San Diego Padres 2017 draft wrap-up

Oct 29, 2015; San Deigo, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller (left) watches as new manager Andy Green speaks to media during a press conference at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 29, 2015; San Deigo, CA, USA; San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller (left) watches as new manager Andy Green speaks to media during a press conference at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

Recapping the mot notable San Diego Padres selections in the 2017 MLB draft, which took place this week. For fans, there is a lot to be optimistic about.

With the 2017 MLB draft now in the rear view mirror, it is time to summarize what the Padres achieved with their 40 rounds worth of picks.

The following are the highlights of the second and third day of the draft, with some notes on some of the players drafted and some of the thought processes involved in drafting for a rebuilding organization.

This year the Friars went heavy with prep athletes and pitchers. Pitchers were selected with 12 of their first 17 picks and they finished with 20 pitchers overall as opposed to 5 catchers, 8 infielders and 8 outfielders selected. beat writer AJ Cassavel quoted general manager AJ Preller in his daily draft pieces. The Padres philosophy is to draft the best player available without regard to high school or college or position. Preller acknowledged this was a pitcher heavy draft as far as high upside talent was concerned. For those concerned that the organization does not have enough talented position players, you may have a point. But we all need to remember that talented pitchers can fetch quality position players in return when traded.

Related Story: A closer look at Mackenzie Gore

Interesting draftees from day two include 3rd rounder Mason House, a switch hitting prep outfielder who they feel will supply speed and some power and could stick in center field.

5th rounder Jonny Homza,  a high school third baseman out of Alaska who they feel has high upside and who didn’t get noticed much due to the isolated corner of the country he plays in. He did tour outside of Alaska and the Padres gambled on his ability and development.

Shortstop Olivier Basabe was picked in the 8th round and scouts feel he might be able to stick at short or could be moved to second base as a major leaguer.

Related Story: Pitching a priority in first ten rounds

The second day of the draft ended with the 10th round and began again on Wednesday with round 11. With the 15th round pick  the Padres selected Cole Bellinger, who is the younger brother of the Dodgers rookie 1B Cody Bellinger. Cole is a right handed starting pitcher out of Hamilton high school and both were scouted by Logan White, former Dodger and current Padre scouting guru.

Related Story: Dodger standout Cody Bellinger's brother selected by Padres

One of the gambles of the draft is 26th round pick Daniel Cabrera, a high school lefty center fielder who is highly regarded but was undrafted earlier due to his strong commitment to LSU. He was the 55th rated prospect in the country according to MLB Pipeline and would have gone much earlier if he hadn’t unequivocally stated his desire to go to college. It will be a challenge for the Friars to change his mind.

Many of the pitchers drafted by the Padres have intriguing upside and potential high expectations. Unfortunately the reality is that many of them will not develop as hoped and there will be those lost to injury or lack of mental development in the long run. The high risk, high reward adage turns out to be a no reward proposition for many of these players.

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Overall, with all the young high upside but high risk players picked by the Padres, it is not a stretch to see that this organization is trying to fulfill Preller’s philosophy of building a system that supplies wave after wave of controllable talent to the major league team.

1st round pick MacKenzie Gore projects as a front of the rotation, dominant pitcher in the future. He could join Anderson Espinoza, Adrian Morejon, Joey Lucchesi, Cal Quantril and Jacob Nix as contenders for long term rotation pieces starting in the near future and stretching over the next decade. Any of them could also be trade pieces to stock positions of need on the diamond. There are several more quality starters below these players who can fill out a rotation.

Next: Off day notes, injury updates

If a decent percentage of these athletes make it to the major leagues it should supply the Friars with quality major leaguers and/or trade pieces for many years to come.

At least that is the hope. Now we just need the patience to see if that is how it actually turns out.