In 2009 the Padres had one of the top three picks and took Donavan Tate, was one of the best high school players in the nation who didn't pan out. In 2012 the Twin drafted Byron Buxton from the same general area in Georgia and now he is one of the top prospects in baseball.
To me it seems so hard to evaluate a high school player of this caliber because they are so much better than everyone around them. How do you evaluate them?
Chad MacDonald: Any time you are evaluating high school players you are trying to get as much history as possible. With college guys you have three years, plus three summers and usually some of their time in high school as well.
Again, with high school players it's important to try to get to know them both on and off the field. But no matter what you do you are never going to have the same comfort level as with a college player because you just don't have as much information. With high school guys you are dealing with a lot less games, sometimes you are watching them take batting practice in the cage as opposed to on the field and the quality of competition can be sporadic.
We try to stay true to what they can do physically and how it will translate onto the field for a big league skill set.
If we take a look at two of the top high school players in San Diego this year Brady Aiken and Alex Jackson how far in advance is someone like you aware of them? For example does your area scout talk to you when they are sophomores that this might be someone we could be interested in down the road?
Chad MacDonald: Our area scouts have known about both of these players for years. Both are fine young men who have represented themselves, their schools and this area very well. We think quite a lot of them both as players and as people.
I got asked this when I was on Coach Kentera's radio show on 1090 a few weeks ago: why haven't the Padres been able to develop a power hitting corner outfielder? The Coach has been around San Diego baseball for a long time and he went as far back as Dave Winfield and couldn't name one.
Chad MacDonald: I don't want to speak about things that happened before my time but right now I think we have three pretty good corner outfield prospects in Rymer Liriano, Hunter Renfroe and Yeison Asencio. All three of them profile as legitimate corner outfield guys that can hit with power along with being able to run, throw and play defense.
Really the last thing left is learning how to make adjustment on off-speed and breaking balls, but all three of them can play.
What is the strength of this year's draft?
Chad MacDonald: Pitching. This year there are a lot of talented arms both on the high school and the collegiate level.
How much do you have to know or have an idea of what some player is going to ask for when you are working with a total budget?
Chad MacDonald: We do have an idea because that is part of our responsibility in getting to know a player both on and off the field. If he is in high school how anxious is he to start his career while for a college player it might be knowing if they plan on coming back for their senior year.
Of course sometimes their financial expectations don't meet ours, but you always keep asking questions and developing relationships.
After the draft you travel around and visit all of the affiliates. Since this is your third draft with the Padres do you start to take a look at some of the players that you were scouting and revaluate some of your impressions? For example do you start thinking what did I miss or do I emphasize something too much?
Chad MacDonald : We try to do some sort of self-evaluation every day. We are always looking for ways how we can do something better and more efficiently.
I do look at players and think about what I could have done better but I also don't dwell on it either. Sometimes you watch a player a few years down the road and you can see why you took him and other times a guy may not have developed as much as you thought they would. But in this business you are always looking for ways to get better.
So we look forward to talking with you after the draft.
Chad MacDonald : Definitely, you can count on it.