Highlighting the San Diego Padres Day Three draft picks between rounds 26 and 40.
26. Pierce Jones, OF, Marian Catholic (IL)
The number 32nd ranked player in Illinois for his graduating class; Jones is a former standout at the 2014 Little League World Series. In his senior year of high school, Jones batted .286/.415/.495 with 13 extra base hits and 20 RBI. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed hitting outfielder swings a quick, fluid bat and has a knack for making consistent hard contact with the baseball. Defensively, he has the natural instincts and athleticism to stick in centerfield moving forward. Jones is committed to Northern Illinois University.
27. Tyler Malone, UTIL, Oregon State
A four-year junior at Oregon State, Malone saw most of his playing time behind the plate disappear because of star catcher Adley Rutschmann. This did not bother him, however, as Malone played both the infield and the outfield for Oregon State in 2019. He started 43 games for the Beavers, and despite not putting up the strongest offensive numbers, has the track record of a proven hitter. The 5-foot-11, left-handed hitting Malone earned 2018 College World Series All-Tournament team honors last season and tied the CWS record with three home runs in just eight games.
28. Sam Ballard, LHP, Parkland College (IL)
A sophomore from the JUCO ranks, Ballard appeared in 11 games for the Cobras and made seven starts. He went 4-3 overall and struck out eight or more batters in four of his starts, while also owning an 11.97 K/9 on the year. Ballard recently signed with Washington State University for the upcoming season and has until July 15th to sign with the Padres.
29. Anthony Nunez, SS, Miami Springs Sr HS (FL)
Standing at 6-foot-1, Nunez is a switch-hitting shortstop from the high school ranks with an already above-average makeup for his age. He swings better from the right side of the plate, with a more simple and compact middle-of-the-field approach. His swing from the left side is not bad, but he tends to pull the ball too much and extends his swing. Defensively, Nunez is one of the better defensive middle infielders in his class. He posted a 92 mph infield velocity at a Perfect Game showcase in 2019 and has the natural defensive actions to stick at shortstop in the long-term. This is a high risk, high reward selection from the Padres and could pan out if Nunez decides to sign with the team.
30. Ripken Reyes, 2B, University of San Diego
A transfer from the University of California, Reyes played his senior season with the Toreros. The 5-foot-10 switch-hitting second baseman slashed .366/.462/.500 with 17 extra base hits and 33 RBI. He made all but three starts for USD and had a tremendous impact on the lineup. Reyes is a four-year senior, and he should end up signing with the team.
31. Jason Nelson, RHP, Central Arizona College
An impact pitcher for the Vaqueros, Nelson is an absolute strikeout machine and is coming off an impressive 2019 campaign. He made 11 appearances for Central Arizona and started nine games, where he went 5-2 and struck out 72 batters with a 1.40 ERA over 51.1 innings pitched. He’s always had a knack for striking hitters out, as Nelson whiffed 98 batters in his freshman year. This will be an intriguing signee if he decides to sign with the organization.
32. Jason Reynolds, RHP, Lehigh
A three-year starter for Lehigh, Reynolds saw his draft stock rise after a competitive career with the Mountain Hawks. The 6-foot-3 right-hander posted impressive freshman and sophomore campaigns, and while his junior season was not extraordinary, his track record solidifies him as an interesting draft prospect. Reynolds still has one year left of eligibility and it’s possible that he returns to Lehigh for his final season.
33. Keegan Pulford-Thorpe, LHP, Newmarket HS (ON)
The number-one pitcher in the Ontario Province, Pulford-Thorpe stands at 6-foot-4 and is physically mature for his age. His fastball has touched 91 mph, with a curveball that sits between 73-76 mph and a changeup that plays at 75-77 mph. While his velocity isn’t overpowering for someone at his size, there is still room for him to fill out as he is only 18 years old. His commitment to Central Florida might stand in the way of him signing with the Padres, but this could certainly be a prospect to monitor if he does indeed sign.
34. Bryant Salgado, RHP, San Jacinto College North (TX)
A one-year player from the JUCO ranks, Salgado was the 70th ranked player in Texas for his 2018 graduating class. He’s primarily a two-pitch pitcher, with his fastball ranging between 92-94 and a curveball that sits 79-81 mph. Salgado still has another year of JUCO eligibility, so it could be almost guaranteed that he will not sign with the team.
35. Keegan Collett, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast University (FL)
A JUCO transfer, Collett struggled in his first full season at Florida Gulf Coast University. He appeared in 17 games and posted an ERA of 6.00 while walking almost as many batters as he struck out. His 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame is intriguing, and he is more of a raw prospect that needs some seasoning. It’s possible he returns for his senior season at Florida Gulf Coast.
36. Isaiah Bennett, RHP, Pine Forest HS (NC)
The number three overall player in North Carolina, Bennett is an extremely athletic right-handed pitcher with high upside. His fastball will typically sit between 89-91 mph and touches 92-93 mph occasionally. He throws a changeup that plays at 77-78 mph and a slider that ranges between 74-76 mph (the velocity is very low on this pitch and may eventually turn into a curveball). Bennett is committed to North Carolina, and it would be a shock if he signs with the Padres.
37. Owen Cobb, SS, Garfield HS (WA)
A Stanford commit, Cobb is an above-average athlete with the natural defensive instincts to stick at shortstop in the long-term. Offensively, he’s a fairly raw hitter that needs to refine some of the smaller parts of his game to become a well-rounded offensive threat truly. He will almost certainly honor his commitment to Stanford.
38. Cole Roberts, SS, Santa Fe Christian School (CA)
The son of current Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts, Cole Roberts is a 5-foot-9 right-handed hitting shortstop that is committed to play for Loyola Marymount University next season. He should honor that commitment and will likely not sign with the Padres.
39. Dylan Hoffman, LHP, Waldorf Col (IA)
A four-year senior from a small NAIA school, Hoffman is a 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher with physical upside. He is the nephew of Padres’ Hall of Fame closer, Trevor Hoffman and the son of Padres’ third base coach Glenn Hoffman.
40. Koty Fallon, RHP, Western Oregon University (OR)
Fallon worked exclusively out of the bullpen in his senior season, where he made 12 appearances with a team-best 0.66 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 13.2 innings. With no college eligibility left, Fallon will likely sign with the Padres.
Diego works at Prep Baseball Report as an Area Scout in Illinois and Missouri. He graduated this spring with a Bachelor Degree in Communications and played four years of college baseball, logging nearly 50 innings of work in a relief role. Diego hopes to work in an MLB front office one day and has been a Padres fan since he was six years old.