Now that all the chips have fallen with yesterday's 2011 Draft Pick Signing Deadline, we can now actually perform an initial evaluation of the draft class. In particular, I want to examine Jed Hoyer's repeated mantra:
I want to build from within.
And from early indications, the team did just that. In what I consider to be the most promising move of this young ownership, the Padres shelled out more than $10 MM in signing bonuses to their 2011 draft picks. Albeit, whether the $1.8 MM spent on Spangenberg should count is dubious, as the pick is compensatory for failing to sign last year's selection. Before I break down the Padres first six selections, I think it's important to put the total draft class in the proper context.
|Team||Total Signing Bonuses*|
* - From perfectgame.org
From this -- the most important context in which we may place the draft -- it certainly appears like the Padres mean business.
Pick 1.10 - Cory Spangenberg - 2B (projected) - L/R : ...
Hailed as a safe pick, as many outlets had him as a late-first to supplemental pick, and confirmed by his early signing ($1.86 MM), Spangenberg is sort-of a ho-hum pick. No report I've seen so far predicts this guy will hit for power at the major league level and several things I have read question his ability to be a plus defender anywhere on the diamond at the major league level. Still, with an alleged 3.47 home-to-first time on a drag bunt this last summer, a reputation as a solid line-drive hitter, demonstrated ability with a wooden bat, and relative proximity to the MLB roster, Spangenberg isn't necessarily a poor selection. Once you factor in the fact that the Padres stood to lose the slot if they failed to sign their draft pick again (ala Karsten Whitson in 2010), coupled with four high school selections by the end of the second round, it becomes apparent that the Padres could afford to play it safe with their first selection.
The (far too) early returns on Spangenberg have been mixed. After exercising a Zeus-ian command of the strike-zone in Eugene, Cory has regressed considerably at Fort Wayne, dropping from a 31/15 BB/K ratio to 7/22. However, given that he's only 20, is playing a new (old) position, and has only ever played JuCo ball, Spangenberg's Fort Wayne line isn't anything to be overly concerned about. At this point, he has neither exceeded nor failed to meet expectations.
Pick 1.25 - Joe Ross - RHP...
Read the rest here: Padres 2011 Draft Overview