Some questions have been slightly edited to be shorter and more direct. If you have a question for the next Padres Prospect Mailbag, shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What would your Top 10 in the system look like after the draft? – Steve
Assuming all the main guys sign, and keeping in mind that I reserve the right to change this later:
1) Yasmani Grandal
2) Rymer Liriano
3) Keyvius Sampson
4) Joe Ross
5) Austin Hedges
6) Robbie Erlin
7) Max Fried
8) Casey Kelly
9) Jedd Gyorko
10) Cory Spangenberg
Joe Wieland and Yonder Alonso were not considered.
Wow, that was way tougher than I expected. I feel like there’s little argument with the first two, but if you told me you thought Ross, Hedges, Gyorko or even Kelly was number three I wouldn’t think you’re crazy. The system is crazy deep and talented.
What is it about Ross that caused you to rank him behind Fried in a draft-night tweet? – Eric
Interestingly enough these pitches are surprisingly similar. Both feature fastballs with great life, changeups that they can use effectively to both left-handed and right-handed batters, and advanced curveballs that show good shape and consistency.
Although you’d typically give the advantage to a lefty when comparing similar pitchers, Ross gets the nod here due to his impressive fastball velocity. He’ll typically work 92-95 where as Fried will sit in the 89-92 range.
Can you give a quick scouting report on the top three pitchers the Padres took? – Stephanie
Rather than rehashing site content I’ll just point you to the scouting report of Max Fried and the scouting reports for Zach Eflin and Walker Weickel.
What did you think of the Padres’ draft overall? – Jack
Obviously it’s way too soon to have a definitive opinion on any of the players, but I do think Padres fans should be encouraged by the approach that Chad MacDonald, Jaron Madison and Co continue to take. It’s an overall blend of upside and signability which the front office hopes will lead to more signed picks and more talent in the organization.
How would you compare this draft class to last years? – Rick
While the Padres did some great things in the draft, there isn’t much of a comparison here. The 2011 draft is considered one of the most impressive classes in draft history with its combination of star power and depth. Still, due to injuries and millions of other unpredictable factors you just never know how a class has turned out until four to five years down the road.
I was curious how the sorting process works; who is assigned to Eugene, who goes to extended spring training, and who might make the jump to Ft. Wayne? Also, is this time frame an opportunity for the front office to send struggling players at Ft. Wayne down? – Shane
Just a quick clarification: Extended Spring Training ended this last week. Short season leagues are starting next week so players will be assigned to one of those affiliates.
It’s a mix of feel from Randy Smith and his team and overall organizational depth. For instance, they may believe Travis Jankowski can hold his own in Lake Elsinore right now, but does he deserve playing time over one of Everett Williams, Rymer Liriano, Rico Noel or Luis Domoromo? Those are four guys that have shown production and climbed their way up the organization.
One thing that will be interesting to see is how much Fried, Eflin and Weickel will pitch this year assuming they sign. Fried has had a really long year and may just get a quick taste of professional baseball (a la Ross’ quick appearance in 2011 to get his feet wet). Eflin was injured for a good chunk of the season, but does that mean he has a fresh arm or that the Padres would rather be cautious with him and focus more on adding strength in bullpens. Weickel pitched all season long, but the organization may want to focus on sharpening his arsenal before starting his career rather than just letting him run out against better competition.
Most of the guys who may not have been ready for Fort Wayne we’ve already seen shipped up and down. Corey Adamson, Kyung-Min Na, Alberth Martinez and Mykal Stokes will all likely continue to float around.
How many players on average do teams pick up after the draft? – Jeremy
It really depends on how many draft picks sign and total injuries throughout the organization. The draft this year was shortened to 40 rounds, which probably means we’ll see more NDFAs than usual.
Did the Padres take anybody interesting after the first few rounds? – Oscar
Fernando Perez was a third rounder, but I think he’s worth mentioning here. Although he was drafted out of Junior College Perez is the same age as most high school seniors. He isn’t a shortstop, but Perez may be able to hit enough to stick as an everyday third baseman.
Roman Madrid is an interesting name in the Kevin Quackenbush mold of a college reliever who could dominate inexperienced hitters and move fast. Madrid’s game revolves around throwing strikes with a fastball-slider combination that should allow him to be a late-inning reliever in the minors.
Andrew Sopko didn’t have a high school team but has shown a decent feel for pitching for his experience level. His three-pitch arsenal is all projection at this point but he’d be an interesting guy if the Padres can ink him to a deal.
Kevin McCanna is an extremely polished high school pitcher with a fastball, slider and changeup arsenal that could start in the low minors now. McCanna has a limited ceiling, which may preclude the Padres from meeting his perceived bonus demands.