It doesn’t appear as though the San Diego Padres have decided whether to pursue a position player of a pitcher with their first selection in Thursday’s draft, but the team has ruled out a pair of injured pitches despite their talent and potential upside. Assistant GM Chad MacDonald spoke with Jeff Sanders at the San Diego Union Tribune about the team’s upcoming plans and revealed the team’s intentions towards the two arms.
Predicting health is hard enough as it is. We want to take someone who is healthy. There are too many good options on the board.
General speculation seems to indicate that the Padres will look to take a bat, no matter who falls to them with the 13th overall pick. MacDonald didn’t appear to give any indication who the team was considering, however.
Both Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde were in the conversation surrounding the top of the draft at various points this season, with Hoffman even a potential option for the first overall selection. Hoffman posted a 2.94 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 22 walks in 67.1 IP at East Carolina. Fedde struck out 82 and walked 21 in 76.2 IP, with a 1.76 ERA for UNLV. That was, of course, before each pitcher went down with injury and ultimately ended up undergoing Tommy John surgery. Each will still likely go somewhere in the first round but their respective stock has fallen significantly.
There is some upside to taking a pitcher in their position, however, as Sanders notes. Each is essentially a blank slate, in some regards. Once they recover and get back on the mound, the team will know everything about their workout regimen and how much they are throwing. There are no surprises looming in their workload.