“Padres-Next Step Forward-No More Bad Drafts”
Padres baseball, losing streaks, last place finishes, errors, strikeouts, home run balls, bad innings, blowout losses, and tons of fans in the stands, wearing the other team’s colors.
It’s quite a resume this Padres franchise has put together in recent years.
Late this afternoon, another opportunity to take a step in bringing quality baseball back, when MLB holds its college and high school draft.
All you need to know about the state of things is, the Padres draft 3rd this year. Petty high pick, end result of another bad season last year. Likely they will be draft high again next June.
But today they get a gem atop the first round. Minnesota and Cincinnati draft ahead of them. In some order, the Padres will wind up with either college pitcher Kyle Wright of Vanderbilt…Louisville pitcher-1st baseman Brendon McKay…or Sherman Oaks SS-pitcher Hunter Green.
They cannot lose out because all these are rated far and above any of the other picks later in the first round.
To be decided, do they allow Green to be a shortstop or pitch, with his 100mph fastball? Do they let McKay be a position player and hit homers as a first baseman, or put him on the mound? Wright is all pitcher all the time.
GM-AJ Preller and Scouting Director Mark Conner had lots to say about lots of things yesterday, on the eve of the draft, talking philosophy-talent and scouting reports.
“We have lots of dollars left to sign our top picks”
“Not drafting based on need, will take the top talent on our board”
“Our success is because of our area scouts and what they’ve done two years running.”
“We use lots of analytics to rate players, but gain great insight with personal interviews.”
“Finding intangibles about the kids is very important”
“There’s lots of pitching depth to this draft.”
“We will not decide on our top pick being a pitcher or a positional player till he has a chance to play his first year”
“Need to find out what these kids do best..give them time to figure it out”
“Likely we will find out if they can hit first, if not, you can always shift them to pitcher?
“Hunter Green-has been in the limelight a long time-been exposed to pressure and expectation…big time pitching arm…big time strong shortstop too”.
“Brendan McKay-lots of history with him-since we drafted him a couple of years ago…,,intense demeanor…really competes..good delivery…hits well..a college standout”
“Kyle Wright..Good body…projects well…real work ethic..good makeup.
“Travel ball has helped a lot of these players cope with expectation, pressure and learn the grind”.
The Padres drafts have been littered with failure. They had 1-established major leaguer make it in a 15-year span, shortstop Khalil Greene.
They bombed giving and wasting a 6.3M contract on Donavan Tate, who couldn’t play, and could not stay healthy.
But more recently, there is success. True Turner is in the majors already, though traded to Washington. Hunter Renfroe is a budding star, learning in right field at Petco Park already.
Last summer’s group of pitcher are doing well at Lake Elsinore,
The foundation is being laid. Today they will start adding more building blocks.
Sitting and watch Dinelson Lamet give up 3-home runs, watching 2-foul pops drop infant of fielders with no effort to get the ball, watching Eric Aybar commit back to back errors, makes you reel with despair.
Since the day Preller was given command of the team, the Friars have a combined record of (206-274). By the final day of this season, they will have had 9-losing seasons in the last 10-years.
Lots of work to be done, but today should land them another gem like Hunter Green, rather than a fool’s gold player like Donavan Tate.