SAN DIEGO -- For the third straight year, the Padres spent their top 10 Draft choice on a pitcher. For the second straight year, it's a high school lefty.With the seventh overall pick in Monday's Draft, San Diego selected left-hander Ryan Weathers out of Loretto (Tenn.) High School. Weathers, a
SAN DIEGO -- For the third straight year, the Padres spent their top 10 Draft choice on a pitcher. For the second straight year, it's a high school lefty.
With the seventh overall pick in Monday's Draft, San Diego selected left-hander Ryan Weathers out of Loretto (Tenn.) High School. Weathers, a Vanderbilt commit, owns a three-pitch mix featuring a low-90s fastball and an above-average curveball and changeup. He's the son of 19-year big league reliever David Weathers.
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With their next two picks on Day 1, the Padres selected high school shortstop Xavier Edwards from Florida and college outfielder Grant Little from Texas Tech. The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com preview show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
As for Weathers, he allowed just one run in 76 innings during his senior season while striking out 148. He finished the season 11-0 and was named the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, as well as Gatorade's Player of the Year in Tennessee.
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"One of the best high school pitchers in the country this year, and another premium lefty that we add to our system," said general manager A.J. Preller.
"He's just a very natural kid that is extremely confident and a fierce competitor," scouting director Mark Conner said.
Weathers features similarities to each of the Padres' past two top Draft choices. In 2017 they selected MacKenzie Gore, a high school left-hander out of North Carolina with similarly ridiculous numbers. In '16 they took college pitcher Cal Quantrill, whose father, Paul, also spent time in the big leagues. Both Quantrill and Gore rank among MLB Pipeline's top 40 prospects.
Also a standout hitter, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Weathers batted .434 with five homers in his senior season. But his future is on the mound. He led Loretto to a state championship as a junior in 2017, striking out 12 and posting a shutout in the title game. Then he helped lead Team USA to gold at the U-18 World Cup with a pair of scoreless starts.
Weathers nearly led Loretto to another title as a senior. He pitched nine scoreless frames and struck out 11 in the Class A state championship game against Columbia academy. Trouble is: the game went 12 innings. Loretto lost, 1-0.
"It was one of the better high school games you could see," Preller mused.
Both Preller and Conner were on hand to see Weathers fall just shy of a second consecutive championship. It was the last chance for the Padres to watch him in a game setting after a long scouting process that began when area scout Tyler Stubblefield recommended him.
"He showed us everything we had seen in scouting him over the last few years, honestly," Preller said. "In a big spot, big moment, he was composed, competitive, threw a ton of strikes."
Preller expressed little concern about the signability of any of his top three picks. The Padres have $10,462,200 to spend on their selections in the top 10 rounds (plus any bonus greater than $125,000 later in the Draft). That's the seventh-largest pool in baseball. The recommended value for Weathers' seventh slot in the Draft is $5.23 million.
Edwards goes in Comp A round
The Padres' top-ranked farm system is deep across the board. But nowhere is that depth more prevalent than in the middle infield.
Add another shortstop to the list.
Edwards, like Weathers, is a Vanderbilt commit. He batted .406/.532/.646 with a pair of homers during his senior season at North Broward High School in Florida, but his best tools are his speed and defense.
"It's something I dreamed about for years, since I first picked up a baseball," Edwards said. "Everyone dreams about playing in the big leagues. This is the first step to making that dream come true. For sure, I'm excited to be a Padre."
A 5-foot-10 switch-hitter, Edwards is known as a line-drive bat and a serious stolen-base threat (though he doesn't project to grow into much power). Defensively, his quick hands -- and quick movements in general -- set him apart.
"He's a guy that we had as one of the more advanced high school bats in terms of plate discipline, seeing pitches, doing the things you want to see from good leadoff hitters," Preller said. "We see him as a middle-infield, top-of-the-order guy that's got a dynamic skill set."
Edwards' slot is valued at $1,878,300.
Little forever linked to Hughes
The Padres forfeited their second-round pick when they signed Eric Hosmer to an eight-year deal during the offseason. But last week, Preller swung a trade to add a third selection on Day 1.
With that pick -- acquired from the Twins, along with righty reliever Phil Hughes -- the Padres landed Little in the competitive balance round B. It seems likeliest that Little will play the outfield, but the Padres will give him reps in the infield as well. He played some shortstop at Texas Tech.
As a Draft-eligible sophomore, Little batted .380 with 12 home runs. His slot value is $812,200.
That extra money could come in handy when the Padres begin the process of signing these selections over the coming weeks.
"Having the extra pick definitely gave Mark and the group some additional options -- not only having the pick to make the selection, but also the money associated with it," Preller said. "It's definitely an exercise in trying to mix and match and figure out how to make your money work for you. From our standpoint, we viewed it as not just a little addition. It was something that was going to give us some flexibility to maybe get some players we may not have had access to."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.