Pitching, pitching and, well, more pitching.
San Diego took 13 pitchers in the final 20 rounds of the Draft on Wednesday, including eight in a row from rounds 32 through 39.
"It definitely was a plan to go after pitching in this part of the Draft," Jaron Madison, director of scouting, said. "We did look for kids who had leadership and had good makeup to send out and kind of work with some of the younger pitchers we have in the organization."
Seven of the eight pitchers taken in succession are right-handed, with the exception being Noah Mull, a southpaw from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia who was selected in the 38th round. Mull was 7-1 with a 2.09 ERA this past season, and his 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings ranked second in Division II.
Also among the draftees is 39th-round pick Adam Shrader, a right-hander from Southwest Minnesota State University who was 5-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 74 innings in 2010, and 33rd-round selection Daniel Ottone, a right-hander from Western Carolina University who struck out 21 batters in 23 innings this season.
San Diego took 11 pitchers in the first 30 rounds of the Draft, including first-round pick Karsten Whitson.
The Padres relied heavily on college players, with 15 of Wednesday's 20 draftees coming from the collegiate ranks.
"This part of the Draft, you're really looking to fill out some clubs and add some arms that can go out and help in the organization and that you think have some upside," Madison said. "[That's] mostly college seniors and junior-college kids, but we did draft a few kids who we will be looking forward to watching closely over the summer ... just to kind of see how they progress."
The only non-college player taken between rounds 31 and 44 is Michael Ellis (35th), a 17-year-old right-hander from Fleetwood Park Secondary School in Surrey, British Columbia.
However, four of the Padres' final six picks were high school players, including 45th-round pick Michael Fagan, a left-hander from the San Diego Jewish Academy who is committed to Princeton.
"We have had a few people go out and see [Fagan] pitch, and he's definitely an interesting kid," Madison said. "He's looking forward to starting a pro career -- not sure if that's going to happen before or after he goes to college. My money would say he's probably going to go to Princeton, which is a good thing, because not very many people can get into Princeton."
San Diego also added four catchers, including three in a row (rounds 40 through 42): Justin Echevarria (SUNY Stony Brook University), Bryan Altman (The Citadel) and Cole Tyrell (University of Dayton), respectively.
Altman and Tyrell both had batting averages higher than .325 and hit more than 10 home runs as infielders in college, but Madison said the plan is to test them behind the plate.
"We took some kids that are versatile and can probably play multiple positions," Madison said.
The four join the three catchers the Padres picked on Tuesday: Thomas Medica (Santa Clara University, 14th round), Xorge Carillo (Arizona State University, 23rd round) and Rocky Gale (University of Portland, 24th round).
San Diego did not select any listed infielders in the final 20 rounds and only took three outfielders, including Oscar Garcia with its first pick on Wednesday (31st round). Garcia batted .375 with six home runs, 48 RBIs and 61 runs scored this season for Northwestern State University in Louisiana. He was also 13-for-13 in stolen-base attempts and committed only one error in center field.
Players have until Aug. 16 to sign with the club.
Gina Mizell is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less