6/7/2013 10:59 P.M. ET
Smith's makeup prompts Padres' pick in fourth round
By Jamal Collier / MLB.com
At his most recent pre-Draft workout, Mason Smith impressed Padres scouts when he hit 11 home runs in 25 swings at Petco Park. What impressed the Padres more was that they were the fifth different team he worked out with that week, and he still impressed, even though he was likely tired.
It helped the Padres decide to select the Rocky Mountain (Idaho) High School center fielder Friday in the fourth round (118th pick) of the First-Year Player Draft.
"It showed more about his fortitude and his makeup than it did anything about his ability," said Padres assistant general manager Chad MacDonald. "We knew he had power … that was just kind of the final push over the edge to really know we wanted to get this kid."
The 6-foot-2, 195 pounder posted .421 batting average as a senior with six home runs and 35 RBIs, slugging .926.
Scouts believe Smith's talent could still be a little raw because of the level of competition in Idaho high school baseball, but he draws praise for his makeup and aggressiveness, and has a chance to hit for average and power.
"We feel like we got a middle-of-the-diamond guy with some power," said director of scouting Billy Gasparino.
Smith is Mormon and committed to Utah, but has told teams he does not plan to go on a church mission, according to Baseball America, and is expected to turn pro.
Padres take Hofstra righty Verbitsky in third round
Bryan Verbitsky said he wanted to limit the people around him to only his parents, his sister, her boyfriend and his grandma as he watched and waited Friday.
When the Padres selected Verbitsky with the 86th overall pick in the third round of the First-Year Player Draft, he said everyone erupted in excitement for the right-handed pitcher from Hofstra University (N.Y.).
"It's a real special feeling," Verbitsky said by phone. "It's more than I expected honestly. You always dream about what it's going to be like, and then once it actually happens, it's an incredible feeling."
Verbitsky said he was surprised the Padres selected him. He never had a workout with them specifically, though he had been in contact with their scouts. Verbitsky was the first pitcher chosen by the Padres after they took two outfielders and a shortstop Thursday.
The junior appeared in 19 games this season for Hofstra, posting a 3-4 record and a 2.66 ERA while striking out 51 batters and walking just 10 in 44 innings. He made three starts and three saves.
"We saw him in both roles and we feel like he as all the ingredients to start," said Padres assistant general manager Chad MacDonald.
At 6-foot, 205 pounds Verbitsky also played the outfield, but began to focus on his pitching with a consistent 90-mph fastball that he can get up to 97, along with a changeup and slider.
Verbitsky struck out 87 batters in 86 2/3 career innings for Hofstra, holding opponents to a .243 batting average. He hit .257 with eight home runs during his career as an outfielder.
After the first two days and 10 rounds of the Draft, the Padres selected 11 players -- five right-handed pitchers, three infielders and three outfielders -- six of which are high schoolers and five college players.
"We had a little bit of everything," MacDonald said. "We feel good about the talent we added today."
Padres tab HS shortstop Van Meter in fifth round
If everything plays out well for Josh Van Meter, he may not have to move far for his Minor League destination.
The Padres selected the shortstop out of Norwell (Ind.) High School on Friday in the fifth round (148th overall) of the First-Year Player Draft. The team has a Class A affiliate is in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Two Padres scouts had Van Meter listed as one of their favorite players in the Draft.
Van Meter hits left-handed with a quick, compact swing and solid defensive skills. He is far from physically mature at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, and doesn't project as a power hitter, but has solid defensive skills and instincts.
As a pitcher and shortstop for Norwell this season, Van Meter hitt .444 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs and went 12-1 on the mound with 98 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. He also played basketball, leading them to a state title game appearance as a junior.
The Padres project him as a potential everyday shortstop.
Van Meter is committed to Illinois State, but will likely sign a deal with the Padres to begin a professional career.
Padres take Kentucky's all-time saves leader
Trevor Gott set a University of Kentucky record with 12 saves this season, and the Padres believe he's got the makeup to do it in the Majors.
They took the right-hander in the sixth round (178th overall) Friday in the First-Year Player Draft.
Gott was 4-1 with a 1.20 ERA for the Wildcats in 2013, striking out 35 batters with just five walks as opponents hit .235 against him.
"Great performance track record and someone we think has the mentality to pitch in the back end of the bullpen," said Padres director of scouting Billy Gasparino.
Gott's 23 saves in three seasons made him the all-time leader in Kentucky history, and the Padres like his live arm with a fastball that reaches 95 mph.
He has appeared on the National College Baseball Writers Assocation's "Stopper of the Year" watch list twice, given annually to the country's best reliever.
California youngster Bauers projects as outfielder
Jake Bauers, a 17-year-old out of Marina (Calif.) High School, was the youngest player the Padres selected Friday in the First-Year Player Draft, going in the seventh round (208th overall).
The Padres think the 6-foot-1, 195 pound left-hander can hit. He put up impressive numbers as a senior -- a .571 average with seven doubles, 10 home runs and 25 RBIs.
Bauer was named to Rawlings California Region All-High School Senior team in 2013. But he is a late bloomer and didn't make the varsity team until his junior season.
He has a short, compact swing and his power numbers will have to improve, as the team projects him as a corner outfielder, but they think that will come as he gets stronger with age. He is committed to Hawaii if he does not sign with the Padres.
Bauers and eighth-round selection, Adrian De Horta, were two players the Padres said they were pleased to see fall to them and that they got "good value picks."
De Horta's workout impresses Padres before Draft
The Padres scouted South Hills (Calif.) High School right-hander Adrian De Horta all year long, and when he threw well for them in a workout a couple weeks ago, they knew they wanted to draft him. They did so Friday in the eighth round (238th overall) of the First-Year Player Draft.
Padres director of scouting Billy Gasparino said he think De Horta has a pitcher's frame and body that will translate to the Majors. He is a 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander.
He is one of the players the Padres were happy to have fall to them, because they said he was a good value pick in the eighth round.
Padres select side-armer Cimber in ninth round
Padres director of scouting Billy Gasparino called Adam Cimber's side-arm delivery "funky and unique" after San Diego selected him Friday in the ninth round (268th overall) of the First-Year Player Draft.
The University of San Francisco right-hander finished his senior season with a 6-3 record, a school-record nine saves and a 3.74 ERA. He struck out 59 batters in 53 innings, walking 11.
His fastball sits around 90 mph and he also throws a slider, potentially projecting as a right-handed specialist.
Cimber is from Puyallup, Wash., and spent his first three seasons at the University of Washington before transferring.
Padres take chance on first-year college arm
Justin Livengood is an older prospect, but he has a young arm.
The 23-year old senior out of North Carolina-Wilmington pitched for the first time in his college career this season, but the Padres still selected the right-hander Friday in the 10th round (298th overall) of the First-Year Player Draft.
When the Padres selected him, they knew that his arm still has a lot of innings left on it.
The 6-foot-3, 215 pounder went 1-3 in 29 relief appearances with a 2.94 ERA. He struck out 48 against 26 walks and 28 hits in 33 2/3 innings.
He was an all-conference pitcher at Ledford (N.C.) High School and went 10-0 with a 1.01 ERA during his senior season.
His fastball can get up to 95 mph, and he complements it with a curveball.
"We're hoping we can get him into the Minor Leagues, fix his delivery a little bit, and hope that stuff plays well in the zone," said Padres director of scouting Billy Gasparino.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.