“All ceiling, raw potential” - Jonathan Mayo
I captured that quote from the MLB.com and MLB Network prospect analyst Mayo during the draft broadcast because it seemed to sum up what the Padres were probably thinking with the 71st overall pick in the draft. The Padres used that pick on Victor Valley High School (CA) pitcher Reggie Lawson.
MLB.com gives this description:
After Lawson, a tall, projectable and athletic right-hander, pitched extremely well over the course of the summer showcase circuit, scouts were excited to see what kind of progress he would show this spring. Instead, they've largely been disappointed, as Lawson's stuff has backed up and then a side injury sidelined him for much of the spring. In the summer, Lawson was touching 94 mph with his fastball and showed good improvement with his breaking ball. He hasn't had the step forward in velocity many hoped to see and his secondary stuff taken a step backward. He'll throw a decent breaking ball now and again, but it's often too slow at 71-73 mph. He is still throwing strikes, however, and his athleticism, strong frame and easy arm action are still impressive. While it's been a bit of a struggle for the right-hander, the Arizona State commit still has shown glimpses of the power stuff at times.
What some of that tells us is that the Padres likely feel like they got a bit of a steal here. That because of Lawson’s injury woes this year, the Friars were able to draft a player who, if healthy, would have gone much higher. Ceiling and potential is what also drew the Padres to the 51st selection in last year’s draft of Austin Smith and it would seem that’s the kind of pitcher the Padres look for in this area of the draft.
Here’s some video of Lawson courtesy of YouTube and Baseball America:
Check out our MLB Draft 2016 primer for information on following this year’s Draft, and join the conversation in our MLB Draft 2016 Day One Open Thread.