The San Diego Padres followed much of the media consensus Monday and called the first high school pitcher off the board. But they went off script for many by selecting Ryan Weathers.
Weathers, like 2016 first-rounder Cal Quantrill, is a second-generation pitcher, and has been on scouting radar throughout his high school career. He emerged as a potential first-round option last summer pitching for Team USA.
Weathers is a little shorter than most top high school pitchers at six-foot-two, but more athletic than his father. He also played basketball – his mother’s sport – in high school.
The 18-year-old works with a well-developed three pitch mix currently, relying on a mid-90s fastball, curve and change-up.
The club was widely expected to make their first pick from among a group of high school hurlers who were closely grouped together by many scouting sources, with fellow lefty Matthew Liberatore and righties Carter Stewart and Cole Winn thought to be in the mix.
In his conversation with us, Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo identified Weathers as the most likely option if the club didn’t take Liberatore.
In the weeks leading up to the draft, there was emerging consensus that the club might go with whichever of the high schoolers at the top of their list would agree to a signing bonus that would give them flexibility on later picks. That rumor got more heat when they acquired a compensation round pick from the Twins with Phil Hughes last week.
Weathers was recommended by area scout Tyler Stubblefield, who also was the area scout for Trea Turner and MacKenzie Gore in recent years.