With their seventh-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, the Padres did the same thing as they did in the sixth round–they selected a high-school righty with high-octane stuff and some signability issues.
A.J. Vanegas is a California high school righthander. He’s 17 years old and throws a 91-94 mph fastball, solid curve, and a changeup that projects to be solid as well.
Vanegas is committed to Stanford, which is usually a tough commitment to break, as Stanford not only offers a baseball program rich in tradition–it also offers one of the top academic programs in the country, making the experience as a whole very difficult to pass up.
Vanegas has good command of all of his pitches, although he’s not physically imposing or projectable. He’s listed at 6’3″ 205, but looks more like 6’1″ 195 on the mound. Vanegas’ mechanics are okay, although he could stand to improve his finish, a la first-rounder Karsten Whitson.
Between sixth-rounder John Barbato and Vanegas, the Padres should at least be able to sign one. Both are guys who deserve to go higher on talent alone, but dropped due to signability, so getting even one would be fantastic for the future of the Padres pitching staff.