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Draft Review: 2013 Padres First Year Player Draft – Part One 

I know the Chargers aren’t officially out of it yet; but, my mind can’t stop wandering back to baseball. With the 2013 minor league season long since over, let’s take a look back at who the Padres drafted and how they fared in their first attempt at professional baseball.

With a farm system among the deepest in all of baseball, I fully expected the Padres to take some risks and draft some upside players out of high school. With plenty of pitching throughout all levels of the organization, I fully expected the Padres to load up on bats. The Padres did not disappoint my expectations. Most of the 2013 class can not be expected to contribute to the big club for several years, but they are fun to keep an eye on.

Let’s get to know some of your top 10 Padres 2013 draftees.

The Big Names

Prospect watchers and draft followers will find these three young bats to be household names. The Padres went early and often with upside bat talent, something that has been a glaring hole in an otherwise deep and well rounded system.

Hunter Renfroe: This 6’1″ 200lb outfielder was drafted to be the RF of the future. Renfroe played his college ball at Mississippi State and was considered a raw talent coming from a state that doesn’t produce much baseball talent. He is considered by scouts to be a 5 tool player, possessing speed, hitting ability, raw power, defensive fielding prowess, and a cannon arm. It’s easy to project him as a future 20/20 guy that will have no problem roaming RF at spacious Petco Park. He showed some flashes of raw power in his first go around in professional baseball. He smacked 6 long balls and 14 doubles in 170 AB’s. He even had a HR reduced to a single because he passed a team mate up rounding the bases. Love the enthusiasm, but let’s hope he doesn’t make that mistake again.

Dustin Peterson: Peterson is the younger brother of 3B/1B fellow 2013 draftee, DJ Peterson. Some say the younger Peterson has more upside than DJ. DJ was a first round draft pick. Dustin was drafted out of high school and is said to have power upside with a hit tool that could stick at 3B. He was a SS in high school, but is being converted to 3B. I had an opportunity to watch him play in person, AZ rookie league, multiples times this summer. Still very raw with the bat, but the power was easy and should grow as he builds out. I question his arm strength to stay at the hot corner and a move to second would not surprise me. He has the defensive range to play both 3B and 2B. He will be a fun one to follow through the system as his upside is enormous.

Jordan Paroubeck: Paroubeck is probably most known for being mentored by Barry Bonds. Jordan is another high school bat with some upside. He plays the outfield and is projected to have no problem sticking defensively. His bat has major upside but he is very far away and is likely a 4 to 5 year development guy. He missed short season ball this summer due to an injury. The injury shouldn’t impact his ability to play in 2014, but I suspect the Padres will keep him in instructional’s and give him his first playing time in short season ball.

Some Interesting High School Names

The last couple drafts have seen a departure from previous drafting by the Padres. Instead of safer or cheaper picks, the Padres have been drafting more young kids with upside. It’s a sign that the farm system is in good shape and affords the Padres the opportunity to take some risks with upside. I was lucky enough to get to observe three of the following four youngsters this summer.

Mason Smith: Mason was drafted out of Idaho. This speedy outfielder has some pop in his bat and a lot of upside. Idaho is not a state known for producing baseball talent. Many scouts viewed him as a sleeper. He would have likely gone higher than the 4th round had he been from California, Texas, or Florida. I didn’t see much to report on his defense as not many balls were hit his way. At the plate, he struggled quite a bit as strikeouts were frequent. However, he did show some patience and walked about 11% of the time. With 11 doubles and 2 triples in 129 at bats, he showed a bit of pop. His speed running the bases was evident. He is purely a raw upside gamble with some projection.

Josh VanMeter: Sweet swing. This SS was drafted because of his projectable hit tool. Although he had some struggles in his pro debut, I can tell you first hand that the swing is quite pretty. I am not sure I observed a quicker swing of any of the 2013 AZL Padres. He projects to have a chance to stick at short, but is likely going to be developed as an infield utility player. Josh has good hands and decent speed. I don’t see much power projection in him. He’s one of those guys that will need to work hard, but can make the majors with a strong work ethic and a willingness to adjust to whatever the organization asks of him.

Jake Bauers: One of the more interesting draft picks. Bauers is from Southern California and was drafted at age 17. He once tweeted that he would run through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball. That’s the kind of guy I want on my team. Many prospect watchers and scouts view him as a sleeper. He showed a good hit tool when I observed him. He started slow but finished the AZL very strong with a slash of .282/.341/.374. Not bad for a 17 year old getting his first taste of pro ball. The organization thought enough of him to send him to the Dominican for instructional’s. I observed him on defense and he looked fine at 1B. He should be fun to follow and could be Cody Deckers replacement for best minor league twitter follow in a couple years.

Adrian De Horta: Continuing the Padres recent trend of drafting high school arms, the Padres selected De Horta in the 8th round. De Horta is another upside gamble pick. He did not disappoint as he struck out 40 in 31 innings. I am looking for big things from the 6’3″ California native and righty. I didn’t get to personally observe De Horta, but wouldn’t be surprised if the Padres send him to full season ball next year.

I never thought I would see the Padres use 6 of their top 9 picks on high school kids in any given draft. A recent shift in drafting philosophies is why the Padres currently have Austin Hedges, Matt Wisler, Keyvius Sampson, Joe Ross, and Max Fried amongst others and all considered top prospects. I hope to see the upside high schoolers continue to be emphasized in future drafts. Depth affords you that risk