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Padres tab HS shortstop Van Meter in fifth round

If everything plays out well for Josh Van Meter, he may not have to move far for his Minor League destination.

The Padres selected the shortstop out of Norwell (Ind.) High School on Friday in the fifth round (148th overall) of the First-Year Player Draft. The team has a Class A affiliate is in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Two Padres scouts had Van Meter listed as one of their favorite players in the Draft.

Van Meter hits left-handed with a quick, compact swing and solid defensive skills. He is far from physically mature at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, and doesn't project as a power hitter, but has solid defensive skills and instincts.

As a pitcher and shortstop for Norwell this season, Van Meter hitt .444 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs and went 12-1 on the mound with 98 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. He also played basketball, leading them to a state title game appearance as a junior.

The Padres project him as a potential everyday shortstop.

Van Meter is committed to Illinois State, but will likely sign a deal with the Padres to begin a professional career.

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for
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