SAN DIEGO -- Following their three first-round picks on Thursday night, the Padres opened the second round by selecting an outfielder who has top-round upside.
The University of Florida's Buddy Reed, one of the best overall athletes in the Draft class, went to the Padres at No. 48 overall. At 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, Reed is a switch-hitter with elite speed who appears likely to remain in center field.
In 2013, Padres general manager A.J. Preller -- who was senior director of player personnel for the Texas Rangers at the time -- selected Reed with the 1,060th overall pick. But instead Reed, a Rhode Island native, opted to attend Florida. Three years later, Preller got his man.
Some projections had the Padres taking Reed with one of their two picks late in the first round. But a rough couple of months for Reed at the plate saw him fall into the second round. Given Reed's tendency to strike out, many view him as a risk/reward type of Draft pick -- but the Padres don't see it that way.
"Buddy has very good upside," said Padres scouting director Mark Conner. "We didn't take a risk with him. We feel like he has three legitimate 'now' tools in his speed, defense and [arm]."
In 61 games with the Gators this season, Reed, 21, is hitting .255 with four homers and 24 steals in 26 attempts. And his season isn't quite over yet, with Florida set to host Florida State in the Super Regionals this weekend.
In 2015, Reed's sophomore season, he batted .305 -- and .319 in SEC play -- while also being named to the SEC all-defensive team.
Over the past two seasons, Reed has amassed a total of eight home runs, but the Padres feel there's power potential to unearth.
"In his bat, he has power," Conner said. "He's just going to have to learn how to use it in a game."