Padres Draft Report Card
By Jim Callis
Best Pro Debut: 1B J.P. Woodward (14) batted .317 and led the Rookie-level Pioneer League with 20 homers and 92 RBIs, though hell need to shorten his swing to succeed at higher levels. SS J.J. Furmaniak (22) hit .343-5-38 and OF Craig Thompson (23) batted .358-10-62 on Woodwards Idaho Falls club, which won the league title.
Best Athlete: OF Mewelde Moore (4) leads NCAA Division I-A freshmen in rushing this fall with an average of 85.7 yards a game at Tulane. His speed and offensive potential in baseball are exciting if he chooses the diamond over the gridiron. Hell make his pro debut next summer.
Best Hitter: 3B Xavier Nady (2) ranked as college baseballs premier all-around hitter entering the 2000 season, but then had somewhat disappointing performances at California (.329, 19 homers) and with wood bats with the U.S. national team (.238, one homer). The Padres believe those numbers were an aberration.
Best Raw Power: Few players in the draft can match Nadys power.
Fastest Runner: Moore has breakaway speed. He can run the 60-yard dash in 6.39 seconds.
Best Defensive Player: C Omar Falcon (3) has an above-average arm with a short release. He also offers some power at the plate.
Best Fastball: LHP Mark Phillips (1) threw as hard as 96 mph after signing, and he has command of three pitches.
Most Intriguing Background: OF Jarrett Roenickes (17) father Gary and uncle Ron both played outfield in the majors.
Closest To The Majors: Nady already reached the majors under terms of his four-year, $2.85 million big league contract. He singled off the Dodgers Eric Gagne in his only at-bat and has the tools to return on merit soon. San Diego hoped playing in the Arizona Fall League would prepare Nady for Triple-A in 2001, but he had to leave the AFL with elbow tendinitis.
Best Late-Round Pick: RHP Justin Germano (13), who has a 90-93 mph fastball and a nifty curveball. Hes a better pitcher than the Padres thought they were getting, and he reminds them of Junior Herndon, another advanced high school pitcher whom they took in the ninth round in 1997.
The One Who Got Away: RHP Chad Cordero (26), who throws 93-95 mph, went to Cal State Fullerton.
Assessment: Brad Sloans last draft as Padres scouting director could pay huge dividends. San Diego got the best lefthander available (Phillips), one of the best hitters (Nady), a two-way catcher (Falcon) and an elite athlete (Moore) in the first four rounds.
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