Padres Draft: AJ Preller “hopeful they can sign Cole Wilcox”

Padres general manager AJ Preller joined the Ben and Woods show on Friday, indicating they are confident they can sign Cole Wilcox.

When the Cole Wilcox was still on the board for the Padres in the third round, they must have felt like they hit the jackpot. Wilcox was recently ranked as the best pick, by MLB, for the Friars. He’s a draft-eligible sophomore with first-round talent, so there has to be some level of concern on whether general manager AJ Preller will be able to sign him.

Luckily for us, Preller joined the Ben and Woods show this morning, walking us through the pick and how confident they feel that they’ll be able to sign him.

On five-round draft and allocating dollars:

I think with some of the earlier picks, the budget, and dollar amounts, and again you get through your five rounds. You basically get a sum of money that you can choose to allocate how you see fit. We tried to blend talent and dollars to try to maximize each.

On having Cole Wilcox available in the third round:

For us, with the Cole Wilcox pick, he’s a draft-eligible sophomore out of Georgia. Even in a non-corona draft, he could go back to Georgia for his junior year and be eligible for the draft. We saw him as a first-round type talent and when he’s still on the board there in the third round, we, as far what we tried to budget and what we think we’re trying to do to be able to sign him, felt like he was the right pick there at the right time.

It seems Wilcox has been a target for the Padres for quite some time:

He’s a guy that we have a lot of history with. In high school, he was an All-American, pitched on Team USA, extra-large frame, really good athlete. He’s got three pitches, always been a strike-thrower. I think some of the secondary pitches, the slider, and changeup, have improved over the last year or so at Georgia. And it looked like he was on his way to having a big sophomore year. He (Wilcox) was probably expecting to go somewhere a little bit higher.

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On signability:

And we’re hopeful that we can sign him, that’s what the next few are, and we took him with the intention of signing him and that’s what we’re hoping to do over the next few days.

You can listen to the full AJ Preller interview right here, where he also discusses how his guys are staying ready for the season.

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