The Padres have signed left-hander Ryan Weathers, the number seven overall pick in this year’s amateur draft. AJ Cassavell of MLB.com was first to tweet news of the signing; Jim Callis of MLB.com reports that he’ll receive the full slot amount of $5,226.500 as his signing bonus.
Though the Loretto (Tennessee) High School product was a consensus first-round talent according to MLB.com, Baseball America and Fangraphs, all three of those publications ranked him outside of their top ten draft prospects; MLB.com in particular cited his lack of a “true out pitch” as reason to doubt he’d be taken so high in the draft. As such, it was a bit of a surprise to see the Padres take him with the seventh overall selection, though it’s worth noting that 2018 marks the second consecutive year that the Friars selected a high school lefty with their first round pick (they took MacKenzie Gore third overall last year).
Weathers is well-known for his overall athleticism, having led his high school to their first-ever state championship in basketball prior to pitching for them this spring. Weathers also has a fair amount of pedigree; his father is Dave Weathers, who enjoyed a major-league career spanning a remarkable 19 seasons. The younger Weathers gives a lot of credit for his development to his dad.
It’s generally believed that Weathers has a high floor for a high school selection. His fastball sat in the low nineties this past spring, clocking in at up to 95 MPH on a few occasions. Some scouts believe his big curveball might be an even better pitch than his fastball. Weathers has a good change-up as well, which he utilized often. MLB.com notes that Weathers does a good job of repeating his delivery; as such, many evaluators believe he could develop future plus command, albeit with pitches that largely grade as average or slightly above for the time being.