The annual MLB draft is approaching quickly, and the San Diego Padres seem likely to add pitchers to their farm system early on, according to mock drafts.
The Padres enter the draft this season with the 15th pick and an additional Competitive Balance Round A pick. Several credible sources began predicting who the first-round pick may be, which is subject to change depending on the top-10 picks.
Between three different sources, a pitcher was the predicted first-round pick.
San Diego Padres are likely to welcome a pitcher as their first-round pick
Keith Law of The Athletic compiled a list of his first-round predictions for each team (subscription required), which he put together through information from industry sources and his knowledge of team’s draft philosophies.
Law predicts right-handed pitcher Dylan Lesko of Buford High School in Buford (Ga.) to be the first-round pick for the Padres. Lesko is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which may make him easier for San Diego to acquire as the 15th pick.
"Everyone expects the Padres to do something bold, whether it’s taking Lesko, who was going to go in the top 10, maybe top five, before Tommy John surgery; or taking Kumar Rocker with the idea of rushing him to the majors this year; or something else unexpected."
Joel Reuter of BleacherReport predicts left-handed pitcher Robby Snelling of McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada to be the first-round pick.
Snelling has some work to do but has a lot of potential. According to his MLB.com prospect scouting report, he
"has plenty of fastball, routinely up to 94 mph, touching as high as 97. His best pitch is his curveball and he can really spin it, a plus breaker thrown in the upper 70s that misses a ton of bats. He has a changeup that has the chance to be average, but he doesn’t use it much."
Snelling also ranks 16th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Draft Prospects list, so he’s likely to be picked up in the first round regardless.
OddsChecker analyst and MLB expert Jason Radowitz predicted a third pitcher into the mix of first-round picks. He predicts right-handed pitcher Brock Porter of St. Mary’s High School in Orchard Lake (Mich.) to be the first-round pick.
Porter ranks 11th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Draft Prospects list and is described as “the top pitching prospect in the Draft.” According to his MLB.com prospect scouting report, he “[sits] at 94-97 mph for innings at a time, and [tops] out at 100.”