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Rice righty Lemond highlights Day 2 of Padres' Draft

Rice righty Lemond highlights Day 2 of Padres' Draft play video for Rice righty Lemond highlights Day 2 of Padres' Draft

After taking two position players on Thursday, the Padres continued their run on Friday, as they took four more along with four pitchers as the First-Year Player Draft went through 10 rounds.

With the 86th-overall selection, the Padres used their third-round pick on Rice University right-handed pitcher Zech (pronounced Zach) Lemond, which started their day on good note.

Second-year Padres scouting director Billy Gasparino liked the way the second day played out -- right from the start, too.

"We always play out these scenarios, looking at our A, B and C choices. When we got Lemond, he was our 'A.' That started the day off on a good note," Gasparino said. "Out of the picks, we went eight college guys and two high school guys. We were able to get two big college arms.

"It was just a really nice mix of players."

Scout Kevin Ellis recommended Lemond, and Ellis also recommended McNeese State infielder Jace Peterson in the 2011 Draft.

Lemond, a right-hander, compiled a 1.34 ERA for the Owls in 15 games, including five starts. He struck out 52 in 53 2/3 innings and allowed just 40 hits. He had three saves a season after setting the school record with 14 saves.

Lemond likely would have closed the entire season again, but after an injury to pitcher Jordan Stephens, he moved into the starting rotation. Some considered him a lock to be selected in the top 50 picks.

Lemond had some elbow inflammation and was shut down after making five starts. But after being watched by school's medical and coaching staff, he returned and pitched well out of the bullpen.

"The ball was really jumping out of his hand," Ellis said. "He looked healthy and his ball had lots of life and good velocity."

What if Lemond never came down with the elbow inflammation?

"If that doesn't happen, he goes [Thursday]," Ellis said. "He doesn't make it to the end of the second round."

With Lemond, Ellis said, everything starts with his plus fastball.

"Of course it's the big velocity, but there are a lot of guys who light up the radar gun," Ellis said. "He has a lot of late hop. Sometimes it's arm-side run at the end or sink. But even if hitters are geared up and try to cheat a little, they still get beat. He's got a big league slider, too."

Rice finished the season 42-20 and was eliminated last week in an NCAA regional.

The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. PT.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }
{"event":["draft_central" ,"prospect" ] }