MLB.com has updated their draft prospect rankings, so I am updating my Padres draft preview accordingly. Most of the guys I mentioned originally are still ranked close to when the Padres pick first at 51 overall, but there has been some fluctuation, with one guy in particular making a big jump, and one dropping significantly. I’ve also taken a look at two more guys that could be on the Padres radar.
Chris Shaw– 1B, Boston College ranked down to #46 from #42 on mlb.com
Why the Padres should pick him– His 65 grade power that plays to all fields.
Why he could drop to round 2– His 40 grade defense and 20 grade speed
His power plays to all fields and as such he fits the mold of players targeted by A.J. Preller. He’s a lefty, and while that isn’t the Preller mold, more balance between right handed and left-handed power isn’t a bad thing. Shaw has played in the outfield at Boston College and has the arm to play there in the majors, but his below average defense and lack of mobility probably means he will be limited to first base as a professional. If he gains some patience at the plate his bat will be very valuable at any position, though.
Austin Smith– RHP, Park Vista High School (Florida) ranked #48, down from #44 on mlb.com
Why the Padres should pick him– His grade 65 fastball and low effort delivery
Why he could drop to round 2– His secondary pitches are raw and he’s only 18
His fastball already sits in the low to mid 90’s without much effort and with his big frame and athleticism there is plenty of projection left in his fastball. Not surprisingly for a young pitching prospect, his breaking pitches need work. Smith’s low effort delivery bode well for his chances of avoiding injury, which is certainly an asset for any young pitcher these days. Side note, Trea Turner also went to Park Vista High School.
Chandler Day– RHP Watkins High School (Ohio) ranked #86, down from #49 on mlb.com
Why the Padres should pick him– Across the board potential
Why he could drop to round 2 – He has a ways to go before he reaches his potential
UPDATE- The first line of mlb.com’s scouting report on him mentions that he is “one of the youngest and most projectable players in the high school crop”, which to me doesn’t match his new #86 ranking they’ve given him. The reason for his ranking drop probably has something to do with a rough outing he had earlier this month, but he bounced back in his next outing. Mlb.com ranks his future “overall” tool at 45 now, down from 50, so his stock is definitely dropping. As such he is probably a guy the Padres would wait to target with their second pick instead of with their first pick. Day has committed to Vanderbilt though, so signability concerns could take him off the Padres big board entirely.
Donnie Dewees OF University of North Florida ranked, #35 up from #51 on mlb.com
Why the Padres should draft him– His grade 60 speed and grade 55 bat
Why he could drop to round 2– His 45 grade power and 40 grade arm
To be honest I only looked into him because mlb.com ranked him #51 which is when the Padres pick first. Although upon further review, his plus speed and above average bat make him a potential lead off hitter, which the Padres need the major league level. Being 22 already he should reach the majors quicker than most players drafted in round 2, sans relievers.
UPDATE-His stock might be rising so much that it isn’t reasonable to expect him to drop to into round 2. The Oakland Athletics are showing interest in Dewees, and it seems quite possible that they’ll take him with their first round pick.
Luken Baker– RHP/1B Oak Ridge HS (Texas) ranked #54 up from #58 on mlb.com
Why the Padres should draft him– His grade 60 fastball and grade 55 slider, 70 grade power
Why he won’t be a first round pick-His grade 20 speed, lack of an above average 3rd pitch
He could be taken as a 1st baseman or pitcher, but many scouts like him more as a pitcher. Certainly an intriguing player that I’ll pay attention to no matter who picks him. As a hitter he needs to tighten up is swing and he probably won’t be able to play anything other than first base As a pitcher he’ll need to improve his command and control, but his fastball and slider look to be a solid combo. The idea of a solid mid rotation starter that can mash home runs is pretty cool isn’t it?
Demi Orimoloye – OF St. Matthew’s HS (Ontario Canada) ranked #62, up from #64 mlb.com
Why the Padres should draft him – His 60 grade speed and 60 grade power and general athleticism
Why he could drop to round 2- He lacks polish across the board
Orimoloye is exactly the type of high ceiling, low floor, toolsy prospect A.J. Preller collected while he was with the Texas Rangers. He’s relatively new to the sport and therefore won’t reach the major leagues quickly, but he could very well be worth the wait with his combination of potentially plus power and speed. Even though he’s ranked lower than the others on this list, he’s probably the guy I’d most like to see the Padres pick.
With Donnie Dewees not likely to drop to the Padres, and Chandler Day looking more like a round 3 option if anything, here are two new prospects that might have worked their way higher up the Padres big board.
Kyle Holder– SS University of San Diego ranked #51 on mlb.com
Why the Padres should pick him- 60 grade arm and defense
Why he could drop to round 2 – 45 grade hit and 30 grade power
While he’ll always be more productive defensively, his bat could come along more than those future tool projections indicate. Until he was a college freshman he played basketball and baseball, and some scouts expect his bat will improve now that he is just focusing on baseball. If the Padres agree with those scouts, it would make a lot of sense for them to take the gamble on Holder’s bat because “there is absolutely no doubt” his defense is good enough for him to stay at SS, which isn’t always the case with prospects at that position.
Juan Hillman– LHP Olympia HS (Fla.) ranked #52 on mlb.com
Why the Padres should pick him- projection remaining on his 55 grade fastball and curveball
Why he could drop to round 2- 50 grade changeup and apparently no 4th pitch
Hillman is athletic and scouts expect he will add velocity to his pitches as he fills into his 6’2” frame. His feel for pitching is higher than most high school pitchers. His tools aren’t elite, but the pitchers with elite tools will be taken in round 1, so the Padres will be looking for a pitcher that has the projectability to trend up in the future. Add in the fact that he has a good feel for pitching for his age and he definitely looks like the type of prospect that could trend up.