So after that Bullet gets spent on the 20 Spot, Giants fans get to sit on their hands for 63 names until the 84th pick of the draft comes up. Here is where the new CBA will eventually help a team like the Giants, who don’t have much interest in juking the draft for extra picks. I feel like crying over spilled milk, but instead, I’ll just thank Juan Uribe, Ned Coletti and $1MM of Frank McCourt deferred for letting Kyle Crick fall into our laps instead of having to watch the miserable injury ridden ball Uribe has thrown down in the Dodger Blue. That is definitely a case of Sabean being lucky, not good.
So, which teams do we watch load up in this draft? The Jays, Padres and Cards have the most picks in the first 10, with 14 each. The Jays get an extra first round (#17) for failing to sign Tyler Beede (only first rounder not to sign last year). They get a supplemental pick for comp from Frank Francisco signing (#50). They get another supplemental comp pick for Jon Rauch signing (#58). You could say the Mets hooked the Jays up in fine fashion. I’m glad the CBA is changing the rules. Francisco and Rauch are players you shouldn’t be getting compensation for. The one that really gets me though is the Dodgers have the 51st pick for Rob Barajas compensation.
The Pads get extra picks for Heath Bell (#33), Aaron Harang (#44) and a supplemental for failing to sign their sandwich pick Brett Austin last year (#55). The Cards have the best case of all, for losing Albert Pujols they get the 19th pick overall as well as the 36th pick. For losing the best player in baseball since Bonds retired. Repeat, the comp for Pujols is the 19th and 36th picks of the draft. Just pointing that out, because in two years, its quite possible that we will be looking at something along those lines for Lincecum. The Cards also get #s 52 and 59 for Octavio Dotel and Edwin Jackson, two of their trade acquisitions from the previous year. Smart front office maneuvers. Know when to hold them and when to fold them.
The other 3 teams with extra picks (13 each) are the A’s, the Rangers and the Twins. Surprisingly, the Bosox and Rays, 2 very aggressive teams with draft pick manipulation; have 12 and 10 picks, respectively. Notorious draft pick hoarder and prospect trader Billie Beane has the 34th and 62nd pick (Willingham) as well as the 47th pick for Dejesus. The Rangers get the 39th and 83rd picks for CJ Wilson and the 53rd pick for Darren Oliver. Somebody got comp for a LOOGY here, and it wasn’t Los Gigantes. The Twins get the 32nd, 42nd and 72nd picks for Cuddyer and Kubel.
OK, enough sour milk. From the next year on, teams have to offer a one-year qualifying bonus above the average salary of the top 125 players in baseball. Currently this is about 12 Million and change. The only Giant who might get that type of offer next year is Melky Cabrera, but the rub is his performance gets to justifying that type of offer, Sabean will swoop in with a multi-year deal for sure. They’re already making noise on that front. On one hand you have the out bid on Uribe and the matching with Huff, which has turned out in retrospect to not been the right choice. I’m pretty sure in the post World Series haze practically all Giants fans wanted a slightly lesser amount for Huff but really didn’t care too much on that front. One contract Sabean was disciplined about was Cody Ross, picking up his arbitration but not going multi-year or buy out. I would hope they would offer the 1/12MM to Melky and then try for a 2 or 3 year contract to buy out the remaining “best” years and not go throwing Rowand money and years at him. This is where Sabean needs to still prove out some, I don’t trust his instincts.
Anyways, so the Giants are twiddling their thumbs for a while. The MO of John Barr is to swoop on tarnished college bats. In 2011 it was Andrew Susac with the 86th pick. In 2010 it was Jarrett Parker with the 74th pick. In 2009 it was Chris Dominguez with the 86th pick. And in 2008 it was the newly revitalized Roger Kieschnick with the 82nd pick. Things might change up a bit depending on what the Giants do with the Bullet, but a good bet is some bat that drops is getting snagged here.
Likely suspects: OF: Jeremy Baltz, James Ramsey, Brandon Thomas, Preston Tucker, Jeff Gelalich.
First, the OFs who might be available: Jeremy Baltz from St John’s, a bat all the way LF who has regressed his stats in college ball, he is currently at 306/407/484 with 3 3B and 5 HR, he might drop some more. James Ramsey from Florida State, a senior who is raking hard, his current line is 387/514/697 with 5 3B and 9 HR to go with 35 BB/26K. I doubt he will still be around. The most interesting guy for me is Brandon Thomas from Georgia Tech, a switch hitting junior with plus speed and strong arm who can man CF. He is leading the team with 370/476/552, 24BB/33K 11/15 SB and 2 HR. Like Ramsey, he is a long shot to still be on the board. The last 2nd round OF candidate is Preston Tucker, the senior from Florida. He is hitting 316/407/600 with 23BB/21K and 10 HR. Alas, he might be gone as well. But there are 4 candidates with hit tools in various states of readiness. One OF who will most likely rise too far but might stick around is UCLA’s Jeff Gelalich. LHH, primarily playing RF and a good athlete who runs and fields well, he is putting up 365/457/547 with 6 HR, 21BB/21K and 12/14 SB.
5 Infield Candidates: Patrick Wisdom, Matt Reynolds, Adam Brett Walker, Christian Walker, Kevin Plawecki.
Most likely gone, but Patrick Wisdom would be a very nice choice, coming out of St Mary’s and the Alaska summer league with excellent power, he brings a young birthdate to the table as well. He has struggled with his BA this year, maybe that will scare some teams away. Currently he is putting up 233/376/421 with 5 HR and 29BB/31K. Matt Reynolds is finally healthy and putting up nice numbers in the SEC for Arkansas. He might be able to play 2B as well as 3B and even some short. 313/447/493 with 4 HR, 32BB/19K and 11/12 SB. The way things are going for him, Adam Brett Walker looks like a strong candidate to be “Dominguezed” by Barr, although teams might grab him at any time during the thumb twiddle for his plus plus power potential. He is on the rise with his stats, 338/428/571 with 8 HR, 23BB/33Ks and a surprising 11/12 SB, a nice stat for a big man. And make no mistake, Brett Walker is a man among boys. His counterpart over at South Carolina, Christian Walker, is putting up 336/455/539 with 7 HR, 27BB/16K. Maybe he is not cut out for the rigors of MLB 1B, but I keep coming back to him because he is tough, a team leader and he might just have more power potential than people think. Finally, a catcher who is rising fast, I thought he was a nice sleeper due to his OBP early, he is one of the best defensive catchers in the draft, although I’m not sure if Catcher is the area the Giants would bother with, here is Kevin Plawecki from Purdue, 357/456/564 with 3 HR, 19BB/6K. O’Brien is the obvious choice, but I think he’s gone by the 2nd pick, as well as Josh Elander. Tom Murphy could be another catching candidate.
5 Shank’s Scrappers: Joey DiMichele, Tony Renda, Jamodrick McGruder, LJ Mazzilli, Alex Yarbrough.
Sorry, I just love the middle infield 2B scrappers, so even though the Giants might have much better candidates, I have to list these guys. My favorite HS guy is Jesmuel Valentin, from the PR baseball academy same as Carlos Correa. He is Jose Valentin’s son, and he will be gone by the 84. I will refrain from any stair activities if he is there and the Giants don’t pick him, maybe there would be bonus demands involved. With Alex Bregman injured, that increases the likelihood of Valentin getting drafted. Joey DiMichele just hits, man. AZ State MI’s rock the house, and if he’s there I think the Giants should snag big time. He is currently hitting 351/429/596 with 5 3B and 6 HR, 19BB/20K and 8/11 SB. Lefty bat. Tony Renda is the scrappiest of the scrappers, and a Cal Bear to boot. Great hit tool as well. He is putting up 371/445/523 with 4 Hrs, 15BB/6HBP/10K and 10/12 SB. Jamodrick McGruder is Barrett Barnes’ running mate, and run he does at Texas Tech. 371/526/497 with 7 3B, 39BB/28K and 30/35 SB. No power, undersized, and fast as hell. LJ Mazzilli is another fine scapper type, hitting 333/404/605 with 9 HR, 16BB/19K and 10/13 SB. Finally, the most impressive of them all might be Alex Yarbrough, a switch hitter from Ole Miss who is tearing up SEC pitching. TEARING UP I said. 433/480/611 with 2 3B, 3 HR, and 12BB/15K. There are a lot of nice 2B, I can’t see all of these guys being drafted before the 84th pick, and would be happy with any of these in the 2nd and further down the line.
HS Impact Bats: Joey Gallo, Ron Miller, Trey Williams, Nick Williams, Skye Bolt
High Impact HS Bats: Well, this one would be a stretch. Joey Gallo will be gone, but Ron Miller might still be here. The knock on him is his physique. He plays 3B and there is talk of him having to move to 1B or even DH. You can find footage of him hitting on Klima and on ESPNHS. It is impressive. Don’t know what type of bonus demands would be in play, but he seems like a prime candidate for dropping due to concerns over what he doesn’t do well. Trey Williams should be long gone as well, and if he isn’t bonus demands are the likely culprit. Nick Williams is the other Williams who has sunk down draft boards, called a high risk raw Griffey Jr type. Well, I doubt very much the Giants do anything HS here, but I gotta go one more dark, dark horse, because I like him and I love his name: Skye Bolt. Definitely not in the first tier of OFs, the commitment to UNC is most likely strong, I have no idea about bonus demands, but how cool would it be if out of nowhere the Giants yell “SKYE BOLT”! Selig wouldn’t be around to butcher the name, but I’d still be happy as hell.
Back to reality: a dozen pitchers or so college division: Hudson Randall, Austin Maddox, Michael Roth, Alex Wood, Sam Selman, Taylor Rodgers, Buck Farmer, Michael Morin, Tim Cooney, Kurt Heyer, Brady Rodgers, Jake Barrett, Brett Mooneyham, Kyle Hansen and Martin Agosta.
Back to non-reality: a few HS pitchers, bonus demands looming: Nick Travieso, Max Foody, Kayden Porter, Nathan Kirby, Ty Buttrey, Shane Watson, Chase DeJong, Clate Schmidt, Taylore Cherry.
The point here is there are some quality arms who profile as mid to back of the rotation, and the college closers come out to play. I should list out stats, but I just burned myself out looking up the scrappers stats. The Giants will draft based on velocity and control of the fastball. I can see one of the Pac-10 pitchers possibly being here. If Martin Agosta or Hudson Randall are available, the Giants should swoop. But again, I trust the Giants to know which arms to grab, they have earned that track record. If they had earned themselves a spot at the table in the supplemental instead of grabbing both LOOGYs, they would have a better shot at a nice arm. C'est la guerre. I doubt the HS arms will be a realistic choice, but some of these names will fall.
Also, I suspect Barr will go grab the best bat here, and then they’ll start looking for diamond in the rough arms like last year. There is a pattern of grab bats early and then concentrate on pitching for a few rounds. Its strongest in 2008 and 2011, but also was going on in 2010 until the Gints decided to grab Chuckie Jones. In 2009 they alternated, but that was because they grabbed Wheeler first, and they interrupted for Brandon Belt, apparently due to some banging on the table as the story goes. So I would be pretty surprised if the 2nd round pick isn’t a bat that slips down or the Giants had their eye on.