MadFriars' Chat: Randy Smith

Now that the draft has been completed its time to find out if the players can live up to they hype. We caught up with Randy Smith, the Padres' Director of Player Development and International Scouting from his headquarters in Peoria, Arizona for his first impressions of the 2012 class.

As the Director of Development and International Scouting what exactly is your role in the draft process? Do you have some idea of the top players the organization is targeting?

Randy Smith: Mainly just as an observer and when asked I give some opinions. Once we find out what players we are getting I will get together with the scouts that helped select them so I can get a better idea of what we are going to be working on.

Three of your first four picks were high school pitchers. You guys are so careful with their innings do you expect that any of the three might be in Eugene this season?

Randy Smith: Probably not. They are all going to be on pretty tight restrictions since they have already thrown so much this year, especially Fried. He might throw twenty innings in the AZL. When you look at the cycle of games that we have here, four games and then a day off they all should get an inning or two.

Last year I interviewed you about the Emeralds' team and you were pretty high on Corey Spangenberg, who turned out to be a pretty good prediction. Which of the recent draftees have you seen that has caught your eye?

Randy Smith: Its early and I haven't seen [Travis] Jankowski , [Jeremy] Baltz or some of the other high position prospects yet but I do like River Stevens. Also [Ronnie] Richardson has a nice little man's game of getting on base and knowing what to do when he gets there. He should be a fun player to watch in Eugene.

Many of us forget that some of the players going to Eugene are coming from extended. Are there any players in particular you expect to see some big numbers from?

Randy Smith: Alberth Martiniez is going up there. He got a little taste of Fort Wayne this season after a very good year in the AZL last year. I like his bat and expect him to swing it pretty well. The team that we are sending up to Eugene is pretty draft heavy and this year in the AZL we should have some pretty good position players.

Corey Adamson struggled in Fort Wayne but got a lot of at-bats. What improvement did you see from him when he came back?

Randy Smith: I know what his numbers looked like in Fort Wayne but he did put together some pretty good at-bats. The big thing we talked about with Corey once he got back was simplifying his approach. We want him to be a good hitter first and then we'll worry about power. I like that he is hitting the ball more in the middle of the field and he needs to use his speed more, especially with bunts.

He can be his own worst enemy and once he gets past that I think we will start to see more of his talent.

Quite a few people really like Dane Phillips bat but are a little up in the air on his ability to stay behind the plate. What do you think?

Randy Smith: I haven't seen him catch yet but our scouts are in love with his approach at the plate. A lot of people in the organization believe that he has the ability to catch and we're going to give him that opportunity. In this organization we have quite a few quality instructors, so we'll see what happens.

Is Michael Kelly last year's first round supplemental pick going to be out in Eugene this season?

Randy Smith: He's healthy and had a great spring for us. He ran into some problems in Fort Wayne and right now he's been back pitching like he was in the spring. Once he puts together some consistent success we'll move him up to Eugene when it's warranted.

Last question, everyone has been raving about the athleticism of Brian Adams. What have you seen and how are his baseball skills?

Randy Smith: Adams has a great body and tremendous raw power. The problem is he just missed so many at-bats because of football he's very raw from an offensive standpoint. But he has so much athletic talent its going to be a fun and interesting project to see if we can make the swing work.

Great kid too, really good attitude and works to improve every day.


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