With their first-round pick of the 2018 MLB draft, the San Diego Padres selected another left-handed prep pitcher.
The San Diego Padres sure do love their high-upside prep pitchers. For the second straight year, the Padres selected a left-handed high school pitcher with their first pick in the draft. LHP Ryan Weathers out of Loretto High School in Tennessee joins the number one ranked farm system in Major League Baseball, bringing with him an enormously high baseball IQ and pro-ball pedigree.
A Tennessee Player of the Year, Weathers credits his dad, former major leaguer Dave Weathers, with helping him develop. Weathers proclaimed that as a child, he refused to go with the other children while at the spring training complex, instead, choosing to hang out with his dad and other players out on the practice field.
According to the interview (you can read the full piece with the link above), Weathers has been focusing on the weight room and the mental side of the game as he prepares to enter into the professional ranks.
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Standing at 6’2″ and 200 pounds, Weathers is a big, athletic left-handed pitcher that projects as a front-end starter on a major league team. Armed with a fastball that currently sits between 90-93 mph, as you watch Weathers pitch you see a lot of projection left in his large frame. Although he is not concerned about adding velocity, a few different reports believe his fastball could eventually sit at 95 mph.
Unlike most high school pitchers, Weathers used his changeup often against prep competition. His best pitch may be his big, bendy curveball. You can get a good feel for his pitches with this video from Team USA U-18 competition.
Weathers is committed to Vanderbilt University, however, the Padres should not expect any troubles in signing him. Numerous outlets believe he is the most polished and well-rounded pitcher of any of the high school arms in this year’s draft, including Matthew Liberatore.
With plus-command of three pitches, Weathers joins an unbelievable amount of left-handed pitching depth within the San Diego Padres organization. The organization can afford to be patient with the 18-year-old with MacKenzie Gore, Adrian Morejon, and Logan Allen also pitching from the left side.
Weathers was the Gatorade National Player of the Year, as was last year’s first-round pick of the Padres, MacKenzie Gore.