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Padres' 2013 Draft class rich with quality hitters

San Diego selected Nelson Cruz-like outfielder Renfroe with first pick

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have some solid top pitching prospects, such as Max Fried, Casey Kelly, Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that San Diego used five of its first six picks on position players in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Moments after the Draft ended, Padres assistant general manager Chad MacDonald said he was proud of the way that his team's selections played out. After 40 rounds and 41 picks, the Padres came away with 19 position players and 22 pitchers.

"You always like your Draft class immediately after," MacDonald said. "The reality is, it's a long road for some of these kids to get to the big leagues, so I think we took kids with enough potential, impact, athletic ability and work ethic that a lot of these kids will achieve what we believe their ceiling is."

Last season, the team drafted three high school pitchers -- Fried, Zach Elfin and Walker Weickel -- with three of their first four picks.

The Padres' 2013 Draft class is highlighted by outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whom they took with their first pick -- the 13th overall selection. The team believes he can do a little bit of everything. Padres scout Andrew Salvo compared the outfielder -- who can also pitch -- from Mississippi State to Nelson Cruz.

"Before the game, he was crushing balls all over the place. Then he goes out and runs, and he runs well. And he's got a cannon for an arm in the outfield. Then he goes 93-94 [mph] out of the bullpen," Salvo said on Thursday. "It was like something out of 'The Natural.'"

The Padres added two more hitters on Day 1, shortstop Dustin Peterson and outfielder Jordan Paroubeck with the 50th and 69th overall picks, but maintain that they took the best players on the board at the time.

Peterson, from Gilbert High School in Ariz., is committed to Arizona State, but the Padres are hoping he changes his mind. Paroubeck hit .402 with an on-base percentage of .540 at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif. Paroubeck's hitting coach this past season was Barry Bonds, a Serra alum.

The first pitcher the team selected was right-hander Bryan Verbitsky from Hofstra University in the third round.

There were some players that MacDonald said he was surprised ended up being available to the Padres, including center fielder Rob Boykin and right-handed pitcher Tony Rizzotti.

"[Rizzotti] had a good first three or four weeks of this season back in late February. Early March, he came back to the pack a little," MacDonald said.

This was the first Draft for Padres scouting director Billy Gasparino, and MacDonald commended him and his staff.

"Our scouts are tremendous workers, and I'm happy with our process," MacDonald said. "At the end of the day, I think the players we drafted and will sign will reflect that good hard work and process, and they'll be a lot of big leaguers in this 2013 Draft class."

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for
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