Padres sign three draft-and-follows

A week before the 2006 draft, the Padres bolstered the results from their 2005 draft class, adding three pitchers as draft-and-follow players. The additions mean that the club landed 30 of their 50 picks, including 16 of their first 17 picks.

"Aaron Breit has a fastball that's up to 95," said Padres' scouting director Bill "Chief" Gayton. "The last time that Lane Decker, our area scout that actually signed both Breit and Miller, saw Breit, he sat at 92, 93."

The Hays, Kan., native posted a 2.85 ERA in 75.2 innings of work for Garden City Community College this year, striking out 108 batters while allowing 64 hits and walking only 30. Over his last 14 innings in the playoffs, he posted 25 strikeouts.

The club originally drafted Breit out of high school with their 46th-round pick in 2004, but was unable to sign him the first time around. Based on conversations with him and their scouting reports, Padres brass decided to take him in the 12th round last year and targeted him for signing all year.

Drew Miller, 20, pitched for Seminole State College in Oklahoma for the last two years, also posting great strikeout numbers. This season, the righty whiffed 76 in 50.1 innings of work, putting up a 4.29 ERA along the way. At six-foot, three-inches and 195 pounds, Miller is seen as a power pitcher who, with some work, could become a quality pitching prospect. Miller signed for a six-figure bonus rather than take a scholarship offer from the University of Virginia for the 2007 season.

Rey Garramone, last year's 29th-round pick, signed last month after his season at Central Arizona College wrapped up. The 18-year-old originally from Denver posted a 3.39 ERA in one of the only wood-bat junior college leagues in the country. With a projectable "pitcher's body" at six-foot, two-inches and 175 pounds, Garramone already has good life on his fastball, but will likely add speed as he fills out.

All three pitchers will report to Peoria in June. Although they are currently slated to start the season in the Arizona Summer League, they could move up depending on the results of next week's draft.

In recent years, the Padres have had a great deal of success with draft-and-follow players, including Kyle Blanks, who signed last year, and George Kottaras, who signed in 2003. Under Major League Baseball rules, teams retain the rights to drafted players who opt for junior college until a week before the next year's draft.

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