The Padres had only one pick in the major league draft on Monday, and they used it to take a high school right hander named Austin Smith with the 51st overall selection. (We babbled, albeit briefly, about Smith yesterday.) San Diego had eight more picks on Tuesday in rounds three through 10, and what follows are some notes on the newest members of the Padres’ organization.
Jacob Nix — Round 3, 86th overall, RHP, HS
In last year’s draft Nix, through no fault of his own, got caught up in the Astros-Brady Aiken snafu — you know, the one where the Astros significantly lowered their signing bonus offer to Aiken after a physical revealed he was pitching with an abnormally small UCL. The two parties — the Astros and Aiken — failed to reach an agreement and the Astros lost the nearly $8 million signing bonus slot money that accompanied the no. 1 overall pick. Nix, who was expected to sign an over-slot deal with the ‘Stros after they inked Aiken under-slot, was left out in the cold after verbally agreeing to a $1.5 million deal with Houston.
Nix eventually filed a grievance against the Astros and ended up getting the $1.5 million anyway, then he enrolled at IMG Academy in Florida, had a fine season, and was taken 86th overall by the Padres this year. He sits in the low-to-mid 90s with the fastball and improved the secondary offerings this spring, jumping him up to 37th on Baseball America’s top 500. The 86th pick carries a bonus slot near $700,000, so Nix should add another decent chunk of change to the bankroll. Not a bad ending to a situation that could’ve gotten uglier.
Austin Allen — Round 4, 117th overall, catcher, Florida Tech
Allen, at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, is really big for a catcher. How big? Of the 18 catchers taken in the first 10 rounds, only 11th overall selection Tyler Stephenson and ninth-rounder Danny De la Calle are comparable in size to Allen. Here’s Allen compared to the other 17 catchers drafted through day two:
|Allen||6-4, 225 lbs|
|Average Catcher||6-1, 203 lbs|
Alright, alright, maybe that’s not really big, but still — dude’s big. Not surprisingly, the division II catcher’s game revolves around power, as he popped 11 homers and slugged .728 this season. The defense, however, is a liability, as Baseball America notes:
While scouts have some questions about how he’d fare against better pitching, his defense presents a larger concern. Allen has an average arm and is an adequate receiver. But he’s already larger than most big league catchers and will need to improve his footwork and ability to block balls to stay at the position.
The real question: how’s his pitch framing?
Josh Magee — Round 5, 147 overall, CF, HS
The quick-and-dirty on Magee:
- Short swing, advanced hitter.
- Projects as top-of-the-order bat.
- Wonko compares him to a few recent Padres draft picks, like Mallex Smith and Rico Noel, which seems to make sense.
- I’d write more but I’m exhausted from figuring out the average catcher size from the section above.
Jordan Guerrero — Round 6, 177 overall, RHP, JC
Here are a few things we know about Guerrero. He’s big — like, towers-over-Austin-Allen-big — at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds. Not surprisingly, he also throws hard, with Baseball America reporting that he pumped the fastball up to 98 miles-per-hour this season.
With A.J. Preller’s fondness for hard-throwing right-handed pitchers, Guerrero makes sense here. The size, too, is interesting. At 6-foot-5, Guerrero is only the third-tallest player taken so far by the Padres. The next guy selected, Trevor Megill, is 6-foot-8, and ninth-rounder Jerry Keel stands 6-foot-6. Of the nine players drafted so far by San Diego, six are 6-foot-4 or taller and six weigh at least 220 pounds. There’s a trend to keep an eye on.
Trevor Megill — Round 7, 207 overall, RHP, Loyola Marymount
Update: Megill is actually a red shirt junior, and is listed incorrectly on MLB’s draft tracker (see comments below.) The following points still apply for the other drafted seniors, and maybe Megill to a degree.
Megill is a college senior, which probably means he’ll sign a deal well below slot value, which happens to be $203,300. In fact, Megill isn’t the only college senior nabbed by the Padres in the first 10 rounds, as both ninth- and 10th-rounders Keel and Justin Pacchioli are also college seniors. As we discussed on Monday, there stood a decent chance the Padres would try this strategy, taking college seniors toward the end of the first 10 rounds, saving pool money either to sign someone earlier to an above-slot deal or to sign players in rounds 11-40 for more than $100,000 without going significantly over their draft budget.
If Megill, Keel, and Pacchioli sign for an average of $30,000, that would free up approximately $425,000 for the Padres to use elsewhere. There’s something else to keep an eye on as the draft concludes later today.
Aldemar Burgos — Round 8, 237th overall, CF, HS
Good name. Burgos might be considered a reach, simply because information on him is scarce. For instance, he isn’t included on Baseball America’s top 500 draft board and even Corey Brock, who has his usual good stuff on the other draft picks, didn’t have much to say about him:
Aldemar Burgos, 18, was selected by the Padres in the eighth round (237th overall). The right-handed hitter attended the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. The 6-0, 170 pound outfielder is a native of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
Here’s a make-believe scouting report:
Burgos possesses plus bat speed given his frame and can turn on an inside fastball; approach at the plate and pitch recognition could use refinement; has a tendency to get pull-happy, especially against off-speed stuff; solid-average defensive center fielder, using good foot speed and route efficiency to make up for a fringe-average arm; scouts think Burgos can stick in center — he won’t turn 19 until January — and one high-ranking exec. told me he envisioned Burgos blossoming into an early-career Rondell White.
Jerry Keel — Round 9, 267th overall, LHP, Cal State-Northridge
Keel, the lone left-handed pitcher taken by the Padres through the first 10 rounds of the draft, is the living embodiment of why win-loss record isn’t a great tool to measure a pitcher. He went 0-11 as a junior at CS-Northridge, despite a so-so 3.64 ERA. He nearly cut his walk rate in half as a senior while surrendering just two home runs in 91 innings.
I can’t tell you much beyond that, expect that he’s big (6-foot-6, 240) and that he once snuck on to a “Very Luhnow” draft prospects list. Probably won’t take much to sign.
Justin Pacchioli — Round 10, 297th overall, CF, Lehigh
Pacchioli hit .362 as a junior, but he also recorded just three doubles in nearly 150 plate appearances, the kind of power display that would have made me look like a junior college slugger. He didn’t get drafted after that campaign. By the fourth game of 2015, Pacchioli had already matched his extra base hit total from last season, and he ended the year with a more respectable 13 extra base hits. Far from a burgeoning power hitter (he recorded just three extra base hits — all doubles — in the final 32 games of the season), he also got on base 52 times via walk or hit-by-pitch while swiping 31 bags (38 attempts) in 2015.
His favorite website is Google.