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Padres draft Austin Smith, HS RHP 51st overall

After patiently waiting for 50 picks, the Padres take a high school pitcher from Florida.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Padres had to wait until the 51st overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft to make their first selection. With that 2nd round pick they selected a RHP out of Park Vista Community High School in Florida. His name is Austin Smith and he is listed as 6'4" 220 lbs. He was born July 9, 1996, so he is 18 years old, almost 19. The scouting report says the following:

Smith may not be quite as advanced as the other top high school pitching prospects in the 2015 Draft, but he may deliver quality velocity as easily as any of them. He works at 90-92 mph and tops out at 96 while looking like he's just playing catch. He could sit in the mid-90s once he fills out his 6-foot-4 frame and gets more consistent. While his curveball and changeup have a ways to go, Smith has some power and depth to his breaking ball and some fade and deception to his changeup. His athleticism and lack of effort in his delivery bode well for his ability to throw strikes. He's part of the same Park Vista Community program that spawned Trea Turner, who went on to North Carolina State and became the 13th overall pick in the 2014 Draft. Smith has committed to Florida Atlantic.

It's interesting that report contains a Trea Turner mention, who the Padres drafted in the 1st round last year. Make of that what you will.

As I wrote in the article on the Padres minor league depth, the Padres system is stronger with pitching compared to other areas, but after the trading away top pitching prospects Matt Wisler, Joe Ross, Zach Eflin and Max Fried the system is in need of some higher ceiling arms. Usually if you are taking a HS arm this early in the draft it would be considered a higher ceiling one. Obviously he won't be the prospect that Ross or Fried were coming out of the draft (they were first round picks), but maybe something closer to what Eflin was. The report seems to support that. Looks like a solid pick.

Here's the video report on him: