Padres Draft: Cole Wilcox presents a risky signing for team

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images) /

The Padres landed a potential ace in the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft, but could his slot value push him back to school?

Following the typical AJ Preller route, the Padres went high school prep talent with their first-round pick, and then again with the 34th overall pick. Surely they would take a college player in the second round, right?

Apparently, Preller knows more than we do, as he selected Owen Caissie out of Notre Dame High School in Burlington, Ontario. He has a verbal commitment to Michigan in the fall, but with a slot bonus of $1.7M, there’s a moderate chance that he’ll sign.

However, the concern now shifts to the third round, where the Padres finally selected Cole Wilcox out of Georgia. I was clamoring for the Friars to take him with the 34th overall pick, so this is a nice surprise grabbing him in the third round.

But with a slot bonus of just $767,800, might Wilcox re-enter the draft next year with the hope of being selected higher? Wilcox is a tremendous talent, making 19 appearances – including six starts – last year and striking out 64 batters in 59.2 innings while limiting the opposition to a .216 average as a freshman.

He was off to a great start this year, posting a 1.57 ERA through his first four starts before the college baseball season was canceled. Wilcox stands at 6-foot-5, 232 pounds, and has all the makings of a future ace of a staff, but he could have gone in the top-15 had there been a full 2020 season.

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Wilcox is a draft-eligible sophomore, so it’s not out of the question that he may opt to return to Georgia next year. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next couple of days.