SAN DIEGO -- The Padres were elated to get one college pitcher named Cesar they had high on their draft board. They wound up getting two. In taking right-handed pitcher Cesar Carrillo from the University of Miami with the No. 18 overall pick, the Padres got a player they didn't necessarily expect to be around by the time their first selection in the First-Year Player Draft came around Tuesday morning. "When he slid down to us we were very excited," Padres director of scouting Bill "Chief" Gayton said. "We feel we have a pitcher here who has a chance to make it through the organization relatively quickly. ... We should get a return on investment on this guy in the next couple of years."
The Padres hailed another Cesar soon thereafter, doubling up on college pitchers when they took Long Beach State left-hander Cesar Ramos with their second pick of the draft, a compensation pick at No. 35 overall. "We feel like we got two pitchers that both could have fallen in the top 18 selections of the draft," Gayton said. Along with second-rounder Chase Headley, a third baseman from Tennessee, and second-round compensation pick Nick Hundley, a catcher from Arizona, the Padres wound up with four players they had projected as first-rounders on their draft board. "To be able to get all four of those guys is pretty incredible," Padres GM Kevin Towers said. The day certainly started out well when the Padres were able to get Carrillo in the No. 18 spot. A 6-foot-3, 177-pound junior, Carrillo has gone 13-2 with a 2.22 ERA in helping the Hurricanes reach the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend. Carrillo pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run and striking out nine, in an NCAA regional victory over Mississippi State on Saturday. In his junior season at Miami, Carrillo has struck out 120 in 117 2/3 innings while walking just 22. He has held opponents to a .216 batting average and posted two complete games (one shutout) in his 17 starts, and he made one three-inning relief appearance to pick up a save. Carrillo allowed one run or fewer in nine of his 17 starts.The Padres cannot begin negotiations with Carrillo until he finishes his college season, but Towers made it sound as though signability won't be a huge hangup with the players they selected early in the draft. "It's always a factor," Towers said. "But we've had good working relationships in the past with the representatives of these players." Carrillo was named First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference, and he is a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as well as a semifinalist for both the Clemens Award and Howser Trophy. He was recommended by scout Joe Bochy, brother of Padres manager Bruce Bochy.
"Cesar Carrillo was a dominant pitcher in a strong baseball conference and we're excited about having had the opportunity to draft him," Gayton said. "Cesar is a solid pitcher with three quality pitches, including a fastball that has great life and late movement in the zone."
Carrillo's fastball can peak in the high 90s on the radar gun, and he complements it with a curveball that comes at a three-quarters arm angle. He also brings a circle change, giving him a pretty polished repertoire to bring into his professional career.
Starting with a 12-0 sophomore season, Carrillo established a school record by winning his first 24 decisions, the fourth-longest winning streak in NCAA Division I history. During his career at Miami, Carrillo has gone 25-2 with three saves and a 2.45 ERA in 37 games (33 starts). He has struck out 211 batters while walking just 65, allowing just 187 hits in 231 1/3 innings pitched.
The 21-year-old is a product of Mt. Carmel High School in the Chicago area, the same high school that produced NFL stars Donovan McNabb and Simeon Rice as well as NBA star Antoine Walker.
Ramos, meanwhile, has gone 10-7 with a 2.54 ERA in 18 starts for Long Beach State, logging four complete games while striking out 95 and walking 15. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Ramos was considered one of the more polished pitchers in the draft.
"He's a kid who can really pitch," Gayton said.
Gayton has followed Ramos since he was "a skinny high school kid" at El Rancho High School in Pico to being the No. 3 starter on Long Beach State's national championship team a year ago and the staff ace this year.
"He's more of a touch-feel guy," Gayton said. "He has four pitches he can throw for strikes. ... His stuff really fits PETCO Park. He gets fly balls and keeps guys off balance."
Position: RHP B/T: R/R
H: 6'3" W: 177
Born: 1984-04-29 Class: 4YR
Medium build. Slender frame. Square shoulders. Similar to Julian Tavarez. FB explodes out of hand w/ life late in zone. Two-seam FB sinks into RHH. Tight rotation, 3/4 break CB for strikes. Deceptive change. RHP w/ three quality pitches. Hammers the strike zone. Poised.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.