The San Diego Padres selected right-handed pitcher Dylan Lesko of Buford High School in Buford, Ga., in the first round of the MLB Draft. Fans and experts alike agree that it was a great pick.
Lesko ranks 14th on MLB Pipeline’s Top Draft Prospects list. According to MLB Pipeline, “Lesko became the first junior ever to claim Gatorade national baseball player of the year honors in 2021, when he went 11-0 with a 0.35 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 60 innings.”
The Padres did extremely well in the first round of the draft. Joel Reuter from Bleacher Report gave the pick an A+ grade and described Lesko as “a legitimate candidate to go No. 1 overall before an elbow injury shut him down.”
Keith Law of The Athletic also predicted Lesko to be the first draft pick in San Diego in his mock draft. Law stated, “Lesko would never have come close to this pick if he’d been healthy.”
Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs said the same, stating, “The Dylan Lesko buzz around San Diego was true. If not for his TJ, he’d have been a top 10 (maybe top five) pick”
He injured his elbow and had Tommy John surgery in April, which hurt interest among some teams.
Many people are celebrating Padres first-round pick Dylan Lesko
Lesko’s availability to San Diego seemingly shocked Padres amateur scouting director Chris Kemp. According to MLB.com, Kemp stated, “I thought he was going to go before us, to be honest. He’s that talented.”
Kemp wasn’t the only one surprised that Lesko wasn’t chosen earlier in the draft. One Twitter user stated, “Number four on my board.”
Lesko, unsurprisingly, is excited too. Shortly after being drafted, he posted a Tweet saying, “Let’s get to work.”
Buford locals are also sending their congratulations to the young prospect.
Prospects Live MLB Draft Director Joe Doyle said the Padres “nailed this one” and that Lesko is a “Top 5 talent.”
Lesko seems to be off to a good start with the amount of support he’s been given across Twitter. San Diego seems to be even more special to him because of his connection with Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, who he met last August for the Perfect Game All-American Classic showcase.
"“I talked to him a little bit. Getting to go back to that atmosphere and be with him and the city, and the stadium, I’m excited for it. I can’t wait.” -Dylan Lesko, via MLB.com"