As always Kevin was nice enough to give us a few minutes to discuss his thoughts on the 2012 Padres’ draft.
Overall impressions of the Padres’ draft?
Kevin Goldstein: I think anyone that is a fan of the Padres should be pretty happy with it. Every one of their first four picks [Max Fried, Zach Eflin, Travis Jankowski and Walker Weickel] was in somebody’s mix for the first round. San Diego really got a lot of guys that shouldn’t still have been there.
Chad MacDonald/Josh Byrnes seem much closer to Jason MacLeod/Jed Hoyer than the Grady Fuson/Sandy Alderson regime. Do you agree?
Kevin Goldstein: Sure but one thing that is very important is that they played the board and were taking the best players that were available. They weren’t trying to game the system by taking seniors or some other strategy.
There is some risk to the draft but with the new CBA agreement the cap really cuts down on the risk - which I’m not sure is a good thing; but that is another subject.
In one of your chats I really liked one of your points is that you have to look at the draft as more than just one player. Do you think that type of thinking influenced the Padres taking Fried over Appel?
Kevin Goldstein: Of course it did. After the first six picks were gone there is no way that wasn’t going across their minds. If they took Mark Appel it was going to be a pain to sign him and he could have significantly affected their ability to sign the rest of their draft picks.
By taking Fried they could draft the way they wanted to with the rest of their picks.
How far behind Fried are Eflin and Weickel and did you think they would go higher?
Kevin Goldstein: There was a group of eight players that really separated themselves from everyone else before the draft and all eight, of which Fried was one, were selected with the first eight picks.
Elfin was in the next tier of high school pitchers and Weickel to a certain extent. Elfin in particular could have been taken anywhere from the late twenties in the first round to where he was. He’s good but there is significant separation between him and Fried.
We asked the Padres this; is Travis Jankowski Brad Chalk 2.0? Is he more than a slap hitter?
Kevin Goldstein: Wow that is a pretty pessimistic viewpoint. He was a very good college centerfielder. A good to plus runner, very athletic, great make-up, which usually means that he has a good chance to get better, and he has good size. Is he a power hitter? No, but there were really only five power hitters in the whole draft. I liked him.
Jeremy Baltz seems like the one non-athletic college player the Padres tend to take every year. Does he have the potential to be another Jedd Gyorko?
Kevin Goldstein: That is a big turn from Brad Chalk to Jedd Gyorko [laughs]. I don’t know how athletic Baltz is but he looks like an athlete at 6’3” 210 lbs. and he has plenty of raw power. We’ll just have to watch him play and see what develops.
There is some question about whether Dane Phillips can stay at catcher and if Fernando Perez can play shortstop. What do you think?
Kevin Goldstein: When you draft you always tilt your head a little bit and squint and hope for the best. You want guys that can stay at premium positions and give them every opportunity to do so.
I haven’t meant a single scout that has told me Perez can play short and many don’t believe he can play third either. He played a lot of second in college. He’s not a lithe athletic kid, a bit of a wide body.
Phillips might be able to catch and with his bat its certainly worth a shot.
Brian Adams of Kentucky kind of seems like a weird pick. A two-sport guy he hit under .300 in his last two years with the Wildcats. What do you think?
Kevin Goldstein: He is either going to be a complete waste of $75,000 or worth twenty times that amount. At 6’4” and 220 lbs. he is just a beast with tons of athletic ability. For that relatively small amount that it took to sign him he is absolutely worth the risk to see if you can teach him to play baseball.
Any other picks stand out?
Kevin Goldstein: When we are talking about this draft five years from now its going to be all about the high school arms that the Padres too, What did Fried, Eflin and Weickel do. I like Fried but so much of his value is about projection and that will be worth watching to see if he can get there.