Hello and welcome to the San Diego Padres MOD thread for the 2012 Minor League Ball Mock Draft! It's going to be a very busy day . . .the Padres have the Nos. 7, 33, 44, 55, 66, 70, and 102 selections. With so much work, this is going to require the "big board" approach . . .and we've got to do it in 20 days. So, good times. To make things easier, I'm kicking off discussion by choosing to focus on the three top 50 picks at first, and then we're get into the others as the top of the board solidifies.
I'm sure the No. 7 pick will get a lot of talk, and understandably so. Here is who I am anticipating going in the first 6 picks right now, in some order, and I don't believe they will be available:
Kevin Gausman, Marc Appel, Carlos Correa, Lucas Giolito, Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino
All will nonetheless be placed on the big board.
Right now, here's five players who are under serious consideration for the No. 7 pick:
Gavin Cecchini, SS, Louisiana HS - Can he stick at shortstop? I think he has a shot, and I love his bat. Many projections have him going in the middle of the first round, but I don't care about projections. Cecchini has a lot of upside with decent polish for his age, at the most desirable position on the field IMO.
Mike Zimmer, RHP, U of San Francisco - Probably the pick if we roll closest to consensus. Frontline starter potential, prototype build, two great pitches. I can see a good argument for him being the second best college arm in the draft - at No. 7 in the draft, it's rare to get an opportunity to add an impact arm like this.
Courtney Hawkins, OF, Texas HS - Toolshed with potential game-changer power would sex up the Padres system in a hurry. Very good intuition about him. Probably not playing CF in Petco, but would be plus in a corner. Other bonus: he shouldn't be a problem to sign in this slot and could give us the flexibility to look more at the HS ranks with other picks.
Ty Hensley, RHP, Oklahoma HS - He's got the combination of present velocity and future projection I look for, but there's already some polish to go with a big frame. I see some similarities to Jacob Turner here.
Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State - This one gets way too much grief. He can play a good shortstop, he's relatively polished coming from a big program, and I think he's a better hitter than his numbers suggest. He'll definitely play in the majors and probably won't take too long to be ready.
At Nos. 33 and 44, business is going to pick up. I'm of the belief that you can never have too many quality shortstops, and it'd be nice to add one in this deep class, especially if we don't find ourselves with one after the No. 7 pick. I'm very fond of Ole Miss SS Nolan Fontana, prep SS (but probably 3B ultimately) Tanner Rahier, and prep SS Jesmuel Valentin. I'm even considering Fontana as a dark horse at No. 7, and would be all over him at No. 33. Rahier may be gone, his bat is very intriguing and I'm big on high makeup players. Valentin would be a sneaky pick but with his potential to be above-average both offensively and defensively, I won't hesitate to pull the trigger.
To get off the subject of shortstops, Georgia LHP Alex Wood is under serious consideration at No. 33, he's got a first round arm and issues with consistency. Texas OF Nick Williams is raw as hell but has top-of-the-draft upside but will probably be gone by No. 33 - if he's not, there's a good chance he'll be the pick. Texas A&M OF Tyler Naquin hits the crap out of the ball and I'm intrigued with the idea of adding him. It'd be great if at least one of 33 or 44 could be a pitcher, preferably a prep - we need to think about signability.
I'll add more thoughts on more players as we progress (and to keep you all up to date, I'll add the link to the MOD thread to my signature for easy access), but for now I'll put up the initial big board, which will grow over time.
SAN DIEGO PADRES MOCK DRAFT BIG BOARD
1. Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU
2. Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico HS
3. Byron Buxton, OF, Georgia HS
4. Lucas Giolito, RHP, California HS (assumes he checks out healthy - main ding is for potential for future injury)
5. Marc Appel, RHP, Stanford 6. Mike Zunino, C, Florida
7. Gavin Cecchini, SS, Louisiana HS
8. Courtney Hawkins, OF, Texas HS
10. Ty Hensley, RHP, Oklahoma HS
11. Deven Marrero, SS, Arizona State
12. Mike Zimmer, RHP, U of San Francisco
13. Trey Williams, 3B, California HS
14. Max Fried, LHP, California HS
15. Lance McCullers, RHP, Florida HS
16. Addison Russell, SS/3B, HS
17. Lewis Brinson, OF, Georgia HS
18. Cody Poteet, RHP, California HS
19. Dylan Baker, RHP, Western Nevada CC
20. Nolan Fontana, SS, Florida
21. Edwin Perez, RHP, Puerto Rico HS
22. Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M
23. Nick Travieso, RHP, California HS
24. Tanner Rahier, SS/3B, HS
25. Richie Schaffer, 3B, Clemson
26. Jesmuel Valentin, SS, Puerto Rico HS
27. Stryker Strahan, C/OF, HS
28. Fernando Perez, 3B, Community College
29. Chris Stratton, RHP, Mississippi State
30. Stephen Piscotty, 3B, Stanford
31. Chris Beck, RHP, Georgia Southern
32. Duane Underwood, RHP, HS
33. Joey Dimichelle, 2B/3B, Arizona State
34. Alex Wood, LHP, Georgia
35. Lucas Sims, RHP, Georgia HS
36. Tyler Naquin, OF, Texas A&M