1999 draft

From Gaslamp Ball Wiki - A Wiki for San Diego Padres Fans

The 1999 draft represents one of the biggest cases of draft ineptitude in Padres history. It's surpassed only by the 2004 draft because it wasn't as high profile and because the Padres struck gold in the 15th round in 1999. The significance of the 1999 draft is that it was a part of the most exciting and then disappointing times Padres history when the team went to the World Series only to lose to the Yankees and subsequently purge most of their best players. Most of this purge was due to the expiring contracts of many of the Padres' top players. Kevin Brown, Ken Caminiti and Steve Finley all found jobs outside San Diego and by MLB rules the Padres were entitled draft picks as compensation. The Padres already owned the 28th pick in the draft's first round, but were award the Dodgers' 20th pick (for signing Kevin Brown) and the Astros' 29th pick (for signing Ken Caminiti). They were also award 1st round supplemental picks (these picks are tacked on at the end of the first round, but before the second round) for Ken Caminiti, Kevin Brown and Steve Finley giving them a total of 6 of the first 51 picks in the draft. This is how they used them:

20Vince FaisonMade it to AA ball w/ Padres, AAA elsewhere<
28Gerik BaxterNever made it out of A ball
29Omar OrtizMade it to A ball w/ Padres, AA elsewhere
41Casey BurnsNever made it out of A ball
49Mike Bynum29 games, 7.73 ERA
51Nick TrzesniakMade it to AAA

Some of the failure could be attributed to poor timing. From picks 20-51 there were only two players drafted who made the All Star Game (Brian Roberts and Mike MacDougal). There were a number of players who had somewhat fringy major league careers (Larry Bigbie, Matt Ginter, Kurt Ainsworth, Casey Daigle, Jason Repko, Colby Lewis, Jerome Williams, Jimmy Gobble, Chris Duncan and Casey Fossum). However, a few of the fringy guys were actually top prospects for a while and were used as trade bait to bring in major league talent, something the Padres could only wish that their draftees could have accomplished. It's also worth noting that early in the 2nd round some other quality players (Carl Crawford, Brandon Phillips, Ryan Doumit, Ryan Ludwick, Ben Broussard and John Lacky) were taken. The Padres did have a 2nd round pick that year as well, they used in on Alberto Concepcion who they didn't sign.

The draft did have one redeeming quality. In the 15th round the Padres drafted future Cy Young award winner Jake Peavy. That in and of itself makes the draft a productive one for the Padres. However, if you look the process instead of the results you see a team that was utterly incompetent at scouting amateur players, but even a blind squirrel can find a nut. It's probably worth noting that 5th round pick Mike Thompson was another Padre, in addition to Jake Peavy and Mike Bynum, who made the majors. He filled in as a fifth starter in 2006 and didn't embarrass himself, but in 2007 the league caught up him and he was sent to the minors never to return.