As some of you know, I am the Giants "virtual scouting director" over at minorleagueball.com. With the draft only six days away I wanted to go over some targets I had up through the fifth round.
In the first round there a a handful of players that really grab my attention: Josh Sale, Nick Castellano, Christian Colon, Matt Harvey and A.J Cole. The reason why Castellano, Sale, Colon are attractive are more than obvious. Sale and Castellano can both be impact bats at places where the organization are very thin. Whereas Colon could potentially be a very attractive piece as an "offensive minded" second baseman or shortstop. And while I hate the the term 'offensive minded" I think that the best way to describe, Colon in terms of the the type of player he projects at the next level. Harvey, is perhaps the most underrated prospect in the draft in my opinion, partially for justifiable reasons and I also believe he has been under the microscope for far to long. Harvey is a horse, He runs his fastball anywhere from 92-96 and holds it deep into games. He throws an above average slider, and occasionally flashes the same plus curve he used in high school, though it has become inconsistent and he favors the slider. He throws a solid change, though he does also sport a below average change-up. He gets a ton of groundballs and if not for an inconsistent sophomore season, I really believe Harvey would be a top 10 pick. A.J Cole also fits a similar profile to Harvey for me, in the sense that he's another player that should warrant a higher selection, compared to where he'll end up going. The main thing that scares people about Cole, is the fact that he's the type of player you have to project three years down the road, in terms of what they'll be rather than what they are right now. In some ways he reminds me of former Giants prospect Tim Alderson. Although both were tall projectable righties with plus curveballs, Cole throws harder and also has a more conventional wind-up. Cole is 6'5 190 and scouts believe his 91-93 fastball could pick up a notch or two given some added strength and furthered maturation. If I were ranking them I would go: Sale, Colon, Castellano, Harvey and Cole a distant fifth.
In terms of second rounders, heres some players I'd love the Giants to go after. I'd rank them: Foltynewicz, Clarke, Cechini, Deshields, Shipman
I for one am a self proclaimed sucker for tools, and tools does Chevez Clarke have. A probable first rounder heading into the season Chavez has had an inconsistent spring which has made him fall on some boards. Though he has enough tools that a team like, the Phillies could pop him in the first round. Chevez, is a switch hitting center fielder who has plus speed to go along with solid, average power. He, like most high schoolers also has shown a problem hitting quality breaking pitches.-Will probably be gone by the supplemental round.
Garin Cechini-If not for tearing his ACL, there's a very good chance Cechini would be taken in the first 20 picks or so. Cechini, who is committed to LSU, will be forced to move from SS to 3b at the next level, but scouts think he should be able to stay there long term. Cechini has a fluid stroke and plus raw power from the left side.
Mike Foltynewicz- Foltynewicz, is far and away the best prospect in an otherwise barren Northeast region. Clocking in at 6 foot 4 and 190 pounds his fastball ranges anywhere from 91-94 though scouts report he has hit 96 on occasion. His second best pitch is a changeup that features good sink and scouts feel it could potentially become a plus pitch down the road. He throws a change and slider, though scouts feel the latter shows more promise- Note I don't expect him to be on the board.
Delino Deshields Jr.-Deshields, son of the former big leaguer by the same name has been a hot commodity this spring. As a result I don't expect him to fall in our lap but, you never know, Deshields features true 80 speed and great bat speed that makes scouts believe he'll hit for average power down the road. Though he is fairly raw in center field he figures to stay there, given his ability to coverage serious ground albeit a below average arm
Aaron Shipman-Shipman shares many similarities to Deshields for one both are prep center fielders from Georgia, Shipman lacks Deshields true 80 speed but possess many other qualities that could get him drafted high than Deshields. Shipman earns above average grades for his arm, center field defense and speed. His swing excites scouts because it's simple and fluid. He's not the most polished player around, but he has plenty of tools to warrant a high selection
Third Round: Jaffe, Gumbs, Olt, Bryant
There's a couple players in particular that really interest me. One being local product Eric Jaffe, is a local product from Bishop O' Dowd in nearby Oakland. Many scouts have likened Jaffe to 09 Orioles first rounder Matt Hobgood. Like Hobgood, Jaffe is a large man standing 6 foot 3 and weighing 230 pounds. Also like Hobgood, Jaffe has to present plus pitches with a fastball that reaches 95 and a proclaimed "wipeout curve." One thing holding Jaffe back is his command, but he's a two way player who also plays a solid first base and scouts feel his command will improve once he gives up first base.
Nevada prep 3r baseman Kris Bryant as well. Bryant has monstrous power that ranks among the best in the draft. He also has a tendency to swing and miss and although he moves well for his size, some scouts question if he can stick at 3rd long term.
Angelo Gumbs, Gumbs is a Southern California prep outfielder that has steadily risen up draft boards as the season has worn on. Gumbs doesn't have one tool that stands out though he does feature above average speed and some scouts feel he could have fiver average to plus tools in due time. The one red flag teams have about Gumbs is the fact that he sturggles against quality off-speed pitches. He is also just 17 years old.
Mike Olt, a former shortstop, Olt moved from to third base his sophomore season at Uconn. A good athlete, some scouts beleive Olt could be a gold glover at the hot corner while the consensus is he'll be no worse than solid. Holt has above average raw power, though he struggles with pith recognition. Had Olt been say in the ACC,SEC or PAC 10 he probably wouldn't make it to the second round.
In a draft short on prep lefty's Texas pitcher Mitchell Taylor really stands out. Taylor has made an alarming ascent up draft boards as of late. The 6'1 160 lefty throws 89-93 and is concerned a pretty polished product. He also comes equipped with a big curveball that some scouts grade better than his curveball. I liken him to Rangers lefty Robbie Erlin, in the sense that if he were two inches taller, he'd be a surefire first round pick.
Brian Guinn, another local product the Cal second baseman has just made the transition from shortstop though most scouts say he's a natural already. According to Baseball America, he is amongst the top three most athletic players in Northern California this year probably due to his plus plus speed. He has long been on the radar since his father, is a scout. There is some question as to if he will hit enough to be a solid regular, but those that believe in the bat liken him to Delino Deshields.