Padres Draft: Predictability

The San Diego Padres and, more specifically, the scouting department have taken in the top prospects in order to set their board. With a penchant for going after college players, here is a look at whom they might take in the first five rounds of the upcoming MLB Draft.

FIRST ROUND
RHP Aaron Crow, Fort Worth Cats

The ninth overall pick in last year's draft. Crow, just like his fellow teammate Max Scherzer, left Missouri to play with the Fort Worth Cats in independent ball. He has a fastball that sits 91-96 mph and can top out at 98. His fastball has some sink to it and he keeps it down in the zone. His slider is a plus pitch and has a good feel to the changeup. Some have listed him at 6-foot-2, but he is more like 6-foot-1. He has some effort and a hook in his delivery. That can lead to some concerns. Crow will not have the wear and tear like other college pitcher so; Crow should be a fast riser through the minor leagues like Scherzer. He is a power arm than has a chance to be a good top of the rotation starter.

SECOND ROUND
Matt Hobgood, Norco (Calif.) HS

Hobgood's 6-foot-4, 245-pound body type is getting comparisons like Josh Beckett and Goose Gossage. Hobgood stuff might compare with them as well. Hobgood has a heavy fastball that sits 90-94 he tops out at 95. His fastball has some life to it and he can keep his fastball speed deep in the later innings of the game. He has a curveball that has an 11-to-5 break that is a plus offering. He has a good slider that acts more like a slurve. He does have a change but he will need some work on it. His command is solid for such a big guy .His mechanics are clean but may need some fixing. He is a competitor on the mound and likes to challenge hitters. That is something the Padres would like to have.

THIRD ROUND
RHP Andrew Doyle, Oklahoma

Doyle has a four-seam fastball that is top out at 95, but Doyle like to throw his two-seamer more and it sits 89-91 mph. He has a slider that is good and make hitters generates groundball outs. His changeup is not a swing and miss pitch but, just like his slider, hitters does not make solid contact on it. He is a strike-thrower and likes to pound the plate with all of his pitches. He is 6-foot-3, 210-pounds so he does not have that much projection to his body, but he already has good stuff. Is Doyle going to be a big time strikeout machine? No, but he will be an effective pitcher that can get quick outs.

FORTH ROUND
Catcher Mark Fleury, North Carolina

His stock went up when he was one of the top hitters in the Cape Cod League. He is a patient hitter in a mold that the Padres love. He has good power and has a chance to be a pretty good average hitter. He is a good catch and throw type of catcher and has an above average arm. He is a little raw as a catcher (He was a DH his first two years at UNC) but he does not have the wear and tear like other college catchers. Fleury does not have a plus tool but he does everything well.

FIFTH ROUND
RHP Dean Weaver, Georgia

This closer took over for Seattle's first rounder Josh Fields. The 6-foot-4, 211-pounder has a four-seam fastball that sits 92-94 and top out at 96. He also has a two-seamer that is 89-91 mph with good sink. He has a plus slider with some bite to it. His control is good but he needs better overall control on his secondary pitches. He has a feel for a changeup so scouts think he can move to a starter role. Right now he is best suited as a good relief pitcher.

Players that might fall to later rounds due to sign ability or injuries.

RHP Jeff Inman, Stanford
Inman was considered one of the top college pitching prospects in the 2009 draft. Inman fastball sits 90-92 with good sink and top out at 95. He has a good curveball that is in the low 80's. He also has a good change that can be a plus pitch. He had solid command. He can field his position well and has a very good pickoff move. During the season, his fastball dipped to the mid-to-low 80's and his command was up and down. He was pulled out of a game against New Mexico after only facing one hitter. Stanford is calling it shoulder tendinitis. He will fall in the draft because of this injury. The Padres should take a flyer on him in the later rounds; they could get a steal.

Likely first round picks by the Padres" and/or "possible alternatives by the Padres

RHP Kyle Gibson, Missouri
Gibson has taken over for Missouri ace pitcher Crow and might go ahead of him in this year's draft. Gibson fastball sits 90-92 and tops out at 94. He has a good hard slider that may be a plus offering. He changeup is a plus pitch – and is his out pitch. He has a fluid delivery. He has plus control of all of his pitches. He is listed 6-foot-6, 207-pounds and has projection to his body. Gibson is a polished college player with some of the upside of a high school player.

SS Grant Green, USC
The Padres 14th-round draft pick in the 2006 draft, his stock rose when he became the Cape Cod MVP and was considered the likely second pick in the draft. Then the college season started and he started off slow. Green, when he is on, has good bat speed that can hit to all fields. He is a line drive hitter but has power that is still untapped. He has good speed that helps out with his shortstop position. He has a plus arm and good range. Green has all the tools to be a good shortstop; the problem is he needs to put it all together.

LHP Mike Minor, Vanderbilt
Minor became the Commodores ace after David Price became the first pick in the 2008 draft. He does not have the stuff Price has, but he does have better stuff than another Vanderbilt southpaw – Jeremy Showers, a first-rounder in the 2004 draft. Minor's fastball is between 87-91 and top out at 93. He has a plus changeup and can throw it any count. He had a good slider, and when he went to play on Team USA, he stopped throwing his slider in favor of a curveball, which is a solid pitch. He has very good control, especially with his breaking stuff. He lost both of his catchers due to injuries so he has had to lay off some of his breaking stuff, especially the chase pitches and one's in the dirt. He is listed 6-foot-4, 195-pounds and has room for some projection that might help his fastball. He is a #3 type arm right now that has a chance to get better.

LHP Brooks Raley, Texas A&M
Raley is a two-way player at Texas A&M. The Padres will look at him at pitcher. Raley has a sinker that sits 89-91 and his four-seamer tops out at 94. He has good slider and an average change. He has plus command on his pitches and is a competitor. He is 6-foot-3, 185-pounds and need to add some weight to hold up through the season.

LHP Matt Bashore, Indiana
He had some looks by scouts as a relief pitcher in the Cape Cod league. Bashore, a starter at Indiana, has a fastball that sits 90-92 and top out at 95. He has a curve that is very solid. He has a splitter that works as a changeup. He has good action and effortlessly delivery that leads to good control of his pitches.

SS Sean Nicol, USD
Yes, I picked another player from USD. Nicol had to have a big year because of so many injuries that the Toreros had this year –and he produced. Nicol has a line drive swing with good bat speed that should hit for average. Nicol, not known for power, had the most home runs for USD with nine. He has good range and good enough arm to stay at shortstop. Nicol can make great plays and the routine plays. He has good speed that will net 15-20 stolen bases annually. He is a senior and should fall in the 6-9 round range.

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