Draft Report Cards: San Diego Padres

Not signing their first-round pick Whitson was a blow, but the Padres still think they got value out of their draft. The organization valued Gyorko and Cates as first/sandwich-round talents and stockpiled some speed.
Bonus Spending: $4.3 million

BEST PURE HITTER: One of the top-rated bats in the draft, 3B Jedd Gyorko (2) has the swing, approach and discipline to hit for a high average. He batted .302/.372/.444 in his pro debut between short-season Eugene and low Class A Fort Wayne. » BEST POWER HITTER: OF Jose Dore's (8) strong wrists give him above-average raw power. He also has a plus-plus arm in right field. » FASTEST RUNNER: The Padres grabbed three well above-average runners in 2B Chris Bisson (4), OF Rico Noel (5) and SS Brian Guinn (11). Noel's speed plays best on the diamond. He led NCAA Division I in steals in each of the last two seasons, and swiped 17 bases in 44 pro games. » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Not only can Noel steal bases almost at will, but he can run down most balls in center field. He has a solid arm, too.


BEST FASTBALL: RHP Zach Cates (3), who was primarly a catcher as a Northeast Texas CC freshman in 2009, sits at 92-94 mph and peaks at 96. Cates, who signed for $765,000, was primarily a catcher as a Northeast Texas CC freshman in 2009. RHP John Barbato (6), who cost $1.4 million, works at 89-92 but touches 94-95. » BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Cates' changeup can be as devastating as his fastball. LHP Josh Spence's (9) slider is the best breaking ball in this group, and he also has superlative command. Barbato's curveball projects as a potential plus pitch.


BEST PRO DEBUT: Gyorko, who also had 17 doubles and seven home runs in his 268 at-bats. » BEST ATHLETE: Bisson. In addition to his speed, he has some pop (though he gets too power-conscious at times) and fine infield actions. » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: 1B Connor Powers' (21) father John, an offensive lineman, was a seventh-round pick by the New York Giants in the 1981 NFL draft. C Rocky Gale's (24) dad Paul is the head coach at Corban (Ore.) and an area scout for the Astros. Unsigned 3B Jacoby Almaraz' (28) father Johnny is the Braves' director of international operations. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Gyorko will begin his first full season in high Class A and could finish the year in Double-A. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Guinn, an athletic switch-hitter who could be a steal if he hits enough. RHP Tyler Norwood (19) has an intriguing 89-93 mph sinker. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: The Padres believed they had a predraft deal to sign RHP Karsten Whitson (1) for slot money, but his asking price rose to $2.7 million. He took his plus fastball and slider to Florida after turning down $2.1 million. They offered nearly as much to RHP A.J. Vanegas (7) but couldn't divert him from Stanford. San Diego also made a run at 1B Sean Dwyer (15), who has a lot of offensive upside, only to lose him to Florida Gulf Coast.