San Diego Padres 2019 MLB Draft Report Card
Every year at the conclusion of the regular season, Baseball America revisits each teams' most recent draft class. Each class has its no-doubt, high-profile names to keep an eye on, but our annual draft report cards highlight the best tools, best debuts, late-round steals and more. Here are the names you need to know from every organization's 2019 draft.
Best Pure Hitter: SS CJ Abrams (1) had some of the best hand-eye coordination and bat-to-ball skills in the draft class. He lived up to that by hitting .401 in the Rookie-level Arizona League. Abrams’ simple approach, rhythmic swing, direct bat path and ability to make adjustments all portend a future plus or better hitter.
Best Power Hitter: OF Joshua Mears (2) teases future plus-plus raw power out of his strapping, 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame. He has a thick, strong body with easy power to all fields out of a short, compact swing for his size.
Fastest Runner: Abrams is an 80-grade runner who often clocked 3.90 seconds from home to first base as an amateur. He gets to his top speed in a few strides and projects to be a plus runner even as he bulks up and adds strength.
Best Defensive Player: Abrams’ speed and quick-twitch athleticism give him the ability to make spectacular plays at shortstop, although he gets caught flat-footed on routine plays at times. SS Chris Givin (19) committed only four errors as a senior playing on a natural surface at Xavier. He has steady actions, sure hands and average, accurate arm.
Best Athlete: Abrams played football and basketball in addition to baseball in high school and can do a windmill dunk. OF Hudson Head (3) was a high school quarterback who would throw with his right hand when he rolled to his right and his left hand when he rolled to his left. He is a plus runner with a lean, twitchy body.
Best Fastball: RHP Matt Brash (4) gets up to 96 mph on his fastball with arm-side run and sink, and he holds his velocity deep into games as a starter. RHP Chris Lincoln (5) reaches 97-98 mph in short bursts out of the bullpen.
Best Secondary Pitch: Brash’s power, 77-78 mph curveball and tilting, 85-86 mph slider both have plus potential in the Padres’ eyes. His slider was more prominent in college at Niagara, but his curveball has a chance to end up being the better of the two offerings.
Best Pro Debut: Abrams won Arizona League MVP after batting .401/.442/.662 and was promoted to low Class A Fort Wayne less than two months after signing. His season ended when he suffered a left shoulder contusion sliding into second base in his second game with the TinCaps.
Most Intriguing Background: OF Jack Stronach (21) was a top-10 ranked tennis player in California at age 12 and is the nephew of former major league catcher Damon Berryhill. LHP Dylan Hoffman (39) is the son of Padres third base coach Glenn Hoffman and nephew of Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman.
Closest To The Majors: Abrams has the approach, athleticism and skills to move quickly even as a high school pick. Brash’s pure stuff gives him a chance to rise quickly if the Padres put him in the bullpen.
Best Late-Round Pick: OF Taylor Lomack (24) and RHP Blake Baker (25) impressed out of Florida junior colleges. Lomack is a plus-plus runner who could grow into a plus defensive center fielder with more game experience. Baker flashed a plus, 95 mph fastball with sink and an above-average curveball in relief.
The One Who Got Away: 3B Joshua Rivera (22) features a loose swing and potential plus power and could be a high draft pick out of Florida in three years. The Padres took a flyer on OF Maurice Hampton (23), but the two-sport star stuck with his commitment to play both football and baseball at Louisiana State.