ticked up this spring to the mid-90s and there is a chance that he has enough projectability left in his frame to see another uptick.
To go along with his already solid-average fastball, Elfin has one of the best sinking changeups in the draft – not just among the high school ranks – that he’s comfortable throwing in any count. Eflin completes his arsenal with a big spike curveball that the Padres may elect to ditch in favor of a power slider.
His main red flag is an inconsistent delivery that often leaves his arm well behind his body. This is typically a leading factor in arm problems, which Eflin did in fact battle this spring in the form of bicep tendinitis. An MRI on his elbow came back clean and it’s clear the Padres are comfortable enough with his medicals that they’re willing to commit over $1.5 million to him.
That delivery features a pretty easy windup but Eflin struggles to keep his weight balanced on the rubber – causing his arm to trail as mentioned above. Eflin’s legs look long and powerful leading many to believe he should be able to maintain his velocity deep into games.
Eflin has the potential to have two or three plus pitches which gives him Number 2 upside if his development goes smoothly. He has very strong family ties to Florida and the University of Central Florida where he is committed, but the Padres should have a good shot at getting him for slot money.
Here is MLB.com’s feature video on Eflin:
And here’s a video from Diamond Scape Scounting:
Travis Jankowski was the Padres next pick at 44. Jankowski was ranked 68th on Baseball America’s Top 500 and 57th on ESPN’s Top 100.
Jankowski gained a lot of helium this spring with his play at Stony Brook University and in the Cape Cod League. He shows elite athleticism in center field that utilizes his plus-plus speed to cover more range than the average outfielder. Jankowski’s arm is just average in center, but it’s enough to keep him there.
Offensively, Jankowski shows good bat speed but poor fundamentals. His hands are extremely active in his load leading to well-below average current power. After the Padres were able to completely overhaul Jace Peterson’s swing in a matter of weeks last year you have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’ll be able to smooth out Jankowski’s mechanics.
Scouts who believe in him see the possibility of average power down the line if Jankowski can fix his swing issues, which would project him as an above-average regular in center field.
As a college draftee Jankowski holds little leverage in contract negotiations and should sign for slot money ($1,165,800) or less.
Here’s a video of Jankowski from Baseball America:
Here’s another video from Perfect Game:
Walker Weickel was the Padres final pick on Day 1 of the draft. Weickel was ranked 37th on Baseball America’s Top 500 and 29th on ESPN’s Top 100.
Weickel has a ton of USA Baseball experience and went undefeated for his high school team this season. Weickel’s 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame looks impressive as he stands on the first-base side of the pitching rubber and helps him generate great downward plane on his pitches.
Weickel will mostly work in the low-90s at the moment but he has a shot at adding a few miles per hour to his fastball as his frame continues to fill out. His curveball is currently his best pitch as it shows great shape and overall consistency that is rarely seen at the high school level. Weickel completes his arsenal with a quality changeup with solid sink.
Weickel’s stuff isn’t overpowering, leaving his ceiling around mid-rotation starter. But, his present stuff, polish and makeup is good enough that it’s easy to see him as a high-floor guy even as a high schooler.
Weickel’s delivery is effortless with a clean arm action. At the Perfect Game Classic (see video below) he featured a jerky windup that could potentially hurt his timing, but he doesn’t show any major flaws in delivering a pitch. The Padres will likely try to make him a little more aggressive to the plate which should help sharpen his arsenal a bit as well.
Here is a video from the Perfect Game Classic:
And here’s a video from Diamond Scape Scounting: