There is a ton of upside in San Diego Padres’ second-round pick Joshua Mears.
With the 48th selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, the San Diego Padres took Joshua Mears out of a high school in the state of Washington.
The 6-foot-3 outfielder is an imposing force in the batter’s box. The right-handed hitter is a physical specimen reminiscent of a middle linebacker in the NFL. At 18, it is safe to say that Mears is going to be a legitimate power threat throughout his professional baseball career. But what is his overall ceiling?
Power will be his hugest attribute, but there is no reason to believe he cannot become an adequate hitter.
Upon arriving in Peoria, the Padres tinkered with his mechanics. The muscular Mears can get a little robotic with his swing (in particular the upper half of his body) and is presently working for a smoother plane through the zone. His hands are also a work in progress. In time, you could be looking at a power hitter with an ability to make hard contact the other way. Mears is hardly a one-trick pony with his power. The skill to hit the ball the other way is already on display, and that is encouraging.
The speed aspect of his game is underrated right now. The well-built outfielder should get leaner in time, especially if he plays 120-plus games in the minors. Stealing nine bases in 43 games in the AZL is a sign of a distinct awareness around the bags. Defensively, his biggest limitation is in regards to route running and judgment of the ball off the bat. Those are skills that will improve in time. The right-handed thrower already shows a plus arm with excellent carry to his throws. His defense will not be an issue.
Mears may not be a five-tool threat presently, but he is very close to it. He recorded a .253/.354/.440 slash line in 43 games and 166 at-bats in the AZL. The power hitter slugged seven homers and drove in 24 runs for the AZL Padres. Fifty-nine strikeouts are a bit concerning, but his swing was a work in progress, initially. Recording a .794 OPS against his first taste of professional pitching is nothing to be ashamed of from this 2019 draft pick.
Preller and the Padres took a high-ceiling player, and he could work out in time. Take a look at his swing this past summer in the AZL. Plenty of hard contact as the ball sounds completely different off his bat. Mears shows excellent coverage of the plate and should excel in 2020 with even more coaching.
The Padres may have scored with this young man. At 18, there is a long road ahead for the second-round pick. Early indications are that he is a hard worker and is very coachable. His baseball IQ is very high. The key for this young player will be his ability to learn the nuances of the game. If he can figure out his mechanics and implement them daily, the sky is the limit with Joshua Mears.
The outfielder will likely start the year in Fort Wayne and will have plenty of competition for playing time. The Padres will challenge the young outfielder. If he responds well, then he could be promoted quickly. The team has been aggressive with some hitters who show an ability to cultivate their talents. Joshua Mears is a player worth noting in a system overrun with talent.