San Francisco Giants Draft Preview, Part V: Hitters

It's been about twelve hours since anyone's linked to this thread. This time the point isn't to highlight how mortified a lot of us were at the thought of another high school pitcher, but rather to show how hitter goofy most of us were just two years ago. We talked about Beau Mills like teenage girls talk about "The Hills." Did you see what Beau Mills was swinging today? Ohmigod, he hit another home run for Lewis-Clark State. He is so going to be our pick.

Now? Not so much. There's a ton of high school pitching on the board, and, well, okay. That's cool. We can wait. The 2013 championship team will have a ton of talent -- Lincecum going for his sixth straight Cy Young, Buster Posey chasing .400, and John Bowker putting up a .450 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot -- but there's always room for a 22-year-old rookie pitcher just getting his feet weet. Sure, take a high school pitcher, Giants brass. That sounds swell.

Forgotten in the strange calm regarding Giants' personnel decisions: There just might be a few good hitters in this bunch. Are toolsy raffle tickets your bag? Donavan Tate's your man. Preseason favorites who might slip to the sixth pick because they only had a good-not-great season? Grant Green should be around. Looking for a hitter -- any hitter -- to turn into the Giants' version of Matt LaPorta, who was widely perceived to be an overdraft when the Brewers took him? Keith Law thinks the Giants are hot 'n' heavy for Tim Wheeler, and I've received two different random e-mails hinting that the Giants might be hotter 'n' heavier for Brett Jackson.

And when the Giants spring for one of these hitters, almost everyone's going to yelp "OVERDRAFT!", and wonder about the teenaged flamethrower who was not to be. Hot dang, I love the draft.

Quick capsules on the top three:

Donavan Tate

The top high school bat in the draft, Tate isn't going to be cheap. And he's one o' them raw hitters that the Giants have historically used to line bird cages. If the Giants want to give $6M to a playdate for Angel Villalona and Rafael Rodriguez, they can get a couple of the best Dominican propects for the price of one Tate. In ten years, maybe this will be a joke of a post as Tate closes in on his 250th home run. There are just a ton of picks that are more in the Giants' comfort zone, though. I'll be excited with a Tate pick, but it would worry the heck out of me.

Underwhelming MLB.com video
Whelming YouTube video
Another one.
A profile from a site named after a famous Giants' first-round bust. That has to mean something.

Grant Green

Green represents the most jarring departure from the Mills-or-bust mindset from two years ago. Here's a middle infielder who entered the season as a top-five pick, started a little slow, and now he might be available at six. His detractors make him sound like a Kevin Frandsen clone -- questionable ability to stick at short and minimal power. Maybe, but that would sure mean a lot of very smart folks were waaaaaay off on him for the past couple of years. I have absolutely no idea what to think about Green. His swing doesn't scream power potential, and if he can't play short, that's a one-way ticket to Grudzielanekville.

Worth noting: Dude already has a bar named after him here. Also worth noting: When you can spell "Grudzielanek" without looking it up, you probably need a month-long break from baseball.

MLB.com profile
Project Prospect profile
Prospect Insider profile
YouTube video

Tim Wheeler

If you have ESPN Insider access, you're probably aware that Wheeler is Keith Law's pick for the Giants in his mock draft. Law also grades Wheeler as having slightly above-average tools in every respect. That isn't the aerosol can of excitement that an organization should want with #6, but in a thin college draft, there's no way he'll be around for the Giants' second-round pick. If someone is enamored of Wheeler and really thinks he's the best player available at six, go for it. If someone thinks the reason to draft Wheeler is that he'll reach the majors soon, forget it.

MLB.com profile
Some guy yammering on and on about Wheeler
Baseball America profile

Notable omission: Dustin Ackley, who's been #2 on my draft board for months. These johnny-come-latelys have futzed everything up and put him at #2 on everyone's board. Not fair. Ackley's like a John Olerud who can play center, even grading out at a 70 with his "fake Rickey Henderson anecdote"-tool. If he falls for some crazy reason, the Giants' decision will be easy, and oh, goodness, Bartolo Colon is even fatter than I remember him. Sorry. I was just watching MLB Network while typing. I should know better. Where was I?

Oh, right. Amateur hitters. Times have changed, and the lunatic fringe just might be fine with another young pitcher. Comment starter: What do you think Beau Mills is totally doing right now? Also, do you think the Giants should go for a hitter with the sixth pick?

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