Now that the celebration has occurred with the Matt Cain lockup, the chances of drafting position players in the first couple of rounds of the 2012 MLB draft has come back to the realm of possibility. Of note, fangraphs did an interview with John Barr, I threw up a fanshot of it, but here is the link again: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/john-barr-scouting-the-giants-draft/
Here is a stat summary with a quick blurb for some of the top Catchers, Center Fielders and Middle Infielders in the college ranks. There just aren’t that many good Shortstops this year, but there is some depth at 2B and Catcher that is quite interesting. I cut off ruthlessly at 18, there are obviously many more players who will get attention come June. Order is my personal ranking, I’m getting a tad more serious about that part of it.
1. Mike Zunino C Florida (6’2 215 R/R 3/25/1991 JR) Hitting 350/413/700 with 8 2B, 9 HR, 14BB/17K, 4/4 SB, 23R/33RBI in 100 ABs. Consensus top 5 draft pick, Zunino has leveled off a bit lately. If the twins or the mariners make the mistake of passing on him he might fall all the way to the cubs, because you know the Orioles will mess up the pick.
2. Deven Marrero SS Arizona State (6’1 195 lbs. R/R 08/25/1990 JR) Hitting 270/333/380 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9K/9BB, 19R/12RBI in 100 ABs. A consensus high floor low ceiling pick who will make the majors fast, Marrero sounds a lot like Brandon Crawford to me. Consensus top 15 pick, and that’s good for the Giants because we want something else dropping to us. Marrero is just not hitting very well right now, as the stats indicate.
3. Travis Jankowski CF Stony Brook (6’3 190 L/R 9/13/1991 JR) Hitting 326/415/500 with 9 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 10BB/4HBP/11K, 16/20 SB, 24R/9RBI in 92 ABs. One of the “safe college bats” picks that the Giants might look at, Jankowski plays a stellar CF with great speed. He hits lefty, and his future is at the leadoff. I think he’s a nice player, but the Giants have a lot of interesting talent at the position. Bet is they look elsewhere.
4. Barrett Barnes CF Texas Tech (6’1 210 R/R 7/29/1991 JR) Hitting 349/458/652 with 9 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 21BB/19K, 14/14 SB, 29R/29RBI in 106 ABs. Barnes looks like a very interesting prospect. The knock on him is a less than stellar throwing arm. He has shown patience, power and contact abilities as well as speed and good judgment on the basepaths. Big time riser, I like him. He might have the power to handle a corner and be a plus fielder at the same time. That would be a win-win.
5. Peter O’Brien C Miami (6’3 225 R/R 7/15/1990 SR) Hitting 375/464/721 with 9 2B, 9HR, 16BB/20K, 1/3 SB, 25R/31RBI in 104 Abs. O’Brien is bringing the thump! He is a senior, but he does have a July birthday at least. One of the best power hitters so far in the college season.
6. Nolan Fontana SS Florida (5’11 190 L/R 6/6/1991 JR) Hitting 287/394/481 with 4 2B, 1 3B, 5HR, 18BB/9K, 7/7 SB, 27R/16RBI in 108 ABs. Mr. Intangible. Fontana has cooled off a bit, but is getting on base well. The 2 to 1 BB to K is very nice. I would be very happy with a grab of Fontana in the 2nd or 3rd round. I doubt he lasts that long.
7. Josh Elander C TCU (6’1 215 R/R 3/19/1991 JR) Hitting 302/412/448 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 15B/17K, 6/9 SB, 16R/16RBI in 96 ABs. Elander might be a sneaky 1A to Zunino. He has good plate discipline, snuck in some SBs and shown a bit of power.
8. Joey DiMichele 2B Arizona State (5’11 190 L/R 2/5/1991 JR) Hitting 358/444/642 with 7 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 14BB/15K, 6/7 SB, 26R/30RBI in 106 ABs. I want to put this guy way higher. I completely forgot about him in my profiles, and all he did last year was win the Pac10 batting title. Don’t sleep on Arizona State 2B’s I say. Dustin Perdroia. Jason Kipnis. All this guy does is hit. These are some great numbers he’s putting up. He has replaced a couple of guys as my go to scrapper dream pick. Will he last to the 2nd or 3rd rounds? Beware the desert air says you? Well beware ASU’s incredible MLB history says I.
9. Jake Stewart CF Stanford (6’2 205 R/R 11/20/1990 JR) Hitting 348/392/551 with 9 2B, 3 HR, 4BB/21K, 3/4 SB, 21R/14RBI in 89 ABs. Stewart looks like a nice sleeper to me. The lack of walks hurts his OBP a bit but he is hitting almost 350. He has had some dings that have kept him out of the lineup a bit. If he dropped into the 4-6 rounds I think the Giants should take a look. He is on the older side though, another knock.
10. Kenny Diekroeger 2B/SS Stanford (6’2 200 lbs, R/R 11/5/1990 JR) Hitting 297/362/396 with 9 2B, 8BB/17K, 1/3 SB, 18R/16RBI in 91 ABs. Diekroeger brings great athleticism to the table, but there are rumors of his swing being messed up by coach fiddling, he got moved off of short for a whiz kid sophomore and he isn’t putting up great stats. Couple that with his age and I say please move on Los Gigantes.
11. Tony Renda 2B California (5’8 175 R/R 1/24/2011 JR) Hitting 350/415/462 with 7 2B, 2 HR, 7BB/6HBP/8K, 8/9 SB, 22R/10RBI in 117 ABs. Cal has been scrapping around, 2-5 in the Pac12. Renda is hitting as usual, these are all nice numbers. He is more of an intangible guy than an outright stats guy. It will be interesting to see where he lands in the draft.
12. Tom Murphy C Buffalo (6’1 200 R/R 4/3/1991 JR) Hitting 344/442/656 with 8 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 17BB/24K, 2/3 SB, 24R/30RBI in 90 ABs. This guy is the most stereotypical catcher in the draft I think. Great power, lots of strikeouts, good OBP. If the Giants are looking for yet more catcher depth he might be the sleeper. It looks like this is his final position.
13. Kevin Plawecki C Purdue (6’1 215 R/R 02/26/1991 JR) Hitting 371/471/649 with 14 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 13BB/7HBP/4K, 2/3 SB, 30R/24 RBI in 97 ABs. This guy was my sleeper pick who I liked because of OBP. He is killing it – only 4 K’s on the year. Some power to go with the hitting, I want to know more!
14. Jamodrick McGruder 2B Texas Tech (5’7 170 L/R 8/04/1991 JR) Hitting 371/534/505 with 3 2B, 5 3B, 28BB/19K, 20/25 SB, 32R/13RBI in 97 ABs. Scrappy and fast, Jamodrick has one of the best names of the draft, and is among the fastest as well. He can draw a walk big time, and has 80% on the bases. Between him and Barnes, Texas Tech will compete for the Big10 title. No power in his game, you are going for the OBP and the speed, all the way.
15. LJ Mazzilli 2B UConn (6’1 190 B/R 9/06/1990 JR) Hitting 363/438/681 with 11 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 12BB/4HBP/15K, 5/7 SB, 27R/27RBI in 113 ABs. Mazzilli can hit and is showing power as well. He is a bit old, but with the bloodlines, the position played and the reason for the year skipped, I hope the Giants take a close look at him. He has a good chance to be the best hitter in his conference.
16. Alex Yarbrough 2B Ole Miss (5’11 185 S/R 8/3/1991 JR) Hitting 426/479/620 with 8 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 9BB/10K, 3/3 SB, 29R/33RBI in 108 ABs. Yarbrough is raking, leading the team and 2nd in the SEC to Raph Rhymes of LSU in hitting. Switch hitting 2B who can handle the bat, his draft stock is rising.
17. Chris Taylor SS Virginia (6’0 170 lbs, R/R DOB JR) Hitting 298/389/458 with 7 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 16BB/4HBP/21K, 6/7 SB, 33R/28RBI in 121 ABs. Taylor is putting up a pretty consistent stat sheet with excellent OBP, some power and some speed on the basepaths.
18. Tyler Smith SS Oregon State (6’0 190 R/R 7/1/1991 JR) Hitting 459/520/565 with 7 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 12BB/11K, 6/6SB, 22R/23RBI in 85 ABs. This guy came out of nowhere this year, his first 2 years at OSU were pretty non-descript. California native out of Thousand Oaks, he has hit well enough to be named to the BA Mid-season All-America team. I think the Giants have spent some time lately in OSU, Smith has definitely bumped some other more non-descript shortstops as he rises up the board.
So there are 18 up the middle players the Giants might look at, in honor of the Tennessee Stud himself, Matthew Thomas Cain. Barrett Barnes and Peter O’Brian might get a look at the #20. The guys after them look like possible value picks. There are a bunch more guys I could have put up here, I was pretty ruthless cutting from the list including pet sleepers, etc. I still expect them to concentrate on pitchers, but there has definitely been a strategy to secure up the middle talent in the draft by the Giants, so I wouldn’t rule out a reoccurrence.