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San Diego Padres Draft Report Card

By David Rawnsley

Best Debut: Where do you start? LHP Mike Bynum (1) didn’t allow a run until he had pitched 26 professional innings and been promoted to the Class A California League. OF Vince Faison (1) hit .308-4-28 with 30 stolen bases and was the top prospect in the Rookie-level Arizona League, while RHP Jacob Pevey (15) won the AZL pitching triple crown, going 7-1, 1.34 with 90 strikeouts in 74 innings.

Best Athlete: Faison was an outstanding high school football player and had committed to Georgia to play defensive back.

Best Hitter: The best pure hitter on the Padres list, C Alberto Concepcion (2), chose to attend Southern California. Five-foot-7 2B Brian Ward (12) has excellent hitting instincts but will always be challenged by his size. He hit .317-7-60 at Rookie-level Idaho Falls.

Best Power: 3B Troy Schader (21) challenged for the Pioneer League home run leadership by hitting 19, to go with a .336 average and 69 RBIs. The Padres feel he has legitimate big league power potential.

Fastest Runner: Faison is a flyer, with sub-4.0-second speed to first base from the left side and excellent acceleration on the bases. OF Todd Donovan (8) also has above-average speed and good baserunning instincts.

Best Defensive Player: C Nick Trzesniak (1) struggled with a sore arm but showed advanced receiving and game-management skills. Donovan and Faison have the speed to remain in center field.

Best Fastball: RHP Gerik Baxter (1) flashed a 96-mph fastball in both the Arizona and Pioneer leagues, which was especially impressive for a high school pitcher from the Northwest. Baxter went 3-0, 1.50 in 36 innings in the AZL and 2-0, 4.81 in 24 innings at Idaho Falls.

Most Intriguing Background: Unsigned 3B Brandon Fahey’s (17) father, Bill, was a big league catcher. RHP Josh Vitek (3) was unknown even to local scouts in mid-spring while playing in a small farming community outside Houston.

Closest to the Majors: Bynum showed the kind of dominating stuff that doesn’t last long in the minors, especially with this organization being short on lefthanded pitching.

The One That Got Away: The Padres were close to signing Concepcion but ran out of money after signing their multitude of other high-round picks, including six in the regular and supplemental first rounds.

Best Non-Draft Sign: The Padres feel as if they signed an extra high pick in RHP Henry Perez, a 17-year-old Dominican with a 93-mph fastball who received a $350,000 bonus in July.

Summary: The Padres had six of the top 51 picks in the draft and signed all of them, spending close to $6 million on just those selections. They focused on high-ceiling pitchers and middle-of-the-field players.

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