The Padres will add recently signed third-round pick Cole Wilcox to their 60-man player pool today, tweets Dennis Lin of The Athletic. The former University of Georgia right-hander was considered a potential first-round talent but, as a draft-eligible sophomore, came with some signability concerns. The Friars paid him a $3.3MM bonus that stands as a record for a third-round pick. That bonus falls roughly in line with the slot value for the No. 20 overall selection, so Wilcox ultimately did get paid at a mid-first-round level.
Wilcox will join top Padres pick Robert Hassell III in the organization’s 60-player pool, although neither is likely to be viewed as a big league option in 2020. Still, with no minor league season this year, the Padres are understandably interested in getting the top two talents they secured in this year’s draft some additional development reps — even if they’re only in a simulated game setting. There’s obvious benefit to getting the pair some in-person time with minor league coaches and player development staff as well.
Wilcox, who’ll turn 21 next week, got out to a ridiculous start to his 2020 season, pitching to a 1.57 ERA with a 32-to-2 K/BB ratio in 23 2/3 frames for the Bulldogs before the NCAA season was halted. The lack of walks was a particularly notable development for Wilcox, who’d issued 38 free passes in 59 2/3 frames as a freshman. The Athletic’s Keith Law was must bullish on Wilcox prior to the draft, ranking him 14th in the class and noting the 6’5″, 232-pound righty’s No. 1 or 2 starter upside while cautioning that there’s considerable development needed to reach that ceiling.
San Diego is now up to 53 players in its initial player pool.