"We wanted upside, impact guys. ... Vanilla wasn't going to be good enough," said Chad MacDonald, the Padres' assistant general manager of player personnel.
The Padres selected three high school pitchers on Monday and an athletic college center fielder who can run and play defense.
With their first pick, No. 7 overall, San Diego tabbed left-handed pitcher Max Fried of Harvard-Westlake High School in Studio City, Calif.
Pitching was certainly the theme of the first day of the Draft.
With the 33rd overall selection, the Padres selected right-handed pitcher Zach Eflin, from Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Fla. The team then pegged its first position player of the day at No. 44 overall when it tabbed an athletic outfielder in Travis Jankowski of Stony Brook University in New York.
Finally, the Padres selected right-handed pitcher Walker Weickel of Olympia High School in Orlando, Fla., with the 55th overall pick.
Weickel throws a heavy fastball that sits in the low 90s. Weickel's high school teammate, outfielder Jesse Winker, was selected by the Reds with the 49th overall selection.
Eflin, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, saw a notable bump in velocity in the last year. His fastball sits in the mid 90s, though he's topped out as high as 97 mph. He experienced tendinitis in his right triceps earlier in the spring but is said to be healthy now, the Padres said Monday.
"This guy is going to log innings with control and command," MacDonald said.
Eflin has committed to play at Central Florida University and might be a tough sign for the Padres, who in 2011 had success in swaying first-round pick, pitcher Joe Ross, and second-round pick, catcher Austin Hedges, away from commitments to UCLA.
The left-handed-hitting Jankowski has good speed and was considered a strong defender for Stony Brook. He was the MVP of the Cape Cod League last summer, hitting .329 with 22 RBIs and 15 steals while he played for Bourne. He led the league in hits, runs and triples.
Jankowski hit .412 this season for Stony Brook with 31 extra-base hits, 45 RBIs and 34 stolen bases in 40 attempts.
"He was one of the fastest runners in the Draft. On a scouting scale, we had him at 70-80 [speed]. He's a table setter at the top of the lineup and a winner," MacDonald said.
Weickel had a big senior season that saw him go 8-1 with 73 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings with a 0.92 ERA. He has signed a letter of intent to play at the University of Florida.
"He's a right-handed version of Fried," MacDonald said. "This guy is a first-round talent."
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 and the 55th selection when 2011 Draft pick Brett Austin didn't sign with the club.
On Tuesday, the team has a second-round pick at No. 68 and an additional pick at No. 70 (their second Draft choice for Heath Bell signing with the Marlins) as well as their third-round pick. That gives the Padres seven picks in the first 102 overall selections.
This is the third Draft for the Padres' Jaron Madison, the director of scouting, and the first Draft with the team for MacDonald.
"Every club thinks they had a good day," MacDonald said. "I know we did."
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. So for the Padres, this equates to $9,902,300 for their 14 picks through those first 10 rounds.
The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team that exceeds up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. Overages can result in a team being taxed with the potential loss of future Draft picks.