Complete coverage of the 2014 season

Padres Draft an Outfielder

Why Uncle Frank Likes It

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    The Padres hit a home run when they drafted Jedd Gyorko. Did they go deep again with Hunter Renfroe? (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    The Padres drafted Mississippi State OF Hunter Renfroe with the 13th overall pick in the MLB Draft. First, let's talk about the college numbers.

    Renfroe hit .352 his junior year for the Bulldogs, with 15 HR, 15 doubles, two triples, 58 RBI, 51 runs scored, nine stolen bases, a .440 on-base percentage and .634 slugging percentage in 59 games. So obviously the kid can hit.

    But, let me tell you a few things about this kid that won't show up on a scouting report. Over the summer he played for the Big Train, a team in the Cal Ripken wood bat league in Maryland. He stayed at my Uncle Frank's house during the year. Frank (who's housed players for years now) says this kid is just one of the nicest people he's had come through.

    Renfroe also has some hidden skills. First, the kid has all kinds of raw power. Right-handed bat with pop to spare. But, he used to be a catcher. And according to Uncle Frank, he has one of the best arms in the nation.

    He consistently threw out runners on the basepaths, even throwing behind guys at 2nd base to catch them off guard. Oh, and as a pitcher, his fastball hits 98 MPH. The Bulldogs moved him to the outfield to keep him healthy, seeing the potential in his bat.

    Mississippi State head baseball coach John Cohen offers this analysis of Renfroe's pop:

    "Hunter is one of those few players I've ever been around, even as an assistant on Team USA (in 2005), where we had 20 of the best freshman and sophomores in the country, Hunter is one of those kids that when he takes BP our whole team shuts down and says, 'Oh my goodness, look at this,'" Cohen said.

    Renfroe was the first person to have his number retired by the Big Train. The Padres may have found themselves a gem at 13th overall.

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