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Padres Draft History: The barren wasteland of 1996


The Padres have had some turdy drafts over the years -- far more misses than hits -- but 1996 takes the crapcake. Out of the 40 players selected by the club that year, only two eventually reached the majors. Even worse, one of those was a wasted pick. Fifteenth-round selection Steve Watkins declined to sign and opted for college; he eventually signed with the Padres when they drafted him again in 1998, this time in the sixteenth round.

The one player who did sign with the team that year and go on to reach the majors was Jason Middlebrook, the Padres' ninth-round pick. Those eight swings-and-misses atop the board are a franchise record for draft futility, and Middlebrook did little to cushion that indignity; in 24 career games he pitched at exactly replacement level.

Only one of the first eight picks made it past AA, with most not getting that far and fifth pick Brian Loyd only getting the chance to flop in AAA thanks to being a catcher. Fortunately for us, the front office responsible for this abysmal series of selections is long gone, and the guys who took the place of the guys who took the place of those guys are well-regarded when it comes to amateur scouting and drafting. Even if they were the worst in baseball, there is little-to-no way they could pinch off a worse string of picks than rookie GM Kevin Towers and his inner circle grunted out eighteen years ago.