Jun 4, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel and other team rookies react while they are introduced before a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
With the 837th pick of the 2014 MLB Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M. Oh wait, sorry, that was the San Diego Padres.
Well folks, they say that there’s no reason to care about the later rounds of the MLB First Year Players Draft, but the Padres wanted to change that mentality, when they selected the former star QB of Texas A&M, who is apparently also a shortstop according to the Padres.
In case you’ve been hibernating for the 2014 season so far, I’ll catch you up, the Padres are not very good. Their offense is ranked last in baseball in almost every meaningful category and there pitching, minus their bullpen, has been snake-bitten by injuries and inconsistency.
While the draft has far and away the most rounds out of any major sport, it seems kind of foolish to pick a guy who did not play a single inning of college baseball, and is fully committed to the Browns.
From a marketing stand point, this pick was a slam dunk, most fans don’t even know there is a 28th round in the MLB draft, but everyone knows Johnny Manziel. This is a simple yet incredibly desperate measure to receive headlines for a team that hasn’t created many good ones throughout the season.
Your stud 2B, Jedd Gyorko, who you just signed to a big extension, is hitting .162, you wasted $8 million on Josh Johnson, who will not throw a single pitch this season, and Alexi Amarista still somehow has a uniform, but hey at least we have Johnny Manziel!
I think that Josh Byrnes deserves a lot of credit for what he was able to do early in the draft, Trea Turner and Michael Gettys, were great upside picks and definitely have a chance to impact the club in a positive way in the future, but this is a mistake.
For the Padres fans who actually care about the well-being of the team, this pick has to make you furious. They don’t want to see your GM take a guy who may show up to Spring Training and get you on ESPN for a little bit. They want to see the GM do his homework and take a guy who will be able to make an impact in the future.
Now let’s take a step back from the ripping of Josh Byrnes and look at the logistics behind this pick. If you are not aware, Johnny Manziel does have a history with the Padres. After his amazing 2012 Heisman campaign he was invited to Petco Park to throw out a first pitch.
One would have to assume that before that pitch was thrown, he got to know a few of the Padres executives, and took a little batting practice with the team. Whatever Manziel did when he talked to the front office and took batting practice, he impressed them enough to use a draft pick on him.
To the Padres’ credit, Manziel is regarded as having one of the most passionate attitudes towards winning, something the team is definitely lacking, but does that carry over from football to baseball?
It’s not uncommon to see football players taken in the draft, but most of the time they are dual-sport athletes in college, that is not the case for Manziel. This is not the first time the Padres have made a draft pick like this. In 2012, the Padres selected QB Terrance Jones from Toledo, who also hadn’t played since high school, but that was in the 40th round, not the 28th.
It makes you wonder, since the Padres didn’t select him in the last round, does that mean another team was going to take him? Or were they really just that desperate to make a splash.
Either way, this is yet another questionable move made by the front office, and is the kind of move that winning teams don’t make. It’s not like you see the Cardinals going out and making a pick like that, they take every pick as seriously as the one before it.
Josh Byrnes, it’s time to face the music.