Padres sign Wynn Pelzer

The San Diego Padres were not optimistic about signing the three players they have targeted with the 9 PM August 15 deadline looming. Minutes before the deadline, they locked up one of the three.

Grady Fuson and the scouting staff had tabbed right-handers Tommy Toledo, and Wynn Pelzer, and shortstop Christian Colon as their top priorities heading into the final day and not much progress had been made.

Originally optimistic about signing Toledo, who has a scholarship offer to pitch for the Florida Gators, the Padres did not feel the same way as the deadline approached.

Fuson said, "No, I don't." when asked if he still felt the Padres could get him under wraps. It turns out he was right during that late afternoon conversation.

"The only disappointment was Toledo," Fuson would add after the signing deadline passed. "We tried to be aggressive."

As a third-round pick this year, the Padres will receive a compensation pick in next year's draft after they were unable to sign Toledo to a deal, receiving a sandwich pick between the third and fourth rounds.

Wynn Pelzer was an interesting case. He did not have a good year at South Carolina and went out to the Cape Cod League to improve his stock but took a liner off his kneecap, suffering a fracture in just his second start.

The Padres held firm on their offer to the right-hander because of the surrounding issues.

Minutes before the deadline, Pelzer signed an undisclosed deal.

"Most of the value was based on everything we had seen the first two years," said Fuson. "We all know he didn't have the year he wanted to have. We had some good stuff on him coming in.

"A big arm with a power-breaking ball. Athletic kid."

A tenth-round pick, Pelzer went 2-2 with a 5.22 ERA for South Carolina. In 39.2 innings he surrendered 42 hits and walked 18 while striking out 47.

Pelzer's broken kneecap, however, is a three-month recovery process that will likely keep him out of the Instructional League. Fuson said he would like to wait for a medical evaluation before entirely ruling that out.

Christian Colon, a shortstop that is slated to attend Cal-State Fullerton, was the wildcard in the process. Taken in the 11th-round, the Padres dreamt they could sign him away from his scholarship offer.

"The response back is exceeding what we have offered," said Fuson. And there was not much room left for bargaining. His signing was the least likely.

"We are extremely happy with the guys we have signed and feel any signing here would be a bonus," Fuson added prior to the deadline. Pelzer would be the only one they would corral.


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