With their sixth-round selection (184th overall), the Padres took John Barbato, a right-handed pitcher out of a Florida high school.
Barbato turns 18 next month, so he’s a very young draftee.
He’s got exciting stuff, starting with a low-90’s moving fastball. Like first-round high school righty Karsten Whitson, Barbato offers two fairly advanced offspeed pitches for a high schooler, including an already-average changeup.
The problem? Also like Whitson, Barbato has a commitment to Florida, and it’ll be tough to buy him out of that. Obviously, given Whitson’s draft status and the amount of money typically given to top-10 overall picks, there will be more of a budget to sign him than Barbato.
Then again, would the Padres spent a fairly high pick on Barbato if they didn’t think they had a shot at signing him? He’s at least a second-round talent, so getting him in the system would be huge.
Barbato’s selection is the third high-upside righty already, and the Padres have made some good calls on position players thus far as well. If Barbato signs, this could be a tremendous first draft for Jed Hoyer and Co.