Is There a Draft in Here or Is That Just Me?

While Padres players were taking three out of four (at home!) against the Astros (the NL’s worst team, but we’ll take what we can get), folks in the front office prepared for the 2011 Amateur Draft. And yes, it’s now known as the First-Year Player Draft of Anaheim, but whatever.

The draft starts Monday at 4 p.m. PT, because starting it earlier in the day would make way too much sense, and continues through Wednesday. You can follow the draft online at

The Padres have picks at no. 10 and no. 25 in the first round. They also — thanks to Jon Garland, Yorvit Torrealba, and Kevin Correia — have five of the first 54 58 picks. This should be a good thing, but of course it’s no guarantee.

Anywho, I haven’t been following along as closely this year as in seasons past, but I scrounged up a few resources that you might find useful. Go nuts…

Top Prospect Lists and Scouting Reports

In alphabetical order:

Mock Drafts

By date (most recent first):

Source               Author           Date    #10                    #25
ScoutingBaseball     Frankie Piliere  June 5  George Springer, OF,   Andrew Susac, C,
                                              Connecticut            Oregon State

Perfect Game         David Rawnsley   June 4  Francisco Lindor, SS,  Cory Spangenberg, 3B/2B,
                                              Montverde Academy,     Indian River State (Fla.)
                                              Clermont, Fla.         JC

Baseball Prospectus  Kevin Goldstein  June 3  Matt Barnes, RHP,      Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii

Hardball Times       Vince Caramela   June 3  Barnes                 Spangenberg              Jonathan Mayo    June 2  Taylor Jungmann, RHP,  Spangenberg

DiamondScape         Staff            May 27  Trevor Bauer, RHP,     Spangenberg

Baseball America     Jim Callis       May 13  Jungmann               Spangenberg

Nobody seems to know what the Padres will do with that first pick (as compensation for failing to sign Karsten Whitson last year), although the general assumption seems to be that they’ll go the “safe” route because they won’t receive compensation this time if a deal doesn’t get done. Spangenberg shows up at no. 25 in many places, but who knows whether that means anything.

Feel free to add your own favorite sources in the comments. Opinions on mock drafts, who you think the Padres should/will take, etc., are also welcome.

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33 Responses »

  1. I am on the Jungmann/Spangenburg bandwagon. Jungmann has been dominant and consistant for 3 straight years in one of the best baseball conferences, the big 12. He will move fast. Not only a safe pick but a good one if he falls to the Padres at 10. If he is available and the Padres don’t take him…. well, remember what happened when the Padres passed on Verlander?

    As for # 25…. I would be happy with a # of picks. Spangenburg and Tyler Anderson top my list unless swihart somehow falls that low.

    I am not sold on Matt Barnes, he hasnt performed better than jungmann and the big east is not the big 12. Gray would be OK.

  2. Correction (sorry, pet peeve): The Padres passed on Weaver, Drew, and Niemann… not Verlander.

  3. @GY – Am i missing something? The Padres selected 1st overall. Verlander went 2nd. Looks like they passed on him.

  4. Even with last year’s Whitson debacle, I’m a lot more confident in our current system. Fuson can protest all he want about how we had enough scouts (similar to his outrage when Baseball America scorched us), but the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding that Fuson made is mediocre at best. Let’s hope the expanded scouting coverage pays dividends, because we need to win the farm system fight.

    BA’s final mock draft has us taking Jungmann and Joe Ross, a HS RHP from Oakland. The Royals land Dylan Bundy, because they need more top-shelf talent.

  5. @PadresaFuture

    Technically they passed on about 1000 players.

    The Padres had already crossed Verlander off the list because of his spotty performance. I believe a big group of Padre observers, maybe even Kevin Towers himself, saw him throw a poor game in the weeks leading up the draft. You can knock them for poor scouting on Verlander and poor decision-making on Drew, Weaver, and Niemann. Drew has been something of a disappointment, and that’s who we really wanted, but Weaver = 2 more division championships (2007, 2010).

  6. Kevin Goldstein’s final mock:

    George Springer, Kolten Wong

    Questions about Springer’s bat set off all kinds of alarm bells. Ordinarily I’m all “best player available,” but he doesn’t seem that much more valuable than several college pitchers, and we have a crying need for starting arms.

  7. Keith Law’s final mock:

    Spangenberg, Austin Hedges (HS catcher)

  8. @tom – So many good players in this years draft. I like Hedges at 25 but hope they can get him in supplemental. Springer has improved his K rate, but I would prefer top end college pitching since the Padres have plenty of OF talent at the moment.

  9. Will Vic Davilillo Jr. be in this draft? If not, I like Mordechai “Three Fingers” Brown the 2nd…

  10. So Spangenberg it is. He played third base this year, and a lot of people projected him to move to CF in the pros, but Mlb lists him at 2B. Hopefully the Padres think he can stick there.

    The descriptions of his bat are underwhelming to me. I would have preferred one of the college pitchers.

  11. @Ben:

    Couldn’t agree more. I wanted Jungmann, and while this draft is deep in college arms, passing on one of the top tier ones here is a risk. This pick screams signability.

  12. I can’t help but have flashbacks of Kevin Nicholson, Jake Gautreau, and Matt Antonelli. Spangenberg probably has better bat speed, but signability is a good bet.

    Oh, so NOW you can take a high-upside first-rounder, Messrs. Alderson and DePodesta. That MLB network retrospective on Padre first-rounders from 2004 to 2007 was disheartening, and they didn’t even get to Dykstra, the worst of them all.

    Wow, Kouzmanoff optioned to AAA.

  13. Of course he also has some similarities to Ackley.

    John Sickels:

    This is the first pick that could legitimately be considered an overdraft, although the Padres and some analysts would dispute that. Spangenberg is a pure hitter with excellent on-base skills. He hit .477 with a .553 OBP and 33 steals this year for Indian River. Listed at 6-0, 185, Spangenberg is a line drive hitter with gap power. He won’t hit many home runs, but his skills are ideal for a leadoff hitter and some consider him the best bet to hit for a high average of any hitter in the draft.

    He profiles best as a second baseman or perhaps a center fielder, so a position switch will be in order. He is defintely signable at 10th overall, and some feel he would fit best in later in the first round or in the supplemental phase. However, the Padres were well-known to be heavily interested, and wanted to make sure they got their man.

    Give him a year to improve at 2b or move him to CF right now?

  14. Joe Ross. Glad some of the teams ahead of us played things safe.

  15. Didn’t we draft Matt Bush because of “signability”? that worked out great…Obviously, being able to sign a player is an important part of drafting, but if your trying to build a team through the draft, I feel like being a cheap ass kind of works against that. If we’re going to be drafting a 2B that high, he better be shades of Chase Utley, not Quilvo Veras. And I’m pretty sure he’s still there at 25 too, and if he’s not. Kolten Wong (who I like a little more having played DI ball instead of at a JC) is. What we needed was a Dave Winfield or Mike Leake type, someone that would be ready in the next year or 2, not the next 4 or 5. Ugh, how long until the lockouts over and I can watch a team that does know how to draft and develop talent…

  16. @Adam I do hope you’re not referring to the Chargers. They haven’t produced any quality players from their drafting and development in some time.

    I think Spangenburg is probably a bit of an overdraft but I also think they drafted a player they believed would excel at PETCO. By all accounts, he’s believed to be one of the better hitters in the draft, especially in terms of average. A high-average, line-drive hitter with speed to burn would seem to be the prototypical guy for PETCO.

    I know you’re not supposed to draft need, but I think the Padres probably figured they needed bats (especially of the middle-infield variety) more than they needed arms. I forget where I read it (quite possibly could have been here), but the Padres probably won’t have many problems attracting pitchers in the next few years. Hitters are a completely different story.

  17. @Phantom
    If drafting pro bowlers LT, Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Shawne Merriman, Marcus McNeill, Nate Kaeding, Kassim Osgood (actually undrafted rookie free agent), Luis Castillo (an all pro alternate), Jamal Williams, Nick Hardwick, Antonio Cromartie, Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson makes them bad at drafting and developing talent, I want to know who does it better.

    And even if they love Spangenberg, he’s probably there at 25. At 10, we should be looking for elite talent, even if its a SP, not quality MIF

  18. @Phantom – I agree. With the 10th pick being unprotected the Padres got the most advanced bat that fits a need and petco that was available – and is signable. Considering the Padres went upside on the next 4 picks, I dont think the Padres were being cheap. Love the aggressive picks from 25th on for the Padres.

  19. @Adam

    We drafted Phillip Rivers? Huh, news to me.

    And according to many sources, Gates was an undrafted free agent.

    Merriman flamed out and Cromartie has had one good year.

    I’ll give you LT, Brees, and Jackson. Great picks. But that was also some time ago. Not so much to write home about in the past five years. I’d say we’re likely to see more positives out of the last five Padres drafts (including this year) than the Chargers see out of their last five.

    I love how the Chargers always get a pass in this city. I’m a Chargers fan but nothing aggravates me more than how people fall all over themselves praising the Chargers while ignoring the other professional team in the city.

  20. And if you look at the player the Padres have managed to get to the major league level and produce something, they almost all went to major DI colleges. Hundley went to Arizona (Bear Down!), Headley played at Tennesse, Veneble played at Princton and Kalil Greene was a Clemson Tiger. Heck, Latos even played some college ball. So needless to say, I’m not very happy about them drafting a bunch of HS long term prospects. But I guess its all just speculation until they either turn into Matt Bush v2.0 or rocket through the system and prove me wrong

  21. @Phantom
    Not to stray too far off topic, but I have to disagree with you about the Chargers not developing talent. Gates was an undrafted free agent, but they found and developed him none the less, and while some of the guys did flame out a little earlier then we’d like, it doesn’t make them a bad pick, especially since we were able to ship some of those guys off for more picks. Since the John Butler/AJ Smith era began, the Chargers have consistently been a top team, so they must be doing something right.

    And I don’t ignore the Padres; if anything, I’m the opposite, because I live in Arizona and have to pay extra to watch the 100 or so Padres games I catch a year. I understand that drafting baseball players is inherently more difficult then drafting football players because of the longer time horizon involved, but sometimes I wish they were a little more aggressive going after top tier talent instead of signability being the first dimension. Almost every player is signable, and while I don’t want to grossly overpay, when you’re too timid about it, you end up with guys like Allan Dykstra and Matt Bush instead of the Verlanders, Weavers and Drews of the world

  22. @Adam

    We didn’t ignore Verlander. See Geoff’s comment at #2.

    I’m in the same boat as you. I live out-of-market, and I too shell out the money for the Padres.

    You talk about the Chargers shipping off guys for picks as if the Padres don’t do it. Khalil Greene begat Luke Greggerson. Geoff is much better at this game than I am, but it’s not like the Padres haven’t flipped guys for picks or other talent. Hell, that’s been the knock on the Padres forever. That they DO trade guys instead of keep them long term.

    As for the success of the Chargers, playing in a salary-capped league helps out a ton. That’s not to take anything away from the Chargers front office, but when you’re forced to spend X amount of dollars and can’t spend more than Y, it does even out the playing field a bit.

    And besides a truly abysmal 2009, it’s not like the Padres have stunk up the city since moving to PETCO. But they never get credit for the success they’ve had while the Chargers do. If NFL rules for the playoffs applied in MLB, then the Padres have two additional playoff appearances over those seasons.

    I don’t mean to take it out on you, but I think current management has a plan. And it goes beyond spend as little as possible. I just want people to give things a chance to percolate before crapping all over everything they do.

  23. The padres addressed middle infield with good hitting and athleticism. They drafted a high upside catcher, which is great since we already have a quality catching prospect ready for AA in Hagerty, and 2 high upside highschool pitchers. The two middle infield hitters they drafted could be ready within 2 years – perfect for what the Padres are going to need at that time. With Hagerty possibly ready to backup Hundley in 1-2 years, why not take an upside catcher and let him develop. The Padres have lots of young pitching at the MLB level and have Bass and Kelly almost ready, so taking 2 high upside highschool pitchers and adding them to the mix with portillo, sampson, and barbato makes perfect sense. As far as draft strategy and execuction go for the first five picks.. I give the Padres an A.

  24. Does anybody know whatever happened to James Needy? Also, does anyone know if Barbato is expected to play at Eugene this year?

  25. KT was pretty good at getting good value in his trades, esp for relievers, though the combo of Ballsley and Petco seems to do wonders for ok pitchers. Heck, Chad Qualls is having a great year. But the good trades go all the way back to the fire sales of the early ’90s. Though I do still want a ‘do over’ on the Brian Giles trade.

    I guess I just wish the Padres sometimes made the more splashy moves. If they have the #1 the last 2 years, do they get Strasburg and Harper, or do they shy away because of signability? That’s a question i’m not sure I want to know the answer to, it might just be too depressing. With 5 1st round picks, i’m sure some of them will pan out; the only team that can miss that badly is the Raiders

  26. I was wondering about Needy myself. Seems like he dissapeared or something. Anyone know?

  27. Needy – he wound up with continued knee problems last year, but is out in Peoria working now. He and Barbato should both be in Eugene when they open next Friday.

  28. @Tom Waits: Watch how you group former draftees together…Anto is hitting 351/403/509 in Triple-A Syracuse and is healthy.

  29. @David

    So you’re proclaiming the 26 year old Antonelli a “reborn prospect” after 15 games at AAA, a level he’s already played at for 190+ games? Convincing, that is not. He’s got a 413 BABIP behind those numbers. It’s not staying that high.

    I’m pulling for Matt to beat the odds, but the history of converting 3b to 2b (not only the Padres, lots of teams) is not encouraging.