Padres 2013 MLB draft-Day 2 and 3: Gambles
Before the draft began there was a lot of discussion on various Padres blogs and on twitter regarding the biggest need for the Padres organization in this 2013 Amateur draft. The general consensus, from fans and front office alike, was that the organization as a whole lacked high impact bats. The hope was that the drafting team would add those bats with this draft as offensive upside was seen as a deep part of this year’s draft class.
After reviewing the MLB.com draft site and reading the pieces on the Padres website, a few names jumped out at me. Here is an overview of some of the interesting draftees that looked interesting.
After drafting three strong prospects on day 1 of the draft the Padres selected a right handed pitcher in round 3. Bryan Verbitsky, out of Hofstra University, was a starter and a closer during his Jr season with 51 SO and 10 BB. He has a 90mph fastball, a change and a slider. Most likely projecting as a late innings reliever if he can’t stick as a starter.
The round 4 pick, Mason Smith, is a center fielder from Rocky Mountain High School (ID) with high upside if he develops well. The cold weather states produce prospects whose talent need projection due to their limited playing time. But Smith shows solid, all around skills with plus makeup and is an aggressive player according to the profile of him on the MLB.com draft site. He may need to slide to a corner outfield if his speed doesn’t play out as a center fielder.
The round 7 pick, Jake Bauers, a first baseman out of Marina High School in Huntington Beach (CA), is a lefty and a late bloomer. He barrels up the ball well with a short, compact swing and has some pop. His defense appears to be limited to first by his speed and his arm but he is capable in that position (see video on MLB.com draft site).
Round 10 pick, Justin Livengood, has a great story to tell. A RHP out of the University of NC-Wilmington, Livengood walked away from baseball after high school then changed his mind and attended walk-on tryouts for the 2011 season. At 6-3 and 210 he throws a low 90’s fastball with a plus curve and has low innings on his arm after skipping much of his college athletic time. For a full recount of his story see the piece written by Matt Batts on Baseball America’s site.
Another interesting pick is 11th rounder Erik Schoenrock, a Jr out of Memphis. A LHP, Schoenrock has a 3 pitch mix with a high 80’s fastball that can reach 91 mph, a change and a plus curve. If he doesn’t stick as a starter he could develop into a lefty specialist and progress quickly. A nice piece highlighting Erik is on the Padres website, written by Jamal Collier.
Rod Boykin, selected in the 12th round, is a two sport athlete who is committed to Alabama St for both baseball and football. A plus athlete with plus speed, Boykin has been a centerf ielder through high school and had a .538 average with 56 SB.
Rounds 14 and 15 brought two catchers onto the list. Ryan Miller, out of San Bernadino, has a commitment to University of Nebraska but if he can be persuaded to sign, has a plus arm and athleticism to match. His skills are a bit raw but scouts project him to stick at the position.
Tyler Dial, a community college pick out of FL, bats left and throws right. He had a workout at Petco the week before the draft and seems likely to sign. At 5-10 and 185 he is a little small for the part but has good skills.
With picks in the 21st and 31st rounds the Padres took a flyer on two advanced players with strong commitments to their college careers. Connor Jones, RHP, actually sent out letters stating he would not sign but was intent on going to VA. If he should change his mind he is considered a first round talent with a 3 pitch mix and plus makeup. Catcher Chris Okey, a high school talent out of FL, is strongly committed to Clemson but has plus catch and throw skills and a fast thru the zone swing. (see Jamal Collier write-up on Padres.com).
Another infield draft pick, 22nd rounder Chase Jensen, is a shortstop with good size (6-3, 195) who is still developing his skills and may fill out more and outgrow the position. He has sure hands, good range and is a good defender. His hitting tools need a little work but he is a hard worker and has plus makeup. (scouting report per MLB draft site).
While reading the draft recaps another pick stood out to me. Round 33 pick Garrett Williams, a LHP from Louisiana, is a high school draftee who has missed significant time due to thoracic outlet syndrome in his shoulder. He has a 92mph fastball and a plus breaking ball. If healthy, he could be a sleeper.
32nd round pick Max Beatty (RHP) also bears watching. Diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011, he lost the 2012 season to treatment. Now cancer-free he has returned to form with a 90-92 mph fastball and big slider. He could be a starter or a reliever.
28th round pick, Jace Chancellor, RHP out of TX, is 6-5 and 230lb. With a great body for pitching, a good delivery and a mid 90’s fastball and plus change he could be a real find. His curve needs development if he wants to start or he could be a knock-out reliever. His command is a plus so he seems to posses that ever elusive combination of stuff and pitchability.
This draft shows a nice mix of upside talent that needs developing, strong college picks that could be average major leaguers and a few gambles that could pay off big. As these players sign and begin playing we will keep track of their progress (or lack thereof) and hope for the best. Padres fans have had three good drafts now that are stocking the system with future major leaguers to watch or use as trade bait to strengthen the major league club.