The San Diego Padres’ second day of the 2019 MLB Draft saw them revert to their usual blueprint, with the team adding seven new pitchers.
Until Monday, the San Diego Padres had always selected a pitcher in the first round of the MLB Draft. Apparently they were just saving that preference for later, as the team chose seven arms with seven straight draft picks on Tuesday.
San Diego started by picking yet another power-hitting outfielder in the third round. The team had already picked up a few power hitters in Monday’s first round, then picked center fielder Hudson Head from Texas’ Winston Churchill High School.
Head is a two-sport athlete who also plays football, so there’s the possibility he could also wind up being courted by the NFL. But he hit .615 this season, and according to MLB.com, his college baseball coach insists that “his baseball IQ is through the roof.”
After Head, though, A.J. Preller and company went back to their modus operandi of looking for fresh arms. The remainder of Tuesday’s draftees were all pitchers.
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They picked Matt Brash (RHP) in the fourth round, Chris Lincoln (RHP) in the fifth, Drake Fellows (RHP) in the sixth, Connor Lehmann (RHP) in the seventh, Andrew Mitchel (LHP) in the eighth, Jason Blanchard (LHP) in the ninth and Ethan Elliott (LHP) in the tenth round.
Most of them are college pitchers, and like many later-round picks (and many Padres picks), some have significant issues to work out in order to be Major League Baseball material.
Lincoln and Brash could help shore up the shaky Padres bullpen, according to MLB.com‘s early report, but Lehmann has already had Tommy John surgery (in 2016) and Mitchel has control issues—having walked 58 batters over 84.2 innings in his most recent season at San Jose State.
Pitching has always been the San Diego Padres’ biggest asset, and something the team has ended up leaning into since moving to the expanse of PETCO Park. But there’s no doubt that the quality of the Friars’ arms has declined recently; the team doesn’t have a true number-one starter, and it’s often a struggle for the middle relievers to hold onto a lead long enough to get it to Kirby Yates.
Will any of these pitchers be the answer? And will Head live up to his “power-hitting” expectations or fizzle out like so many other big bats who’ve come to San Diego? There are plenty of questions surrounding these latest MLB Draft picks—but first fans will have to see which of them actually signs with the Padres.
For the latest San Diego Padres draft coverage throughout the 2019 MLB Draft, follow the Draft category at Friars on Base.