Draft Reviews: San Diego Padres

2008 Draft Slot: 23rd overall
Top Pick: Allan Dykstra, 1B, Wake Forest University
Best Pick: Jaff Decker, OF, Arizona high school (Supplemental first round)
Keep an Eye On: Logan Forsythe, 3B, University of Arkansas (Supplemental first round)
Notes: Allan Dykstra almost did not sign with the Padres after a physical raised some questions on an old injury suffered by the first baseman. He had a good (brief) debut but is struggling to hit .200 this season in low-A ball. He is, though, walking more than 20 percent in his career, so maybe he’s being a bit to patient – especially against young pitchers that throw a lot of cookies. The Padres had a nice draft and you could throw the “keep an eye on” header on a number of players including: 3B Logan Forsythe, 3B James Darnell and 2B Cole Figueroa. Forsythe is showing some power in high-A, while also hitting .329 with more walks than strikeouts. Darnell is also walking a lot one level lower, but he’s striking out at a higher rate.

2007 Draft Slot: 23rd overall
Top Pick: Nick Schmidt, LHP, University of Arkansas
Best Pick: Schmidt… because no one else has stepped up…
Worst Pick: Danny Payne, OF, Georgia Tech (Supplemental first round)
Notes: The Padres organization had eight picks before the third round, but the club just did not do quite as good of a scouting job in 2007 as it did in 2008 with fewer picks. First pick Nick Schmidt’s career was delayed by Tommy John surgery but, after missing all of 2008, he’s back striking out a lot of batters (10.62 K/9) – but he’s also walking more than five batters per nine innings. OF Kellen Kulbacki (Supplemental 1st round) had a solid 2008 season but it was in a very, very good hitter’s park and he struggled at double-A in 2009 before getting hurt. The club had five supplemental first round picks in total and none of them have stepped up consistently, but none have outright disappointed either – although Danny Payne is getting close.

2006 Draft Slot: 17th overall
Top Pick: Matt Antonelli, 3B/2B, Wake Forest
Best Pick: Matt Latos, RHP, Florida high school (11th round)
Worst Pick: Matt Antonelli
Notes: Rushed through the minors by the organization, Matt Antonelli stopped hitting the moment he reached triple-A and the promotion to the Majors in 2008 did not help at all. Last year, the infielder hit .215 in 128 triple-A games. This season… .158 in 21 games. The club’s supplemental first round pick, Kyler Burke, was traded to Chicago (NL), where he is showing promise but he’s also developing slowly. Second-round pick Chad Huffman looks like he could develop into a part-time MLB player. RHP Mat Latos was the best of the picks way down in the 11th round, where he slid due to signability. He received $1.2 million as a draft-and-follow when he signed just before the 2007 draft.

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2009 Draft Slot: Third overall
Draft Preference (2006-08): College players, most often hitters
MLB Club Need: Center field, Shortstop, Catcher, Starting pitching
Organizational Need: Catcher, Shortstop, Left-handed pitching
Organizational Strength: First base, Third base
Notes: The organization has had some well-documented foibles in its first-round selections. The news surrounding the club’s third overall pick in 2009 has not been encouraging, as the rumor mill suggests the club will “go cheap” in order to spend more money on the international market, which opens up in July. Then again, another rumor had the Padres looking at prep outfielder Donovan Tate, who is asking for $6 million despite being a very raw (but athletic) baseball player.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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Peter Friberg

Lake Elsinore is not a “very, very good hitter’s park.”

It has a Fenway-esque wall in RF (not as high) to make up for a short RF dimension (310′). Left field, however, is a completely different story. It’s 330′ down the line before jutting out to a Petco-mocking 425 in right-center.

Check the google map satelite photo: