Padres’ Points: Draft, Myers, Gyorko

After all the acquisitions the Padres made last offseason, this year’s draft was a critical one for a club that needed to replenish the talent in the system.

The Padres lost a first round draft pick in the James Shields signing and traded their 41st pick of the draft in the Craig Kimbrel deal to the Braves.

The Padres’ first pick came in the round two (51st pick) when they drafted right handed pitcher Austin Smith, a high upside pitcher who could end up being a future starter for the ball club.

The Padres top picks from the top ten rounds in this year’s draft after Smith:

  • RHP Jacob Nix – IMG Academy, Florida (Round 3) 
  • C Austin Allen – Florida Tech, Florida (Round 4)
  • CF Josh Magee – Franklinton High School, Louisiana (Round 5)
  • RHP Jordan Guerrero – Polk State College, Florida (Round 6)
  • RHP Trevor Megill – Loyola Marymount University, California (Round 7)
  • CF Aldemar Burgos – Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico (Round 8)
  • LHP Jerry Keel – Cal State Northridge, California (Round 9)
  • CF Justin Pacchioli – Lehigh University, Pennsylvania (Round 10)

Here were a couple of obvious trends that I saw with this year’s draft picks:

  • Out of the first 14 picks, 7 of them were pitching which seems like an emphasis in this draft for the Padres. The system had been depleted of upside arms with additions to the major league roster. Arms such as Zach Eflin, Max Fried, Joe Wieland and Matt Wisler were traded last offseason, all who had the potential to be in the club’s rotation in the future.
  • The front office loves right-handed pitching, with the club picking 17 right-handed pitchers in the this years draft.
  • There was also an emphasis on drafting “up the middle”. Out of all the picks, only three picks were not a pitcher, catcher, shortstop, second base, and center fielder. Of course, many players change positions from where they played in high school or college when they become a professional player.

Bleacher Report gave the Padres overall a “B” for this year’s draft. Given the fact the Padres didn’t have a first round pick, that isn’t half bad for this front office’s first draft under the lead of general manager A.J. Preller. Though it should be noted it takes a couple of years to see the true results of this year’s draft class, so it may be better to check back for a grade in 2018.

Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com did an interview with MadFriars.com, a website covering the Padres’ farm system. The baseball draft expert liked the Padres overall draft, considering that didn’t have any first round picks, “I thought it was a pretty good draft especially when you account for the Padres not having a first round pick. Two potential first round picks, a good bat in (Austin) Allen and an athlete in Josh McGee. Some of the guys in rounds six through ten seem to me like signability guys; but yes they got good value.”

Dennis Lin of San Diego Union Tribune wrote an article summarizing his talk with Padres’ Scouting Director Mark Conner about the draft and the potential sleepers the club got later in rounds.

Want to see the entire 2015 Padres draft class? Click here.

Injury Notes

  • Brandon Morrow (right shoulder inflammation) has been shut down after experiencing shoulder discomfort in what would have been his final rehab start, tweets Kris Budden of FoxSports.com. He will not throw a baseball for at least a couple of weeks.

Friar Moves

  • Early this week, the Padres announced they activated outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. from the disabled list and optioned outfielder Abraham Almonte to Triple-A El Paso.
  • The Padres also announced that outfielder/infielder Wil Myers has been activated off the disabled list and right-handed pitcher Kevin Quackenbush was optioned to Triple-A El Paso. Quackenbush, who had given up multiple hits in five of his previous six outings has a 3.10 ERA in 2015.
  • Finally, the Padres announced that right-handed pitcher Nick Vincent was recalled and the club option Jedd Gyorko to Triple-A El Paso.
  • The Padres released right-handed pitcher Travis Remillard from the organization, according to Matt Eddy of BaseballAmerica.com. Drafted in the 13th round of the 2013 draft, he pitched to a 3.48 ERA in 11 relief appearances for the Arizona Rookie League Padres in 2014.

The Gyorko demotion to Triple-A isn’t a complete shock and it does make some sense. He’s hitting just .210/.282/.311, posting similar numbers in what was a down 2014 season.

He wasn’t getting regular at bats and was playing in a platoon situation with Cory Spangenberg, who was getting most of the starts anyway. Without getting consistent at bats, how could Gyorko get out of his slump?

He did hit .267/.338/.418 over his previous 30 games played, but a left-handed Spangenberg starting everyday helps balance out a right-handed heavy lineup. Gyorko was striking out 29% of the time, above average for even a power hitter and higher than his career average of 25%.

In the end it’s probably good for Gyorko to go down to Triple-A and work on the things he needs to work on. If he hits well, he could be brought back up in a month’s time.

The club isn’t going to allow a $35 million investment sit and play in the minors for too long.

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