Padres draft primer: Best Player Available

The MLB Draft is set to begin on Thursday. Here is a look at what might happen if the San Diego Padres Draft were to select the best player available.

Predicting the MLB Draft isn't an easy proposition. If each team has three distinct players on its top-30 board not found on any other team's board, that equates to 90 players that could be drafted in the top rounds.

"We spend a great deal of time all the way to the last player, but the majority of our time is spent on 60 guys," Padres scouting director Bill Gayton said. "Those 60 players will probably take us through five rounds. That is what some people don't understand when they look at rankings from any publication. The top-100, well, if you have each club and every club has a few extra kids in their top-100, well that is 60 different players alone. Now, mom and dad are mad because they were ranked in the top 100 of ‘a' publication. There are 30 clubs that are selecting and we all trying to be successful but all doing different things."

FIRST ROUND

23rd overall selection:
Gerrit Cole
Right-handed pitcher
Orange Lutheran HS (Calif.)

The only reason he falls to the Padres is because of Scott Boras. He has a 95-98 MPH fastball, which is never straight with plus sink. Has a good slider that will be a plus pitch. Throws a change that will need work. (A lot of high school pitchers do not use the change) He is very animated player, sometimes too animated. Does that sound like a pitcher the Padres have right now?

SUPPLEMENTAL FIRST ROUND

42nd overall selection:
Kyle Long
Left-handed pitcher/1B
St. Anne's Belfield High School (Ivy, VA)

The son of NFL Hall of Hamer Howie Long. Long, at 6-foot-8, 280-pounds can get his fastball in the mid-90s from the left side. Many believe that he will continue to throw harder more consistently as he works on his game. Great bloodlines, very athletic. He is bit of a project, but it would be well worth it. He might not be at Padres pick #46 because Arizona sits at #43 and the Yankees are at #44 and the Red Sox at #45 are known to take a project player with upside.

46th overall selection:
Jordan Danks
Outfielder
Texas

His brother John pitches for the White Sox. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder is a five-tool player (his power should had been better by now but is getting better). He has plus speed with his long-legged stride. Has a great eye and will take a walk. He played leadoff in the first two years in Texas.

SECOND ROUND

69th overall selection:
Tyler Landenorf
Shortstop
Howard College

At 6foot-2, 210-pounds, Landenorf is athletic with good bat speed, good power, very good speed that will steal bases. Plus arm and good range. The Giants and Yankees have drafted him in the last two years. He is a second round pick – if the Padres get him, he will be a steal.

THIRD ROUND

101st overall selection:
Xavier Avery
Outfielder
Cedar Grove HS (Ellenwood, GA)

He is the fastest player in the draft. The 6-foot-0, 185-pounder has a good, patient approach that will result in a lot of double and triples. His speed makes him plus defensively in centerfield, even though his arm is just average. They link him to being a Carl Crawford type player, but they say he has more polish than Crawford had in high school.

111th overall selection:
Brett Jacobson
Right-handed pitcher
Vanderbilt

His fastball sits 88-91 MPH with some sink. An average curveball. His change is average right now but will become a plus pitch. He will need to fix his delivery. His 6-foot-6 frame helps him out with some deception. Jacobson weighs around 205-pounds, so there is a lot of projection to his frame. He will be a low-90s pitcher, maybe higher, when he fill out. He is a college pitcher with the upside of a high school pitcher.

FOURTH ROUND

128th overall selection:
Cole St. Clair
Left-handed pitcher
Rice

He is projected to go 3rd-5th round. He falls this far not because of stuff – it is because he is a senior in college and he is known for being injured (like a a lot of Rice pitchers). His fastball ranges 89-92 MPH. He may be able to get it back to the mid-90s like he had in the past. He has a plus slider and an above average changeup. He can be a starter in the minors, but may excel as a setup man/closer that can move through the system quickly.

FIFTH ROUND

135th overall selection:
Nick Romero
Third Baseman
San Diego State

The Eastlake native is a switch-hitting third baseman that has above average power with above average speed. He is a very athletic third baseman that plays good defense (sometimes he is too fast with his feet and rushes the throw). He needs to work on his strikeout rate (he was pressing at the beginning of the season but now he is looking good).

Best Players Available that the Padres may look at:

Shortstop Casey Kelly, out of Sarasota HS (Fla.), has a major league glove already with a plus arm. Good range, good speed (he is faster when going) that will add power later on. Good bloodlines – his dad, Pat Kelly, played in the big leagues. Kelly will be a fast riser because of his glove. May get drafted as a pitcher.

Outfielder Zach Collier, out of Chino Hills HS (Calif.), has good power in his bat that will improve later on. Good speed, good range in the outfield. The strange thing is he is playing right field instead of centerfield. He has the speed to play center but may go to right when he fill out.

Outfielder Isaac Galloway, out of Los Osos HS, Rancho Cucamonga, (Calif.), is a very good hitter that will hit to all fields. He has good power that will improve as he matures. His speed is a plus tool, and he will have double digits steals. He is a five-tool player that may move to right field when he put on some weight; he profiles as a 20/20 guy.

Mississippi right-hander Cody Satterwhite can touch the mid-90s, but he sits in the low-90s with movement. He slider is solid but needs work to be a plus pitch. He changeup is avgerage. His command has its good days and bad days. At 6-foot-5, 200-pounds, he has a lot of projection. An upside college pitcher.

Right-hander/third baseman Ethan Martin, out of Stephens County High School (Toccoa, GA), was projected as a power hitting third baseman with very good defense. Now, he is projected as a pitcher. Fastball is in the 92-96 MPH range. His fastball can still hit the mid-90s late in the game. He has a great curveball that will be a strikeout pitch. He has a splitter that some people say is a plus pitch. Control is solid. He is a high school pitcher that has already three plus pitches and can swing the bat.

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