N.L. West Day 1 Draft Recap

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Credit: M.Gore


Here is a rundown of the Padres’ picks from day one of the draft, as well as the picks of the other N.L. West clubs.

Scouting reports are largely based on mlb.com’s prospect watch.

Ceiling and risk grades are my own and based on skill set, age, and what is expected from the position.

On day one, the Padres strengthened their depth up the middle by stockpiling another high-ceiling arm and bringing in two catchers.

Meanwhile, while their rivals up the coast in L.A. and San Francisco added potential superstars.

The Diamondbacks brought in three more hitters with strong contact skills to stay on brand, and the Rockies selected yet another high-ceiling third baseman.

It’ll be a long time before any of these guys compete at the major league level, but all the N.L. West teams have reason to be optimistic about their top draft picks in 2017.

Let’s take a look at who each team in the West selected, while learning a little bit about them.

San Diego Padres

Mackenzie Gore, LHP
Ceiling: Ace
Risk: Very High

Gore was my favorite player pre-draft. I know, Hunter Greene and Brendan McKay have the tools and two-way intrigue, but Gore posted numbers that were video game-ridiculous in 2017. He’s got off-speed stuff, a fastball with improving velocity, funky but repeatable mechanics, as well as good competitiveness. What more do you want?

(Luis Campusano) Credit: Perfect Game

Luis Campusano, C
Ceiling: Starting C
Risk: Extreme

Austin Hedges is the guy for now, and for a long time if he continues drive in runs, even without a good OBP. After Hedges, though, there isn’t a clear #2, and the Padres clearly want depth at every position. Among the Padres top 15 prospects, none are catchers, and only Austin Allen cracks the top 30. With plus raw power and defending grades that rated as good enough to stick as a catcher, Campusano has the potential to be a starting catcher in the major leagues. He’s only 18, though, and catchers are not typically fast risers, so don’t expect Campusano to challenge Hedges before 2022.

Blake Hunt, C
Ceiling: Starting C
Risk: Extreme

A defense-first catcher with a strong 6′ 3″ frame that gives him a chance to develop power in the future. A guy with pre-draft “helium” thanks to a strong spring and the high probability that he can stick as a catcher. Another 18-year-old that won’t make it to Petco Park anytime soon, but will add to the Padres’ already incredible depth.

Arizona Diamondbacks:

Pavin Smith, 1B
Ceiling: First Division Regular
Risk: Medium

One of the best hitters in the draft and therefore one of the safest options as well.

Pavin Smith Baseball America

That skill set fits in Arizona with guys the club has developed in recent years, like Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and Brandon Drury. The risk involved with Smith is the lofty standard placed on 1st basemen. While his floor is high thanks to his on base skills, he’ll have to hit for power as well to become Goldy’s heir apparent.

Drew Ellis, 3B/1B
Ceiling: First Division Regular
Risk: High

Corner bat and could hit for power and average, according to mlb.com’s prospect watch. As a college bat, he’s a relatively safe second round pick, but will have to max out his hitting potential to reach his ceiling.

Daulton Varsho, C/LF
Ceiling: First Division Regular
Risk: Very High
Catcher with good speed and athleticism but a weak arm. Diamondbacks probably like the bat a lot and could move him to left field.

San Francisco Giants:

Heliot Ramos: OF
Ceiling: Superstar
Risk: Extreme

(Heliot Ramos) Credit: Mike Janes

The Giants have built themselves into perennial contenders by developing talent from within, despite never really having a stockpile of flashy prospects in their farm. Well, they have a flashy prospect in their farm now as Ramos is a toolshed that could hit 20+ home runs a season while also stealing 20 bases and playing a corner outfield spot. Extremely risky due to his age and hit tool that mlb.com rates as a below average 45.

Jacob Gonzalez: 3B/1B
Ceiling: First Division Regular
Risk: Extreme

Son of Luis Gonzalez, hero of the 2001 World Series (feel old?). Power potential gives him a chance to make it work at 1st if moves off of 3rd. Below average base runner. The Giants know how to develop hitters and if Ramos doesn’t fit the typical mold of Giants prospects, Gonzalez does.

Los Angeles Dodgers:

Jeran Kendall, OF
Ceiling: Superstar
Risk: Extreme

(Jeren Kendall) Credit: La Crosse Tribune

Another high-ceiling pick heading to the west coast. Elite speed to go along with some pop. If he makes enough contact, he’s a 5 tool difference maker in the OF. There are few teams than can approach the staggering depth of young talent the Padres are developing, but the Dodgers are one of them. With a stacked farm and loaded major league squad, the Dodgers can afford to take a risk on this lottery ticket.

Morgan Cooper, RHP
Ceiling: Mid Rotation
Risk: Very High
Prototypical body for an innings eater, but has already had Tommy John surgery. A strong season for the University of Texas lowers the risk grade.

Colorado Rockies:

Ryan Vilade, 3B
Ceiling: All Star
Risk: Very High

Plus power and arm to profile at third. If Padres fans are wondering why their club selected two catchers, consider the Rockies’ 3B situation. Arenado in the big leagues, and prospects Ryan McMahon, Colton Welker, and Tyler Nevin in the club’s top 15. The draft is about building depth, and Vilade adds to the Rockies’ impressive depth at the position.

Tommy Doyle RHP
Ceiling: #4 SP/setup reliever
Risk: Extreme

6’6″ pitchers are certainly intriguing but often have control problems due to their size, therefore Doyle is riskier than most guys that come from a top college program like Virginia. He closed for Virginia and could be a high-leverage reliever in the big leagues based on his fastball and slider. The fact the Rockies like him enough to take him on day 1 of the draft could mean they want to work with him on developing his off-speed stuff and build him into a starter.

1 thought on “N.L. West Day 1 Draft Recap

  1. The Padres had a nice start to their draft with these picks and the ones from today. Hope we hit on about 60% of them.

    Also, I believe you mean Austin Allen and not Logan Allen as the top catcher prospect.

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