Draft 2014: Padres draft SS Trea Turner No. 13

SAN DIEGO -- Tyler Stubblefield hasn't yet been a professional scout for an entire calendar year, though he's already on his way to mastering the most imperative tenets of the job.

Consider Stubblefield's take on a 26-year-old infielder who, as of last season, had yet to make it out of the low-A Midwest League.

"Super utility guy, gives everything he's got, serviceable at every position. Can play in the middle of the diamond, can handle the bat a little but has never hit for average," Stubblefield said.

2014 Draft Central

"A dirtball and a grinder … a really old-school baseball player."

Stubblefield, a first-year scout for the Padres, knows this player well -- it's himself. A year ago this week, Stubblefield was still chasing his dream of making it to the big leagues as a player.

On Thursday, he found a different way to help impact the Padres.

"I'm excited to see what's in store for me on this side of the game," Stubblefield said. "It's everyone's dream to help the big league team win. The best way to do that is to be at the Major League level as a player.

"But I look at this as my way of giving back to the Padres. I'm trying to help them in a different way now. But I'm still trying to help them win games at the big league level."

On Thursday, the Padres used their first-round selection on North Carolina State infielder Trea Turner, who was recommended by Stubblefield. Imagine that -- In his first Draft with the team, Stubblefield recommends the guy the organization took with the 13th overall pick.

"It's a crazy story," Stubblefield said late Thursday.

Stubblefield was drafted by the Padres in the 22nd round of the 2010 Draft. Following three seasons with middling results, and with younger players pushing past him, the Padres released him in Spring Training last year.

Not yet willing to retire, he caught on with Southern Illinois of the Independent Frontier League before an injury to a player in the Padres' system got him invited back, where he reported to Fort Wayne.

"I played my last game on Sept. 13 and was on my way home. It was probably seven in the morning and I had been up late packing," Stubblefield said. "I had a former coach who is a cross-checker with Texas [Ryan Coe] and says, 'You're about to be 26 and there's a slim chance you'll make it to the big leagues.' He asked if I thought about hanging up my spikes."

Stubblefield, to be quite honest, hadn't reached that point.

Coe mentioned the Padres had opening in their scouting department and offered to make a few calls on his behalf. That eventually led to an interview with scouting director Billy Gasparino. After a meeting, he was hired as an amateur scout, in charge of east Georgia and North and South Carolina.

Instead of going the traditional route, attending scout school in Arizona, the Padres had a different plan in store for Stubblefield.

"I was thrown right into the fire," Stubblefield said. "I was given a territory [east Georgia and North and South Carolina] and had a two-week period where I met with the cross-checkers. Their advice was that I should trust my gut, my instincts."

Stubblefield did just that this spring, as he honed in on Turner, who, like himself, played in the middle of the diamond. It didn't take long for Turner to make a big impression on Stubblefield.

"It's not every day you show up to a ballpark and someone excites you. I had my first taste of excitement when I saw Trea. It was everything he did. It is a pleasure to watch him do what he does. I didn't get that feeling with anyone else in my territory," Stubblefield said.

Amid conversations with more scouts than he could count, Turner said Stubblefield told him something during a conversation that really resonated with him.

"I remember one of the things he told me was that I reminded him of himself," Turner said. "I thought that was pretty cool."

Truth be told, Stubblefield said, the comparisons between the two ends pretty quickly.

"He's a lot better than anything I was," Stubblefield said, laughing. "I was an overachiever who had to work hard to be the best I could be. Trea is so gifted and talented. But he still works hard and he's got this fiery mentality.

"Watching him, it really looks like he enjoys being at the ballpark."

Shortstop Turner goes to Padres at No. 13

Trea Turner Calls in to Padres Social Hour

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres picked North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner with the No. 13 overall selection in Thursday's First-Year Player Draft.

Turner hit .321 for the Wolfpack this spring, rebounding after a slow start offensively. He hit eight home runs, though he offers more of a line-drive stroke.

Turner has plus-speed and finished with 26 stolen bases in 30 attempts. With continued refinement of his offensive game, he could eventually become a leadoff hitter, according to scouts.

As a freshman in 2012, Turner led the nation in steals (57). But he's more than a burner, the Padres feel.

"We think Trea Turner's hit tool is more advanced than people give him credit for," said Padres scouting director Billy Gasparino.

Turner was 5-foot-4 as a freshman in high school and was cut from travel ball teams early on. He didn't let that deter him, though. Today, he's 6-foot-1 and he thinks he's still filling out -- and that his best is still to come.

"I don't want to be a slap hitter, but be a dangerous hitter in the lineup and want people to come right at me," Turner said.

San Diego first-year scout Tyler Stubblefield recommended Turner -- even if he thought for a while there was no way he'd get to the Padres' first pick at 13.

"I saw him four times early. You don't know how things are going to shake up and I didn't think we were going to get him. But some things went our ways. I saw him six or seven times late ... and had a lot of at-bats with him," Stubblefield said.

"I was impressed how he handled himself around people, how he carried himself."

Stubblefield, who covers east Georgia and North and South Carolina for the Padres, didn't see a single other player who impressed him the way Turner did.

"It's not every day you show up to a ballpark and someone excites you," Stubblefield said. "I had my first taste of excitement when I saw Trea. It was everything he did. It is a pleasure to watch him do what he does. I didn't get that feeling with anyone else in my territory."

Coming into this Draft, the Padres were thought to be leaning toward taking a position player at No. 13 -- and likely a college position player.

The Padres went into the first round thinking there was a good chance Turner wouldn't get to them at No. 13. Or, for that matter, second-round pick, Georgia prep outfielder Michael Gettys, with the No. 51 overall selection.

"We were really quite surprised with [getting] both of those guys," Gasparino said. "I thought there was a chance Turner might get there [No. 13], but I thought there was little chance Gettys would get there [No. 51]. We're really happy to have both."

Turner sounded optimistic about signing, saying "I want to play baseball ... if that's a week or a month, that's not under my control. I don't want to sit around all summer. I didn't get drafted to sit out. I got drafted to play."

If and when Turner signs, he'll head to the team's Spring Training facility in Arizona for a few days and then head to short-season Eugene of the Northwest League. The Emeralds begin play on June 13.

The Draft will continue Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 10.

A year ago, the Padres went heavy on bats early, as six of their first eight picks were position players. Gasparino said late Thursday that there are still a lot of arms left available in the Draft.

The Padres are hopeful their top pick a year ago, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, and Turner can advance to the big leagues and have an impact there. Renfroe has 15 home runs in the California League and will likely be promoted to Double-A San Antonio this month.

The Padres, to be sure, are ready to see some returns on their first-round picks.

The Padres haven't had a lot of success in the last decade with their first-round picks, missing on the No. 1 overall pick in 2004 (Matt Bush) and the No. 3 overall pick in 2009, outfielder Donavan Tate. The team also didn't sign its first-round pick in 2010, high schooler Karsten Whitson.

Padres take outfielder Gettys in second round

Draft Report: Michael Gettys, HS Outfielder

SAN DIEGO -- After using their first-round Draft pick on a college position player, the Padres dipped into the prep ranks on Thursday with their second-round selection.

The Padres tabbed Michael Gettys, a toolsy outfielder from Gainesville High in Georgia, with the No. 51 overall pick.

Gettys, who has committed to play at the University of Georgia, didn't fare well this spring and it might have hurt his Draft stock, though the Padres weren't scared off in the least.

2014 Draft Central

"You're looking at a guy who could have four plus-tools in power, speed, defense and arm," said Padres scout Andrew Salvo, who recommended Gettys. "He's an excellent athlete with plus-plus speed and arm and a potential plus-game power. He's a high energy and hard-nosed player with very good makeup."

According to MLB.com, Gettys ran a 6.43-second 60-yard dash, clocking 100 mph on a throw from the outfield and working at 91-94 mph from the mound at the Perfect Game National Showcase in June.

Now the Padres have to find a way to get Gettys to sway from his commitment to Georiga. If he signs, he'll likely head to Arizona and the team's Spring Training facility before playing for the Arizona League entry this summer.

The Draft will continue Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 10.