Post-Draft Interview with Chad MacDonald

Trea Turner

We spoke with Chad MacDonald, Vice-President, Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel or the man who runs the draft, for the last segment of our weeklong coverage of the 2014 Padres' draft.

Kiley McDaniel kind of hinted at this in his interview, when you took Trea Turner with the first pick is it a correct assumption that your scouts had been watching and evaluating him for all three of his years at NC State?

Chad MacDonald: When you take a college guy, and I'm not talking about a junior college one, you will have had the luxury of having scouted him for three years and maybe even seen him a few times in high school. So yes, there is going to be a greater comfort level just because you are going to have more information on them both on and off the field.

However, I know this sounds like a broken record, you are going to go for the best guy that is on your board regardless of its a college player or a high school guy. When it was our turn Trea was the best one there and we are really happy to get him.

From listening to all of these guys speak of Michael Getty's they make it sound you just bought a lottery ticket. How is he not a lottery ticket?

Chad MacDonald: The lottery is one in a million at best and Michael's chances are much better. If you like tools, this is the guy for you. He has all five and plays in the middle of the field and we wouldn't have taken him unless we thought he had a pretty good chance.

I've read he was also pretty good off of the mound, dialing it up to 97 mph. Was there ever any thought of taking him as a pitcher?

Chad MacDonald: He was good but we never considered him as a pitcher. We liked the package that he brought to the table as a position player.

How were you able to know if Zech Lemond was healthy and did you have any concerns?

Chad MacDonald: Our national cross-checker saw him early in the year and just raved about his plus stuff and the arm angle from which he threw. He got a tender arm and was on the shelf for awhile. When he came back we did our due diligence and he was all the way back from what we saw earlier.

Every player presents some different circumstances and all you can do is get the most information you can to make the most informed decision. He has big league quality pitches and that is something you always look for.

Zach Risendorf wasn't listed in many of the top player evaluations. What did you see in him that caused you to take him so high?

Chad MacDonald: He's another guy that plays a premium position up the middle at catcher, is athletic and has a clean stroke. Our scouts did a good job of identifying him early and we were lucky there wasn't a lot of action on him.

Talent wise we made a bit of a gamble by waiting to take him until the sixth round, because internally we had him higher.

Jim Callis of MLB.com liked Ryan Butler quite a bit. From reading the scouting reports he's six-foot-six, 230 lbs., throws in the low to mid-90s and has a solid slider and change-up. How did he last into the seventh? Do you see him as someone that should move quickly through the system?

Chad MacDonald: I've almost given up trying to predict where guys go and how other teams view players. So yes, he's another guy that we were surprised to see that he was available to us in the seventh.

We have seen him dial it up to 99 and think he can throw between 92 to 95 as a starter and even more as a relief pitcher. Our chief scout Billy Gasparino was really itching to take him.

Of the three late high school picks that you made in the thirtieth rounds - Logan Sowers, Brendan McKay and Cobi Johnson - which do you have the best chance of signing?

Chad MacDonald: You always want to take some of the tough signs later in the draft because sometimes things can go south with some of your top picks. If we have some money left we might be able to them, you really never know. All three of them are talented enough to be taken in the first five rounds.

I like all three of them not only as players but as people. Even if we don't sign them I think its good that we took them and can continue our relationship because if they do go to college we might be back in three years.

Last question and the obligatory Johnny Manziel Question. Why did you guys take him especially relatively early in the 28th round?

Chad MacDonald: I really don't know. After the twenty-fifth round you could pretty much put 15 magnets up on the board and get all of them. Johnny Manziel is a really good athlete and in 2012 we took Terrance Owens, a quarterback from Toledo, who also hadn't played baseball in a long time.

Again, it is after round 25 and at that point it's really about local area scouts wanting to take certain players who they think have a could be something or taking players that are going to be very tough signs because of their college commitments.

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