The San Diego Padres chose pitching on the opening night of the 2022 MLB Draft
San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller didn’t shock anyone with his usual routine in the first round. Padres fans know that it will be a high school product that hears his name called first. Picking in the middle of the first round is a bit different for Preller, but he did not disappoint Sunday night.
With the 15th overall pick in the first round, the Friars selected Dylan Lesko, a right-handed pitcher from the state of Georgia.
The Padres selected high school RHP Dylan Lesko (Buford, GA) with the No. 15 pick.
Lesko had Tommy John surgery in April. Could’ve been the first pitcher taken otherwise.
In 2021 he became the first junior to win Gatorade national player of the year.
Lesko is a Vandy commit.
— Darnay Tripp (@DarnayTripp) July 18, 2022
As Tripp stated, Lesko is committed to Vanderbilt, so the decision to sign awaits.
The right-hander is known for his changeup. The pitch sits around 85-86 mph, which is a nice pace to his mid to high-90s fastball. Many draft experts consider his changeup to be the best in the draft, and that should excite fans in San Diego. Many remember how nasty Trevor Hoffman’s changeup was and will look forward to watching Lesko carve up opposing hitters just the same.
In 2021, Lesko went (11-0) with a 0.35 ERA in 60 innings. He also struck out 112 batters in a dominant year. Winning Gatorade National Player of the Year as a junior had never been accomplished until Lesko arrived.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 18, 2022
The Padres selected again at 39 in the CB-A round. Preller took another high school pitcher, but this time a southpaw. Robby Snelling is out of McQueen High School in Nevada and is an LSU commit. Snelling won’t have to travel far to San Diego, where he should enjoy the breeze compared to the Reno desert air.
Snelling was the No. 1 pitcher in the state of Nevada and was the No. 16 overall player on the MLB.com rankings. The Friars selected two pitchers with high upside early on the draft. His decision to choose LSU or the Padres will come shortly as well.
The Nevada Player of the Year pitched 62 innings with a 0.56 ERA and 146 strikeouts last year. He could also hit with a .362 batting average and smashed six home runs on the season. He set a state record with 20 strikeouts in only seven innings in a game against Spanish Springs.
It’s safe to say the Padres got a stud with their second pick. The lefty also played linebacker for the varsity football team.
— Perfect Game All-American Classic (@PGAllAmerican) August 23, 2021
Does that field look familiar?
In the second round of the draft, the Padres took right-hander Adam Mazur with the 53rd pick. Preller claimed his first collegiate pitcher. The Hawkeye transferred from South Dakota State, where he saw major improvements in his game. Mazur finished with a (7-3) record with a 3.07 ERA in 93.2 innings on the season. He struck out 98 hitters and walked only 30.
Adam Mazur @UIBaseball has the stuff to excel at the next level
— Brett Homer (@B_HOMERun2) July 14, 2022
Mazur joins Snelling and Lesko, who round out a solid core of starting pitchers on opening night. There will be a plenty of more picks to come in the next few days. However, Preller and the Padres should feel confident in their picks to start.
Starting pitching is not the concern for SD right now, but it is always nice to know the farm is loaded with pitching talent.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.