Padres pick 3 HS pitchers, college OF in draft
The Padres drafted three high school pitchers and perhaps the fastest college outfielder Monday.
San Diego had four of the first 55 picks in the draft, including the seventh overall pick, which it used to take left-handed pitcher Max Fried from Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, Calif.
They followed the selection of Fried, 18, with a pair of Florida right-handed high school pitchers sandwiched around a college center fielder who was the Most Valuable Player in the Cape Cod Summer League last year.
Zach Eflin of Hagerty High in Oviedo, Fla., was selected with the 33rd overall pick that the Padres received as compensation for losing Heath Bell to free agency. Walker Weickel of Olympia High on Orlando was taken with the 55th overall pick that the Padres received as compensation for not signing catcher Brett Austin from last year's draft.
In between, with the 44th overall pick, the Padres drafted 6-foot-3 outfielder Travis Jankowski of Stony Brook University. That pick was compensation for losing pitcher Aaron Harang as a free agent.
"I didn't think Fried was going to fall to us at No. 7," Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said. "When he was there, it didn't take us long to make the final decision."
During the high school season, the Padres had 10 or 11 sets of eyes see Fried. They invited Fried to a workout at Petco Park. A mutual admiration developed between the pitcher and the team.
"Not only did we like what we saw, Max expressed interest in being a Padre," Byrnes said.
The scouting report on Fried says his ceiling is as a No. 1 or No. 2 starter. He has three quality pitches topped by a "plus-plus" curve that he can throw at different velocities and with different angles. His fastball ranges from 89-95 mph, and his low-80s changeup projects as a plus pitch. Fried's command was considered the best of any high school pitcher in this year's draft.