San Diego Padres: Latest mock draft has team taking UCLA outfielder

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

With the MLB Draft approaching, the San Diego Padres hold the eighth overall pick. The latest mock draft has them taking Garrett Mitchell from UCLA.

Deep into their rebuild, the San Diego Padres’ first-round picks have consisted of three consecutive high school players. MacKenzie Gore, taken in the 2017 draft, is one of baseball’s best pitching prospects and is anticipated to contribute in some fashion at the big league level this year.

Ryan Weathers, in 2018, posted a 3.84 ERA in 22 starts last for Single-A Fort Wayne. And CJ Abrams, in 2019, is still just 19 years old, and he spent all of last year playing Rookie Ball. In 32 games, he posted a .401/.442/662 line and played the final two games at Single-A.

Now on the cusp of being competitive for the next decade, I think it makes some sense to draft a player who is ready to contribute within the next couple of seasons. As it turns out, the guys at Draft Site have the Padres taking Garrett Mitchell from UCLA with the eighth overall pick.

Mitchell posted a .349/.418/.566 line with 14 doubles, 12 triples, six home runs, and 41 RBI in 62 games. He also displayed quite a bit of speed on the base paths, swiping 18 bags as well. Personally, I’m a big fan of college players who have performed well in summer wood-bat leagues.

In 2018, he played for Mankato of the Northwoods League and posted a .328 batting with 21 RBI in 35 games. He was off to a terrific start in his junior year with a .355/.424/.484 line with six doubles, one triple, and nine RBI in the first 15 games.

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Scouts aren’t high on his arm strength from centerfield and posted a .970 fielding percentage in 15 games there. He could slide over to one of the corner outfield spots if his arm doesn’t develop as he physically matures.