San Diego Padres: 2017 draft preview

Dec 10, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager AJ Preller takes in a game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and San Diego State Aztecs during the second half at Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager AJ Preller takes in a game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and San Diego State Aztecs during the second half at Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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The draft is approaching, meaning that it is time for the San Diego Padres to examine some of the top players in contention to be selected.

There is great excitement and anticipation for the first day of the 2017 First Year Player Draft on June 12. There does not seem to be any disagreement on the top three players to be drafted but the order in which they will be drafted has been the topic of discussion for weeks. Two of the top three players are legitimate two way performers. And the disagreements are rampant as to which way these two players will be asked to perform.

As the San Diego Padres have the third pick in this years draft, they will be one of the lucky teams to get one of these athletes. There is no clear consensus as to which order they will be selected and there is always the chance that a dark horse will rise up the ranks and be drafted before all three are taken.

Following is the scouting reports for the top players as well as some guesses from some of the top analysts regarding who will draft them and in what capacity they will be drafted.

Hunter Greene

RHP/SS, 17y/o, Notre Dame HS,  6-3, 205 lbs. Commitment to UCLA.

This young athlete is considered a legitimate 5 tool player at shortstop or a possible top of the rotation starter if pitching. He has off the chart athleticism as well as a powerful right arm. He projects  for plus command with a fast ball that reaches  100 mph as well as a slider and curve ball. He is a smooth athlete at short with a plus plus arm, good glove and potential plus plus power.

Selecting a high school athlete is always a risk and many teams prefer more polished college athletes so where he will go in the draft is still being hotly debated. Slipping below the third pick would be a shock and I will be very surprised if he is still there for the Padres when they pick.

Kyle Wright

RHP,  21 y/o out of Vanderbilt University,  6-4, 220 lbs.

Wright possesses a low to mid 90’s fastball that touches 97 with movement, a plus curve, a mid 80’s slider and an acceptable changeup. He has ace caliber stuff with command. He is by far the most polished of the college level pitchers available in the draft.

Wright has been projected to go first in the draft by Bleacher Report, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com and John Manuel of Baseball America. He is also projected to be a quick mover through the minors.

Brendan McKay

1B/ LHP,  21 y/o out of Louisville, 6-2, 212 lbs

Drafted by the Padres in the 2014 draft out of high school though he always made it clear he would go to college, McKay is the other two way player ranked to go high in the draft. As opposed to Greene, he is a college prospect with more polished skills. As a pitcher he has a low 90’s fastball, a plus curve, a cutter and a change with plus command. As a position player he is first base only but with plus raw power and can hit for a high average with a potential for over .300  as a hitter and 20 home runs per season.

McKay seems to have fluctuated the most in the mock drafts during this draft season. He has appeared as high as the first pick and a slow as the fifth pick.

MacKenzie Gore

LHP, 18 y/o out of Whiteville HS  (NC), 6-2, 180 lbs with a commitment to East Carolina.

Gore has a mid 90’s fastball with movement, a plus curve and slider and a projectible changeup giving him a legitimate four pitch mix. He possesses plus command and is felt to be a top of the rotation prospect.

Gore’s stock has risen in recent weeks with some projections having him go to the Padres at pick number 3. (Bleacher Report)

Royce Lewis

SS/CF,  R/R, 18 y/o out of Junipero Serra HS (CA), with a  commitment to UCI.

Lewis possesses plus plus speed with the potential for premium defense at either shortstop or center field. The question remains which position suits him best and that will likely be answered as he plays through his minor league levels. He projects to hit for average and could develop power as he matures. Another question is which place best suits his arm strength and my guess is that with these many questions about his skills he will most likely become a quality center fielder.

Of the many mock drafts available, the consensus seems that the Padres will end up with either Lewis or Gore. Only John Manuel of Baseball America has Wright going to the Twins, followed by McKay going to the  Reds and the Padres getting Greene at the third pick.

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Bleacher Report, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com and Keith Law of ESPN all have Wright going first followed by Greene and then either Lewis or Gore to the Pads.

The top of this draft class possesses many elite athletes with tremendous potential as major league baseball players. The Padres draft third in the first round with a slot  value of $6,668,100. A 2nd round pick at 39 with a slot value of $1,760,700 and a compensatory pick at 69 with a slot of 858,000. In the third round they pick 78 with a $732,200 value and then every 30 picks thereafter for a total of 40 rounds.

Next: Padres week #9 recap

The first round will be carried live June 12 on MLB Network and the rest of the rounds on June 13 and 14 on MLB.com.

Scouting reports and mock draft listings can be found by looking on MLB.com, Bleacher Report, Baseball America and ESPN.

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