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A Look at the Draft Record of New GM Kevin Towers | September
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In the last article, we looked at the excellent trade record of the Diamondbacks' new GM Kevin Towers while he was with the Padres. Unfortunately, the excellent record is negated by Towers' poor performance in the June amateur draft, and ultimately was a big factor is his dismissal from the Padres. Let's take a look at the 1st Round Picks by the Padres during the Kevin Towers' regime. The table lists each pick from the 1st Round and Supplemental 1st Round Picks, the overall Pick number, and then their career major league Wins Above Replacement (WAR), their career Games Played in the Majors, and their career OPS or ERA.
Year Rnd Pick Player Pos WAR G OPS ERA
2009 1 3 Donavan Tate CF
2008 1 23 Allan Dykstra 1B
2008 1 42 Jaff Decker OF
2008 1s 46 *Logan Forsythe 3B
2007 1 23 Nick Schmidt LHP
2007 1s 40 *Kellen Kulbacki OF
2007 1s 46 *Drew Cumberland SS
2007 1s 57 *Mitch Canham C
2007 1s 63 *Cory Luebke LHP 0.0 3 4.60
2007 1s 64 *Danny Payne OF
2006 1 17 Matt Antonelli 3B -0.4 21 0.573
2006 1s 35 *Kyler Burke OF
2005 1 18 Cesar Carrillo RHP -1.2 3 13.06
2005 1s 35 *Cesar Ramos LHP 0.2 17 6.35
2004 1 1 Matthew Bush SS
2003 1 4 Tim Stauffer RHP 1.2 60 4.22
2002 1 13 Khalil Greene SS 8.1 736 0.723
2001 1 14 Jake Gautreau 3B
2000 1 9 Mark Phillips LHP
1999 1 20 *Vince Faison OF
1999 1 28 Gerik Baxter RHP
1999 1 29 *Omar Ortiz RHP
1999 1s 41 *Casey Burns RHP
1999 1s 49 *Mike Bynum LHP -2.0 29 7.73
1999 1s 51 *Nick Trzesniak C
1998 1 9 Sean Burroughs 3B 1.7 440 0.698
1997 1 27 Kevin Nicholson SS -0.1 37 0.585
1996 1 15 Matt Halloran SS
The most remarkable thing about this list is that so few of these players even made the Major Leagues at all. The most successful of this group of 28 players was probably SS Khalil Greene, who leads the group with 736 Major League games, and a total of 8.1 WAR. Next is 3B Sean Burroughs at 1.7 WAR, and then SP Tim Stauffer at 1.2 WAR. At least Stauffer and SP Cory Luebke have a chance to provide positive value for the Padres, but very few others on this list are ever expected to contribute at the Major League level.  One factor in the Padres' poor drafting has been the team's budget limitations - for example, the selection of Matt Bush with the #1 Overall pick in 2004 was clearly driven by cost concerns, as players like Stephen Drew and Justin Verlander were clearly regarded higher than Bush, but were expected to be more expensive to sign. But that was just one case - many of the other selections were just picks that didn't work out for the Padres. Towers and the Padres did manage a few notable picks in the later rounds of the drafts, in particular SP Jake Peavy (15th Rd, 1999), SP Mat Latos (11th, 2006), OF Will Venable (7th, 2005), and recent 2nd round picks SP Wade LeBlanc (2006), 3B Chase Headley (2005), C Nick Hundley (2005), and Xavier Nady (2000). Still, the overall record is remarkable poor, is something that Kevin Towers must improve as GM of the Diamondbacks.
Year Rnd Pick Player Pos WAR G OPS ERA
2006 2 61 Wade LeBlanc LHP 0.4 40 4.51
2005 2 66 Chase Headley 3B 4.2 408 .722
2005 2 76 *Nick Hundley C 1.9 221 .697
2000 2 49 Xavier Nady 3B 2.3 790 .779
2005 7 218 Will Venable OF 3.7 248 .755
2006 9 273 David Freese 3B 1.8 87 .773
2006 11 333 Mat Latos SP 3.2 39 3.30
2001 13 390 Jason Bartlett SS 13.4 715 .732
1999 15 472 Jake Peavy SP 26.4 232 3.36
1998 17 502 Brian Lawrence SP 6.4 160 4.19