For teams not participating in baseball’s 2016 postseason, preparation for next season has already begun a day after the regular season concluded. For the San Diego Padres, much improvement must be made for the organization to be where they want to be. This begins, as usual in any professional sport, with the league’s official draft.
As MLB team records for the 2016 regular season have been finalized, the draft order for 2017 has been released. Since the Padres finished with the third fewest wins, they will pick third when the draft commences in June.
For a team which has struggled to win consistently the past few seasons, opportunities to improve for the long run are always welcomed. In past years, the Padres have used baseball’s draft as an opportunity to develop talent that will find its way to the major league level in years to come. These prospects are also often used as bargaining chips which eventually benefit the major league ball club immensely.
In the past, San Diego has used a premier position in the MLB draft to acquire talent which served as a great benefit to the organization in the long run. Though he never panned out as a Padre, 2004 first overall pick Matt Bush was one example of this. Bush came out of a local high school, and had off-field troubles. Originally selected as a shortstop, Bush converted to become a pitcher instead, and eventually turned his career around. Currently, Bush plays a critical role in the bullpen of the Texas Rangers, the top seed in the American League and legitimate World Series contenders.
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Other notable players selected by the Padres in the first round of past drafts are Logan Forsythe and Trea Turner. Though not with the Padres currently, these players further prove just how much of an opportunity the draft is.
Furthermore, the 13th overall pick out of Mississippi State in the 2013 draft is now beginning to make an impression at the major league level. The name Hunter Renfroe may not have meant a whole lot to San Diego fans at the time he was drafted, but it certainly does now, and there’s a good chance Renfroe could have a very successful career in San Diego.
Many times, the draft will be overlooked by fans and even the media. But as these examples show, the picks will have an impact on the organization, even if it is rarely immediate. This is precisely why having the third overall pick in 2017’s draft is significant, even if the extent to which it will benefit the Padres is still unknown.
As the offseason progresses, Friars on Base will examine possible draft picks for the Padres as they are in position to draft a young player with loads of potential.