Younger Peterson, Paroubeck fill out Friars' Day 1
DENVER -- The Padres didn't land corner infielder D.J. Peterson from the University of New Mexico in the first round of Thursday's First-Year Player Draft.
Instead, the Padres selected his younger brother, Dustin, a shortstop from Gilbert High in Arizona with the No. 50 overall pick in the Draft.
"We're excited for the older brother. We think it was a really good pick in front us. We were excited even more to get the little brother," said Padres general manager Josh Byrnes.
While D.J. Peterson went to the Mariners at No. 12 overall, the Padres selected Mississippi State right fielder Hunter Renfroe with the 13th overall selection, a player they're very excited about.
On the MLB Network, the Peterson family celebrated.
"I don't know if you got a chance to see the Draft on television, but a lot of family there, and the brothers hugging after we took the little brother and that's pretty neat," Byrnes said. "It happens a lot in baseball, we have the Ross brothers [Tyson, Joe], but obviously we've gotten to know the family well, and that was a pretty neat moment for the brothers and the family."
The Padres happen to like their Peterson a lot and think he could stick at shortstop. He's committed to play at Arizona State, but the Padres are hopeful he's ready to follow his brother into professional baseball.
Peterson, who was recommended by area scout Dave Lottsfeldt, hit .540 with 11 doubles, six triples, 10 home runs and 39 RBIs.
"He's an offensive shortstop who we think had one of the better high school swings in the Draft. We see him playing somewhere in the infield and hitting for power," said first-year scouting director, Billy Gasparino.
The Padres figured to pick a position player with their first selection. Last year, they drafted three high school pitchers -- Max Fried, Zach Elfin and Walker Weickel -- in the first 55 overall selections.
So, they went out and took three position players on Thursday.
"We picked the best players on the board. We liked these kids, we think they can hit, think they're good athletes and have defensive value. We just so happened to get three of them [hitters] on the first day," Byrnes said.
The Padres' final pick of the day, the No. 69 overall pick (competitive balance Round B) was outfielder Jordan Paroubeck, a switch-hitter out of Serra High in San Mateo, Calif. Paroubeck's hitting coach this past season was Barry Bonds, a Serra alum.
He hit .402 with a .540 on-base percentage with 22 extra-base hits in 34 games. The nickname of his high school? The Padres. He was recommended by area scout Sam Ray.
"He's an athletic center fielder with five tools, a switch-hitter. He's a little on the raw side, but there's an everyday ceiling there," Gasparino said of Paroubeck, who has committee to Fresno State.
The organization has several big arms in the Minor Leagues, but the system is thin in terms of position players who project as everyday Major Leaguers. The Padres hope players like Renfroe, Peterson and Paroubeck can infuse talent into the club's Minor League system.
"We really did pick the best player we felt could impact our organization. If it had been three arms, we would have done that. There were some position players we liked," said Chad MacDonald, the Padres assistant general manager of player personnel.
"These are three bats that we liked. They're all pretty dynamic athletes."
The shortstop position is one where the Padres have struggled to Draft and develop players who can play that position at the Major League level. Jace Peterson (no relation) at Class A Lake Elsinore is considered a good prospect, though some aren't sure if he can remain at the position.