After taking two high school players in the first round, some might’ve theorized that the Padres might go with a safer pick in the second round and choose a college player. Instead, they doubled down on prep outfielders and selected left-handed-hitting Owen Caissie with the 45th overall pick. Standing at six foot four, 190 as a 17-year-old, although he does turn 18 in July, the tall Caissie showcases plus raw power from the left side of the plate with the ability to drive the ball over the fence to all fields while also showcasing the athleticism and speed to potentially play center field in the future. His arm has also been tracked at throwing the ball in the low 90s while in the outfield. There are concerns about Caissie’s swing and bat path leading to contact issues and an inability to tap into his plus raw power. To Caissie’s credit, he has shown the ability to adjust in the past. If he is able to continue to adjust and tap into his physical abilities, he could become a very valuable asset in the future.
After three straight selections of prep players, the Padres used the 80th overall pick on the six-foot-five, 232 pound Cole Wilcox, a right-handed pitcher who was a sophomore at Georgia. In his 59.2 innings pitched as a freshman, Wilcox had a 4.07 ERA and struck out 64 while walking 38. Rocking some of the best pure stuff in the class, Wilcox sports a fastball that averages 92-97 and can touch 100, all while maintaining sink and arm-side run. His secondary offering includes two potential plus pitches, with a power slider in the mid-80s and a fading changeup that lives in the mid-80s while also sporting a spot more control that his slider. His control overall can be spotty at times and his delivery, while not a concern durability wise, does give hitters a good look at his pitches coming out of the hand. Nevertheless, Wilcox is a first-round talent who slid down to the third round due to signability issues. Should the Padres sign him, they would have a major steal on their hands.
The Padres are one of the best teams at developing pitchers, so it makes sense that they took a pitcher that if developed right, could be pretty good. The five-foot-eleven, 185 pound Levi Thomas was the Padres’ choice with the 109th pick. He rose up draft boards this spring, posting a 0.39 ERA and striking out 42 in 23 innings before the season was shut down. Utilizing a 90-93 fastball with a high spin rate, he gets plenty of strikeouts by locating it up in the zone. His arsenal also features a decent slider and he started to work on a changeup. He has a deceptive delivery but is able to maintain good control, as seen in the fact he only walked 6 batters in his short time on the mound this season. The ceiling isn’t very high for Thomas due to his low velocity, but if a team is able to squeeze all the ability out of him as possible, that would be the Padres.
The Padres value their pitchers, and this draft is proof of it. Four of their five draft picks were pitchers. Their final pick was prep pitcher Jagger Haynes. A lefty standing at six-four, 170 pounds, his fastball ranges from 88-90 with a curveball and slider in the high 70s and a changeup in the low 80s. This pick is definitely a money-saving pick for Cole Wilcox, but that’s no strike against Haynes. He has decent talent.