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Inbox: Why did Friars draft catchers so early?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell answers fans' questions
MLB.com @AJCassavell

What's with the selection of two catchers in the first three rounds of the Draft?
-- Arvind, San Diego

There's no such thing as too much organizational catching depth. Luis Campusano-Bracero and Blake Hunt were always high on the Padres' Draft board. And when they were both available on Day 1, executive vice president and general manager A.J. Preller jumped at the chance to land the duo.

What's with the selection of two catchers in the first three rounds of the Draft?
-- Arvind, San Diego

There's no such thing as too much organizational catching depth. Luis Campusano-Bracero and Blake Hunt were always high on the Padres' Draft board. And when they were both available on Day 1, executive vice president and general manager A.J. Preller jumped at the chance to land the duo.

The Padres are perfectly content with Austin Hedges behind the dish. (Preller even joked that Hedges has nothing to worry about.) The two young catching prospects are a long way from being Major League ready. And if they reach that point, there are 29 teams searching for a young backstop. San Diego might even need one by then.

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Casting the duo aside as trade bait is a bit too simplistic. They've both been lauded for their work behind the plate -- specifically how well they handle pitching staffs. What better way to develop young pitchers in the organization than to give them a pair of excellent catchers to work with?

Besides the bullpen arms, any trade chips that might surprise people at the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
-- Austin M., Scottsdale, Ariz.

Lefty relievers Brad Hand and, to a lesser extent, Ryan Buchter are probably the Padres' two most visible trade chips right now.

Behind them, Yangervis Solarte has been mentioned several times. No doubt his switch-hitting bat and his ability to play second and third could help a contender. If Jhoulys Chacin can prove he can pitch away from Petco Park, he might draw some interest, too. (Though he wouldn't fetch much of a return as a pending free agent.)

One player to keep an eye on is Jose Pirela, who has raked since his arrival last week. No, his current pace isn't sustainable. But Pirela seems like precisely the type of platoon piece a contender might be interested in, given his ability to crush left-handed pitching and play both infield and outfield.

Do any of the Rule 5 Draft picks have a chance to stay in the Majors after the 2017 season?
-- Garrett, La Habra, Calif.

In the last Inbox, we discussed whether the three Rule 5 Draft players would stick with the Padres through the end of this season. Our conclusion: Yes, they probably will.

If they do, it seems very likely Luis Torrens and Miguel Diaz would begin the 2018 season in the Minor Leagues. Torrens has been overmatched by big league pitching. And while Diaz has held his own in the bullpen, San Diego views him as a long-term starter, and he's best served to continue that development in Double-A or Triple-A.

That leaves Allen Cordoba, whose bat is clearly advanced enough despite the fact that he had never played a game above Rookie ball before Opening Day. He's played mostly outfield this season, though the Padres view him long-term as a shortstop. Cordoba's opportunities at short will increase as the year goes on. Think of that as his early audition for a 2018 roster spot.

Video: CIN@SD: Cordero hammers two home runs against Reds

Do you think Franchy Cordero will stay up with the big league club to play left field when Manuel Margot comes back?
-- Tommy, San Diego

Margot (left calf strain) is ticketed for a rehab stint that could begin as early as next week. He could be on track for a return before the end of the month. But where, exactly, does Margot fit when Cordero and Pirela have been the Padres' two best hitters since he was placed on the DL?

I'd guess that Margot slots right back into center field. Cordero could probably still use a bit more seasoning at Triple-A. But if he hasn't slowed down by then, Cordero could shift to left, where he's more likely to fit in the long-term anyway. Pirela, meanwhile, could still play regularly, spelling all three outfielders and Solarte and Cory Spangenberg in the infield.

What is Pirela's future with the club if he keeps hitting?
-- Kevin A., San Diego

Pirela won't keep hitting like this, because he can't keep hitting like this. His .441/.513/.735 pace since his June 6 callup is not sustainable. That said, there's reason to believe Pirela's bat can stick in the Majors. He's always hit the ball hard, and now, it seems, he's getting the results to show for it.

Pirela's long-term future with the Padres is probably as a versatile bench piece who can rake against left-handed pitching. (Or, as mentioned above, if he continues to hit, he could fit nicely on a contender in exchange for a prospect.)

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

San Diego Padres