McLeod returned to Fenway Park on Monday, as San Diego opened a three-game series. McLeod, in his second season as assistant general manager of the Padres, couldn't keep his eyes from the cage during Boston's batting practice.
Nor could he stop smiling.
"It's been a lot of fun. ... I was just watching [Red Sox outfielder] Josh Reddick hit in the cage," McLeod said. "I'm so happy to see that they made it. ... I spent six years here and I'm very grateful."
The feeling is no doubt mutual, as during his time running the Red Sox's drafts, McLeod's department drafted eight players on Boston's current roster, including outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
"One of my best memories is a photo from on the field in Denver after winning the 2007 World Series in Colorado, with Dustin and Jacoby," McLeod said, beaming.
The 2005 Draft was an especially successful one for the Red Sox, who selected and signed Ellsbury (23rd overall pick), pitcher Craig Hansen (No. 26), pitcher Clay Buchholz (42), second baseman Jed Lowrie (45) and pitcher Michael Bowden (47).
All five have reached the Major Leagues, and Ellsbury and Pedroia were hitting at the top of the Red Sox's order Monday.
"We went 5-for-5 ... [and] they all made it," McLeod said. "That '05 Draft in itself was just so talent-laden throughout. It's fun to look back at that. It was pretty unique."
McLeod and current Padres director of scouting Jaron Madison recently completed their second Draft with the club. McLeod said he's brought some of the same methods that he used in Boston back to San Diego.
The Padres had five of the top 58 Draft picks in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, and McLeod and the organization would like nothing more than to see a Draft on-par with the one that the Red Sox had in 2005.
"It's still a work in progress, but a year and a half into it ... we feel really good about it," McLeod said. "We're really excited about how our Draft went this year."