Padres Second Day Draft Recap

The San Diego Padres had all night to think about their 19th round pick and much like they did in round one a day earlier, elected a local product. This time they went the college route and took Craig Johnson, a left-hand hitting outfielder out of California State University.

Craig Johnson was a JuCo transfer from Porterville JC. In his first season for Cal State, the right fielder lead the squad in batting average (.337), doubles (13), triples (three), RBI (42), slugging percentage (.488), walks (47), on-base percentage (.471) and sacrifice bunts (10) (tying a school record for sac bunts). He also finished the year with 54 runs, 69 hits, four home runs, 100 total bases, 18 stolen bases and six outfield assists while not missing a game all season.

The Friars continued to go the university way with their next four picks, ending the run with San Diego State product Reilly Embrey, a left-handed hitting first baseman. Embrey was the star of a Tony Gwynn led Aztec team and paced them in RBI's with 57 and batted .353. He does not have much speed, but has a chance to develop more power to go with his good eye. The Poway native lists Gwynn as his favorite all-time player.

The Padres again dipped into universities for a while, with a JuCo mixed in before making a run at 12 junior college players the rest of the way, all of whom will be draft and follows that they will hope to sign, if warranted, before next year's draft.

Remembering your roots. We have all heard the saying. Who knew the Padres would take it so literally in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft.

Three of the junior college players come from Indian Hills Community College, the place where Bill "Chief" Gayton once played.

First day note: Vern Sterry, an NC State right-hander, is excited that he got picked so high in the draft. He went 9-2 with a 2.20 ERA this year for State. He does not wow with a fastball, but has one of the best changeups in college baseball. He had eleven straight wins to start the season as a junior.

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