The 2018 MLB Draft is finally over. Who are the five names San Diego Padres fans should keep an eye on as they begin their development within the system?
Forty rounds later, the 2018 Major League Baseball draft is complete. A few of these players selected by the San Diego Padres won’t sign, while a few will fizzle out of baseball after a year or two. Only a very small handful of these recent draft picks will climb their way through the farm system and step foot on a Major League Baseball field.
With that in mind, let’s highlight five players fans should keep an eye on as they work their way through the Padres farm system. First-round pick Ryan Weathers will not be on this list. He is an obvious must-follow.
5) SS Owen Miller, Illinois State
Miller, the Padres 3rd round pick (84th overall), broke the Illinois State University single-season hits record after recording 88 this season. He is a career .345 hitter with 57 doubles to his name.
Miller drew only 18 walks this past year, however, he struck out just 23 times. He has a decent hit-tool and success with a wooden bat. According to Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune, when Miller worked out at Petco Park, he hit a home run to centerfield. Reports project a possibility for 10 home runs a season if he bulks up. Miller hit .384 with a .433 on-base percentage at Illinois State this year.
A three-sport star in high school (football, basketball, baseball), Miller stands at six feet and 195 pounds. Baseball America grades the infielder with plus-speed and above-average range and hands. Some reports say he can stick at shortstop, most believe he will have to move to second base down the road.
While the Padres seemed to reach for Miller, experienced college middle infielders with above-average defense are great organizational depth guys to have on your roster. When injuries begin piling up in the dog-days of summer, Miller is the type of guy you need to help stop the bleeding, even if only momentarily.