During General Manager AJ Preller’s tenure, the Padres have demonstrated they aren’t afraid of taking top high school talent in the first round.
MLB writer Jonathan Mayo has been busy ahead of next week’s Amateur Draft, and his most recent mock draft has the Padres taking Zac Veen. The Spruce Creek High School outfielder has a verbal commitment to the University of Florida, but he’s consistently been mocked within the top ten.
"“I don’t think the Padres expect Veen to get to them at 8, but he does in this scenario, and it’s hard to imagine them letting him slide beyond this spot.” – Mayo"
At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Veen has some room to fill out his frame. He generates a lot of pop from the left side of the plate. Veen has a fluid swinging motion from a slightly open stance and recorded an average exit velocity of 99 MPH at the Perfect Game Showcase.
For reference, he placed within the 98.16 percentile – with a class average of 83 MPH – and was off to a strong start before the shutdown. Veen had a .452 batting average with three bombs, helping Spruce Creek to a 9-0 record.
As Mayo notes, there’s a good chance that Veen is off the board before the Padres are on the clock. But if he’s somehow still there, AJ Preller’s track record of taking high school talent in the first round would seem to make Veen the preferred option.
The Padres will have a difficult decision regardless if Veen is there or not. Max Meyer presents a strong pitching option, with many scouts in the belief that he could be up with the team as soon as this year.