With the 2016 MLB Draft on the horizon, there's been plenty of scouting talk during Padres programming lately. Today on the Padres Live pregame show on Fox Sports San Diego, hosts Mike Pomeranz and Clay Hensley welcomed Don Welke as their guest to chat about the upcoming draft.
In case you don't know, Welke is the Padres' Vice President of Scouting. He's also a national treasure, and if you ever get a chance to be in his presence you should call yourself lucky. Coach Welke, as he is lovingly called by many, answered some questions from Pomeranz and Hensley. Here are some notes I took, in bullet form:
- Welke has been involved in 30-something drafts over the course of his career, and it never gets old for him. "I've been around a long time and it's still as enjoyable as it ever was."
- He thinks the Padres have a real opportunity to seize in this particular draft, compared to previous drafts, because they have so many early picks (six on the first day alone).
- Pitching dominates almost every draft with pitchers making up about 3/4 of the potential picks. But he says there are some "special" position players this year.
- On Padres' historical inability to draft well and whether that put any extra pressure on him: He doesn't feel any extra pressure; he just feels anxious to show what this group of scouts can do.
- He's seen more recently a trend towards being more careful with high school pitchers. Lately guys have been starting at younger ages and we've seen a lot more injuries.
- On background checks and how much weight is put on a player's off-the-field background (family, school, etc.): When it comes to scouting and looking at players, ability comes first and secondly is character and makeup. But "character and makeup carry ability." He likes guys who have a baseball upbringing and have a history with the game.
- He hopes everyone tunes in tomorrow!
If you're wondering how to follow along with the draft, we've got everything you need to know here. We'll also be putting up open threads for you to discuss all things Padres Draft with your fellow Gaslamp Ballers.