I'll get the important stuff out of the way right now, for those of you that don't want to read my meanderings below.
My preliminary overall grade for the Giants 2011 draft is a solid B. That could fall to a lower grade by the middle of August, if we're not able to sign some of our better draftees. On the other hand, I would raise it to a B+ if the Giants are able to sign at least 7 of the following 9 high-upside prospects that they drafted between the 10th and 28th rounds:
Kentrell Hill, Christian Diaz, Adam Paulencu, Tyler Leslie, Clayton Blackburn, Cristian Otero, Jonathan Jones, Demondre Arnold, and Tyler Mizenko.
In addition, I would raise it up all the way to an A- if they sign at least those 7 aforementioned players AND at least 2 of the following 3 prospects from after the 42nd round:
Drew Stiner, Travious Relaford, and Waldyvan Estrada.
In the end, I have to admit that, if the signings turn out like I expect them to, I'm a bit disappointed in the overall draft. I think that the Giants had an opportunity to do a lot more damage if they had been willing to open their pursestrings more. Not to mention that 2 of their in-division rivals (namely Arizona and San Diego) did just that and will likely have monster drafts if they end up signing the prospects that I think they will. The Giants repeatedly passed up a lot of premium talent in many rounds during the draft, to go after guys that will likely end up as roster-filler. Despite having the handicap of drafting much later in each round than they have in a very long time, the Giants passed on many opportunities to select some real heavyweight, highly-rated, and high-upside prospects.
Now that that is out of the way, I'll give my specific reviews and information for each player the Giants drafted after the jump. As anybody that has read my previous work can easily guess, it's long and not for the faint-of-heart, or ADD-types.
In the opening sentence of my Analysis section that I included in my final predraft fanpost, I wrote the following.
The Giants need to focus on the 2 P's in this draft - Power and Pitching.
Well, my psychic powers must have been on the blink, because I got the letter "P" part right, but I didn't get the 2 words right. The 3 P's that are needed to define this year's draft are:
Panik, Pitching, and Puerto Rico.
And, when it comes right down to it, I have to say, "Thank God for Jorge Lopez!"
Jorge Lopez is the highly-rated high school pitcher from Puerto Rico that the Giants scouted with the thought of taking him with one of their first 3 picks. They didn't end up drafting Lopez (he went to the Brewers with the 10th pick in the 2nd round), but the Giants must have sent so many scouts down to check out Lopez in the months leading up to the draft that they just naturally had to notice all of the other untapped talent was available on the island this year. The scouts saw so many prospects they liked while in Puerto Rico that the Giants ended up drafting a total of 4 toolsy, athletic and high-upside high school kids from the island. Without those 4 kids, the Giants draft would have been looked very old and staid. Aside from Kyle Crick in the first round and the 4 Puerto Ricans starting in round 8, the Giants took no other highly-rated or highly-talented high school players. They did take pitchers Tyler Leslie and Blackburn in rounds 15 and 16, but then didn't take another high school kid until taking 3 of them late - starting in the 43rd round. None of those 3 kids are likely to be signed.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like college prospects in general, or the ones that the Giants ended up with, specifically. It's just that this was an historically good draft for high school talent (especially pitching), and I wanted the Giants to loosen up and go for a few more home runs with their choices. The Giants are almost certainly not going to have each of Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain to rely on in their super-rotation for much longer. They need to stock and develop their cheap replacements now. I know that the Giants didn't have as much money allocated to the draft as them, but just look how many B+ and higher-rated HS prospects teams like Toronto, Boston, and Tampa Bay drafted to balance out with the college guys that they got. Boston was able to pretty much restock their farm system, that was depleted after the Adrian Gonzalez trade, with this one draft. Yes, Boston did have 2 more picks in rounds 1 and 1-s than the Giants, but after that things were even in each round, and the Red Sox didn't stop taking the hard-to-sign HS kids after the first round was over.
Finally, let me just state what should be obvious to all. This was a Dick Tidrow draft. His fingerprints are all over the list of draftees. Five of the first 8 draftees were pitchers, as were 10 of the first 18; 14 of the first 22; 19 of the first 29; and 28 of the total 51. By comparison, last year the number of pitchers taken was only 5 of the first 14, 12 of the first 27 and 25 of the total 50. Not only did the Giants take more pitchers early on, but almost every pitcher that they chose this year had the power arm that Tidrow loves - both the starters and the relievers. Most of the few non-power arms that I saw were guys that pitch with some type of deception in their delivery, or had some other major upside. On a somewhat down note, almost all of the power arms have a history of poor control and command of their pitches, so Tidrow and his fellow minor league pitching gurus are going to have a lot of work ahead of them to whip this class of pitchers into shape.
Let's move on to my thoughts and notes on the individual draftees.
1.29 - Joe Panik, LHH, SS/2B, St. John's Univ., (6'1", 190) (DOB=10/30/90)
Not the sexiest pick, but likely the most controversial one, of the first round. I wouldn't have chosen him at this point, but I do like him a lot as a player, and I had him on my list of guys that I wanted the Giants to target beginning in the 2nd round. For all the sound and fury that this pick generated, there is a very strong probability that he'll end up being the best major leaguer of any of the guys that the Giants drafted this year. He has a very high floor, and should move very quickly through the system. Barring a major injury, I find it hard to imagine any future where he is not a productive major league contributor over a 5 - 10 year time frame. I don't mind the Giants giving him a shot at SS over the next 12 months, but I don't want them to prolong his minor league career by not moving him to 2B in the minors quickly enough. I took it as a postive sign that John Barr was quoted as saying that the Giants see Panik as "...being an offensive middle infielder" - not an offensive SS.
Panik should sign very quickly for slot, as I don't think even in his wildest dreams did he see himself getting drafted as high as #29. His hometown newspaper (the PoughKeepsie Journal) quoted him as saying:
The draft continues through Wednesday, and Panik said he's then look [sic] to finalize a deal with the World Series champs. "Probably Thursday, that's when negotiations will start," he said. "Hopefully we'll get things wrapped up, and we'll get going."
He also told the newspaper that the Giants told him they were "really going to push me up" and that they would most likely assign him to Salem-Keizer or Augusta once he signs his contract.
1.49 - Kyle Crick, RHP, Sherman HS, TX (6'3" 225) (DOB=11/30/92)
Great pick. He reminds me of Matt Cain coming out of high school. Besides his physical potential, the best thing about Crick is how much he's been able to achieve in his pitching development despite the fact that he's only been a full-time pitcher for about 1.5 years. Most HS kids in Crick's shoes in the past 15 years have entered the draft with a lot of mileage on their arms, and years of trying to hump up their fastballs into the mid-90s. Crick doesn't have either pieces of baggage, so he's likely to see more progess and higher development as he gets good coaching and repeated innings on the mound. The big thing he needs to work on is consistency and improvement of his secondary pitches. He is a bit ahead of many other HS pitchers in that he already has 3 workable secondary pitches - including the seldom-seen forkball. He does have a college commitment to TCU, so his signing isn't a slam-dunk.
2.86 - Andrew Susac, C, RHH, Ore. St. Univ. (6'1", 200) 3/22/90
I'm not the biggest Susac fan, but I do have na open mind due to his young age and relative inexperience behind the plate. I have some doubts about his future abitlity to hit and play good defense at catcher on the major league level. The way that the Giants were able to develop Buster Posey's defense in the minors makes me feel a lot more confident that Susac will develop into an above-average catcher (he certainly has all of the physical and mental tools needed), but that still leaves my concerns over his contact rate He's a draft-eligible sophomore who expected to be drafted much higher than the end of the 2nd round, so he'll have advanced leverage and a chip on his shoulder in bonus negotiations. His signing is not a done-deal, so we need to temper our joy in stealing Susac so late in the draft. Don't look for him to sign before the August 15th deadline. Ironically, that might end up being a blessing in disguise as it should give Susac extra time for his broken hamate bone in his hand to heal completely.
When you look at his college stats the positive of his elite BB-rate immediately jumps out at you. However, as you look deeper you see the troublingly-high K-rate that doesn't bode well when combined with his only above-average power numbers. Susac currently strikes out too much and doesn't make enough consistent contact at the plate for a guy that hasn't been a great power hitter. There are extenuating circumstances to excuse some of these worries. This was only Susac's sophomore season, so he's younger and has much less experience than the typical college catcher draftee. In addition, the complications he faced with rehabbing from his mid-season broken hamate bone certainly must have sapped some of his power and ability to make consistent contact at the plate. Finally, the fact that he was able to step right in as a full-time starting catcher as a freshman in 2010, and the strides that he's made in in his defense over the past year, should make us feel much better that he is coachable and able to learn the position while he's on the job.
Stats: .313/.444/.552/.996 with AB=134, wOBA=.435, 2B=9, 3B=4, HR=5, BB=27 (15.9%), K=32 (18.8%)
Vid 1: (interview - 2010): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPuNrFMXMJQ&feature=related
3.116 - Ricky Oropesa, 1B, LHH (throws RH), USC (6'3", 225) 12/15/89
I didn't like this pick when I first heard it, and I still don't like it. I don't like his swing mechanics or his plate discipline, and for a guy that is supposed to have "plus raw power" he has yet to come close to translating it into game-time power. In addition, he will never be able to play any other position then 1B and he'll likely never play there at any better than average D. If the Giants wanted to go with a college power bat with great potential at this point in the draft, then they should have gone with Jake Lowery (from James Madison Univ.) or Matt Skole (from Georgia Tech). At least those 2 guys have shown that they have the ability to unleash their power potential in actual games - even with the new deadened BBCOR college bats. And both Skole and Lowery have the possibiltiy of playing a premium defensive position in the pros - Lowery at catcher and Skole at 3B. If they would have to be stuck at 1B then at least they will be able to provide above-average defense to go along with their power bats.
Stats: .322/.402/.481/.883 with AB=208, wOBA=.395, 2B=10, 3B=1, HR=7, BB=29 (11.8%), K=46 (18.7%)
Vid 1 (live AB vs. Trevor Bauer - 3/26/11 - 3 straight K's): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpSlzNkK368
Vid 2 (live AB - Cape Cod League - 7/1/10): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0j8Snidv8c&feature=fvst
4.147 - Bryce Bandilla, LHP, Univ. of Ariz. (6'4", 230) 1/17/90
I'll defer to free f.p.'s superior knowledge on this pick. I feel is was a bit of a reach at this point, but Tidrow obviously was really high on this guy. Between Bandilla and Hembree, we could have nailed down our future cheap lefty and righty closers for 2014 through 2018. There is a slight possibilty that the Giants might try him as a starter to begin his pro career, but I think they'll keep him in the pen. He reportedly has good velocity on his FB and a very nice changeup, but he has a big issue with his control that must first be fixed. He also needs to work hard on his physical fitness going forward.
He does have some non-minor issues with his mechanics. It encourages me that he's been able to throw with above-average velocity despite the fact that he doesn't even come close to getting the most out of his delivery mechanics. He's basicaly doing it all with his arm-strength alone. As you can see from the video below, his body tends to get well out in front of his arm. He gets very little power translated up from his legs and hips. If the Giants can successfully correct his mechanics I could see him throwing in the upper 90s as a reliever. The delivery tweaks should also help him to better his control. Bandilla should sign quickly for no more than slot. He needs to get into camp early and work on his mechanics behind the scenes
Stats: G=31, IP=46.2, ERA=3.47, FIP=3.45, WHIP=1.46, BAA=.208, K=48, BB=35, K/9=9.3, BB/9=6.8, K/BB=1.4, BABIP=.291
Vid (in-game mound warmups from April 2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfxpC_HTanI
5.177 - Chris Marlowe, RHP, Okla. St. Univ. (6'0", 175) 10/26/89
A very good high-upside, low-floor pick in this round. This is Brian Wilson on steroids. Most things about his stats are extreme. He has an extremely good K/9-rate (15.6), an extremely bad BB/9-rate (7.5), and an extremely good BAA rate (.180). He also contrasts a very good FIP (2.88) with a bad ERA (5.05) and BABIP (.338).
Stats: G=24, IP=41, ERA=5.05, FIP=2.88, WHIP=1.44, BAA=.180, K=71, BB=34, K/9=15.6, BB/9=7.5, K/BB=1.2, BABIP=.338
6.207 - Josh Osich, LHP, Ore. St. Univ. (6'3", 235) 9/3/88
Osich is another great value pick at this round. He would almost certainly gone off the board between #25 and #45 overall if not for the sore arm and back that affected his stuff over the last 2 weeks of the season. To top it off, he was pulled from a game on the Sunday before the draft in the 2nd inning with an unspecified arm issue. Prior to being pulled from the game his control had been very erratic and his velocity was down about 5 mph from his season average. At his best, Osich is a tall and burly lefty that was able to dominate in the Pac 10 this season despite having just had TJ surgery in February of 2010 and despite not being able to throw his best breaking ball until very late in the season. The rehab from the TJ surgery forced him to rely more on his FB and to develop an effective and consistent changeup for 2011, because he was advised not to throw his slider (previously well above-average and his out pitch) while his arm returned to form. The first time that he started throwing the slider in a real game late in the season, he threw a complete game no-hitter against UCLA while walking only 1 batter.
The odds of Osich signing with the Giants are probably only around 60-40 right now. Not because either side will be making any extreme salary demands during negotiations, but because the health of his arm is in question right now. The Giants will almost surely wait several weeks until they can get a better description of what the real medical issue is with his arm before they even start negotiating with him. Since they will most likely not see his medical reports until after he signs, the Giants will want to see Osich pitch in real games over several weeks before they will feel good about his health. If there is any lingering issue, then I could see the Giants offerring a reduced bonus to Osich, but I can't imagine that Osich would accept the offer. If there is any issue, then I believe that Osich will take the rest of the summer and winter off and then go back for his final season of college ball at OSU - betting that he can pitch his way into a million dollar-plus bonus in 2012.
As you can see from his 2011 stats below, Osich has an issue with stamina and pitch efficiency. He needs to learn how to pitch deeper into games if he's going to be a starter in the pros, otherwise he will be forced into the bullpen where his worth will drop. Some of it was probably due to the pitch limits that he was under for most of the season due to the rehab from the TJ surgery.
Stats: GS=15, IP=74, IP/St=4.9, ERA=3.64, FIP=3.52, WHIP=1.25, BAA=.221, K=79, BB=34, K/9=9.3, BB/9=3.0, K/BB=2.3, BABIP=.294
VID (no-hitter vs. UCLA): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07F6cz8PiAg
7.237 - Ray Black, RHP, Pittsburgh Univ. (6'5", 225) 6/26/90
He's a hard pitcher to figure out. On the 1 hand he has a huge control problem (averaging well more than 1 BB per inning) and some scary stats, while on the other hand he has elite K-rates, a great FIP, and really appears to be getting a lot of really bad breaks when he pitches (BABIP=.477). I'm guessing that he is so wild that the fielders behind him tend to fall asleep when he pitches and don't get good breaks on the few balls that the opposing offense actually puts into play. A true project for Tidrow and his minions. His stuff consists of a 94-97 fastball and a nasty slider - giving him the requisite two plus pitches most closers possess. The lack of consistency in both his command and on the break of his slider are Black’s two biggest weaknesses at this stage. He did have TJ surgery on his elbow while still in high school.
Stats: G=18, IP=20, ERA=6.30, FIP=1.59, WHIP=2.35, BAA=.273, K=33, BB=26, K/9=14.9, BB/9=11.7, K/BB=1.3, BABIP=.477
8.267 - Jean Delgado, SS, RHH, Cuagas Military Acad. (5'11", 155) 2/5/93
Here we start a really nice 4 pick run of young, toolsy, and athletic picks with the first of 4 Puerto Ricans that we drafted. Similar to 2010, when the Giants picked Heath Hembree, Mike Kickham, and Chuckie Jones in consecutive rounds starting in round 5; I like these next 4 picks better than half of the guys drafted before them.
Speaking of Delgado specifically, he looks to have a real wiry strength and athleticism. He's skinny now, but if he can add about 15 pounds he could be very dangerous with the bat. Reportedly, he's not the most accomplished defensive SS, but from the video below I see definite potential and a more than adequate arm. Perfect Game named Delgado as the 5th best overall prospect, and the #1 hitting prospect, on the island in May. They had this to say about him:
JEAN DELGADO – ss, Isabel Flores HS, Juncos
Slender 6-0/150, polished player, whippy bat speed with gap power, quick feet, soft hands, 6.6. runner.
From the videos below, it appears to me that he has good bat-speed and very good hand-eye coordination at the plate, but he has too much excess motion and length in his swing that could make it very difficult to hit with consistent contact as he advances in pro ball.
Vid 1 (Batting practice - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011): http://www.baseballwebtv.com/Video.aspx?videoID=50642
Vid 2 (Infield practice - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011): http://www.baseballwebtv.com/Video.aspx?videoID=50643
Vid 3 (60 yard dash - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011): http://www.baseballwebtv.com/Video.aspx?videoID=50641
Vid 4 (IF + BP - 2011): http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?topic_id=18674140&content_id=15423943
9.297 - Derek Law, RHP, Miami-Dade CC (6'2", 200) 9/14/90
Law throws a good curveball, slider and above-average fastball which sits 90-92 mph, and has touched 93. Law’s father Joe Law reached AAA in the minors and helped teach Derek how pitch. Derek went 8-0 as a high school junior and was the only junior named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette All-Area team in 2008. He disappointed scouts in 2009 by going 3-2 with a 1.70 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 39 innings, keeping him from being drafted until the late rounds of the 2009 draft (by the Rangers) and out of the running for a scholarship from major college programs. He's been pitching in relative obscurity at Miami-Dade Community College the past 2 seasons. I imagine that the Giants took notice of him when they started scouting his more famous teammate Brian Goodwin this spring (Goodwin was rumored to be a target of the Giants at #29 or #49). He compiled eye-popping stats as a starter this season (K=121, BB=16, ERA=2.35 in 92 innings), including an excellent K/9 of 11.8. He's a sophomore, so he has leverage in negotiations.
10.327 - Kentrell Hill, CF, SWH (throws RH), Ark-Baptist JuCo (6'0", 185) 6/26/90
Hill is a super-talented potential 5-tool CF who has been clocked in 4.47 for the 40 and a 6.46 for the 60. Hill is a dangerous baserunner and has incredible range in CF. Kentrell sports a plus arm, being clocked above 90 mph from the mound and the outfield. Hill did very well at the plate this spring, putting up an OPS over 1.100, with 11 home runs, and walking more times than he struck out in 119 at-bats. Hill is a sophomore, so he could well be a difficult sign. He does have a scholarship offer from Oral Roberts Univ., which has a long history of being a national baseball power.
[He] has a shot to sneak into the first 10 rounds thanks to his loud tools. While Hill is raw at the plate, he has made adjustments to use his hands more and showed improvement. His power will be the last tool to come. The rest of his tools and his makeup earn plenty of praise. He’s an above-average runner who has turned in 6.5-second times over 60 yards, and he has an above-average arm as well. Hill has the speed to cover center field and a solid 6-foot, 185-pound frame. His work ethic and aptitude earn high marks as well. He could be a summer follow, as he’s slated to play in the wood-bat Coastal Plain League this summer. He’s an Oral Roberts recruit if he doesn’t sign.
Local newspaper article:
…through 46 games and 137 at bats, Hill has 11 home runs and is 33 of 36 in stolen bases; this gives him the highest power-speed index within his own national division of any player in the country
One National League Central area guy remarked to me, "(He is a) plus runner with a plus arm; two tools that are very hard to find. His power has increased over the last two years, while also improving at the plate with his discipline. He is still a very raw baseball player but his potential is very high. (If he does not sign professionally), Oral Roberts got one of the most talented junior college players in the country."
At 6’0" and 185 pounds with 4.4 speed in the forty-yard dash, Hill’s athleticism is more akin to a National Football League defensive back than a college baseball player.
11.357 - Christian Diaz, CF, LHH, Dra. Conch. Cueavas HS, Puerto Rico (6’2", 180) 7/15/93
According to MLB.com, Diaz has all the tools to be a valuable defensive outfielder, including quick feet, a strong arm, and high-level athleticism. Scouts also liked his raw bat speed, short swing and ability to hit to the opposite field, though he still has plenty of room to develop as a hitter. Part of that will also come from adding more muscle to his 6-foot-2, 178-pound frame. He won't turn 18 until the middle of July. Otero does have a projectable, long, and lean frame, with long arms and legs, sloping shoulders, and a high waist. I have no idea what his options are in terms of going pro, but the Giants really need to go all-out after this guy - he's a keeper.
Check out the 3 video clips below. I see a very good hitter with good mechanics, excellent bat-speed, and raw power potential. He doesn't show much foot-speed (he'll likely have to move to RF, LF, or 1B), but his arm-speed and arm-strength appears to be well above-average.
Vid 1 (batting practice - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011):
Vid 2 (Outfield drills - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011):
Vid 3 (60 yard dash - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011):
12.387 - Kelby Tomlinson, SS, RHH, Texas Tech Univ. (6'2", 180) 6/16/90
Tomlinson is known to be a well above-average defensive SS who is also competent at the plate. Tomlinson ended the 2011 season on a 24-game errorless streak and recorded only one error in his final 33 games. From his college stats, I see that he's barely an average hitter, with almost no power to speak of. While I like the nice OBP and very good walk rates, he strikes out way too often. I also wonder if he'll be able to keep up his hgh BB-rate going forward - pro pitchers are unlikely to pitch carefully to a hitter with such little power. He certainly has the build and athletic actions to be a much better power hitter, hopefully the Giants can unleash his natural power like they did with Brandon Belt. I think that Tomlinson will sign quickly and be the starting SS for Salem in a few weeks from now.
Stats: .307/.415/.372/.787 with AB=218, wOBA=.368, 2B=7, 3B=2, HR=1, BB=39 (14.5%), K=35 (13%), SB=21 of 29 (72%)
13.417 - Adam Paulencu, RHP, Vancouver Is. Univ. (6'4", 205) 11/17/90
Paulencu is a big kid, with a great pticher's frame. Unlike with many of the pitchers they target in the draft, Pualencu knew that the Giants were interested in him, having participated in a workout session that the Giants held for a group of potential draftees at AT&T Park on May 31st. The Giants were at it again, I swear that Sabes has some operatives that are bugging the phones of other teams war rooms. Last year they scooped up Chuckie Jones 1 pick ahead of the Cardinals - after the Cards had called and let Jones know that they were going to pick him in the 7th round. They also picked Heath Hembree in the 5th round, 6 picks ahead of the Angels, while Hembree was actually on the phone with an Angels rep who was telling him that they would be drafting him in about 3 minutes. I just got the first news that the Giants have had at least 1 repeat performance in the this year's draft. On Tuesday, Paulencu received a phone call from the Brewers notifying him that they would choose him with their next pick in the 14th round. But before that news even sunk in, the Giants snapped him up - just 14 picks before the Brewers were going to nab him.
Last summer, he compiled a 6-4 record with a 2.40 ERA,and 51 strikeouts in 49.2 (K/9=9.2). His current coach loves him, and had this to say about him on Tuesday:
"He throws three pitches for strikes, with a fastball that reaches 94 miles per hour. He is tall, well built, has long arms, a great work ethic, and loves to compete. He is also a great teammate and has represented our organization very well in the community. He is the total package and has a very bright future ahead of him.”
Paulencu has a scholarship offer from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, but he's already got a foot in the Giants' camp. Adam was quoted by his local newspaper on Thursday as saying the following:
"I think I'm going to sign," he said of a decision that will take him to one of San Francisco's rookie class teams -the AZL Giants in the Arizona League or Oregon's Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the Northwest League. "We talked for an hour yesterday and I'm going to talk to them again, but I think I'm ready."
14.447 - Garrett Buechele, 3B, RHH, Univ. of Okla. (6'0", 220) 10/23/89
I love this pick at this point in the draft. Buechele is the son of the former long-time Texas Ranger 3B, Steve Beuchele. I've seen Garrett Beuchele play on TV several times in the past 2 college season, and have always liked him. I think that he's a high-floor 3B who could move very quickly through our farm system due to that, and to the fact that we are very thin at 3B throughout the entire system. He plays well above-average defense at 3B, with quick footwork and a strong arm. He's also a very smart baseball player who knows the fundamentals of the game. The 2 question marks that I see for Buechele is a tendency toward allowing his fitness level drop and an inconsistent bat. He showed surprisingly good power numbers with the new dead college bats after the first montth of this season when he was among the national leaders in HRs and SLG, but he tailed off dramatically over the last 7 weeks of the season. That caused him to fall from a probable top 4 round draftee all the way down to the end of the 14th round.
He's a senior, so he'll certainly sign, although it will likely take some weeks to get it finalized and announced. Buechele is actually a redshirt junior who has 1 more year of college eligibility left. That makes me much less sure that the Giants will sign him. I couldn't find any info on what his reaction was to being drafted so late and being drafted by the Giants.
Stats: .317/.383/.461/.844 with AB=243, wOBA=.378, 2B=9, 3B=1, HR=8, BB=14 (5.0%), K=33 (11.8%)
Vid 1 (Live AB vs. San Diego - 3/4/11): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QgBvXIq0eY&feature=related
Vid 2 (live AB - May 2009 - he has a hard head): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vwFCwxoLz0&feature=related
15.477 - Tyler Leslie, RHP, Silverado HS, Calif. (6'2", 190) 10/27/92
He's a big, strong kid with a projectable pitchers frame and room to grow. He struck out 56 batters in 38.2 innings of work this season (K/9 = 13.0) - giving up just eight extra base hits all season. He is prone to sudden bouts of wildness, but pitches the majority of his innings with above-average control. Leslie sports a fastball in the low-90s and a mid-80s breaking ball. He's committed to College of Southern Nevada JuCo, but the Giants should be able to sign him for around $180K. That would be enough of an overslot deal that the announcement will probably be delayed by MLB for 6 to 10 weeks. BA had this to say after a summer 2010 all-star showcase game:
"showed he might finally be gaining some control of his lively fastball that sits 89-93. He threw his slider with plus command and dominated hitters."
When I look at Leslie pitching in the video below, I see a kid that isn't flexible enough in his lower body to get as much power out of it as he should. He's also too tight in all of his body movements during his delivery. If the Giants can tweak his motion to get him to be much more loose and flexible, and to bend his knees and drive more with his legs then I could easily see him adding several more mph to his velocity.
16.507 - Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Edmond Santa Fe HS, Okla. (6'4", 225) 1/6/93
Blackburn helped lead his high school team to the Oklahoma Class 6A semifinals and is signed to play with the Univ. of Oklahoma. He will likely be a very tough sign. The Giants will probably follow him during the summer league season and then decide whether or not to take a strong run on him based on how he looks and if they fail to sign one of their top-rated draftees from earlier in the draft. Blackburn was 10-1 with a 1.37 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 66 innings this season. He also hit .375 with seven home runs and 45 RBI. His main claim-to-fame came when he won a pitching duel against fellow Oklahoma HS pitching star Michael Fulmer (who was picked #44 overall by ). On an 80-count pitch limit, Blackburn allowed no runs over 6 complete innings while getting 11 Ks and allowing only 2 hits. At one point he struck out 7 straight batters. His team won the game 1-0. Here's a real old video clip of him pitching. It's almost 2 years old, when Blackburn had just finnished his sophomore year in college, so his mechanics and physical look has changed a lot since then, but htis should give us a feel for what he's like on the mound:
Vid 1 (live game - June 2009): http://www.baseballwebtv.com/Video.aspx?videoID=27576
17.537 - Paul Davis, RHP, Fla. Atl. Univ. (6'2",210 ) 1/29/90
Davis has rare trait for a college pitcher - he throws deep into games as a starter. He threw three complete games and one shutout this season, while averaging over 7 innings per start. He was drafted by boston in the 29th round last year, but decided not to sign with them. I'm not sure how good his stuff is, but he appears to be more of a long-shot even this relatively early round of the draft. I believe that he will sign and join the Giants, although he's right on the edge of the spot where it will be tempting for him to think that he can go back to college for 1 more year and greatly increase his draft standing in 2012.
Stats: G=16, GS=13, IP=100.1, ERA=2.87, FIP=2.87, WHIP=1.30, BAA=.257, K=73, BB=34, K/9=6.6, BB/9=3.1, K/BB=2.1, BABIP=.307
18.567 - Cristian Otero, SS, RHH, Puerto Rico BB Acad. (6'0", 170) 3/30/93
Otero is the 2nd P.R. shortstop the Giants drafted. I really like this kid - you can never have enough high-upside plus defenders at SS. I have no idea if he's leaning towards signing with the Giants, but I hope the Giants are willing to spend the extra $40 - 100 K to get this kid in camp. As far as I can tell, he has no schoarship offers for college yet, but he has expressed interest in attending FSU or Okla. State. Othero is slightly taller and heavier than Jean Delgado, but he's reportedly doesn't have as much power at the plate as Delgado. Perfect Game rated Otero as the best defensive player in his draft class in Puerto Rico, and rated him as the #9 overall Puerto Rican prospect:
CRISITIAN OTERO – ss, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Vega Baja
Best defensive SS in P.R., + range/actions, slick glove, strong arm, lacks present strength at plate.
PG also had this in-depth scouting report after seeing Otero play in the 2011 World Showcase games in Florida this past January:
Cristian Otero is a 2011 MIF with a 6-0 168 lb. frame from Vega Baja, PR who attends Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. Loose athletic build, prototypical middle infielder. 6.81 runner, light on his feet, athletic balance on defense, smooth easy hands, very good arm strength, can stay at shortstop at the next level. Simple short right handed swing, limited weight shift, some hand quickness, good feel for the barrel, will improve offensively with added strength. Solid all around prospect. Good student.
Vid 1 (Batting practice - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011): http://www.baseballwebtv.com/Video.aspx?videoID=50681
Vid 2 (IF practice - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011): http://www.baseballwebtv.com/Video.aspx?videoID=50682
Vid 3 (60 yard dash - World Showcase - Florida - Jan. 2011): http://www.baseballwebtv.com/Video.aspx?videoID=50680
19.597 - Cody Hall, RHP, Southern Univ. (6'4", 220) 1/6/88
Expect Hall to sign quickly and end up pitcing for Salem sometime this summer. Hall worked as both a starter and a closer this season, but with his explosive fastball (he consistently throws a "heavy" FB in the mid-90s) and bulldog mentality, he figures to become a full-time reliever in the pros. Unlike most of the power pitchers that the Giants drafted this week, Hall has above-average control. He averaged only 2.6 BB/9, while sriking out 9.3 batters per 9 innings. Hall was drafted in the 35th round last year by the Tiger, so he made a good decsion by returning for his senior season at Southern. By the end of Tuesday, he had a new favorite team. A friend gave him a perfect-fitting SF Giants cap. Hall was quoted by his local paper as saying:
“It’s amazing. I’m speechless. I don’t know what to say,” he said. “Obviously, you take that day or two to relax and feel good and celebrate. But you also know it’s a lot more hard work ahead of you.”
Stats: G=16, GS=9, IP=62.2, ERA=3.59, FIP=3.06, WHIP=1.21, BAA=.242, K=65, BB=18, K/9=9.3, BB/9=2.6, K/BB=3.6, BABIP=.328
20.627 - Mitchell Beacom, LHP, UCLA (6'8", 260) 7/4/89
The tall and hulking Beacom is ambidextrous and can pitch with both hands, but he has found success as a left-hander. Beacom’s combination of size, deceptive velocity, and a quirky sidearm delivery gives most hitters, especially lefties, a challenging look. His FB seems a lot faster than the radar guns show because of his height and deception. He made 15 relief appearances last summer for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwest League, going 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA, 32 strikeouts and 11 walks in 29 innings. He was a very effective reliever for UCLA this spring, positng an excellent K/9 of 10.5 and an even better BB/9 of 2.5. He should
sign quickly and fit right in to an already very strong lower minors bullpen for the Giants. He's a senior, so he'll likely sign if the Giants offer him anything, and the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him redshirt junior, so he does have 1 more year of college eligibility left. That means that it will likely come down to how much money overslot that the Giants are willing to offer him. I hope they do go all-out on him, because I like his funky delivery and left-handed stuff.
Stats: G=25, IP=32.2, ERA=2.20, FIP=3.79, WHIP=1.10, BAA=.229, K=38, BB=9, K/9=10.5, BB/9=2.5, K/BB=4.2, BABIP=.321
VID 1 (mound warmups - March 2010): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2uJ83ZuKQA
VID 2 (mound warmups - April 2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQMlkQr7dL4&feature=related
VID 3 (mound warmups - May 2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPCfX-ZkEMg&feature=related
21.657 - Andrew Triggs, RHP, USC (6'4", 210) 3/16/89
Triggs hasn't done much in his career at USC to recommend him, but his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame has plenty of potential if the Giants can coach him up. Triggs had Tommy John surgery in 2008, but recovered well enough for BA to rank him as one of their top 100 college draft prospects heading into the 2010 season. He had a very poor 2010 season, was drafted in the 24th round, and decided to return to USC for his senior year in 2011. He performed better, cutting his walk rate and going 5-4, 3.67 while holding his fringe-average fastball velocity deeper into games. He has good sink on his fastball and also throws a curveball and changeup. Since he's a senior, the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him.
Stats: GS=14, IP=90.2, IP/St=6.5, ERA=3.67, FIP=3.75, WHIP=1.35, K=72, BB=28, K/9=7.2, BB/9=2.8, K/BB=2.6, BABIP=.347
22.687 - Cameron McVey, RHP, Biola Univ. (6'5", 205) 10/18/88
There's not a lot to go on with McVey, but he does have the intriguing size and frame, and the stats to dream on. The level of competition he played against in college was very low. McVey routinely throws his FB in the mid-90s. He was the closer this year, recording 14 saves and a 2.53 ERA in 31 innings, with 39 Ks (K/9=11.3) and a BAA of .181. He's a senior, so the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him. Reports have the Giants and McVey agreeing in principle to a deal wherein he will play in the Alaska Baseball League this summer and then report to the Giants in August.
23.717 - Jonathan Jones, 3B/1B, RHH, Vanier College, Canada (6'4", 205) 2/15/92
I couldn't get a feel for which way Jones might be leaning. He is only a sophomore so he could hook on with a 4 year college program and try again next year. I assume that it will come down to how much money the Giants are willing to offer Jones. In the recent past the Giants haven't gone above the $200K mark for a guy that they've drafted this late.
Jones enrolled at Vanier College after developing his skills with the Academie du Baseball Canada and playing for the Canadian junior-national team. He swings a powerful bat but doesn't possess many other notable tools, and most scouts project he will end up at first base despite his otherwise-solid third-base abilities. Perfect Game loves his power tool. They rated him as the #7 overall Canadian draft prospect. Here's the 2 blurbs they published on him:
7. JONATHAN JONES, 3b, Vanier (Quebec) College (Fr.) / ABC Academy
Product of Quebec’s ABC academy, late bloomer; ++ power, made big strides at plate; 3B now, 1B in works.
The 6-foot-3 Jones is a relative newcomer as a draftable prospect, and made his presence felt with his powerful bat. Though he plays third base and probably has the arm strength to remain there, the rest of Jones’ tools are fringy or below-average, and he likely will end up at first base.
24.747 - Keith Bilodeau, RHP, Univ. of Maine (6'4", 190) 9/17/89
Bilodeau doesn't have the fastest or most electric stuff, but he is very efficient with his pitches, knows how to mix up his pitches and his speed, and pitches deep into games. His repertoire consists of 3 main pitches: FB, cut FB, and slider. He also can spot a developing changeup. He had five complete games and two shutouts this year. He seems like roster filler to me, and will likely sign quickly.
Stats: G=14, GS=12, IP=84.2, ERA=2.87, FIP=3.76, WHIP=1.29, K=77, BB=34, K/9=8.2, BB/9=3.6, K/BB=2.3, BABIP=.313
25.777 - Demondre Arnold, RHP, Middle Ga. JuCo (6'3", 210) 3/18/92
He's a wildcard. I high-upside young hurler with several options. He just finished his freshman year, so he still has 3 more shots at the draft. If he doesn't like the money the Giants are offerring then he'll likely head back to school in September and hope that his performance next spring will dramatically raise his draft round, with the added option of hooking up with a 4-year college and pitching forn them in the spring of 2013 as a junior. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Giants will see how he does in summer ball over the next 6-8 weeks and then decide if they really want to pursue him based on whether or not they're able to sign all of their top guys from the first 16 rounds.
Arnold's FB sits in the 89-92 mph range, touches 94. He had more strikeouts (45) this season than hits and walks combined (36), while allowing only 14 earned runs. When you watch him pitch in the clip below, you'll see that he has a loose and quick arm, but he loses a lot of velocity and control by throwing across his body and not allowing his hips and legs to participate very much in his motion. He has possibilities, but needs to get his mechanics fixed.
Vid (Spring 2010 - 1 year ago):
26.807 - Joe Biagini, LHP, UC Davis (6'4", 215) 5/29/90
Sophomore, so he's very unlikely to sign this late in the draft. Biagini's father, Rob, played Minor League ball in the Giants' organization. Biagini made 13 appearances for UC Davis this spring after transferring from the College of San Mateo, posting a 3-1 record and 7.47 ERA. There are signs of potential, however, as he struck out 18 batters in 15 2/3 innings.
Stats: G=13, IP=15.2, ERA=7.47, FIP=4.08, WHIP=2.11, K=77, BB=18, K/9=10.3, BB/9=5.2, K/BB=2, BABIP=.489
27.837 - Steven Snodgrass, LHP, Austin Peay St. Univ. (6'8", 220) 12/10/87
Snodgrass had shoulder surgery in 2010 and missed the entire season, but the 6-foot-8, 220-pounder bounced back to post decent stats this season. He likely has more in the tank, as early in the season he seemed to be feeling his way along while recovering from sitting out the entire 2010. He pitched better at the end of the season, and especially in his last 2 outings. He's a senior, so he'll likely sign if the Giants want to offer him anything. The Giants have unitl next June to sign him.
Stats: G=14, IP=79.2, ERA=3.50, FIP=3.57, WHIP=1.57, K=67, BB=27, K/9=7.6, BB/9=3.1, K/BB=1.4, BABIP=.379
28.867 - Tyler Mizenko, RHP, Winthrop Univ. (6'1", ) 4/9/90
The Giants inexplicably tortured Mizenko on Tuesday, the 2nd day of the draft. They called him on the phone in the 6th round to tell him that they were interested in him. They called him a few more times after that, but didn't end up drafting him until the 28th round. The Giants are usually much more secretive than that, I wonder what was going on there.
Mizenko has a very big upside for a 28th round college junior. He didn't pick up pitching until his senior year in HS (before that he was a SS), but found that he could easily bring his FB up to the 93 mph range with a seemingly smooth and effortless delivery. He immediately jumped into the role of closer for Winthrop in his freshman season of 2009. He did very well, and ended up setting the all-time single season for saves (14). Mizenko pitched to rave reviews in the New England Collegiate Baseball League during teh summer of 2009. Here's what BA wrote about him at the end of that summer:
Mizenko went a long way in closing the gap on some of his in-state peers by recording 14 saves as a freshman at Winthrop, second most in Division I by a freshman. He then topped the NECBL by posting nine more saves this summer, while going 1-1, 0.46. In 20 innings, he limited hitters to a .169 average while striking out 23. He earned two more saves in post-season play. But Mizenko may have done the most to make a name for himself in a one-inning stint against Team USA, when he struck out the side with a fastball that topped out at 94 mph. Veteran Keene skipper Marty Testo was so impressed with Mizenko that he said he had the best arm of any pitcher that he had seen in his seven years in the NECBL. At least three other managers concurred, saying Mizenko had the best stuff in the league this summer. Not only was Mizenko's fastball consistently in the 92-95 mph range, but it produced heavy sink from a low three-quarters angle. He also mixed in a sharp, biting slider, and spotted both pitches with precision to both sides of the plate. He even showcased a solid changeup, at times, though rarely used, or needed it. Mizenko might normally fall into the category of being a mid-sized righthander, but scouts see him a little differently as he has an unusually high waist and broad shoulders, physical qualities normally found in bigger pitchers.
Mizenko pitched last summer in the Cape Cod League for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, going 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA and earning recognition as one of the top 100 prospects in the league, according to Perfect Game USA. After successfully establishing himself as one of the top college closers in his first 2 seasons, a new coach took over the Winthrop program before the 2011 season. He decided to move Mizenko from the pen to the rotation. He worked on the transition last fall and preceded to do so well in his new role this spring that he won the #1 starting position. In short, Mizenko shows great potential as a starter in the pros. He took to pitching and starting so late in his career that his best is still well ahead of him - especially when you consider how good his stuff is. The Giants need to go all out to sign Mizenko.
Stats: G=15, IP=90.1, IP/St=6, ERA=3.79, FIP=3.80, WHIP=1.18, K=65, BB=19, K/9=6.5, BB/9=1.9, K/BB=3.4, BABIP=.304
VID 1 (post-game Q & A + highlights - May 2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T61dy7Hu2Dk&NR=1
29.897 - Eldred Barnett, CF, RHH, Grambling St. Univ. (6'1", 190) 5/2/89
Barnett appears to have some intriguing tools and has been able to apply them in games to put up some nice stats. I'm guessing that Barnett will sign quickly and get into camp right away. He's a senior, so he'll should sign if the Giants offer him anything at all. The Giants do have 1 whole year to sign him.
Stats: .353/.437/.558/.995 with AB=156, wOBA=.438, 2B=10, 3B=5, HR=4, BB=25 (13.2%), K=32 (16.8%), SB=14 of 20 (70%)
30.927 - Dave Fischer, RHP, Univ. of Conn. (6'5", 175) 4/10/90
Fischer is a very tall and skinny reliever. he has a nice and easy motion and room left to fill out, so he's and intriguing prospect. He had an eventful day on Tuesday. The Angels had drafted him out of high school back in the 44th round of the 2008 draft, but he decided to turn them down and pitch for UCONN. On Tuesday, the Angels tried to draft Fischer again beginning in round 14. However, they had neglected to file the necessary paperwork with the MLB Front Office that showed they had gotten Fischer's written permission to re-draft him. While the Angels scrambled to try to get the paperwork in the 2nd round of the draft continued. They Giants ended up selecting Fischer with their 30th round pick, the 5th from the final pick of the entire day. Suck it Rally Monkey!!!
The Giants will likely let Fischer pitch in the Cape Cod League this summer before deciding to offer him a contract. Fischer might be reluctant to sign for anything less than 14th round money, because he knows that the Angels think that highly of him. He can always decide to return to school for his senior year with the thought that he knows the Angels are still very interested in him, and he may pitch himself up into the top 10 rounds of the 2012 draft.
Stats: G=23, IP=48.1, ERA=1.68, FIP=3.12, WHIP=1.20, K=43, BB=21, K/9=8, BB/9=3.9, K/BB=2, BABIP=.291
VID 1: (live game highlights - 2011): http://www.cbs6albany.com/sports/giants-1285681-team-fischer.html
31.957 - Philip McCormick, LHP, Univ. of Mo. (6’1", 184) (DOB=9/7/88)
McCormick his a deceptive side-arm reliever in the mold of the Giants' Javier Lopez. Like Lopez, he throws from many different slots and angles, adn is especially tough on left-handed hitters. He also has a rubber arm and can pitch back-to-back games with ease. He's a senior, so he should sign if the Giants offer him anything, and the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him. Local news article about changing his mechanics to be more deceptive:
“McCormick, a redshirt sophomore, decided to make his delivery so funky that hitters would have difficulty adjusting to it. So weird that they would have to work to see the pitches coming out of his hand. "
Stats: G=35, IP=61.2, ERA=3.50, FIP=3.97, WHIP=1.38, BAA=.237, HR=2, K=56, BB=32, K/9=8.2, BB/9=4.7, K/BB=1.8, BABIP=.307
Video (2011): www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8wp80WPxIA
32.987 - Michael Mergenthaler, CF, LHH, Univ. of Richmond (6’4", 210) 1/6/89
Just roster filler. His offenssive stats are unimpressive, but he's obviously got good patience at the plate and baseball smarts, as exemp;ified by his high BB-rate, relatively low K-rate, and excellent stolen base success. He had a promising junior season at the plate, but the new bats this year really seemed to sap his power - with his HR totals dropping from 13 to 7 and his SLG dropping from .542 to .496. He's a senior, so he'll likely sign if the Giants offer him anything, and the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him.
Stats: .307/.390/.496/.885 with AB=228, wOBA=.393, 2B=18, 3B=2, HR=7, BB=36 (13.2%), K=35 (12.9%), SB=18 of 20 (90%)
33.1017 - Brock Bennett, C, RHH, Univ. of Ala. – Tuscaloosa (5’10", 165) 4/1/88
Bennett's 5 years at Alabama is a heartwarming tale of tenacity and overcoming ones physical limitations. He's an undersized catcher, with a bulldog mentality. Bennett has made himself into a very good defensive catcher with soft hands, quick feet, a quick and accurate arm, and great fundamentals. He made just three errors in 379 chances this season to post a team-best .992 fielding percentage. He is a valuable team player, as displayed by the 21 successful sacrifice bunts this year. He needs to continue to bulk up in the future, but he will be the most physically-fit Giant in the whole organization as soon as he signs. I'm sure that we'll see him in camp in a few weeks. He's a senior, so he has no more options at this point, and he's the perfect catcher to have in your minor league system.
Stats: 338/.392/.369/.761 with AB=225, wOBA=.348, 2B=7, 3B=0, HR=0, BB=17 (6.4%), K=14 (5.2%), SB=9 of 12 (75%)
Story of his struggles to make it as a starter in college:
34.1047 - Ben Thomas, 1B, LHH, Xavier Univ. (6’2", 240) 6/3/89
Wow, power at the plate without an extreme K-rate – this guy intrigues me even more than Oropesa. Also, he looks like a smart baserunner. The Columbus, Ohio native was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year this season. Thomas is a slow runner and not very athletic, but he does have an above-average arm. He pitched over 85 innings in his 3 years at Xavier. He's a senior, so he should sign if the Giants offer him anything (I think they will), and the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him.
Stats: .350/.415/.632/1.047 with AB=220, wOBA=.448, 2B=15, 3B=1, HR=15, BB=23 (9.1%), K=26 (10.3%), SB=5 of 7 (71%)
35.1077 - Shawn Payne, CF, RHH, Ga. South. Univ. (6’1", 190) 7/13/89
His full name is Rashawn, but he goes by the name of Shawn. He's still raw, and stirikes out too much, but he has plus speed and an above-average arm in CF. In his 2 years at Ga. Southern he stole 76 bases and was only caught 5 times - for a 93.8% success rate. He's a senior, so he'll sign if the Giants offer him anything at all. He's eager to get to Scottsdale and he has enough intriguing tools that I think we'll be seeing him in the AZL or at Salem in the next 2 weeks. The Giants do have 1 whole year to sign him.
Stats: .314/.432/.504/.936 with AB=242, wOBA=.414, 2B=16, 3B=6, HR=6, BB=38 (12.7%), K=60 (20.1%), SB=33 of 36 (91.2%)
36.1107 - Austin Lubinsky, RHP, Univ. of Minn. (6’1",185 ) 5/2/90
He's another project, but with much better control and not nearly as much velocity as most of the previouis pitchers drafted. I would not be at all surprised if he returns to Minnesota for his senior year. Looking at his video clip, he reminds me somewhat of fellow Minnesota alum, and Giants draftee, Seth Rosin. They both finished their junior years looking a little chunky around the middle and a bit soft. From Jon Klima at baseballbeginnings.com (after seeing him throw in the Cape Cod League in 2010):
He’s got a good frame that looks like it has some physical maturity room left in it. Semi-wind up, high 3/4 slot, good arm action and fair delivery, FB 87-90 with downhill life and tail. Secondary pitch in this look was the CHG, 75 in this look, showed hints of deception but not a lot of comfort with it. Above-average fastball control and enough FB life to be dangerous. Needs to build more strength, stamina and mechanical consistency based on this look. Would be a guy to check in on if I see him again.
Stats: G=14, IP=74.1, IP/S=5.4, ERA=4.36, FIP=4.39, WHIP=1.33, BAA=.262, K=53, BB=24, K/9=6.4, BB/9=2.9, K/BB=2.2, BABIP=.310
37.1137 - Michael Williams, C/IF, RHH, Univ. of Kentucky (6’2", 205) 4/30/90
Alex Meyer's personal catcher at Kentucky in 2011. I'm not sure what the Giants like in this guy, although it's most likely his strong arm behind the plate. He threw out 42% of the 38 runners that tried to steal on him this year. That number is made even more impressive when you consider that Meyer takes a long time to deliver his pitches.
Stats: .264/.321/.448/.769 with AB=174, wOBA=.336, 2B=11, 3B=0, HR=7, BB=11 (5.7%), K=33 (17.1%)
38.1167 - Bryan Nicholson, 1B, LHH, Concordia Univ. (6'2", 225) 10/31/89
Nicholson, sat out most of the 2010 seaon with a leg injury sustained in the second game of the season. He rehabbed it and came back with a vengeance in 2011. For the regular season he ended up hitting .400 with 13 doubles, 7 triples, 9 home runs and a program-record tying 64 RBI. But he wasn't done there. In the first seven games of the postseason, where the Eagles punched their second-ever ticket to the Avista-NAIA World Series, Nicholson hit .583 (14-for-24) with 6 extra-base hits, including 2 HRs, and 15 RBI. He was especially good in the three-game NAIA National Championship Opening Round - Riverside Bracket, where he drove in the winning runs in all three contests, highlighted by a three-run homer in the 7th inning of the championship round. Concordia went on to win the NAIA World Series title just 3 days before the Giants drafted Nicholson. He's obviously raw, but he has the power bat that the Giants really need in their organization right now. He's a red-shirt junior, so he still has another year of eligibilty left, but I bet that he'll sign very qiuckly if the Giants show any intererst in him at all.
39.1197 - Ryan Holland, LHP, Univ. of Memphis (6'1", 215) 9/5/88
I'm not sure what the Giants see in him. He is a lefty, so he they might like him as a potential LOOGY out of the pen or they might feel that he can be productive if he can cut down on his high walk-rate. He's a senior, so he'll sign if the Giants offer him anything, and the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him.
Stats: G=17, IP=95.2, IP/S=6, ERA=4.61, FIP=4.09, WHIP=1.72, BAA=.300, K=78, BB=54, K/9=7.3, BB/9=5.1, K/BB=1.4, BABIP=.367
40.1227 - Alan Garcia, RHP, East. Ariz. JuCo. (6'4", 223) 12/25/90
Garcia appears to be a project who will be unlikely to sign. He has nice size, but his body looks soft. He was born in Hermosillo, Mexico, but went to HS in Tucson. For his just-completed sophomore season, Garcia threw 49 innins over 9 starts, with 24Ks, 27 BBs, and a 3.86 ERA.
41.1257 - Steven Neff, LHP, Univ. of So. Car. (6'2", 195) 2/24/89
The Giants drafted this big and athletic kid as a pitcher, but his upside might be better with a bat in his hand. He hit 5 HRs and 6 doubles, while slugging .597 (with an ISO Power=.339!!), in only 62 ABs and limited playing time this season. Although he did strike out in over 27% of his plate appearences, that's a damn impressive hitting performance in the pitching-rich SEC and with the new dead bats. If I were the Giants I'd seriously consider trying Neff at 1B or LF in the minors. That type of power potential doesn't grow on trees. Neff will likely return to USC for his senior year, as the Giants are unlikely to offer him enough cash to change his mind.
Stats: G=12, GS=7, IP=36.2, ERA=2.45, FIP=3.74, WHIP=1.06, BAA=.228, K=29, BB=10, K/9=7.1, BB/9=2.5, K/BB=2.9, BABIP=.296
Local news article on how Neff has Taken to hitting this year:
42.1287 - Danny Sandbrink, RHP, Stanford (6'2", 195) 6/23/89
Roster-filler. Sandbrink is one of the rare pitching draftees that doesn't profile as a power arm with questionable control. As you can see from his stats below, he's a finesse pitcher with fairly good control. He's a senior, so he'll surely sign if the Giants offer him anything, and the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him.
Stats: G=13, GS=8, IP=61, ERA=3.39, FIP=4.10, WHIP=1.11, BAA=.237, K=45, BB=15, K/9=6.6, BB/9=2.2, K/BB=3, BABIP=.284
43.1317 - Drew Stiner, C, RHH, Owasso HS, Okla. (6'1", ) 9/5/92
Dylan Bundy's HS catcher. He has a strong college commitment to Okla. State so he's almost certainly not going to sign at this point. Too bad, because he's an excellent catching prospect who shows great instincts and defense behind the plate, as well as great pwoer potential with the bat. Stiner batted .370 with 5 HRs and 35 RBI for the Owasso, who finished runners-up in the Class 6A state championship. One of the state's strongest arms behind the plate, Stiner was tough to run on for opposing players.
44.1347 - Travious Relaford, SS, RHH, Hinds CC, Georgia (5'11", 160) 5/13/92
Another very good value pick this late in the draft. He only just completed his freshnay year, so he's got plenty of time to improve and grow. Relaford has enough tools and defensive talent at SS that Perfect Game was predicting him as a guy that should be drafted before the end of the 10th round. Relaford was also a very good basketball player at his HS in the state of Georgia. This year in college he hit .280 in 100 ABs, with 17 singles, 7 doubles, and 14 walks, for an OBP of .410. Heading into the 2011 season, Baseball America named Relaford as the best SS in the entire nation in the JuCo ranks. PG had him rated as the 11th best prospect in the state of Mississippi at the end of May, and had this to say about him:
Slick-fielding Hines CC shortstop Travious Relaford, just a freshman, is one player who could play almost anywhere in the country and he is a legitimate candidate for the first 10 rounds. [He] has 3 + tools (range at SS, arm strength, speed); contact hitter only at this stage.
I really hope that the Giants go all-out to sign him - if his bat ever comes around he could be a very good major league SS.
45.1377 - Brian Maloney, LHP, Franklin Pierce Univ. (6’0", 176) 10/4/88
Maloney is a real sleeper pick and a lot better than most guys picked in the 45th round. He had to sit out the entire 2008 college season after he was operated on in November of 2007 because of an impingement and a partially torn labrum. This spring he went 8-4 as a starter, with a 1.52 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 82.2 innings (k/9 = 12.5!). He's always been a high strikeout pitcher, he recorded 316 Ks during his 3 seasons at FP University. The Giants appear to like him as a LOOGY out of the pen, but I'd like to see them let him start first. He seems to have stuff that is very similar to Surkamp's coming out of college. Here's what the Giants Director of New England scouting had to say about Maloney after the draft:
“He throws strikes, he’s left-handed and he spins the breaking ball,’’ said Glenn Tufts of Bridgewater, the Giants’ New England scouting supervisor. “He’s got all kinds of opportunities being a left-handed pitcher. He had a great season. He’s earned this. We’re hoping he can get left-handed hitters out.’’
From newspaper reports, it appears that he has already agreed to terms and is headed to Scottsdale for his medical exam. He's a senior, so he'll sign if the Giants offer him anything, and the Giants have 1 whole year to sign him.
46.1407 - Major (Elliot) Blair, RF, RHH, Univ. of Okla. (6'1", 1) 2/3/88
He's a senior, so he's older than most draftees He's a teammate of the Giant's #14 draft pick, Buechele, so he must have caught a scouts eye when they were scouting Buechele. Apparently, he's a great guy who was the captain and all-around inspirational leader of the Okalahoma team this year, so this was likely a courtesy pick for a respected competitor.
Stats: .333/.405/.485/.890 with AB=33, wOBA=.392, 2B=0, 3B=1, HR=1, BB=3 (7.9%), K=9 (23.7%)
47.1437 - Marc Frazier, 3B, LHH (throws RH), Newnan HS, Georgia (6’1", 195) 2/20/93
Here’s what PG had to say about Frazier in June of 2010:
Marc Frazier is a 2011 RHP with a 6-1 195 lb. frame from Newnan, GA who attends Newnan HS. Strong square shouldered build. Full delivery with high leg kick, high 3/4’s to overhand release point, throws downhill, extended 2-piece arm circle. Upper 80’s fastball to 89 mph, mostly straight. Gets over downer CB very well, good spin and late bite, works in a developing straight change up. Throws strikes with all pitches, has an idea. Good student
I also saw reports that he was throwing over 92 mph this spring – but not that he was sitting at that velocity.
He’s committed to Chipola JuCo in nort. Fla., so he’ll be eligible to be drafted again next year. I doubt that he signs, unless he shows the Giants something extra in summer ball over the next 2 months.
48.1467 - Jacob Smith, RHP, Campbell Univ., No.Car. (6’4", 190) 6/2/90
Smith has a very good pitcher's frame and appears to be an above-average athlete, but he has yet to put things together on the mound. He almost certainly will return to college for his senior season.
Stats: G=21, GS=5, IP=52, ERA=7.44, WHIP=1.90, BAA=.332, K=39, BB=26, K/9=6.8, BB/9=4.5, K/BB=1.5
49.1497 - Ben Sosnick, 2B/C, RHH, Jewsih Community of the Bay HS, (6’1", 175) 5/4/93
This is only a courtesy pick Sosnick is the brother of a local professional sports agent. He will go to college. He did play well enough this year to be named to the 2011 All-Star team for the Bay Area Private School Athletic League at the position of catcher.
50.1526 - Waldyvan Estrada, RF, LHH, International Baseball Acad., Puerto Rico (6’0", 170) 12/11/93
I love this kid. Along with Tyler Mizenko and Drew Stiner, Estrada is my favorite pick of the 2nd half of this draft. Estrada is certainly much more of an exciting prospect than I ever remember seeing at the 50th pick. He's committed to Bethune-Cookman Univ in Florida. Here’s what the B-C coach says about Estrada:
"Waldyvan is one of the top prospects in Puerto Rico. His ability to swing bat will make him a strong contributor his freshman year at B-CU. He is also a great outfielder with a plus arm. We look for Waldyvan to be a tremendous player at this level."
Just take a few minutes to watch the 2 video clips of Estrada hitting for the scouts from earlier this year. This kid can swing the bat. When he hits the ball with his wood bat it sounds like a gunshot. He also appears to me to have the physical frame to add strength and mass in the coming years. If he does have a plus arm as his perspective college coach says, then I wonder how he fell so far. Maybe his B-C commitment is really strong?