It’s draft season once again! Time to look back at some of our recent drafts and re-grade them. It’s always fun to play this game.
The 2015 draft hasn’t been as fruitful as others for the Padres. It’s still early, but their best picks came in the 17th and 34th round. Those picks brought them future closer Trey Wingenter and Ty France. Both are getting extensive time with the big league club in 2019.
2 pitchers of note are Jacob Nix and Brett Kennedy. Both made their major league debut in 2018, but neither had success. Both landed back in the minors in 2019 and have yet to pitch due to injuries.
2 (51) -- Austin Smith RHP
Has not risen above A ball. Really struggled with his command over his first 4 Minor League seasons. 2019 has been better, but the 22 year old has not lived up to his potential early on. He has dramatically reduced the amount of walks over the last 2 seasons which is a good sign.
3 (86) -- Jacob Nix RHP
Nix got his shot in the big leagues last year and was hit hard. He gave up 8 HR’s in 42 innings of work. He struck out just 21 while walking 13. Nix was just 22 during his first season. Unfortunately, he has a dreaded UCL injury. He opted to forego Tommy John Surgery and attempt to rehab it. Recent reports have him beginning a throwing program. Nix still has a bright future, but this was a big setback. Rated as the teams #53 prospect.
4 (117) -- Austin Allen C
The 25 year old Allen has absolutely raked in the minors. He’s hit 60 homers over 3 and a half seasons. He recently got called up when Francisco Mejia went down. His minor league success hasn’t transferred to the show. He’s hit .158 during that time. It’s possible the team sees him as the #2 catcher behind Austin Hedges. There is still questions on whether Mejia is the long term fit. As as of right now, he’s the #2 or #3 catcher bouncing back and forth between AAA. Rated as the teams #20 prospect.
5 (147) -- Josh Magee CF
Magee never rose above A ball. He simply couldn’t hit. Another early pick out of High School that didn’t pan out. He was out of baseball after 2017.
6 (177) -- Jordan Guerrero RHP
Guerrero has primarily been used as a reliever since being drafted. Over the last few seasons, he’s progressed well. The 22 year old started 2019 in High A Lake Elsinore and has had moderate success. He’s improved his control tremendously, while averaging 9.5 SO’s per 9 IP. He’ll be one to keep our eye on. Possible 2021 arrival.
7 (207) -- Trevor Megill RHP
With the way Megill has thrown over his career, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a Padres uniform later this year. He’s had success at every level in the minors, and just got called up to AAA El Paso. He’s averaging 12 SO’s per 9 IP and just 2.4 walks. The 25 year old will likely get called up in September if he continues pitching this way.
8 (237) -- Aldemar Burgos CF
Burgos is talented but just hasn’t hit. He doesn’t hit for power, average nor is he particularly fast. He is just 21, but he was recently assigned back to rookie ball. He split time between Fort Wayne and Tri-City last year where there was subtle improvement. This is a big year for him to show he belongs. The jury is still out.
8 (267) -- Jerry Keel LHP
Keel has been used as a starter most of his career. The 25 year old is in AAA El Paso where he’s 4-1. His ERA is a bloated 5.34. Going into his 4th full season, his career ERA is 4.17. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this year goes. At this point, he’s a fringe major league prospect. He’ll need to make drastic improvements over the next year or two to get a shot.
10 (297) -- Justin Pacchioli CF
Never rose above Low A ball. He landed with the Red Sox in 2017, but eventually moved on to play with the Independent league Somerset Patriots. He still plays there today.
11 (327) -- Brett Kennedy RHP
Kennedy rose very quickly through the minors. After starting 10-0 in 2018, he made his big league debut. After a really rough start, he had a few good outings including a 7-0 win over the Rockies where he threw 6 shutout innings. Other than that, he struggled with his command. He walked 12 and struck out 18. He is currently on the 60 day IL with arm fatigue. The organization still believes in Kennedy, but he looks destined to be a bullpen arm in the future.
Other Notable picks
Brad Zunica 1B 15th round #43 prospect
Trey Wingenter RHP 17th round #31 prospect
Phil Maton RHP 20th round
Ty France INF 34th round #29 prospect
It’s really interesting to see that 6 draftees have seen time with the Padres. It’s even more interesting to see later round picks getting to the show. That’s the good news. The bad news is only Trey Wingenter has had a major impact. He’s a back end bullpen arm. The rest have been so-so. France and Allen look like they belong long term, but the others still have a lot to prove. The Padres have been open about how they intend to draft moving forward. They want future MVP’s, not fringe major leaguers and role players. We respect and appreciate that. Unfortunately this draft class has several of those. Ownership is demanding a higher standard, so we’ll hold them to it.