The San Diego Padres have the 6th selection in the upcoming June Amateur Draft. Here is a look at some college level players who could be of great interest to the Padres.
With the college baseball season set to get underway Friday, it’s never too early to have a look at a few of the top prospects for the 2019 amateur draft.
Since 2010, the Padres have made eighteen first-round selections, eleven of those have been high school players, six have been from four-year universities and just one has come via the junior college route (Cory Spangenberg).
I’ll try to breakdown the top prospects from each level, hopefully giving readers a chance to follow a few names throughout the season to track their progress. Between all three levels, there are quite a few players to cover and a significant amount of information to unpack.
The Padres have the sixth pick in the 2019 draft and I’ll cover the top players who I believe will be available in that spot.
It’s important to remember this is all speculation at this point, but nonetheless, it’s always interesting to assess the talent that’s ready to make the jump to the next level.
One last thing to consider when reading these previews: I’ll be skipping a few notable players that I’m almost certain won’t fall past the first few picks. For this particular article, Adley Rutschman (C, Oregon State), Andrew Vaughn (1B, Cal) & Nick Lodolo (LHP, TCU) have been left off, as I’m assuming they’ll be gone by pick six. With that said, let’s dive into the top college prospects eligible for the 2019 MLB draft:
Josh Jung – Texas Tech, 3B
Ht: 6-2 /Wt: 215/ B-T: R-R
Jung has plenty of bat speed and power to play at the next level, but his ability to play an average third base is what evaluators question most. Personally, I think he’s athletic enough to hold down the hot corner at the big league level and his plus arm and adequate footwork will make up for whatever range he may lack. Offensively, Jung has everything you’re looking for in a prototypical power hitter. His broad shoulders and athletic frame make for an imposing image to opposing pitchers and his ability to control the strike zone allows him to pick out his pitches to show off his plus raw power.
Texas Tech 3B Josh Jung swings in slow motion. pic.twitter.com/wELOfRBKLG
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 15, 2018
Michael Bush – North Carolina, 1B
Ht: 6-0/ Wt: 207/ B-T: L-R
Eric Hosmer isn’t going anywhere, but when dealing with prospects, it’s always beneficial to consider the best player available. Bush is another elite bat that can be major league ready in a reasonable amount of time. His approach is already big league caliber as demonstrated by walking more than he struck out during the 2018 season. His plus power and bat speed were on display this summer in Cape Cod and he consistently barreled up balls making him standout amongst his peers.
At six-foot tall, he may be considered undersized as a first baseman, but he’s more than capable of moving to an outfield corner if necessary. Bush popped 13 home runs and produced a .317/.465/.521 line during his sophomore campaign in Chapel Hill and has been named to the preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list for 2019.
Zack Thompson – Kentucky, LHP
Ht: 6-2/ Wt: 225/ B-T: L-L
Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB draft, Thompson bypassed the opportunity to turn pro and enrolled at UK where he improved his athleticism and delivery. His mix of four pitches features a low 90s fastball that he runs up to 95 on occasion, along with a high-spin slider that sits in the low to mid-80s. He also displays a solid changeup and a barely average curveball that can be refined as he moves through the professional ranks.
Thompson battled a strain in his left elbow, which caused him to miss two months of action in 2018, but a brief, yet solid showing in Cape Cod and with Team USA allowed scouts to see him back at full strength.
The No. 5 draft prospect in college baseball versus No. 6? Don’t mind if we do.
Kentucky’s Zack Thompson got the best of Josh Jung in this AB.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) October 25, 2018
Graeme Stinson – Duke, LHP
Ht: 6-5/Wt: 250/B-T: L-L
Possibly the most impressive arm in the entire draft, Stinson offers physicality and tremendous upside to the team that’s lucky enough to select him in June. His fastball (plus) and slider (plus-plus) combination racks up the strikeouts and is absolutely lethal against left-handed hitters, while his changeup is used sparingly but will play as average at the major league level. Stinson’s only weakness appears to be his difficulty in repeating his delivery at times, but that won’t be enough to deter clubs from snatching him up early in the first round.
One more filthy Graeme Stinson sequence (98mph Fastball, foul/87mph Slider, K). ? pic.twitter.com/6e1XrWQKX1
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 11, 2018
Matt Wallner – Southern Mississippi, OF/RHP
There’s a lot to get excited about when discussing Wallner. First, he’s one of the most talented players in college baseball. Plus raw power, a plus arm and above average speed make him not only a threat at the plate but also a valuable asset in the field. He easily projects as an outfield corner at the next level. Over the last two seasons, Wallner has been lights out with a bat in his hand, hitting .343/.468/.637 and collecting 27 doubles and 35 home runs
. If that isn’t enough to push him up the draft board, there’s this: Wallner also does a little pitching when he’s not demolishing baseballs. The tall right-hander shows plenty of arm strength on the bump as his fastball sits in the mid-’90s and he mixes in a slider that’s not far from being above average. Wallner’s two-way abilities should place him within the range of pick 6-12 come June.
— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) April 5, 2018
Tyler Dyson – Florida, RHP
His work was limited during the 2018 season due to a shoulder impingement, but bounced back this summer and was filthy in the Cape. Dyson’s fastball sits 94-96 and mixes well with an above average changeup and a slider that features late tilt. He’s built to withstand the duration of a long professional season and projects to be a durable innings eater at the next level.
— Perfect Game USA (@PerfectGameUSA) February 26, 2018
Will Holland – Auburn, SS
Don’t let the smallish frame fool you, Holland attacks the ball with an aggressive swing and can drive it gap to gap with the best hitters at the college level. Hard contact comes naturally for the flashy shortstop and he uses his fleet feet on the base path to show off his plus speed. It’s Holland’s defense that will garner the most attention from scouts, but the power potential is there for a consistent MLB producer. His plus arm and excellent range on the left side of the field will grab your attention, but his offensive approach is what will separate him from the rest of the middle infield pack in 2019.
Will Holland was 0-8 in the Gainesville Super before this AB…
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 10, 2018