Baseball America's John Manuel on the Draft

With the Padres draft in the books we went out to get some outside opinions on the organization's 2014 draft. In the first segment of our four-part series on the Padres' draft we speak with John Manuel of Baseball America who was also part of MLB's television coverage this past week.

Can Trea Turner Hit?

John Manuel: He has produced at NC State. The knock on him is that he has kind of long swing with a wrist wrap that can make it a little longer. This year he was tinkering with it quite a bit and the wrist warp is much less pronounced.

I think a lot of scouts also believe he is a little thin but to me he is more of a wiry strong guy. I think he is going to hit. Sometimes he tries too hard to be a power hitter, especially when he has a favorable count, but then again he tied for second in the ACC during the regular season in home runs. He can put a charge in the ball and it wouldn't shock me to see him hit 15 home runs in the big leagues - well, maybe not in a place like PETCO (laughs).

Also the biggest thing to me about Turner is that he really is a baseball rat. He just loves to play and has really worked to make himself into the player that you see today. I had a chance to spend some time with him before one of the games that I was working on and he impressed me. He has trouble understanding why people doubt that he can hit for some power after what he has done so far.

I think the opinion most scouts see on him is a 40 hitter [the scout's scale is 20-80] and 40 for power. I like him more as a 50 hitter and could see him hitting between .250 to .260 in the big leagues.

How close is the comparison of Michael Gettys to Donavan Tate? Both are athletic high school outfielders from Georgia with some questions about their ability to make consistent contact?

John Manuel: The first thing that comes to my mind is he is going to cost about $5 million less and the Padres didn't pass on Mike Trout to get him. I think he actually resembles Trout a little more than Tate because he is a really big physical guy.

Our guys wrote on him that he lacks balance at the plate and hitter's instincts, which are pretty big negatives. He struck out more than he walked in high school which is really unusual for guys drafted at this level.

The upside is he just has tremendous tools and this is really about development on a long-term scale. Can the Padres get enough quality reps in place for the tools to start to play?

He is a big time athlete and twenty years ago he would have been chosen high in the first round but now there is a little more information, scouts become a little more wary. On the other side if you see a player like this at 51, you have to take a chance because if he comes through it could be a major talent.

The organization took two outfielders, Nick Torres (fifth round) and Austin Bousfield (sixth round). What did you think of them?

John Manuel: Nick Torres is somewhat polished and plays with a lot of energy. He has above-average raw power and more of a feel for hitting than the other two.

Bousfield is more like Torres, a grinder that is a gamer but a little more athletic.

Any reason why the Padres took Zech Lemond so high who saw most of his time in the bullpen for Rice?

John Manuel: He did have some injury problems early in his career but he came back strong this year. He was very strong at the beginning of the year at around 95 to 96 with a plus curve.

It's funny people like to knock Rice pitching - and there are some reasons for that - but teams also keep taking their pitchers too. I like this pick because Lemond has some talent and if he's really healthy he should move through the Padres' system pretty rapidly.

Who is Thomas Dorminy, the Padres' tenth round pick?

John Manuel: He's a big bodied kid who won a state title in Florida while pitching in the Tampa area with Alonso High. He was slated to go to South Florida but wound up at Wallace (AL) CC before heading to NAIA Faulkner.

He has some talent but is more in the line of a senior money saver.

Tomorrow in Part 2 Ben Davey chats with Baseball Prospectus' Jason Parks.

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