With that, the first night of the 2016 MLB Draft has been completed. With six picks in the first 85, and five picks in the first two rounds on Thursday, this year’s draft was a critical one for the San Diego Padres organization.
Following the trade of James Shields and the struggles of the major league roster, it was clear that the Padres were focused on the 2016 draft with an eye toward the organization’s long term future. With one of the weaker farm systems in all of baseball, this year’s draft was a critical one for the organization.
Despite quite a bit of backlash against the Padres front office over the last year or two, for all intents and purposes the Padres have gotten off to a good start in the 2016 draft. Following a 2015 draft in which the team got the likes of Austin Allen, Jacob Nix, Austin Smith, among a few others, the Padres have already acquired some good talent in this year’s draft.
There were some questionable decisions made by the organization in the first round of this year’s draft, with several unexpected picks, but the team still got talent at the top of the draft.
What follows is an in-depth look at the Padres first five picks from the first two rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft.
8. Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford
With their first selection in this year’s draft, the Padres went under slot and picked RHP Cal Quantrill, son of former major league Paul Quantrill, out of Stanford. Despite big names such as Jason Groome and Kyle Lewis still being on the board, the Padres opted to go for the cheaper player in Quantrill, despite the fact that the right hander comes with considerable risk. While Quantrill had some early success at Stanford, he is now most known for missing much of the 2015 season, and all of the 2016 season, following a tommy john surgery last season. Originally slotted in as a top five talent, Quantrill slid down the board a bit due to the surgery.
Now 15 months removed from his surgery, Quantrill is nearing a return to the mound. There had been talk for a while that Quantrill had some sort of done deal agreement with the Padres, and now it seems those rumors are confirmed. There’s obviously a fair amount of risk due to his elbow injury, but the upside is certainly there, as Quantrill sports a low 90s fastball, with an above average changeup with a decent slider and curveball that he uses to get batters out. Quantrill is known for his command, makeup, and pitchability, and has all the makings of a mid-rotation starter, with a third starter projection prior to his injury.
Despite the injury concerns, Quantrill was highly successful in his freshman year at Stanford, sporting a 2.68 ERA in 111 innings with a 98/34 K/BB ratio. With the recent success of draftees such as Jeff Hoffman and Lucas Giolito coming off tommy john surgery, the Padres decided on the risky high upside pick at #8. This pick also allowed the Padres to allocate more money to later picks, which they would have been unable to do with the signing of a player like LHP Jason Groome. If Quantrill can overcome his surgery and come back healthy, he could be a useful mid-rotation starter for the Padres, and big league ready in the next two to three years.
24. Hudson Sanchez, SS, Carroll HS (TX)
In the first real surprise of the night, the San Diego Padres selected shortstop Hudson Sanchez with the 24th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Despite being tied to several other players near the end of the first round, including several college pitchers, the Padres once again went below slot value to get Sanchez. While the 24th pick had a slot value of just over 2 million, the Padres saved about half of that with the under slot selection of Hudson Sanchez out of Carroll HS. Originally received as compensation for the departure of Justin Upton, the Padres second selection left quite a few draft analysts and Padre fans scratching their heads.
Hudson Sanchez is the first uber-reach of the first-round. Ranked 91st on my board.
— Christopher Crawford (@CVCrawfordBP) June 10, 2016
Given the fact that Sanchez fell just outside of the top 100 in pre draft player rankings, it’s pretty clear that this selection was quite a reach for the Padres. While the pick obviously served the purpose of saving a good amount of pool money, it’s clear that the Padres were at least somewhat intrigued by Sanchez’s profile, and were assured of his signability. According to several scouts, Sanchez’s best tool is a strong throwing arm, but his offensive profile is lacking. Despite these concerns, Sanchez has good size at 6’3’’ and projects to grow into some more power as he matures, with the hit tool expected to progress as well. At only 17 years old, there is still a lot of room to grow, with Sanchez perhaps ending up at third base or in the outfield as he gains more size.
While the Padres were linked to Delvin Perez at 24, who ended up being selected one pick before at 23 by the St. Louis Cardinals, they got a similarly aged player in Sanchez. Sanchez lacks the raw tools of Perez, but he could grow into his body and become an everyday sort of player. His future has quite a bit of uncertainty, with the only certainty being the fact that he was quite a reach in the compensation round by the Padres.
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