This is the ultimate exercise in futility. There is nothing better than a young toolsy outfield prospect just waiting to be plucked from high school and coached up a bit and then left to roam the outfield grass, stealing triples with the legs and turning doubles into singles with the arm. There really is no better type of prospect than the mythical 5-tool player. Dreaming of a franchise cornerstone, hammering the ball into the gap and taking the extra base, now that is prime time fun.
The chance of the Giants drafting a HS OF is between slim and none.
Recent draft history, going back to the 2000 draft and looking at the first 10 rounds: 2007 Wendell Fairley was the Giants 29th pick, out of George Country HS (MS). 2009 Gus Benusa was the 237th pick (8th round) out of Riverview HS (PA). 2010 TLoCJ Charles Jones was the 228th pick (7th round) out of Boonville HS (MO).
Here is the current depth chart, give or take:
AAA: Justin Christian, Graham, Pegs, Kieschy, Blanco
AA: Jarrett Parker, Brown, JCP, Fairley, Liles
A+: Jesus Galindo, Lofton, Harris, Krill, Honeycutt, RafRod
A: Chuckie, Payne, Ochoa, Mergenthaler, Elliott Blair, Eldred Barnett
A-: Hill, Christian Diaz, Leonardo Fuentes, Jose De La Cruz, Gus Benusa
And here are the players:
Some consensus on the top 3, they are Byron Buxton, David Dahl and Albert Almora.
Another 10, in alphabetical order: Anthony Alford, Skye Bolt, Lewis Brinson, Kolby Copeland, DJ Davis, Courtney Hawkins, Nick Williams, Jesse Winkler, Jameis Winston, Rhett Wiseman
I’ll try and provide a youtube clip of each guy. Be careful, the time suck is waiting in ambush with further clip suggestions. I tried to pick interesting ones with in game action preferred. Youtube can be a very scary place on the interwebz. Cheesey soundtrack warning for sure if you click. I like Mayo and the MLB site because you have instant short videos of each guy as well as a description. That is why I’ve included his rankings along with BA, which I consider the gold standard. His rankings are sometimes bizarre, more so with the Giants top 20, but it’s a nice easy place to read up on the guys with the most hype.
1. Byron Buxton, HS from Appling County HS (GA), GA commit
6’2 190 R/R 12/18/1993
The Goods: Best of the bunch. Hugely hyped and most likely a top 5 draft pick. 6.50/60 times means elite speed to go with a short swing with fast bat speed. Looks like the real deal.
The Bad: Very raw and will need to fill out his frame.
The Stats: 2nd in the UnderArmour home run derby
The Ranks: BA #3, Mayo #9
The Giants: Has drawn comps to the Upton brothers. Looks dope in the video, BA from the UnderArmour last year:
2. David Dahl, HS from Oak Mountain HS (AL), Auburn commit
6’2 185 L/R 4/1/1994
The Goods: Prettiest swing of the bunch. 6.5/60 speed and a big arm with good defense. Advanced line drive hitter with room to add power. Natural contact hitter who hits to all fields, doesn’t strike out much.
The Bad: Missed a bunch of time with mono. Speed measurements maybe optimistic, might have to move to RF.
The Stats: Dahl batted .449 with 18 doubles, three triples and two home runs while driving in 29 runs. He struck out only 10 times in 118 at bats, posted a .703 slugging percentage, .493 on-base percentage and hit .488 with runners in scoring position.
The Ranks: BA #10, Mayo #14
The Giants: Comp is Colby Rasmus or Johny Damon. I like the Rasmus one, and it would be even cooler to draft somebody with a dad like Rasmus’. The Giants blogosphere absolutely needs a parent calling Bochy and Sabean knuckleheads and questioning their lineup decisions and his kids development. That would be classic. Vid is a greatest hits compilation that the creator took the time to label each game and where he hits the ball, pretty nice.
3. Albert Almora, HS from Mater Academy (FL), Miami commit
6’2 185 R/R 4/16/1994
The Goods: Most big game experience of the bunch. This guy seems like an old man already as he’s a Team USA vet. Above average tools for hitting, defense and baserunning. He is the polished savvy pick. His cousin is Manny Machado, the Bawlmore O’s SS of the future.
The Bad: Jack of all trades, master of none? Doesn’t project power at the next level. Speed might move him to the corners but he has a good arm.
The Stats: Team USA: 421/452/1057 in 38 ABs.
The Ranks: BA #14, Mayo #22
The Giants: Couldn’t find an easy comp. There’s a lot of video on this guy, I grabbed a 30 second clip of in-game from his HS. Don’t know if this is crazy but I saw a bit of Orlando Cabrera in the swing without the hot dog act, and closer to the plate. One of the lost 2011 season questions for me will always be: why the hell does O-Cab set up way off the plate? Almora certainly looks smooth, a high floor type of pick.
Begin Alpha Order, Not Ranking
4. Anthony Alford, HS from Petal HS (MS), S. Miss commit
6’1 210 R/R 7/20/1994
The Goods: The Quarterback of the bunch. 2 sport player who is going to S. Miss to play football and baseball. Has good raw power and is very fast.
The Bad: Playing football first, great athlete but maybe not a baseball player.
The Stats: 2011 HS 451/606/1324
The Ranks: BA #89, Mayo N/R
The Giants: No comps, even though he profiles as one of the top QBs in the nation, he insisted on a program that would let him play both sports. Baseball factory showcase vid.
5. Skye Bolt, HS from Holy Innocents (GA), UNC commit
6’2 175 S/R 1/15/1994
The Goods: Coolest name of the bunch. Switch hits, always a very nice bonus. Very fast with a outstanding arm, short swing from both sides of the plate, and good bat speed. Not as heralded as the top 3, could be a candidate for some helium.
The Bad: Pretty skinny, might not profile as a power hitter but should stick in CF.
The Stats: 2011 HS: 402 BA with 5 HRs and 17 SBs
The Ranks: BA #70, Mayo N/R
The Giants: As if the name wasn’t enough, he’s from Woodstock, GA. Larry Baer has his people working all the angles. No paid overtime til he’s drafted though. Here’s a 8 minute vid the bullpen banter guys put together.
Don’t have 8 minutes? How about a 12 sec diving catch from a jittery camcorder?
6. Lewis Brinson, HS from Tamarac HS (FL), Florida commit
6’3 180 R/R 5/8/1994
The Goods: The closest you’ll get to Brixton of the bunch. He has above average bat speed, 6.5/60 and should fill in his frame. He should be able to stick in CF with his speed, range and arm.
The Bad: He has some batting stance issues.
The Stats: Won the Underarmour HR Derby, over Buxton. 473/623/1496.
The Ranks: BA #51, Mayo #29
The Giants: The comp is Dexter Fowler, with more power. The video is sort of hilarious, first half is Brinson, turning down the soundtrack is advised. In game action at least.
7. Kolby Copeland, HS from Parkway HS (LA), Baton Rouge CC commit (?)
6’2 185 L/R
The Goods: The attitude of the bunch. BA says he’s uncommitted, some LSU baseball hawks thought he might be heading there, and noted his attitude. He has a sharp whippy swing, and he looks all business. Lefty bat, looks built for a HS guy.
The Bad: He won’t be fast, is already profiled for RF. The leg kick on the swing might want to get toned down.
The Stats: 2011 HS: 369/388/1096 with 4 HRs
The Ranks: BA #98
The Giants: This guy is one of the top players in LA. Not getting the hype of Stryker. Is he getting singled out for not having a college commitment? Baseball America vid with epic slowdown effects, thankfully at the end. (I avoid baseball instinct vids because they have it at the beginning and I find it pretty annoying, my personal quirk)
8. DJ Davis, HS from Stone HS (MS), Meridian CC commit
5’11 170 L/R
The Goods: Fastest of the bunch. 6.38/60. Not sure if Kentrell Hill or Travious Relaford would be sweating a little competition, but this guy is fast. Also it is nice to have a guy who is under six feet finally. Seems like a diamond in the rough, with the potential to be a table setter with some HR power.
The Bad: He is raw in all aspects of his game. Pride of Wiggins MS.
The Stats: Royals Baseball Club (6 games): 375/500/1062 with 5/5 steals
The Ranks: BA #82, Mayo N/R
The Giants: Sounds a lot like Gary Brown, but from the left side, missing all that college stuff. He also sounds a lot like the trio of Galindo/Hill/Payne. If he drops to the 10th round like Hill did maybe the Giants will spring into action. Couldn’t find a youtube video of him.
9. Courtney Hawkins, HS from Carroll HS (TX), Texas commit
The Goods: The most power potential of the bunch. He has shown plus plus power, to all fields. Very good bat speed with some explosion off the bat. Plus arm in the OF with 6.60/60 speed and runs well once underway. Also pitches, went 10-2 with 2.35 ERA and 81Ks,
The Bad: He is very raw. He has some swing mechanic problems involving lunging at the ball.
The Stats: 2011 HS: 410 BA 940 SLG 15 HRs 22 SBs
The Ranks: BA #38, Mayo N/R
The Giants: I seem to be not keeping up with the comps and drifting back to my commenting style again. Vid is over a year old, game action. He has made adjustments and improved his stock a lot.
10. Nick Williams, HS From Ball HS (TX), Texas commit
6’3 195 L/L 9/08/1993
The Goods: The most tooled up of the bunch. High risk high reward to the extreme with very good raw power, outstanding speed and a strong arm (94 MPH)
The Bad: Raw to the extreme, doesn’t throw well from outfield, baserunning is erratic.
The Stats: 2011 HS: 512 BA with 9 HRs and 16 Sbs
The Ranks: BA #42, Mayo #20
The Giants: Mayo comps him as a raw Ken Griffey Jr. That is a pretty big compliment. BA says he’s one of the most divisive players in the draft, even within each teams scouting departments. Here’s a vid of Williams facing Lance McCullers, another polarizing player in the draft.
11. Jesse Winkler, HS from Olympia HS (FL), Florida commit
6’3 200 L/L 8/17/1993
The Goods: The advanced bat of the bunch. Not too much to write home about in the field, his bat will play though. He goes to the same school as Walker Weickel, making Olympia the Harvard-Westlake of the East. His swing challenges Dahl for the sweetest of the class, he has good power.
The Bad: Moving to the defensively challenged sweet spots is in his future: LF or 1B. Slow footspeed and average arm.
The Stats: 2011 HS hit 509 with 6 HRs and 7 SBS.
The Ranks: BA #50, Mayo #39
The Giants: The bat sounds great, with their new found emphasis on speed and defense I don’t see them giving this guy a lot of consideration. Here is a loooong vid from the bullpen banter crew:
And if you want a shorter look, here’s BA:
12. Jameis Winston, HS from Hueytown HS (AL), Florida State commit
6’4 210 S/R
The Goods: The maverick of the bunch. Holding Stanford, Florida State and the nation hostage over his commit, this guy might be an example of why hard caps disguised as soft caps are a silly idea, as in “its not broken, don’t fix it”. But the baseball owners really want to control their costs. Personally I think it’s a hugely short sighted move. He has all the tools, can stick in CF with his speed, pitch a little.
The Bad: I don’t know if he gets to play baseball at FSU. Hope he does.
The Stats: Threw for 2,424 yards and 28 TDs. 2 picks.
The Ranks: BA #64, Mayo N/R
The Giants: Here’s a silly comp: Deion! Apparently he was the best teammate for any team he ever played on. Having seen some interviews with him I believe it. Come on, 2 sport athletes are awesome. Gotta go with youtube user junk2414’s 2010 Southeast Showcase on this one. Crank the jam yo.
13. Rhett Wiseman, HS from Buckingham Browne and Nichols (MA), Vanderbilt commit – Is that a law firm or a HS? Jay-sus.
6’1 195 L/R 6/22/1994
The Goods: Power and speed, lefty bat and he gets the Johnny Damon comp. Runs the 6.50/60 and fields well. Has plus bat speed with some loft on the bat. He has intangibles, the kind coaches love. If he was just a bit shorter he could be scrappy. He is young for his class.
The Bad: OK, I’m getting punchy. So here’s a MA guy we could swipe like Yaz’s grandson and enrage the state of Massachusetts as an added bonus. Bosox fans have out obnoxioused Jankee fans in the past few years, why not? As a real issue, he apparently strikes out a fair amount.
The Stats: Perfect Game/Area Code alumnus
The Ranks: BA #63, Mayo N/R
The Giants: Don’t take a lot of northeastern players. Here’s a vid of him facing Tyler Beede from last year.
The chances of the Giants drafting any of these guys is close to none, based on the 20th pick of the draft’s bonus slot being not enough money as well as the team’s historical reluctance to draft this type of player.
Still, its fun to look at these guys, maybe one or two will be a star of the sport in the future. I started off not liking Dahl as much and ended liking him the most. The swing drew me in I think. If he’s fast enough to handle CF he could be a great pick. I don’t think I’m buying the Ken Griffey comp on Williams. Brinson is sort of intriguing as a Broxton substitute. Skye Bolt just puts a smile on my face from the name alone, but the irrational side of me loves the Georgia prepsters and the Cajuns.
Who would you spend your bullet on? Why?
Which guys go to college?
Old timers who saw Willie Mays live at the park – gimme a story. I’m jealous as hell.
My boring Bonds story – saw 500, 600 and 660/1 live at the park. My favorite was Mays coming out to greet him. McGowan is generally given lots of credit for PacBell but for me his best move was cementing the legends of the Giants in token front office positions and making a big deal out of them at games.
SI released a top 10 HS article.
Correa tops the list, the Harvard Westlake guys are there, Smoral & McCullers and Joey Gallo. 4 OFs made the list – Buxton, Dahl, Hawkins and Williams. This might be a special draft for the OFs.