The Padres add the next wave of talent in this three-round mock draft.
While the coronavirus pandemic has shortened the upcoming MLB Draft to just five rounds, the Padres will be adding the next handful of prospects to an already fruitful farm system. With young stars in Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, MacKenzie Gore and CJ Abrams figure to be joining the big league roster within the next couple of years.
The Padres are about to enter into a sizeable window of contention, so while limited, it will be important that General Manager AJ Preller hit on every pick. He doesn’t have the best track record since taking over GM duties in 2015, but with the ninth overall pick, they should be in a favorable position to take an immediate impact guy.
Based on the state of the current roster, pitching and outfield help would appear to make the most sense, but Preller may also utilize a best-player-available approach should he fall in love with a guy still on the board.
Let’s look at a three-round draft that makes sense.
Round 1, 8th overall
Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
Meyer has been mocked to the Padres by various media outlets, and he’d be a terrific fit at this spot. If he were two or three inches taller, he’d have a case for being a top-five pick. Still, at 6-foot-0, he has elite stuff. Meyer transitioned into the Gophers starting rotation last year making 16 appearances – including 11 starts – and struck out 87 batters in 76.2 innings.
Meyer was off to a magnificent start before the shutdown, striking out 46 batters through his first four starts. He’s always had terrific command, and he could join the Padres rotation within a couple of years.
Alternate Pick: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
Round 1, 34th overall (Competitive Balance Pick)
Isaiah Greene, OF, Corona High School
Greene has a verbal commitment to play collegiate baseball at Mizzou next spring. He has all the physical tools to play centerfield in the future, and, at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, the power should come as he physically matures. As a junior, Greene hit .327 with seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, and 16 RBI in 28 games.
Baseball America projects him as a regular .300 hitter at the big-league level, and this is the perfect spot in the draft for the Padres to take a top high school player. Along with Justin Lange and Owen Cassie, Isaiah Green has been climbing up draft boards, going from a mid-second round pick to the end of the first round.
Alternate Pick: Chris McMahon, RHP, Miami
Round 2, 45th overall
Gage Workman, 3B, Arizona State
Workman hid behind Spencer Torkelson at ASU, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that this kid can rake. Last year, he hit a rugged .327 (.939 OPS) to go along with 12 doubles, four triples, eight home runs, and 42 RBI. He took part in the Cape Cod League last summer, hitting .266 with one home run and 20 RBI in a 43-game sample size.
Before the shutdown, Workman was off to a slow start – .787 OPS through 12 games – but already had three long balls and 14 RBI. He has the tendency to swing-and-miss, and while some scouts believe he can stick at third base, his best fit with the Padres is likely at second base.
Alternate Pick: Jeff Criswell, RHP, Michigan
Round 3, 80th overall
Trenton Denholm, RHP, UC Irvine
The Padres should be familiar with Denholm, playing just up the road. He’s been a starter since the day he walked on campus, making 15 starts as a true freshman. Last year, he made 15 appearances – including 14 starts – and tossed four complete games with 93 strikeouts in 99.2 innings. He limited batters to a .178 average while spinning a 1.81 ERA over that span as well.
Before the shutdown, Denholm posted a 2.28 ERA through his first four starts while striking out 25 in 23.2 innings. Of concern, he’s just 5-foot-11, so a tad on the smaller side for a starting pitcher at the big league level. Still, he expanded on his 2019, limiting batters to a .148 average.
Alternate Pick: Kevin Abel, RHP, Oregon State