If the San Diego Padres could have a do-over, what would you change about the three draft picks in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft?
Good morning everyone. I hope you all had a nice week despite what is going on. MLB and the MLBPA met to discuss ways of decreasing spending this year given the coronavirus pandemic is going to create a shortened San Diego Padres’ season. And from that meeting, it appears one of the methods selected was a shorter draft.
Typically 40 rounds, June’s draft is currently set to be just five rounds with the potential to increase up to ten rounds. I imagine this will have a substantial impact as high school seniors who were tabbed as being draftable just outside the first five rounds will formally commit to play collegiate baseball for at least a year.
That led me down a wormhole of various draft topics, and most notably, what if the Padres had a chance to re-do their 2016 first-round selections. If you recall, the Friars had the eighth, 24th, and 25th overall picks in the first round, which were used on Cal Quantrill, Hudson Potts, and Eric Lauer, respectively.
Lauer made his major league debut in 2018 and was the team’s Opening Day starter last season. He posted a 4.45 ERA in 30 appearances, including 29 starts, with 138 strikeouts in 149.2 innings. The big lefty also allowed 51 walks and a .268 average. He was dealt, along with infielder Luis Urias, to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Trent Grisham and Zach Davies.
Quantrill made his big league debut last May and posted a 5.16 ERA in 23 appearances, including 18 starts. He fatigued in September, which saw him post a 10.80 ERA, and he was in a battle for the fifth starter spot in the rotation before spring training was shutdown.
And Potts has yet to play above Double-A, playing a combined 129 games in two seasons while batting just .216. He also appears to be without a position as well unless he can navigate through the pack to second base.
8. Matt Manning, P
Manning was one of the better high school pitchers in this draft class. At 22 years of age, he posted a 2.56 ERA in 24 starts with Double-A Erie for the Detroit Tigers’ organization last year. In 133.2 innings, Manning struck out 148 batters while walking just 38 and only allowed seven home runs.
24. Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS
The Padres might have found their everyday second baseman in Kieboom, who is struggling to find a position on the big league roster, four picks later. The Washington Nationals’ top prospect posted a .303/.409/.493 line with 16 home runs and 79 RBI for Triple-A Fresno last season. He saw 11 games at the big league level as well and was expected to be an everyday player before the Nationals signed Starlin Castro to a multi-year deal this offseason.
25. Eric Lauer
Knowing what I know now and what Grisham could end up being for the Padres, I don’t see a better pick among the final five players of the 2016 MLB Draft. And that’s not to say Davies is terrible either. That trade could end up being very favorable for the Padres, especially considering that both Urias and Lauer were expected to start this year on the injured list.
This draft was interesting, and hindsight is always 20/20, but reviewing some of the names that were chosen (i.e., Nick Senzel, Ian Anderson, Josh Lowe, Forrest Whitley, and Gavin Lux), it’s funny how things play out. Of note, the Padres also landed Reggie Lawson and Lucchesi within the first four rounds.
I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this potential re-draft.