Allen Cordoba, SS, 2B, 3B
The actual player the Padres selected in the draft was former St. Louis Cardinal prospect Allen Cordoba. As the third overall pick, the front office and scouting team clearly did a lot of research on the 21-year-old.
After spending four years in the rookie leagues, Cordoba will now have a spot on the 40-man roster. This is quite an epic promotion. Obviously, the Padres felt that they really needed another infielder, and that the Panama native could handle the jump.
Hitting .309 and striking out just 109 times in 869 plate appearances reveals that Cordoba is a contact hitter. Also, with 52 stolen bases, the speedster can provide a spark in the running game that San Diego has been missing the past few seasons.
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Whether or not the versatile infielder will play a whole lot though during the season is a legitimate question. He figures to play the role of Alexi Amarista, who was non-tendered and is now a free agent. But for a utility infielder utilized mostly for defensive purposes, Cordoba is not a very good defensive player. Committing 60 errors in 1310 career innings, the youngster earned himself an alarming .946 fielding percentage.
It seems that San Diego is hoping for a surprise year from Cordoba that will put him in the mix to play shortstop in the long term. They are hoping that his promising bat and blazing speed will translate to the major league level, and that they can work on his glove to reduce his errors.
Whether or not Cordoba will end up working out will not be known until long after the season gets underway. But with the way the roster was constructed when the winter meetings began, the Padres had no choice but to pursue a middle infielder in some form. Doing this through the Rule 5 draft was certainly the cheapest way, as the team did not have to give up anything. Now, San Diego hopes to be rewarded for their investment in these young and talented additions.