The 2017 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is only a few weeks away, and the Padres have the number three overall pick.
With endless conversations speculating who the Padres could grab with their first round pick, let’s take a break from all that and look back at all the Padres’ first round draft choices from this century, and what the team got from each.
The Friars had three first round draft choices in last June’s draft, all of which are still with the organization.
With their first round pick, the Padres selected RHP Cal Quantrill out of Stanford. Quantrill has been quite successful for the Padres this season, pitching for the Lake Elsinore Storm. In seven games started, he has posted a 3-2 record, with a 3.13 ERA. He also has sat down 43 batters by way of the K and walked just 14 on the season.
Cal Quantrill was predicted to be a top three pick in the draft prior to injuring his elbow, forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery. The fact he dropped down to number eight in the draft appears to be a blessing for the Padres, as he clearly hasn’t missed a beat since surgery.
The second first round pick was 18-year-old shortstop Hudson Potts at pick number 24. Potts is currently playing for the Padres low-A affiliate, the Fort Wayne TinCaps. He is slashing .250/.287/.365 with eleven extra-base hits (2 HR) and 16 RBI.
At just 96 total games played in the Padres’ organization, and just 18 years old, there isn’t much to base a solid opinion on. There is obviously room to grow for the kid. He currently has a bit of a patience problem at the plate, as he has racked up 96 K’s and walked just 23 times since he has begun his professional career.
Potts has shown versatility across the infield in the past, getting reps at second, third, and shortstop, although this season he hasn’t gotten any reps at second. This season, he has a fielding percentage of .989 in 266 innings at third base and 1.000 in 15 innings at shortstop. His range factor at third base is sitting at 2.35 and at 3.0 for short.
At just 18 years of age, Hudson Potts is showing promise to bloom into a strong infield option down the line for San Diego.
The Padres also had the 25th overall pick in the first round last year, and with that pick they grabbed lefty Eric Lauer. At just 21 years old, Lauer is mowing down batters at high-A Lake Elsinore. He has a 1-2 record, but has posted a solid 1.56 ERA in the seven games he has started this season. In 40.1 innings, Lauer has allowed just seven runs and 12 walks, while striking out 50 batters.
He does obviously have some room for improvement, specifically against right handed batters. Six of his seven earned runs have been against righties and 22 of the 31 hits he has given up have also come off the bats of right handed hitters.
All three of these draft choices show some extreme promise for the future of the San Diego Padres.
The Padres did not have a first round pick in the 2015 draft because they lost it to the Kansas City Royals by signing James Shields. As some of you may know, James Shields was traded to the Chicago White Sox for shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fernando Tatis Jr. has been killing it in low-A Fort Wayne for the TinCaps. In fact, he is the youngest player this season to make MLB Pipeline’s Team of the Week after hitting .462 with three home runs.
That brought his average up to .283 on the season, and he has also driven in 24 RBI and crushed 17 extra-base hits. One area that he struggles in is his patience at the plate. He has racked up 55 strikeouts and walked just 19 times this season.
Last season, Tatis Jr. saw some time at second and third base along with shortstop. This season, however, he has only seen time at short where he has a .923 fielding percentage and 13 errors. Errors have been a real problem for the young infielder in his short professional career, he has made 28 eight of them in just 74 games.
There is no need to panic. Although Tatis Jr. may not be the best defensive player, he is only 18 years old and has plenty of years ahead of him to grow. The one exciting thing is that he has been so explosive on offense this early on, that we can’t even imagine how much more successful he can be once he learns some patience at the plate.
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Derek is a 22-year-old out of Lemon Grove, California. A burning passion for San Diego sports led him to pursue an opportunity to write and share about what’s going on with the teams in America’s Finest City. A young and aspiring sports journalist looking to grow his knowledge and expand his experience at any opportunity.