The Padres have selected one of the drafts top risers in high school pitcher, Justin Lange, with the 34th overall pick.
Is AJ Preller trying to replicate the 2017 MLB Draft where he took six straight high school players? If so, he’s well on his way as the Padres have selected Justin Lange with the 34th overall pick in the competitive balance round of the draft.
Lange is from Llano, Texas, and has a verbal commitment to Dallas Baptist next year. He’s already 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, and threw 92 MPH at the Perfect Game Showcase last year. Since then, he’s added 8 MPH to his fastball, going from a skinny 179-pound kid to a 230-pound future ace of a rotation.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about him:
"He took an additional step forward this spring, getting his fastball all the way up to 100 mph—showing some of the best pure fastball velocity in the 2020 class. Lange has all of the foundational pieces to be an impact arm at the next level. He’s tremendously athletic with easy, high-octane velocity and lots of natural life on the pitch as we"
If you recall, that 2017 draft class included MacKenzie Gore as the number three overall pick, and now the Padres have another highly-touted flame-thrower to boot. But while his fastball is an above-average pitch, Lange will need to continue developing both his slider and other secondary pitches if he wants to become a big-league starter, according to scouts.
And as we close the book on Day One of the draft, the Padres will have the 45th overall pick on Thursday, where I would expect them to take a long look at taking some college talent to complement the high upside in these both Lange and Robert Hassell.
Let’s see what the Padres’ front office has up their sleeve on Day Two.