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Plenty of potential among Padres' Draft picks

Plenty of potential among Padres' Draft picks

With the 2009 season and Arizona Fall League (where several 2009 draftees got their first taste of pro ball) in the books, we take a look at the early results of each club's '09 Draft class: how their top picks did; late-round picks that fared well; which picks are likely to move up the ladder quickest; and which picks clubs were unable to sign.

In what turned out to be general manager Kevin Towers' and his scouting staff's last Draft, they took things in a much different direction.


NL East
ATL | FLA | NYM | PHI | WAS
More

AL East
BAL | BOS | NYY | TB | TOR

NL Central
CHC | CIN | HOU | MIL | PIT | STL

AL Central
CWS | CLE | DET | KC | MIN

NL West
ARI | COL | LAD | SD | SF

AL West
LAA | OAK | SEA | TEX

Typically known as a college-heavy organization, the Padres went out and took three high-ceiling, if raw, high schoolers with their first four picks, and four prepsters with their first six selections.

The biggest surprise was at the top, when they took the plunge and selected two-sport star -- and Scott Boras client -- Donavan Tate, signing him right at the deadline for the second-highest bonus in Draft history. Towers and company won't be around to reap the rewards of it, but if these high-end athletes fulfill their potential, the new management will gladly be the beneficiaries.

Top five picks

1. Donavan Tate, OF: The top high school position player in the Draft class, the Padres were able to keep him from his two-sport commitment to the University of North Carolina. He wasn't able to really get going as an injury in the pubic bone area turned out to be torn tendons that required surgery. Then he was in an ATV accident that resulted in surgery on a broken jaw.

2. Everett Williams, OF: Another toolsy high school athlete, Williams signed right at the deadline but managed to get in 10 games between the Arizona and Northwest leagues. In 79 at-bats, he had 12 hits (.279) with a .354 OBP and .488 SLG. Williams stood out in the fall before being diagnosed with flat feet.

3. Jerry Sullivan, RHP: The Oral Roberts product went to Eugene in the Northwest League and got in 53 2/3 innings, finishing with a 4.02 ERA while allowing 44 hits and striking out 58. A starter in the future, he was sharper (3.73 ERA, .205 average against) in nine starts than in seven relief outings (4.97 ERA, .260 BAA).

4. Keyvius Sampson, RHP: He's athletic and he's got plenty of arm strength and he seemed destined for Florida State until the Padres gave him second-round money to sign. He made a brief debut in Arizona and the Northwest League, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out eight.

5. James Hagerty, C: Hagerty, out of Miami, has some power, though he didn't show a ton of it while catching and playing first for Eugene and making a brief stop in Triple-A Portland. He hit .218/.327/.383 in 52 total games.

Best of the rest

1B Nate Freiman (8th round) went to Eugene and hit .294/.364/.484 over 72 games. He led the league with 68 RBIs and was second with 11 homers. ... 14th rounder Nick Greenwood, a left-hander out of Rhode Island, was a Northwest League All-Star after going 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA over 63 1/3 innings as both a reliever and starter. ... UCLA's Cody Decker was a 22nd rounder and ended up as the rookie-level Arizona League MVP after hitting .354/.421/.717 in 52 games. He led the circuit in homers, RBIs and SLG. ... OF Cameron Monger (27th round) used his speed to steal 29 bases, second-most in the rookie-level Arizona League. He hit .295 with a .357 OBP. ... 2B Vince Belnome joined Greenwood on the NWL All-Star team. Combined with a brief stint in full-season Fort Wayne, the West Virginia infielder hit .321/.444/.519 over 75 games. He also hit .297 and drove in seven runs during Fort Wayne's run to the Midwest League title.

Fast risers RHP Chris Fetter (9th round) came out of the University of Michigan and pitched well in relief as a starter, finishing well with Fort Wayne. Getting to full-season ball in the first summer is often a good sign of a fast track. If Greenwood ends up in the bullpen, he could make a quick path to San Diego as a lefty reliever.

Unsigned

The Padres signed 36 of their 50 draft picks, including their first 10 selections. RHP Drew Madrigal (11th round), out of Mt. San Jacinto Junior College was the first not to come to terms. 20th rounder John Wooten couldn't be lured away from his commitment to East Carolina.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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