Front office excited about Draft possibilities

Front office excited about Draft possibilities

PHILADELPHIA -- The annual First-Year Player Draft is three weeks from Monday and the Padres have six of the top 70 overall selections, which has scouting director Jaron Madison and many of those within the front office excited about adding to a farm system already brimming with talent.

"We're sitting good," Madison said recently.

When the Draft begins on June 4, the Padres will have their own pick (No. 7 overall), the 33rd overall pick and then picks Nos. 44, 55, 68 and 70.

The Padres received two additional Draft picks (Nos. 33 and 70) after Heath Bell signed with the Marlins, the 44th pick after Aaron Harang signed with the Dodgers, the 55th pick when 2011 draftee Brett Austin didn't sign and then their second-round pick (No. 68).

With their third-round pick, the Padres actually have seven selections in the first 102 overall Draft picks.

How have the Padres been preparing for the Draft? By getting many more looks and from more sets of eyes than a year ago when they had six of the first 82 overall picks.

"We're getting more looks this year than last year. Everyone is crisscrossing and seeing guys from out of their region," Madison said. "The various cross-checkers and scouts are switching regions. It's important to see guys at the beginning, the middle and the end [of their seasons] and get different opinions from everyone.

"We'll have good conversations from there and lots of debates and arguments on players. So it will be fun."

So debates and arguments are actually good?

"It's all about getting the best players for the Padres so we want everyone to have an opinion, to go in and fight about your players and argue your points," he said. "But once a decision is made everyone is on board and we're all supportive. We're working well together."

At this point, Madison and first-year assistant general manager of player personnel Chad MacDonald have presided over weekly conference calls with their cross-checkers to go over what they have seen, target guys to look at moving forward and much more.

Beginning Sunday, Madison, MacDonald and national crossc-heckers Bob Filotei and Bill Gasparino will travel to each region to meet with each regional supervisor and that region's area scouts. On May 27, the Padres cross-checkers and supervisors will meet in San Diego for their pre-draft meetings.

Madison said the upcoming Draft has a lot of high school talent, but "after the first two or three rounds it's deeper with college guys."