The Padres tapped Mississippi State first baseman Connor Powers with their 21st round pick this year.
Powers, 22, is a power guy who launched 16 homers this year, batting .379/.483/.686. A disciplined hitter, he walked more times (41) than he struck out (38), no mean feat against some of the top college competition around.
Powers is a big guy who is likely anchored to first base in pro ball, particularly on a team with a stadium with a huge outfield like the Padres. He does have soft hands at first, and made just four errors in 2010, fielding at a .992 clip.
Again, it’s tough to argue with getting big numbers producers late in the draft. You figure they’re doing something right, and even if scouts don’t love them, there’s a decent chance that every so often, one keeps adjusting his skill set in pro ball and proves his doubters wrong. The Padres need look no further than Cody Decker (22nd round in 2009) and Vince Belnome (28th round in 2009) to see this.
With Powers and Wes Cunningham (17th round), the Padres took two college bats with enough polish to step in to a full-season league right away–rarely does one see that this late in the draft.