The eleventh part of my draft preview series focuses on the San Diego Padres and their scouting director Jaron Madison. This is Madison’s first draft as a scouting director, so I will focus on his years as assistant to the director of scouting for the Padres in 2006 and 2007, as well as his time as assistant director of scouting in St. Louis for the drafts in 2008 and 2009.
Owner: Jeff Moorad, bought club in 2009
General Manager: Jed Hoyer, first season will be 2010
Scouting Director: Jaron Madison, first draft will be 2010
2006 Draft: Assistant to the Director of Scouting with San Diego
1. Matt Antonelli, 3B, Wake Forest, #17 Overall: Antonelli was a solid college hitter with an excellent track record for hitting. A third baseman in college, he featured a plus hit tool and solid-average athleticism, and he was expected to go in the mid- to late-first round as a future second baseman. Following players selected: Kyle Drabek, Brett Sinkbeil, Chris Parmelee. Signing bonus: $1,575,000.
2. Kyler Burke, OF, Ooltewah HS (TN), #35 Overall: Burke was a two-way prospect that was expected to go somewhere in this range as an average athlete with above-average to plus raw power. He was expected to be able to handle pro pitching, though the weak competition he faced was a problem. Following players selected: Chris Coghlan, Adrian Cardenas, Cory Rasmus. Signing bonus: $950,000.
3. Chad Huffman, 2B, TCU, #53 Overall: This was a few rounds earlier than Huffman was expected to go as an all-bat collegiate player. He didn’t really have a defensive home to the scouting community, and the Padres speculated he could handle second base at the pro level, which was not a certainty at all. Following players selected: Brad Furnish, Brett Anderson, Steven Wright. Signing bonus: $660,000.
4. Wade LeBlanc, LHP, Alabama, #61 Overall: LeBlanc was supposed to be a third to fifth round talent as a pitchability lefty with a strong track record in a tough conference. However, the Padres believed in his above-average command, and they picked him with their second second-round pick. Following players selected: Kevin Mulvey, Tom Hickman, Joe Benson. Signing bonus: $590,000.
5. Cedric Hunter, OF, King HS (GA), #93 Overall: Hunter was a solid prep prospect that was supposed to go somewhere in this range. He was the textbook definition of a ‘twener, not having enough power for a corner outfield spot and not enough glove or range for center field. He was a solid pick, however, and was expected to be an impact prospect. Following players selected: Joe Smith, Scott Cousins, Tyler Robertson. Signing bonus: $415,000.
Other Notable Selections: 3B David Freese (9th), South Alabama, $6K bonus; RHP Mat Latos (11th), Coconut Creek HS (FL), $1.25M bonus
2007 Draft: Assistant to the Director of Scouting with San Diego
1. Nick Schmidt, LHP, Arkansas, #23 Overall: Schmidt was considered a late first-round prospect, and he had solid stuff. He wasn’t considered a high-ceiling pick, but was more of a sure thing for a club that favored above-average command of an advanced starter’s repertoire. Following players selected: Michael Main, Aaron Poreda, James Simmons. Signing bonus: $1,260,000.
2. Kellen Kulbacki, OF, James Madison, #40 Overall: Kulbacki was considered a two-tool prospect, and both were in his bat. He featured a plus hit tool and above-average raw power, and most expected him to be a good Major League hitter. He was expected to go anywhere from this slot to the early third round. Following players selected: Sean Doolittle, Eddie Kunz, Jackson Williams. Signing bonus: $765,000.
3. Drew Cumberland, SS, Pace HS (FL), #46 Overall: Cumberland was an extremely athletic player with an above-average hit tool and plus-plus speed. He was expected to turn into at least an average defender with reps and pro coaching. He was expected to go around here or the second round. Following players selected: Nathan Vineyard, Josh Donaldson, Michael Burgess. Signing bonus: $661,500.
4. Mitch Canham, C, Oregon State, #57 Overall: Canham was a 22 year old junior that featured a solid hit tool, power, and better than average athleticism for a catcher. His defense was lacking, but he was still expected to go in this range as a solid college catcher with an elite pedigree at Oregon State. Following players selected: Jonathan Bachanov, Corey Brown, Brandon Hamilton. Signing bonus: $552,500.
5. Cory Luebke, LHP, Ohio State, #63 Overall: Luebke was another low-ceiling college lefty, but he was expected to go a few rounds lower than Schmidt and this slot. He profiled as a back of the rotation starter, but he was an accomplished college pitcher. Following players selected: Daniel Payne, William Kline, Sam Runion. Signing bonus: $515,000.
Other Notable Selections: 2B Eric Sogard (2nd), Arizona State, $400K bonus; SS Lance Zawadski (4th), Lee (TN), $50K bonus; RHP Jeremy Hefner (5th), Oral Roberts, $129K bonus; RHP Wynn Pelzer (9th), South Carolina, $190K bonus
2008 Draft: Assistant Scouting Director with St. Louis
1. Brett Wallace, 1B, Arizona State, #13 Overall: Wallace was considered an all-bat college hitter with a plus hit tool and plus raw power. He was a third base prospect in college, and he was expected to be given a shot there in the pros. This was right around his expected draft slot. Following players selected: Aaron Hicks, Ethan Martin, Brett Lawrie. Signing bonus: $1,840,000.
2. Lance Lynn, RHP, Ole Miss, #39 Overall: Lynn was a big college starter that was expected to turn into a back-end starter that could eat up innings. He was expected to go a round or three later, but the Cardinals called his name earlier, because they believed his natural stuff could make him much better than his individual pitches. Following players selected: Brett DeVall, Ryan Flaherty, Jaff Decker. Signing bonus: $938,000.
3. Shane Peterson, OF, Long Beach State, #59 Overall: Peterson was considered a good-hitting prospect that would go in the top three rounds. He put up gaudy numbers in college, and his hit and power tools were above-average. He wasn’t very athletic, but was considered passable in the outfield. Following players selected: Tyler Ladendorf, Josh Lindblom, Cody Adams. Signing bonus: $683,000.
4. Niko Vasquez, SS, Durango HS (NV), 91 Overall: Vasquez was a bit of an inconsistent draft prospect, but he flashed a plus hit tool when at his best. His fielding at shortstop was below-average, but he was expected to be able to handle second base at the pro level. This was right around where he was expected to go. Following players selected: Bobby Lanigan, Kyle Russell, Logan Schafer. Signing bonus: $423,000.
5. Scott Gorgen, RHP, UC Irvine, #125 Overall: Gorgen absolutely cominated college competition, but like Lynn, Gorgen featured very little future projection above a back of the rotation ceiling. He was expected to go in the third to sixth round range, and the Cardinals made him their fourth round pick. Following players selected: Danny Ortiz, Dee Gordon, Josh Romanski. Signing bonus: $250,000.
Other Notable Selections: None.
2009 Draft: Assistant Scouting Director with St. Louis
1. Shelby Miller, RHP, Brownwood HS (TX), #19 Overall: Miller competed with Jacob Turner for the most powerful raw arm in the entire 2009 draft class. He featured a plus-plus fastball, and his ceiling was a true number one starter. He was expected to go a few slots earlier, and the Cardinals got a steal. Following players selected: Chad Jenkins, Jiovanni Mier, Kyle Gibson. Signing bonus: $2,875,000.
2. Robert Stock, C, USC, #67 Overall: Stock was a better pitching prospect in college, and some scouts were frustrated by Stock’s inconsistency at the plate. He featured a plus arm behind the plate, though, and he was expected to be a solid catching prospect drafted in the top three rounds. Following players selected: Jake Eliopoulos, Tanner Bushue, Billy Bullock. Signing bonus: $525,000.
3. Joe Kelly, RHP, UC Riverside, #98 Overall: Kelly was in the same conversation with Drew Storen and Billy Bullock as the best college relievers in the 2009 class for quite awhile. He had a setup man’s ceiling, and he was expected to go in the second to fifth round range to a team that believed he might have a bit more in his arm. Following players selected: Jake Barrett, Telvin Nash, Ben Tootle. Signing bonus: $341,000.
4. Scott Bittle, RHP, Ole Miss, #129 Overall: Bittle went unsigned as a second-round pick of the Yankees after his junior year, and shoulder woes plagued his draft stock, though he was dominating on the mound when healthy. He could have gone anywhere in the third to sixth round range to teams that believed they could keep him healthy and unhittable. Following players selected: Ryan Goins, B.J. Hyatt, Derek McCallum. Signing bonus: $75,000.
5. Ryan Jackson, SS, Miami, #159 Overall: Jackson was an all-glove shortstop from Miami whose draft stock plummeted during a rough junior campaign. His hitting was considered below-average, and he had utility infielder skills, and he could have gone anywhere from the fourth to seventh rounds. Following players selected: Ryan Schimpf, Brandon Wikoff, Tobias Streich. Signing bonus: $157,500.
Other Notable Selections: None.
Like my previous draft preview on the Toronto Blue Jays, it is almost impossible to use any sort of past data to evoke any kind of trends with regards to Jaron Madison’s history of being an AD of Scouting. As a result, let’s dive into the history of the people involved with this front office once again, looking at where they’ve been and their experience. Starting at the top, Jed Hoyer is a well-known name to plenty of good baseball fans. He joined the Red Sox in 2002, and he spent his entire front office career there before joining San Diego as the general manager following the firing of Kevin Towers. Hoyer was brought in as a baseball operations assistant, became a special assistant to general manager Theo Epstein, and then was the assistant general manager for the last four seasons. Included in-between the last two jobs was a month and half long stint as general manager of the Red Sox when Epstein sported a gorilla suit. Fun times. Below Hoyer is former Red Sox scouting director Jason McLeod, who serves in Hoyer’s former position with Boston, assistant general manager. McLeod ran five drafts with Boston, and he will have a heavy influence on how Madison runs drafts with San Diego. McLeod has been a Southern California area scout before, so being back at home should yield some interesting results. The other assistant GM is Fred Uhlman Jr., who has length experience in scouting, as well, including many years as an assistant scouting director. As explained above, Madison’s highest experience prior to this post was as an assistant scouting director in St. Louis, then before that in San Diego he was officially known as the assistant to the director of scouting. Different job titles for essentially the same job and the same level of influence. All in all, there’s a wealth of scouting talent, and the Padres are adding scouts to cover all the areas that were neglected under Towers.
Draft budgeting is going to be hard to focus in on with this draft preview, too, so let’s jump right into the slotting. Unlike the new Toronto front office, the Padres don’t have a wealth of picks to fall back on. They own picks 9, 59, 91, 124, and every 30 picks after that, assuming that Rod Barajas signs a Major League contract with another team before the draft. That’s a regularly-slotted pick for every round, no compensation picks for free agents or previously unsigned draft picks. If the Padres spend slot money for each pick in the top five rounds, they’ll dole out about $3.4 million for those rounds, using slot amounts from last year as a reference. Once again, I believe slot amounts will be slightly raised this year, but we’ll keep past history as our current marker for now. I greatly believe that the new Padres front office is committed to drafting and development, as Hoyer has essentially brought along a good part of his team from Boston with him, and as I showed in my weekend column, the Red Sox are the marker by which others should look for spending on the draft. Depending on who falls to the Padres at number nine, I think we could easily see a healthy $7-9 million spent on draft bonuses this year. This means either a big first round investment or plenty of overslot spending beyond the top five rounds, so I’d love to see where the Padres might be going with the new plan.
Connecting specific players to the Padres is difficult because of the transition, but as always, I aim to please. My latest mock draft has the Padres going with Florida prep righty Karsten Whitson, and I think that’s a fair estimation. They could be facing their pick of A.J. Cole, Whitson, and Dylan Covey, and I’d love to be a fly on the wall of their draft room if that’s the case. If things go well for Manny Machado this spring, he could also be a solid choice at the back end of the top ten. Other names they might consider include Deck McGuire, Drew Pomeranz, Chris Sale, and Yordy Cabrera, but I feel the pitchers and Machado are currently the best fit. Names beyond the first round could be Peter Tago, Stefan Sabol, Michael Lorenzen, and A.J. Vanegas, though all those players could be gone before pick 59. Griffin Murphy, Tony Wolters, Chad Thompson, and Joe Terry could be other possibilities later on, but all these names are purely speculation. No matter what happens, I expect the new Padres regime to go with the best player available in every round, and I expect a very good draft from them. It should be interesting to see which specific direction they go, but if I were a Padres fan, I’d believe things are headed in the right direction.
*Bonus information came from BA.
What do you guys think? What will the Padres do?