San Diego Padres prioritize offense on day one of 2019 MLB Draft

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The San Diego Padres had an impressive first day at the 2019 MLB Draft, going for offense with their first two picks and getting a versatile catcher.

The San Diego Padres directly addressed their most glaring needs on the first day of the 2019 MLB Draft, using their initial three picks on offensive players with the potential to play more than one position.

With their sole first round pick, the team broke its recent streak of selecting pitchers and instead chose shortstop CJ Abrams from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Georgia. Abrams had the potential of going as high as number three, so A.J. Preller got a steal when he was available with the sixth pick.

The selection combats weaknesses in the Padres’ current offense. The team lacks a true leadoff hitter, is prone to strikeouts, and is overly loaded with right-hand hitters. Should they be able to get on base, San Diego’s baserunning is slow and lacks discipline.

But what they can’t do, Abrams can. Scouting reports claim that he possesses elite-level speed, as well as good footwork and bat control. While he’s not a power hitter (only three home runs last season), he adds depth to a batting order that has mastered the homer but not anything else.

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Abrams can also play shortstop, second base and center field, giving the team a wide variety of ways to get his bat into the lineup—or to use him as a trading piece in a future blockbuster deal.

Given that offensive shortstops are hard to find in MLB, a trade with Abrams included might net the Padres another big-name free agent should they choose to deal him down the line.

With the 48th pick in the second round, the San Diego Padres drafted right fielder Joshua Mears out of Federal Way High School in Washington.

Mears is more like the current Padres roster—the East Village Times describes him as a right-handed power hitter—but reportedly has a high baseball IQ. His weight is a concern in some scouting reports, but he could join Franmil Reyes and Manuel Margot to give San Diego a young and powerful outfield that they can build around.

San Diego’s last MLB Draft pick on Monday was catcher Logan Driscoll from George Mason University, whom they snagged at 73rd in the Competitive Balance round. Like Abrams, Driscoll is a multi-position possibility; he can also play in the outfield.

The college junior has hit over .300 in each of his three seasons at George Mason and also had a career high .498 slugging percentage in 2019. He’s another power hitter, but he’s also left-handed, so the Padres picked up two sorely needed left-handed bats with their first three picks.

With their ability to play at multiple spots on the diamond, all three of the San Diego Padres’ initial MLB Draft selections have a wide variety of ways to positively impact the current roster. They can help solve the Friars’ lack of offensive depth and give them weapons both at the plate and on the basepaths, so these are excellent choices for a team that is on the verge of competitive.

The San Diego Padres have two more picks as the 2019 MLB Draft continues Tuesday; you can watch the remaining rounds by clicking the link below.

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For the latest San Diego Padres draft coverage throughout the 2019 MLB Draft, follow the Draft category at Friars on Base.