2011 Draft Report Card: San Diego Padres
BEST PURE HITTER:
|The Padres spent a franchise record on bonuses, loading up on intriguing up-the-middle players and arms. They also may have found one of the draft's bigger bargains in Quackenbush.
Bonus Spending: $11.0 million
2B Cory Spangenberg (1) lived up to his reputation as one of the best bats available in the draft by batting .316 in his pro debut, much of it in low Class A. He has a sweet lefthanded swing, extraordinary hand-eye coordination and the speed to beat out infield hits. BEST POWER HITTER:
Defense is C Austin Hedges' (2) ticket, but after he signed for $3 million, he also put on a show in batting practice at Petco Park. He drove a ball off the back wall in center field and another into the second deck. OF Kyle Gaedele (6) has lots of raw power, but his ability to make contact is a question mark. FASTEST RUNNER:
Spangenberg has legitimate plus-plus speed, with SS Jace Peterson (1s) a half-step behind him. BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
Hedges is a plus-plus receiver with quick and smooth footwork that helps his solid arm strength play up. He also has the take-charge makeup to be a star behind the plate.
RHP Joe Ross (1) has an impressive fastball package. He worked at 93-95 mph in instructional league and has topped out at 96, and he commands his heater to both sides of the plate and down in the strike zone. RHP Cody Hebner (4) may have a touch more pure velocity, as he has hit 97 mph. BEST SECONDARY PITCH:
RHP Matt Andriese (3) baffled short-season Northwest League hitters with his changeup, recording a 1.51 ERA and 42 strikeouts in as many innings. RHP Mark Pope's (5) slider is the best breaking ball in this crop.
ODDS AND ENDSBEST PRO DEBUT:
Spangenberg batted .316/.419/.418 with 25 steals, but RHP Kevin Quackenbush (8) put up even better numbers. Signed to the lowest bonus ($5,000) in the draft's first 10 rounds, he had a 0.64 ERA, 18 saves and 71 strikeouts in 42 innings between two levels. BEST ATHLETE:
Peterson doubled as a defensive back at McNeese State. He's a smooth shortstop with arm strength, speed and some pop. MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:
Gaedele's great-uncle Eddie was the shortest player in big league history at 3-foot-7, part of a publicity stunt dreamed up by Hall of Fame owner Bill Veeck. Ross' brother Tyson pitches for the Athletics. 2B Cody Gabella (43) was reunited with his father Jim, who manages San Diego's Rookie-level Arizona League affiliate. CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS:
Quackenbush. Hitters just don't get good looks at his fastball, which he throws on a downhill angle at 92-95 mph. BEST LATE-ROUND PICK:
Offensive-minded 2B Casey McElroy (11) or RHPs Burch Smith (14) and Matt Stites (17), who can run their fastballs up to 94 mph. Stites also has a hard slider and limited opponents to a .119 average in his pro debut. THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:
San Diego had 27 picks in the first 23 rounds and signed all of them except for C Brett Austin (1s), a switch-hitter with power. He turned down $1.65 million to go to North Carolina State.