The San Diego Padres, along with the rest of MLB, completed the 2010 draft today. Here are the Padres first 15 picks (full list here):

Pick Player Level POS Size BA PNR
9 Whitson HS RHP 6-3, 195 15 3
59 Gyorko WVU 2B 5-10, 195 39 60
91 Cates JC RHP 6-3, 200 79 80
124 Bisson UK 2B 5-11, 185 149 121
154 Noel Co. Car. CF 5-9, 175 - -
184 Barbato HS RHP 6-2, 185 144 129
214 Vanegas HS RHP 6-3, 205 46 41
244 Dore HS RF 6-1, 170 - 126
274 Spence ASU LHP 6-1, 190 - 269
304 Slemp JC LF 6-1, 200 - -
334 Guinn Cal SS 6-1, 170 156 168
364 Franklin SLU RHP 6-1, - - -
394 Pena SJ Coll. LHP 6-2, 170 - -
424 Medica SCU C 6-2, - - -
454 Dwyer HS 1B 6, 190 167 -

Here is the full breakdown:

HS Pitcher HS Bat Coll. Pitcher C. Bat
8 7 17 19

I classified Junior College picks as college players, although some of them have only been in college for a year. In reality, each pick is different and this is just a simple way to classify them.

Anyway, it appears the Padres had a pretty good draft here. Whitson is highly regarded for both his stuff and command. Looks like he has some room to grow and fill out. The risk of the high school pitcher – or the pitcher, in general – is well known, but Whitson looks to be a solid choice.

Gyorko and Bisson, two college second basemen, are polar opposites, but I think they both have a chance to develop into useful players. Cates, the JC pitchers, looks like a nice third round pick. Seems like the Padres reached a bit on Noel from Coastal Carolina, as there are some concerns about his size and bat, but you have to like his speed and athleticism. The middle infielder from Cal, Guinn, could be a steal at pick 334.

The interesting part of the draft, to me, came in rounds six though eight, when the Padres took three high-schoolers, and three guys with solid college commitments. Right-hander John Barbato has a strong commitment to Florida. Vanegas might be the biggest coup if he signs, rated in the low 40s by BA and PNR, but he has a “strong” to “very strong” commitment to Stanford, not an easy place to lure players away from.  Dore is committed to Florida State.

The Padres have to convince these guys to pass up an education and a chance to improve their draft status, and they will do that largely with above-slot money.  Last year, Donovan Tate got a $6.25 signing money and it doesn’t look like Whitson will be that tough of a sign (my guess, somewhere in the $2.5-$3M range). If the Padres’ draft budget is similar to last year, they should have some extra money to play around with. Hopefully they will put it to good use.

As this post’s title suggest, evaluating a draft right now, especially if you are not an expert, is basically impossible. If history tells us anything, most of these guys won’t succeed. Maybe one or two will become solid Major League ball players. At the same time, perhaps the Padres have hit the jackpot, and picked a future ace or a group of big league caliber ball players. We’ll see in five years.

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