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Padres draft power-hitting CF, 7 arms on Day 2

@AJCassavell
June 4, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- Mark Conner made a pre-Draft prediction, then he followed through on it. "There's some depth in the pitching," said Conner, the Padres' scouting director, last week in summing up the 2019 class. "It may not be exciting at the top. But as you unfold, it's pretty deep,

SAN DIEGO -- Mark Conner made a pre-Draft prediction, then he followed through on it.

"There's some depth in the pitching," said Conner, the Padres' scouting director, last week in summing up the 2019 class. "It may not be exciting at the top. But as you unfold, it's pretty deep, and there are some pretty good arms you'll see later."

Sure enough, the Padres went heavy on the hitters in the early rounds. They nabbed three on Day 1, including CJ Abrams at No. 6 overall. Then, they opened Day 2 with an exciting five-tool outfielder. After that? All pitching. The Padres finished the second day by selecting seven straight arms.

Padres take speedy SS Abrams at No. 6

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on MLB.com beginning at noon ET. Given all the college seniors they selected Tuesday, the Padres are set up nicely to take risks on Day 3. Seniors typically sign below their slot value, leaving the Padres with extra signing-bonus money to play with.

Here's a breakdown of all eight Padres selections from Tuesday afternoon:

Third round: Hudson Head, CF, Winston Churchill HS (Texas)

Call him the Pat Venditte of Texas high school football. Playing in the spread offense at Winston Churchill High, Head served as an ambidextrous quarterback. Such is the nature of his freak athleticism. The football team even designed an offense around his unique skill set.

"He'd roll out to the right and throw with his right hand," said high school baseball coach Dennis Schlueter. "He'd roll out to the left and throw with his left hand. That shows how athletic he is. He's just a really unique kid and unbelievably talented athletically."

Draft Tracker

That athleticism carries over to Head's baseball talents as well (even though he throws and hits exclusively left-handed). Head is a five-tool outfielder who could easily stick in center.

In his senior season at Churchill, Head batted an absurd .615 to go along with some legitimate power.

"He's got tremendous power with his bat, and he's got real speed," Schlueter said. "Those two things really stick out. And his baseball IQ is through the roof. He knows exactly what to do in every situation."

Fourth round: Matt Brash, RHP, Niagara

The Padres have tapped into the Canadian baseball pipeline rather nicely of late. Outfielder Josh Naylor and right-hander Cal Quantrill both rank among the team's top 10 prospects, and they're beginning to contribute significantly at the big league level.

Add Brash to that mix. The 6-foot-1 right-hander was the MAAC pitcher of the year out of Niagara. He struck out 121 hitters in just 85 innings during his junior season. In the process, he posted a 2.43 ERA and walked 29.

Draft Central

In the long-term, experts think Brash might end up in the bullpen, but the Padres drafted him as a starter. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball, and he mixes that with a solid curveball and changeup. Most importantly, he throws all three pitches for strikes.

Fifth round: Chris Lincoln, RHP, UC Santa Barbara

There's a lot to like about Lincoln, who sports a high-90s fastball and a wicked slider. Like Brash, he appears destined to end up in the bullpen. In fact, he already made that transition during his junior year UC Santa Barbara -- to great success.

Lincoln's upside in the 'pen is tremendous. But first, he'll need to sharpen his mechanics to make them a bit more repeatable. It'd help him command the strike zone better and harness his full potential.

Sixth round: Drake Fellows, RHP, Vanderbilt

Can't argue with the results. Pitching in arguably the best conference in college baseball, Fellows is 12-0 this season as a junior at Vanderbilt with 117 strikeouts in 100 innings and a 3.86 ERA.

Fellows is the only pitcher with double-digit victories in Division I without a loss on his record. That mark includes a 116-pitch complete game against Ohio State in the regionals on Friday. (Next up for Fellows is Duke in the Super Regionals, and he'll presumably get the ball for Game 1 on Friday.)

Fellows' sits in the low-90s with his fastball, and he owns a biting low-80s slider. But if he’s going to be a starter, Fellows will need to improve his changeup.

Seventh round: Connor Lehmann, RHP, St. Louis

Lehmann missed nearly two years of his college career after 2016 Tommy John surgery, but his recent numbers indicate he's put that behind him. He posted a 3.58 ERA over his final two seasons, including 111 strikeouts in 81 frames during his senior year.

A redshirt senior, Lehmann is old for his Draft class. He'll turn 24 this August. That might put him on something of a fast track. A.J. Preller has a penchant for drafting big-bodied pitching prospects in the later rounds, and Lehmann fits the bill at a lanky 6-foot-7.

Eighth round: Andrew Mitchel, LHP, San Jose State

Another senior starting pitcher, Mitchel has some kinks to work out with his control. He walked 58 hitters in 84 2/3 innings during his final season at San Jose State. But if he puts it together, Mitchel has swing-and-miss stuff. He fanned 112 hitters in 84 2/3 innings.

Preller has had plenty of success with strikeout-prone lefties from lesser-known D-I schools on Day 2. Joey Lucchesi (fourth round out of Southeast Missouri State) and Nick Margevicius (seventh round out of Rider) make up two-fifths of the current rotation.

Ninth round: Jason Blanchard, LHP, Lamar

Oh, speaking of small-college lefties: Blanchard posted a 3.12 ERA during his senior season, though his strikeout totals aren't quite as impressive. He whiffed less than a hitter an inning in each of his last two college seasons.

According to MLB.com's Jim Callis, Blanchard boasts a four-pitch mix, and he fills the strike zone. Blanchard seems destined for a chance at a starting role in pro ball.

10th round: Ethan Elliott, LHP, Lincoln Memorial

Fittingly, the Padres closed day two with yet another senior left-hander. Elliott pitched at Lincoln Memorial University, a small school in Harrogate, Tenn. It's easy to see why the Padres liked him so much.

Elliott doesn't boast a blazing fastball. (Like Margevicius it sits in the high-80s.) But his numbers are downright absurd. In 93 innings during his senior season, Elliott struck out 134 hitters, while walking only 14. He notched a 2.23 ERA and reeled off starts with 17, 16 and 15 strikeouts this season.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.