Padres fans and baseball experts help me predict San Diego's selection at #17.
This is going to be one of the most anticipated Major League Baseball Amateur Drafts in San Diego Padres history. I know the Padres have had the 1st overall pick on five different occasions, but they have never employed the front office firepower as they currently have now. Wouldn't it be nice to have access to a Padres draft day war room with the personalities of Sandy Alderson, Kevin Towers, Chief Gayton and Grady Fuson. Michael Lewis could write a second successful book about it.
Anyways, I think the Padres are going to target a first baseman, third baseman or corner outfielder in this draft. The Padres envision Khalil Greene, Josh Barfield and George Kottaras as future starters in San Diego. Plus, they are optimistic about C Colt Morton, SS Juan Ciriaco and SS Matt Bush in the low minors. Currently, they have the resources in the organization to be solid up-the-middle sometime in the future. However, they currently lack offensive pop at the corners in the low minors. While Jon Knott, Tagg Bozied and Paul McAnulty are knocking on the door step, the long-term contracts and no trade clauses of both Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko keep them on the farm. At some point, the three could be productive bargain corners at the major league level, but their age is beginning to work against them. I think the three are more likely to be 4A players than long-term mainstays in San Diego. Michael Johnson is still stuck in single A three seasons after being selected as a second round college draftee. Fernando Valenzuela Jr. has the plate discipline to grow but lacks power for the position.
Since I envision the Padres going for a low risk, college slugger at #17, I am going to compile a preliminary list:
Trevor Crowe OF, Arizona
Travis Buck OF, USC
Ryan Braun 3B, Miami * doubt he or Zimmerman drop
Jacoby Ellsbury OF, Oregon State
Henry Sanchez 1B, Mission Bay HS SD
John Drennen OF, Rancho Bernardo HS SD
John Mayberry 1B, Stanford
Brian Bogusevic OF/P, Tulane
Stephen Head 1B, Ole Miss
I will go more into detail about the potential pick in the near future and review the Padres draft history.