The San Diego Padres added speed and power by selecting high school shortstop CJ Abrams with the sixth pick in Monday’s 2019 MLB Draft.
The San Diego Padres went on the offensive in the 2019 MLB Draft, choosing the blazingly fast CJ Abrams with their sole first round pick.
MLB experts had projected that the Friars would pick Abrams, described as “the fastest player in the Draft.” He also has an arm speed of up to 91 miles an hour, which would give San Diego some excellent defensive firepower.
At the plate, the Georgia native hit .431 in his senior season at Blessed Trinity High School.
Abrams is the first non-pitcher drafted by San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller since he became GM in 2014—but assuming the Padres can sign him, would potentially address several of the issues that have plagued the club.
Offense has often been a problem for the Friars, particularly when it comes to being able to move runners along. The team managed just eight hits in two games against the Miami Marlins over the weekend.
Only three of Abrams’ hits this season were home runs, so he’s clearly got the ability to do more than just hit the long ball. His fielding speed will also be a plus, giving the Padres a weapon in the defensive sense, too.
The question is what the team will do with him. They made a major investment at shortstop by signing Manny Machado, who’s under contract until 2028. The Padres also have Fernando Tatis Jr., arguably their best young player, and shortstop Owen Miller is coming along well at Double-A Amarillo.
But MLB’s Padres beat writer AJ Cassavell suggests that CJ Abrams has been looked at as a “long-term” center fielder, which could solve San Diego’s problem of figuring out what their outfield will look like. The team has had a plethora of outfielders over the last few years, but haven’t found the breakout star for that part of their roster.
The MLB Draft continues Tuesday and Wednesday. For the latest San Diego Padres draft coverage throughout the 2019 MLB Draft, follow the Draft category at Friars on Base.