I'm still disappointed with who the Giants drafted this year, and especially with their overall draft strategy. I still believe that there were several obvious opportunities for them to go much younger and add more high-upside prospects (which is truly what the farm system is lacking) in this draft class - without having to spend any significant amount of money above what they're likely to end up spending on the draft. Only drafting 1 high school prospect (and waiting for the 9th round to even do that) and 2 JuCo prospects (in the 14th an d15 rounds) that they are seriously intent on signing, while drafting 14 college seniors in a span of 16 picks between rounds 19 through 34 was just an obvious and clear sign that their main objective once they got past the 9th round was to save as much money as they could in this draft.
Add that in with the fiasco that ensued when they started haggling with Shilo McCall before their 5th round pick, and it really looks like the Giants didn't put a lot of thought and effort into this draft once they got their 2 college starting pitchers with their first 2 picks.
OTOH, while fully researching the Day 3 draft picks, I did come across a couple of guys that are better and more interesting prospects than I originally gave them credit for being.
In the end, I've settled on a final grade of C for this draft. It can go up to a C+, and drop to as low as a D+, depending on which guys that they end up signing.
Now, let's get to the meat and potatos. Some of this is a repeat of what I've previously posted, but the majority of it is new - and I've added lots of updated info to many of the previously posted parts so don't start skimming if some parts sound familiar. I'll keep this updated if I come across any new bits of info in the coming days.
1.20 - Chris Stratton: RHP, Miss. State Univ. (6'3", 200) DOB=8/22/90
Ranked the #18 overall prospect by BA. Long and lean frame. He has a relatively clean delivery with medium effort that he repeats very well. His FB sits comfortably in the 90-92 mph range, with some late movement, and can touch 94 when he lets loose. He usually gets a good downward plane on the FB and will throw it on both corners and will elevate it up in the zone. His #1 weapon is his slider, which has excellent late downward break and also has above average horizontal break. Hitters have a very difficult time differentiating his slider from his FB. Stratton does a great job of varying the velocity that he throws the slider at (from 80 to 85 mph) so it can be a tight, late-breaking power pitch or he can slow it down and use it almost like a changeup. Stratton had his coming-out party on March 16th when he struck out 17 LSU batters while only allowing 4 hits, 2 BBs and 1 earned run in 8.2 innings. His coach let him throw 137 pitches and did ride him hard during the regular season and into the first round of the playoffs, so whichever team drafts him can't expect many more innings out of him in 2012, even if he signs early. Good thing he's such an advanced pitcher who should easily be able to start out in A+ ball when the 2013 season opens. I wouldn't be surprised if he were pitching in AA before the 2013 season ends or if he makes his major league debut as early as August of 2014. He was named to the 2011 SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2011. Pitched for league champion Harwich in the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2011 - ending up with a 1-1 record, and a 2.18 ER. One red flag is that his birthdate actually puts him in the senior year of college so he's very old for a junior.
2012: IP=95.2, K=115, K/9=10.8, BB=19, BB/9=1.8, K/BB=6.1, H/9=6.9, WHIP=.96, BABIP=.301, BAA=.210
UPDATE1: Stratton should be a quick and easy sign unless the Giants want him to take underslot money. If not, then look for this deal to get done before the 4th week of June. If the Giants do play hardball then it could be a deadline deal. Either way I think that Stratton will end up with, at most, very slightly more than slot (slot = $1.85M).
UPDATE2: I went to the game 1 of the Stanford vs. FSU game on Friday night and then watched the game on my DVR. I realize that it wasn't one of Mark Appel's typical games in terms of velocity and control, but I still was able to see enough for me to make the bold assertion that I think Chris Stratton will be a better pitcher in the major leagues than Appel. Certainly, it's hard for me to see anybody making a winning argument that Stratton is not a better, more complete pitcher than Appel at this current time, although I can see how people can make the case that Appel has more upside than Stratton due to his velocity advantage. Here's why I think Stratton's future is brighter. First off, Stratton has superior mechanics to Appel - his delivery is smoother and more repeatable, and he throws with less effort than Appel. Next, Stratton's off-speed pitches are noticeably better than Appel's. Appel has higher peak, and sustained velocity, but his off-speed pitches don't have the extreme movement that Stratton's do - especially in the horizontal direction. Appel's pitches are usually around the strike zone and he has no true wipe-out pitch like Stratton's slider. Finally, Appel absolutely wilted in the high humidity here in Florida. By the 4th inning, he was sweating like a pig, his velocity was down by 3-4 mph, and his usual above-average control was out the window. He was a shadow of the pitcher that had started the game. Stratton, OTOH, has pitched and thrived in all but the first 3 weeks of the season in the high humidity of the deep south.
UPDATE3: SIGNED 6/12 - for the full slot of $1.85M
2.84 - Martin Agosta: RHP, St. Mary’s College (6’1", 180) DOB=4/7/91
Ranked #106 overall prospect by BA. Sacramento native. Good kid. Not a ton of upside. Pretty much rated a future 50 (out of 80) in every category except control which should be in the 50-55 range. If he can put on some muscle he might be able to have more upside. He has an above-average FB that sits 90-92 and can touch 95, a very good changeup (which probably is what got him drafted this high), and a very good cut-FB that he uses in place of a slider. His breaking ball is average at best. Perfect Game ranked him as the #8 overall prospect in the Cal Ripken Summer League back in September of 2011. Bottom line, Agosta’s a late-bloomer with good pitchability and the possibility of gaining more velocity and power if he can add some muscle to his skinny frame. Should be a quick and easy sign at #84 overall, Giants might even save $$$ under the cap.
2012: IP=103.1, K=95, K/9=8.3, BB=27, BB/9=2.4, K/BB=3.6, H/9=7.5, WHIP=1.10, BABIP=.319, BAA=.236
VID2: Q & A – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kPynhgIqrs
UPDATE: I think that this deal will likely get dragged out past the end of June for slot, with Agosta eventually signing for about 10-20% below slot (slot is $592.3K).
3.115 - Johnathan (Mac) Williamson: RF, RHH, Wake Forest Univ. (6'4" 240) DOB=7/15/90
Ranked the #226 overall prospect by BA. Williamson is a year older than his college class, because he redshirted his freshman year. He came to Wake as a pitcher, but they converted him to the OF after his redshirt year to better utilize his power, speed and athleticism. Williamson has a plus arm, above average speed for his size and fringe-plus power. He hit 12 HRs in 2011 (with the new dead BBCOR bats) and already has 14 HRs this year. He can even play some CF in a pinch. His big drawback is the lack of consistent contact at the plate, but even there you do get the somewhat mitigating
factor that he shows good patience and the ability to work a BB (his OBP the past 3 seasons - .348, .368, .391). I think that he would have been a better pick in the 4th or 5th round, and that it was worth the risk of losing him altogether in order to draft one of the approximately dozen of high-upside and younger hitters and pitchers that were still on the board when the Giants chose Williamson. Williamson was drafted in the 46th round of the 2011 draft by the Red Sox.
2012: .288/.401/.603/1.004, AB=184, ISOp=.315, 1B=29, 2B=7, 3B=0, HR=17, BB=23 (10.4%), K=40 (18%), wOBA=.428
VID: Q & A - Postgame (March 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4yzNibKIIE
UPDATE1: This is a tough one for me to predict. Williamson is a senior, but he does have 1 year of eligibility left, so he has the leverage of a junior. I have a feeling that the Giants are going to try to pressure Williamson to take about 15-20% underslot. If they do, then I think Williamson will resist and the signing will likely drag out until the July deadline. In the end, I think Williamson will get around $350K (slot is $412.3K).
UPDATE2: I went back and watched a Wake Forest vs. Miami game from the beginning of May that I still had on my DVR, focusing on Williamson now that I know he's a Giant draftee. Here's my scouting report:
I'll start by saying that I've read and heard in several places that Williamson is a "5-tool talent" - this just doesn't hold water. Both his 3 years of college stats and my own eyes tell me that he doesn't have the hit tool. He has played in 160 games, and had 576 ABs, with a batting avg. of only .280 (a season-low of .273 and season-high of .286). And you can't write off the well below-average hitting to bad luck, as his career BABIP is .318. Secondly, Williamson does not now, nor is he likely to ever have, an above-average defensive tool in the OF. Beyond the fact that he doesn't currently have good instincts in the OF (I admit that it's feasible he could develop good instincts with more experience playing the OF), he just doesn't have a quick enough first couple of steps, he takes too long to get up to full-speed, and he doesn't change directions with quickness and speed. He certainly can be described as a guy with 3 tools that are currently well above-average. His power is fringe-plus, is arm strength is plus (although he needs to work on his accuracy), and his straight-ahead is well above-average once he gets up to full speed. Williamson has a muscular upper-body and arms, with a barrell-chest, high waist and sloping shoulders. His legs are skinnier than you would expect after seeing his upper body build, which tells me that he is likely to be able to keep his above-average speed as he matures. He has a quiet batting stance, except for a bat wiggle as he waits for the pitch, that starts with his feet about shoulder width apart and with a slightly open stance. He holds his hands up by his right shoulder and above shoulder level - with the bat flat and parallel to the ground. He brings his hands back and down, and lifts his foot just a bit to step towards the plate to trigger his swing. It's a realatively short and simple swing with little wasted motion. He is able to generate great power and bat speed with a quick and explosive hip rotation and powerful wrist snap, without having to overstride or use a long load. He does show good patience at the plate and a pretty good knowledge of the strike zone, but he has trouble recognizing and squaring up offspeed pitches - which leads to a tendency to lunge at them and unbalance his swing. He'll have to find a way to correct this in the pros as he faces better and better pitching or he won't be able to make enough consistent contact to utilize his impressive power. In right field, Williamson doesn't get good jumps and his first few steps are not quick, though once he gets up to speed he can cover a lot of ground very quickly. He doesn't currently show the good instincts of an above-avaerage defender, he doesn't take great routes to the ball, and he doesn't show the abiltiy to make quick changes of direction. The first 2 of these defensive deficiencies can possibly be corrected with work and repitition, but the last one is an inherent problem that he'll never be able to improve on. He does have a cannon for an arm, but needs to work on his accuracy and his instincts on where to throw the ball. In conclusion, I love his size, strength, arm, and power tool, with the speed being an unexpected plus, but the lack of a hit tool is troublesome for a guy of his advanced age and one taken with such a relatively high draft pick. This is such an eerily similar profile to 2 previous John Barr 3rd round picks, Roger K and Chris Dominguez, and I a sinking feeling that the eventual outcome will end up being the same. Let's hope that I'm wrong and that "third time's a charm" for Barr and the Giants.
4.148 - Steven Okert: LHP, Univ. of Oklahoma (6'2", 210) DOB=7/9/91
Ranked the #226 overall prospect by BA. Okert transferred to Oklahoma last fall after graduating from a Texas JuCo in 2011. He did start 5 games for Oklahoma in the early part of this season, but he didn't shine in that role. He was moved to the pen in March and then he took over the closer's role from Damien Magnifico around the end of April. Since becoming the closer, Okert has really excelled and become one of the 2 or 3 main reasons why Oklahoma made it into postseason play and then won the first round Charlotte regional by the skin of it's teeth. As a reliever, he has a lot of stamina and has almost always gone more than 2 innings in his relief appearances. In looking at his stats and reading reports on him, I see that he does struggle with his control (bb/9=3.9) and he has been fairly easy to hit (H/9=7.4). On the positive side, he has noticeably improved in both of those areas of his game since becoming the full-time closer. I think that the Giants drafted him this high with the idea that he has the stamina to become a starter and if they can smooth out the rough edges in his mechanics and teach him to throw an above-average changeup then he can be a successful starter in the Giants system in the future. He was drafted out his JuCo by the Brewers in the 43rd round of the 2010 draft, and in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft.
2012: G=28, IP=80, K=74, K/9=8.3, BB=35, BB/9=3.9, K/BB=2.1, H/9=7.4, WHIP=1.26, BABIP=.295, BAA=.231
VID: live game (March 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQEaQbDwV4g
UPDATE1: This one will likely take a while. First off, Oklahoma is still playing in the postseason and has a legit shot to make the CWS, so that will delay the start of negotiations by at least a week and possibly 2 weeks. Secondly, I think that the Giants will really try to squeeze Okert to take significantly underslot money (slot is $299.9K), due to his reliever status and lower prospect rankings.
UPDATE2: Oklahama was eliminated from the postseason on Monday, so the Giants can begin negotiations with him whenever they like.
UPDATE3: I went back and looked at 2 old Oklahoma games from and in which Okert was called on to close out the game on my DVR. Here's my scouting report:
Okert is a big, burly guy - thick around the middle and in the uppper body - and doesn't look especially athletic. He'll likely need to always watch his weight as he hits his mid-20s and beyond. Okert's release point is lower than normal for a guy that doesn't throw side-arm. This is because he short-arms the ball and doesn't get extension as his arm goes past his body and towards the plate. This gives him some deception and makes it harder for the hitter to pick up the ball from out of his hand. He throws a bit across his body. Even with this and the short-arm motion, Okert is able to generate a elite velocity due to his the tremendous separation he gets between his shoulders and hips as he begins his forward motion, in connection to the fast and powerful hip rotaton that he follows it up with. It is a fairly high-effort delivery, but there's not any wasted motion or energy that isn't put in the line of his motion towards his target. As a releiver, Okert has 1 speed - fast. In the 2 games that I saw (throwing 1 inning in each game) he faced 7 batters and threw about 35 pitches. Of the 35 pitches, 31 or 32 were fastballs and the others were power sliders. I'm not sure if he has a true "offspeed" pitch in his arsenal that he's comfortable throwing, but he is very comfortable relying on his FB against any hitter. His FB can touch 97-98 mph and rarely falls below 94 mph. He's not afraid to bust it inside on both RH and LH hitters, and he can elevate it in the zone and still have enough movement and velocity to overpower hitters up there. He's a bit wild, but in this case it probably helps him overall, because the hitter doesn't feel comfortable digging in against him and is never sure that Okert knows where his pitches are going to end up. He doesn't get above-average break or movement on his slider, but he does throw it with well above-average velocity (88-92 mph) that it complements his FB very well. Still, he'll need to throw it a bit slower and/or find some way to get more downward break on it to get a lot more swings-and-misses, or pro hitters are going to be able to sit on his FB - which they will be able to hit at higher levels. Either that, or he'll have to develop a consistent curveball or changeup to mess with a hitters timing. I know that some have surmised that the Giants will try to move Okert back to starting pitching, but, from what I've seen, that's likely a pipe-dream and Okert will never be more than a reliever. His current profile is remarkably similar to Heath Hembree's when the Giants drafted him in the 5th round back in 2010, although Okert is a bit more polished than Hembree was. Okert is likely to quickly dominate below the AA level of the minors, but will run into some trouble if he can't improve his slider or develop a consistent offspeed pitch to go with his plus FB.
UPDATE4: SIGNED 6/19 FOR $270K (SLOT=$299.9K)
5.178 - Ty Blach: LHP, Creighton Univ., NE (6'1", 200) DOB=10/20/90
Ranked the #226 overall prospect by BA. Blach is a pitcher that is trying to learn more finesse to match the average velocity of his stuff. His FB normally sits in the 88-90 mph range, but he can move it up to 91 or 92 on occasion, but not for sustained periods. His FB does show some nice late run and he has an above-average changeup. His curve is average at best and I've seen it described as having "sloppy" tendencies in 2 reports. IMO, a team that drafts him would wisely try to move him off the curve and replace it with a slider. Blach profiles with noticeably less upside than the other notable midwestern LHP that Barr has drafted, Mike Kickham. Blach doesn't have Kickham's velocity or his electric (though inconsistent) slider, but he has a higher floor and is more polished than Kickham was when the Giants signed him. He saved his best games for the final portion of his junior season, and likely gained 2 rounds in his eventual draft position, throwing four complete games in the 2nd half of the season, including a one-hit shut out in the MVC Tournament opener against Indiana State 2 weeks ago and his 8.0 innings of work (R=3, H=7, K=6, BB=0) at UCLA in the opening game of the 2012 Los Angeles Regional just 3 days before the draft. Nobody can say for sure, but I bet those last 2 performances of his college career sealed the deal for the Giants to take him in the 5th round of the draft after a lackluster 1st half of the season had seen him dropping almost out of the top 10 rounds on many boards. Blach did a good job of improving how hittable his pitches were this season (dropping his H/9 by 1.3) and he improved his control a bit to drop his WHIP to just a hair above 1.00, but it came at the expense of his swing-through stuff (his K/9 dropped by a full 2.6 - down to only 6.2). One other sour note on Blach - he's quite old for his college class and could have been a junior last year.
2012: GS=21, IP=120.1, K=83, K/9=6.2, BB=28, BB/9=2.1, K/BB=3, H/9=7, WHIP=1.01, BABIP=.261, BAA=.219
VID1: Post-game Q & A (May 2011): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4wJAvh9FNg
VID2: Post-game Q & A (May 2012): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY_zr1DU8QE
UPDATE1: I think that Blach will sign very quickly for very slightly underslot when the Giants are ready to negotiate (slot is $224.5K).
UPDATE2: Here's an interview that Blach did the day he was drafted - it seems like he's set to turn pro unless the Giants really low-ball him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LbtbgUmjKo
UPDATE3: SIGNED 6/20 - FOR SLOT ($224.5k)
6.208 - Stephen Johnson: RHP, St. Edward's Univ., TX (6'4", 205) DOB=2/21/91
Ranked the #63 overall prospect by BA. I like his good pitcher's frame - still has some projection in it - but not the mechanics. He has seen his max FB velocity jump over the triple digits threshold on several occasions this spring after being sent back to the bullpen. His upside is certainly exciting to contemplate, and it reminds me a bit of what I was hearing about Heath Hembree right after we drafted him in the 5th round of 2010. However, I worry that his mechanics make him an injury just waiting to happen. As fast as he's able to throw, he doesn't generate a lot of his power from the lower part of his body and relies mainly on his fairly violent arm and shoulder motion to generate his velocity. His arm often seems to get ahead of his body and he can be seen to be throwing across his forward momentum line. The Giants really should make some major changes in his mechanics if they want him to remain healthy and throwing bullets for years to come. Besides that, he also needs to learn a delivery that he can repeat and a secondary pitch that he can rely on - preferably a slider and a changeup, although only 1 will likely due for the first several years of his career.
2012: G=29, IP=29, K=39, K/9=12.1, BB=17, BB/9=5.3, K/BB=2.3, H/9=3.7, WHIP=1.00, BABIP=.214, BAA=.126
VID1: Live game (Aug 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSO2t7fjJRQ
VID2: Warmups from mound (July 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4-2FFerhdg
UPDATE1: This one will likely be a deadline deal. Johnson had to be expecting to go a lot higher based on his rankings, so he'll want to be paid like a top 100 or top 150 pick ($300K-450K, while slot is only $168.3K). The Giants are also going to want to wait until all of their other first 10 round guys, and some of their post-ten round guys, are signed before finalizing a deal with Johnson. That way the Giants will know for sure how much money they can offer Johnson without going over the 0.01% or the 5% penalty thresholds. In the end, this is the one pick of the first 10 rounds that I can really imagine doesn't get done. If a deal does get done, I think that it will be in the $250K range.
UPDATE2: SIGNED 6/27 for $180K (slot was $168.3K)
7.238 - Eduardo (E.J.) Encinosa: RHP, Univ. of Miami, FL (6'5", 225) DOB=8/5/91
Ranked the #322 overall prospect by BA. Besides Stratton, Encinosa and Stephen Johnson are the pitchers with the best stuff and highest upside of any other pitchers that the Giants drafted. Encinosa is one of those pitcher that went to college with big expectations from the scouting community, but never really put things together during his 3 seasons at Miami. He flashed his well above-average stuff in all 3 seasons, but couldn't consistently put things all together on a pitchability and control standpoint. He pitched out of the pen as a freshman and posted great stats, aside from his BB-rate. In 2011, Miami put him in the starting rotation where he had middling results and saw his velocity and K-rates tumble as he had to stretch his stuff out over more than 1 or 2 innings. This year Miami moved him bak to the pen to be their closer and he responded with the best statistical season of his career. His peripherals were excellent across the board - except for his BB-rate. He did suffer through several high-profile blown saves during the middle of a the season (mostly due to walks) and actually lost the closer role for a 4-week stretch in the 2nd half of the season. That's why he only pitched in 23 of his teams more than 60 games on the season. I don't know if the Giants plan to keep him in the pen or want to try him back as a starter, but I believe that he'll eventually end up in the pen if he makes it through the long slog of the minor leagues. He was drafted out of HS by the Twins in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft.
2012: G=29, IP=29, K=39, K/9=12.1, BB=17, BB/9=5.3, K/BB=2.3, H/9=3.7, WHIP=1.00, BABIP=.214, BAA=.126
VID1: live game (March 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfADIoxIpKw
VID2: Pregame Q & A (Feb. 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmIha1XkMMA
UPDATE1: This should be a deal that gets done before the end of June for right around the recommended slot ($144K).
UPDATE2: I went back and looked at a Miami game from early May that I still had on my DVR. Encinosa pitched 1+ innings in this game. Here's my scouting report:
The first thing that strikes you with Encinosa is that he's a big guy - even for somebody as tall as he is. He has a thick middle and is barrel-chested. He'll have to work hard to stay in shape and not gain noticeable weight as he matures and hits his mid-20s and beyond. Encinosa uses a funky, unique and shortened motion that can be deceptive and hard for hitters to pick up. He takes the ball out of his glove by about 1 foot as he lifts his leg to begin his delivery. He then punches the ball and his hand back into his glove to trigger the forward motion of his delivery. Next comes a short and quick stab backward behind his body with the ball followed by a very quick and powerful rotation forward as he strides torwards the plate. It's not a very big arm cirle, though he does get good arm extension at the end of his delivery. His arm speed is well above-average and he does a good job of generating power with his weight transfer, hip rotation and hip drive. He also does a good job of staying balanced throughout his delivery. On a cautious note, his short backward movement and quick arm transition to the forward direction puts more strain on his shoulder and elbow than a more typical motion, so Encinosa is at a heightened risk for arm troubles going forward, IMO. Every pitch that Encinosa throws has some type of movement on it - typically late and above-average. This is the key that makes him very difficult to hit. Unfortunately, it also seems to be the main reason that he has such a high BB-rate and a control problem - his pitches move out of the strike zone quite often. His FB has fringe-plus velocity - sitting in the 93-95 mph range and touching 97-98. It shows good late downward movement and some arm-side tail - even when he throws it 98 mph. He pitches with such a short and seemingly easy motion that it must initially surprise hitters with its plus velocity. He also throws a cut FB in the 91-93 mph range and bores in on RH hitters to saw the bats off in their hands. His 3rd pitch is a tight and late-breaking slider that he throws in the 86-90 mph range. It doesn't show much break in the horizontal direction, but can break downwards quite a bit depending on how fast he throws it. I didn't see him throw a recognizable changeup, but he did reduce his speed on a few sliders to simulate a changeup. I don't know if he shelved his changeup when he got sent to the pen this season, or if he never had one that he trusted to use much, but he could really improve his success rate if he were to develop a consistent one to go with his current FB and SL.
UPDATE3: SIGNED 6/18 FOR $144K - SAME AS SLOT
8.268 - Joe Kurrasch: LHP, Penn State Univ. (6'1", 225) DOB=6/19/91
Kurrasch screams to me, "Future LOOGY!" Unless he can find a way to increase his velocity to where his FB is sitting comfortably in the low-90s, then there's not a lot to like about this pick. Kurrasch played his freshman season of baseball for Cal-Berkeley (a total of 9 innings in relief), then sat out the 2011 season when he transferred to Penn State. 2012 was his junior season, but his first real experience as being an integral part of a college team. Here's what PerfectGame wrote about him back in 2009 when he was finishing up his HS career:
"Joseph Kurrasch is a 2009 LHP/1B with a 6'1'', 220 lb. frame from San Juan Capistrano, CA who attends J Serra Catholic. Thick durable build, bigger frame, compact motion, gets closed at balance, falls to 3b side, some armside run FB, some tilt on SL, spots SL, 2 pitches for strikes, competes, good student."
2012: IP=87.2, K=78, K/9=8, BB=46, BB/9=4.7, K/BB=1.7, H/9=7, WHIP=1.30, BABIP=.296, BAA=.223
VID: A clip of him pitching from 3 years ago - http://www.perfectgame.org/Players/PlayerProfile.aspx?ID=128396
UPDATE1: This should be a deal that gets done quickly for underslot money of around $100K (slot is $134.5K).
UPDATE2: SIGNED 6/10
9.298 - Shilo McCall: RF, RHH, Piedra Vista HS, Farmington, NM (6'2", 215) DOB=6/2/94
We finally get another position player with exciting upside and athletic tools - 6 rounds after the first and only other one was taken. When I look at his swing and build I'm strongly reminded of another HS kid that the Giants drafted from a neighboring state back in 2009 - Tommy Joseph. McCall's got a similar look and swing to Joseph, but he's also a well above-average runner (6.6 60 yard) whereas Joseph was as slow as a turtle. McCall's swing features a short load that's quick to the ball and generates impressive power and bat speed while remaining balanced and smooth throughout the swing - and he doesn't resort to a big leg kick or long stride to generate his bat speed. McCall also has an above-average arm that plays in RF. He is a bit thick-looking in his lower-body at this age, so I wonder if he'll have to avoid getting too big and less athletic as he matures - signaling a worsening of his OF defense and forcing a move to LF or 1B. Here's PG.com's scouting report on McCall (I don't think that their view of his arm jibes with what I've seen and read - though he could use some mechanical tweaks to make his throws better):
"McCall is a 2012 OF with a 6-1 205 lb. frame from Farmington, NM who attends Piedra Vista HS. Thick, very strong athletic build. 6.62 runner, quick first step, left field arm strength, can improve throwing fundamentals. Right handed hitter, spread stance hitting, aggressive swing with very good bat speed, looks to pull, maintains balance well, upper cut swing plate, gets extension out front, present power, can drive the ball hard. Nice speed/power combination. Very good student."
VID1: live AB - HS game (March 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i97JiiMMWo
VID2: BP & Drills - http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21699903&topic_id=29113154
VID3: Throwing, hitting & running - http://perfectgame.org/Players/Playerprofile.aspx?ID=277392
UPDATE1: Normally I would predict this to be one of those last-minute deadline signings, but McCall's camp have been very public about the fact that terms were agreed upon before the Giants drafted him. Reading between the lines and knowing how the Jake McCasland negotiations went 2 year ago, I'm comfortable stating that the Giants are giving McCall a bonus in the $200K-220K range (slot is $125.6K). The deal won't be official until McCall goes to Scottsdale and passes his physical, but that should happen sometime before the 15th. Look for McCall to make his pro debut in the AZL sometime in June or early July.
UPDATE2: SIGNED 6/11
10.328 - Trevor Brown: C/UT, RHH, UCLA (6'2", 195) DOB=11/15/91
The best thing about Brown is that he's one of the youngest players in his college draft class and he's very versatile in the field. He's shown that he can play every IF position at least adequately (except SS) and he has been a competent defensive catcher in the past. Offensively speaking, he has little or no power (career ISOp=.079) and he doesn't walk much (career BB-rate=5.9%) and strikes out too much (career K-rate=16.6%) for a guy with no power. People that have seen him play more than 1 or 2 games do tend to state that he has intangibles that make him a valuable asset for a team beyond what his stats would lead one to expect. Not much to hope on here, and it's a huge reach in the 10th round -unless the Giants planned on signing him for significant underslot money to use on other draftees.
2012: .328/.379/.438/.817 in 235 ABs, ISOp=.110, 1B=59, 2B=13, 3B=2, HR=3, BB=14 (5.2%), K=33 (12.3%)
VID1: live AB (HR) - UCLA vs. WSU (May 2010) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw0mlUHVpZA
VID2: live AB (Brown is 3rd batter in sequence) - UCLA vs. CSUF (June 2010) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZyZOCHuhyg
UPDATE1: Brown's team is still playing in the postseason. They're headed to the CWS in Omaha this Saturday, so the Giants can't begin negotiations with him until they win it all or get knocked out early. I look for Brown to sign quickly once his season is over for underslot money (slot is $125K) in the $100K range.
UPDATE2: I got a chance to see Brown play 1 full game and part of another against TCU this past weekend. Here's my scouting report:
First off, if this guy weighs 195 then I weigh 175 (I actually weigh 155). He is one skinny dude with nary an ounce of body fat and not much muscle definition. He's going to have to put some major meat on his bones if the Giants plan to have him catch full-time (which I don't think is their plan). If they make Brown catch 4 games a week in the AZ heat this summer then he'll shed 20 pounds in a week and literally will be down to skin and bones. He does have a nice frame and if the Giants can get him on a weight program to add some muscle and mass to it then he could probably raise his ISOp number by 75%. Because, Brown does have a sweet line-drive swing and can barrel up the ball very consistently. In fact, he's fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game - batting, fielding, baserunning, and throwing. He's also a very smart ballplayer with very nice instincts and intangibles. I can see why his coach trusts him to fill in at so many positions over the course of his career - and why he doesn't want to keep him out of the starting lineup. The most impressive part of his game to me, though, was his swing. I really like his mechanics, his patience and his batting eye. He's one of those hitters that doesn't get anxious or flustered when he has 2 strikes on him and start chasing pitcher's pitches out of the strike zone for easy outs. He stays calm and confident in the box. He has a quiet stance, standing with his feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and a stance that is square to the pitcher. He holds his hands up at shoulder level and lays his bat on his shoulder as he waits for the pich - so that it is nearly parallel to the ground. He triigers his swing by lifting up the heel of his front foot and shifting his weight slightly onto his back foot. As soon as he begins to lift his heel, he also starts to bring his hands down and slightly back. This makes his bat go into an almost truly vertical position, but not quite. He slams his heel back down to the ground to begin the forward part of his swing. This leads immediately to his hip rotation and the forward movement of his hands so that his bat drops into the hitting zone as he begins to snap his wrists and complete his swing. It's a short and compact swing that's quick to the ball and provides plenty of bat speed with a quick and short load. He lets the ball come to him, doesn't lunge at pitches, doesn't try to do too much with the ball, and he stays very balanced throughout his swing. As I said before, it's a fundamentally sound swing and should serve him well as he starts to face better and better pitchers in his climb up the minor league ladder. All-in-all, he impressed me more than I thought he would and I'm now more optimistic about his chances for future success than I was on my initial look at him right after the draft. Although, I still believe that Brown would have been a much better pick a few rounds later on in the draft.
NOTE: THE MAX SLOT AMOUNTS FOR EVERY PICK AFTER THE 10TH ROUND IS $100K
11.358 - Ryan Tella: CF, Auburn Univ. (6'0", 175) DOB=5/18/91
Tella is a draft-eligible sophomore who has 2 more years of eligibility left at Auburn. He is an East Bay native who attended Irvington HS. After Hs he played one season for Ohlone College in 2011 (where he hit .430/.498/.700/1.198, was 27-for-29 in SBs and was named the JuCo "Player of the Year" for the entire state of California). Tella has a lean frame with wiry strength. There doesn't seem to be much natural projection left in his frame, but he could add some needed strength by adding a intensive weight routine to his training regimen. I saw this guy play on TV against Florida twice in the past 4 weeks. I like his swing and his patient at the plate, but he strikes out too much for a guy that won't likely hit for power. In the field (and on the basepaths) Tella is very fast and he has a quick first step and takes good routes to the ball. He seems like a smart player who knows the angles and intricacies of the game. He was drafted by the Twins out of Ohlone JuCo in the 34th round of last year's draft.
2012: .360/.448/.508/.956 in 236 ABs, ISOp=.158, 1B=64, 2B=12, 3B=4, HR=5, BB=35 (12.4%), K=48 (17%), SB=17/21 (81%)
VID1: live highlights + Q & A (May 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC-yHSNs8SM
UPDATE: I think that Tella won't sign unless the Giants offer him above slot money (slot is $100K). I believe that Tella really loves the atmosphere of college baseball in the SEC and since he has the added leverage of knowing that he has 2 more shots at the draft in 2013 and 2014, he's in no hurry to be squeezed by the Giants. Don't be surprised if his negotiations drag out into July.
12.388 - Jeremy Sy: SS, RHH, Univ. of Louisiana-Monroe (5'11", 180) DOB=10/14/89
He's a senior, so he should sign quickly and for underslot. Although, because he has no college eligibility left, he can be signed all the way up to the day before next year's draft. Sy is old even for his senior class of college prospects. He'll need to move through the system very quickly to avoid falling into the dreaded org-filler bin. Sy played his first 2 seasons of college ball for a small JuCo in Illinois, before transferring to UL-Monroe for his junior year in the fall of 2010. He has no standout physical tool, but he does have fringe-above-average speed. He has shown a good batting eye and patience at the plate while at UL-Monroe (career OBP=.403, BB-rate=12.8%). He hit much better across the board as a senior than as a junior (OPS=.942 vs. .784), although he did see his K-rate balloon up close to the dangerous 18% level and his BABIP jumped all the way to an unsustainable .401 rate.
2012: .330/.436/.506/.942 in 222 ABs, ISOp=.176, 1B=49, 2B=15, 3B=7, HR=4, BB=41 (14.6%), K=49 (17.4%), SB=14/18 (78%)
UPDATE1: This should be a quick and painless (for the Giants) deal for right around the 5 figure threshold.
UPDATE2: SIGNED 6/8
13.418 - Ryan Jones: 2B, RHH, Michigan St. Univ. (5'10", 170) DOB=9/8/90
Jones has been a very good defender throughout his 3 seasons as a starter at Michigan State. He has a total of only 21
errors in 165 games, while recording 486 assists and 291 putouts. In 508 career ABs, he's also shown an aptitude for hitting (.358 career BA) and for getting on base (.431 career OBP). Jones also played well enough in the Cape Cod League last summer to be named to the All-Star game played in Fenway Park at the end of the season.
2012: .352/.422/.471/.894 in 261 ABs, ISOp=.119, wOBA=.402, 1B=70, 2B=16, 3B=3, HR=3, BB=35 (11.5%), K=20 (6.6%)
UPDATE1: He should be a quick sign for well underslot.
UPDATE2: SIGNED 6/9
14.448 - Tyler Hollick: OF, LHH (throws RH), Chandler-Gilbert JuCo, AZ (6'1", 190) DOB=9/16/92
Hollick is a Canadian (from Calgary) who has spent the past 2 springs playing at a JuCo in Arizona. Hollick's claim to fame is his speed, and ability to get on base. He parlayed that into an amazing 61 steals (in 67 attempts) and .605 OBP this season. He also hit .475. Averaging 1.3 stolen bases per game - with a 91% success rate - I wonder if we found our own lesser version of the Reds' Billy Hamilton? I also like it that Hollick is one of the youngest guys in his college class.
2012: .475/.605/.698/1.303 in 162 ABs, ISOp=.210, 1B=61, 2B=7, 3B=8, HR=1, BB=52 (23.4%), K=??, SB=61/67 (91%)
UPDATE1: Hollick actually came to Arizona as a pitcher and 2B, but his JuCo coach switched him to CF as a freshman to better utilize his speed. He did play 2B for his summer league team in Canada last year. Prior to the draft, Hollick's favorite team was the NY Yankees, now he's having 2nd thoughts. Hollick is currently back in the Calgary area and playing summer league ball for the Okotoks Dawgs - he scored a run in his team's home-opener on Wednesday night. Here's what Hollick had to say to his local newspaper after the Giants made him their 14th round pick:
"It's always been a dream of mine to play professional baseball, so if I get a quality opportunity with a good organization like the Giants, I feel like I'm going to take it, but nothing is official."
I think that Hollick is very signable if the Giants are willing to pony up something close to the $100K max slot for his spot.
UPDATE2: He's got 2 more years of eligibility left and an Ohio State University scholarship offer in his pocket, so look for some tough bargaining and overslot money if he does sign. I'm thinking that the Giants won't go above $150K, so the ball will be in Hollick's court. In the end I think that he will sign for between $120K-150K.
UPDATE3: Hollick is still playing in games for his Canadian summer league team, so nothing is currently imminent.
UPDATE5: SIGNED 6/15 FOR ???
15.478 - Leonardo Rojas: C/LF, , Miami-Dade JuCo, FL (5'10", 180) DOB=6/11/90
I do like this pick for the value it provides in the 15th round, but Rojas is so old for a sophomore that he is the same age as most of the college seniors that the Giants drafted. Rojas does have some power potential and offensive upside. I don't know if he has a scholarship offer to play his junior year for some 4-year program. If he does he could be a difficult sign at $100K or less. Otherwise, I look for him to sign quickly for something in the $25K range. Rojas was born in Venezuela, but played HS baseball in Florida. He just completed his sophomore season at the Mimi JuCo, so he wasn't on the same team that prodoced Derek Law, the Giants 9th round pick in the 2011 draft who is currently pitching in Augusta. From his BP video, I see a well-built and strong guy who doesn't have a lot of projection left in his frame. He's got strong wrists and hands and his swing is mechanically sound with a short path to the ball. He generates above-average bat speed without a big stride or long initial launch.
2012: .362/.401/.514/.915 in 185 ABs, ISOp=.152, 1B=51, 2B=7, 3B=6, HR=3, BB=8 (4%),
VID: BP (May 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kOgu4ywBWQ
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/12
16.508 - Ian Gardeck: RHP, Univ. of Alabama (6'2" 225) DOB=11/21/90
In 2010 and 2011, Gardeck was a starting pitcher who reportedly threw a FB that sat in the 93-94 mph range and occasionally touched 98. Mainly on the strength of that velocity, he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 8th round of the 2011 draft. Gardeck decided not to sign with the White Sox and honored his commitment to pitch for Alabama in 2012 - a decision that Gardeck likely regrets now. I'm not sure why Gardeck was used so sparingly out of the pen by Alabama, but I'm guessing that there was some injury issue as the Alabama pitching staff was in no position to leave him out of so many of their games. He is from Illinois originally and played one season at the Univ. of Dayton and one at Angelina College (a Texas JuCo), where he was used as a starter, before transferring to Alabama for the 2012 season. I think that the Giants should have an easy time signing Gardeck if they offer him around $50K.
2012: G=13, IP=12.3, K=16, K/9=11.7, BB=12, BB/9=8.8, K/BB=1.3, H/9=8, WHIP=1.86, BABIP=.370, BAA=.250
VID1: Live game - (April 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSj0cPWlvlE&feature=related
VID2: Live game - Cape Cod League (June 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb8POFi5px0
UPDATE1: In looking at the 2 vid clips of Gardeck pitching about 1 year ago, here's what I see:
Gardeck is solidly built and has a powerful lower body - where he generates a lot of his power from. In the first clip, where Gradeck is viewed straight-on from behind the plate, you can see that he steps and plants his lead foot well to the 3rd base side of the mound and off his ideal target centerline. This causes him to have to throw across his body and against his lead leg - thus sapping some power and velocity from his pitches and putting extra strain on his shoulder, hip and knee. Because of the different camera angle, it's difficult to tell for sure from the 2nd clip (taken about 2.5 months after the first clip) if Gardeck has somewhat corrected this cross-body throwing issue, but it does seem so to me. You'll notice that he does seem to be more centered over the top of his lead leg and has much more freedom of movement of his torso over the top of his lead leg. You'll also notice that he's falling off to the 1st base side of the mound - which he wasn't able to do in the first vid clip. Maybe his coach in the CCL got to him and tweaked his mechanics a bit. Whatever happened, I like his mechanics much better in his 2nd clip. Whichever clip you look at, you'll notice that Gardek gathers himself near the middle part of his delivery, then quickly and powerfully strides forward with his legs, then explosively rotates his hips to bring his upper body, arm, hand and the ball through in whip-like motion. That's where he gets the power to throw his FB in the upper-90s.
UPDATE2: SIGNED 6/8
17.538 - Chris Johnson: RHP, Univ. of Portland, OR (6'4", 205) DOB=8/24/91
Johnson has been a starter for his college team the past 2 seasons as well as in the West Coast Summer League in each of the past 2 summers. His stats in all 4 seasons have been remarkable consistent and similar. He's pretty much exactly what his stats say he is. A pitcher with no above-average pitch, who shows above-average control, is always around the plate, and is very hittable. If the Giants want him then he'll likely sign for well underslot money.
2011: GS=14, IP=83.3, K=58, K/9=6.3, BB=22, BB/9=2.4, K/BB=2.6, H/9=9.6, WHIP=1.22
2012: G=15, GS=13, IP=76, K=57, K/9=6.8, BB=21, BB/9=2.5, K/BB=2.7, H/9=9.6, WHIP=1.34, BABIP=.329, BAA=.275
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/11
18.568 - Matthew Duffy: SS, RHH, Cal State-Long Beach (6'2", 170) DOB=1/15/91
Duffy had a very good season at the plate in the Cape Cod League last summer, hitting .346/.407/.429/.836 and being named to the All-Star team. That put him on the radar of the Giants, who always scour the CCL for draft talent. If Duffy had been able to use his summer success as a springboard to an above-average offensive 2012 college season then he likely would have been a first 10 round pick, but he really disappointed at the plate this spring. Duffy is not fast, nor does he have much range or an above-average arm at SS, but he does have quick feet and good hands. He will likely have to move to 2B in the pros, though he could stick at 3B if he's able to add strength and unlock some unseen power potential at the plate. His upside is as a scrappy UT infielder. Duffy should sign quickly for around $25K if the Giants want him.
2012: .244/.336/.289/.625 in 201 ABs, ISOp=.045, 1B=41, 2B=7, 3B=1, HR=0, BB=25 (10.2%), K=16 (6.6%)
VID1: 3 live ABs vs. UCLA (April 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkNW9q5jKPg
VID2: live AB - CCL All-Star Game (July 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3C6x52EZxM
VID3: Postgame Q & A (April 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dzwIvkonQc
UPDATE1: Looking at the first 2 video clips above (both from 2011), my first thought was that he would need to get rid of the high leg kick that he was using to trigger his swing or he would be eaten alive by full-season pro pitchers. I did hear in the 3rd clip that Duffy got rid of the leg kick before the start of the 2012 season. Too bad I couldn't find a clip from the 2012 season so that I could analyze the changes that he made. In looking at his stats from this season, it sure seems like getting rid of the leg kick did hurt him in the power department.
UPDATE2: SIGNED 6/11
19.598 - Randall Zeigler: LHP, Univ. of Louisiana-Monroe (6'1", 183) DOB=8/30/89
Zeigler has a nice pitcher's frame and build, and already sports the full moutain man beard that will let him fit right into the SF bullen. He has really moved around in his 4 years of college ball. He started out as a freshman at LSU - playing sparingly in the field and on the mound the first 9 weeks of the season, before popping the ligament in his arm warming up in the bullpen before his first college start of his career. He had TJ surgery on the elbow and decided to transfer to a small Louisiana JuCo for his sophomore season when it bacame clear that he wouldn't be able to pitch again until the tail end of the 2010 season at LSU - if at all. Since the LSU coach wouldn't guarantee him playing time to be a hitter during the 2010 season while his elbow healed Zeigler preferred playing for the JuCo where he knew that he could hit every game and not just sit on the bench waiting for his elbow to heal. He ended up hitting about .380 during his sophomore year at the JuCo, then proceeded to play the past 2 seasons for the Div. 1 college program at UL-Monroe where he was used as a workhorse starter during both seasons. It looks like Zeigler has above-average swing-and-miss stuff, but his lack of control really hamstrings his effectiveness. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $20K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: G=18, IP=112.1, K=111, K/9=8.9, BB=56, BB/9=4.5, K/BB=2, H/9=7.8, WHIP=1.36, BABIP=.302, BAA=.234
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8 - the Giants made him shave his beard on arrival in Scottsdale.
20.628 - Mitchell Delfino: 3B, RHH, Univ. of California (6'2", 210) DOB=1/13/91
Delfino is a Bay Area native and life-long Giants fan. Delfino had a nagging arm injury this season that forced him to play more than half his games at 1B, and likely caused him to fall 5-7 rounds in the draft. It's a bit ironic, because Delfino has always been known for his well above-average arm strength and has even been talked about being used as a pitcher before this year. He shows potential at the plate, with consistent hard contact, though he has yet to display much power. Look for him to sign for well-underslot money as soon as the Giants start serious negotiations.
VID1: Live AB - 2010 CWS (June 2010) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxQahnACQKc
VID2: Testimonial (Mitch can be seen starting at the 1:00 mark) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyTHyLKzzI8
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/15
21.658 - Benjamin Turner: C, RHH, Univ. of Missouri (6'5", 225) DOB=4/27/90
Nothing notable here. Turner is org-filler, because in the Giants player development view they can never have too many catchers in the farm system. You have to admire his tenacity, as he got into only a total of 9 games as a sophomore and junior at Missouri, but he stuck it out and won the starting C spot as a senior. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $10K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: .284/.373/.353/.726 in 218 ABs, ISOp=.069, 1B=49, 2B=12, 3B=0, HR=1, BB=25 (10.8%), K=29 (12.5%)
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8
22.688 - Brennan Metzger: CF, RHH, Cal State-Long Beach (5'11" 180) DOB=12/15/89
Metzger's claim-to-fame is that he rarely strikes out (career K-rate=11% in 666 ABs). He just doesn't have any tools that make him standout and he's likely to be org-filler in the mold of Mike Mergenthaler and Elliot Blair. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $20K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: .302/.405/.407/.813 in 189 ABs, ISOp=.105, 1B=42, 2B=12, 3B=1, HR=2, BB=22 (9.2%), K=14 (5.9%), SB=11/16 (69%)
VID1: Live AB (HR) - LBSU vs. CSUF (May 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRycmYavkmY
VID2: Postgame Q & A (May 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzWzVtoJSRg&feature=related
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/11
23.718 - Andrew Leenhouts: LHP, Northeastern Univ., MA (6'3", 200) DOB=03/28/90
A LHP with good size and some swing-and-miss stuff (career K/9=9.2), Leenhouts is not a bad gamble in the 23rd round - even better if he wasn't a 22-year old senior. He needs to improve his control (career BB/9=3.9) and become less hittable (career H/9=8.6) to survive in the pros. He's likley just another middle-relief bullpen candidate within the next 2 seasons. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $20K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: G=13, IP=91.2, K=87, K/9=8.5, BB=35, BB/9=3.4, K/BB=2.5, H/9=8.8, WHIP=1.36, BABIP=.319, BAA=.259
VID1: Warmups, bullpen & live game (April 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu6rr-xq-B4
VID2: Bullpen session & live game (May 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6wbfera13Y
UPDATE1: In the clips above I see the following:
Leehhouts has an ideal pitcher's body, tall and lean with long arms and legs, and there looks like there is still some projectability left in his frame despite his relatively old age for a draftee. There's a lot to like in his delvery. He's smooth, compact and uses relatively low-effort. I like how he throws from almost straight over his head and the 12:00 position. I don't like that he tends to let his arm get ahead of his body during his delivery - and loses power and arm speed. He has a good downward break on his curveball, but not much sideways break. He also doesn't show me a great deal of command of his FB. He can keep it in the strike zone, but he has trouble keeping it down in the zone. When he elevates it he doesn't have enough velocity or movement to keep the hitters from squaring up the pitch - hence the high hits per 9 rates in his stats. He might benifit from dropping his arm slot down slightly from 12:00 towards 1:00 in oder to get better command and better movement on his FB and breaking ball.
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/11
24.748 - Andrew Cain: CF, RHH, UNC-Wilmington, NC (6'6", 220) DOB=3/24/90
Cain is one of the most exciting prospects that the Giants took in the draft, despite being a college senior. His tools and physical size compare well to 3rd round pick Mac Williamson, though he's more raw and doesn't possess Williamson's plus arm. Cain is an intriguing mix of physical size and 2 much-desired tools - power and speed. Cain has been described by BA as a "plus runner" and has run 60 yards in as fast as 6.7 seconds, He's also hit 20 total HRs in his last 2 college seasons despite the switch to the deadened BBCOR bats. He shares the weakness of many power hitters in that he strikes out too much (career K-rate=19.9%). Cain was drafted in the 12th round of last year's draft by the Brewers, but he decided to go back to college for his senior season and see if he could improve on his draft spot. Needless to say, he's probably regretting that decision now. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $25K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: .322/.416/.523/.939 in 239 ABs, ISOp=.201, 1B=54, 2B=10, 3B=1, HR=12, BB=26 (9.3%), K=54 (19.2%), SB=23/26 (88%)
VID1: live AB - double (spring 2012) - http://www.uncwsports.com/newMediaPlayer/sl/embed.htm?catid=30423&id=754473&type=vod&oemid=19800
VID2: Postgame Q & A (spring 2010) -http://www.uncwsports.com/newMediaPlayer/sl/embed.htm?catid=30423&id=693670&type=vod&oemid=19800
VID3: Q & A (Feb 2011) - http://www.uncwsports.com/newMediaPlayer/sl/embed.htm?catid=30423&id=745538&type=vod&oemid=19800
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8
25.778 - Sam Eberle: C, RHH, Jacksonville State, AL C R/R SR 6'00" 215lbs DOB: 02/01/90
Despite his advanced age and relative obscurity, I really like this pick at this point in the draft. Anytime you can get a guy with Eberle's athleticism, versatility, and (most importantly) hit tool after the 15th round then you've done a good job. Eberle's position should be more precisely described as "hitter". Although the Giants drafted him as a catcher, Eberle has split time mainly at 3B, LF and catcher in 2012. It's not as if he's a poor defender, but more that he's so versatile that his college coach used him to plug into spots that he needed filling. Last year he played every position on the field but pitcher, SS, and 2B at one time or another. The lack of an established position likely caused Eberle to go undrafted last year and fall so far this year, because an available college senior with his hit tool and athleticism is hard to find His high school coach (a former pro baseball player) still describes Eberle as "the best all-round athlete I ever coached, ... big, strong and fast with a good arm ... had all the tools that college coaches and pro scouts look for from Day 1." He rarely strikes out and walks at an elite rate. This year's offensive performance wasn't just a 1-year fluke, in his 4 year career at Jacksonville State he has the following stats:
College career: .328/.413/.569/.982 in 833 ABs, ISOp=.240, 2B=62, HR=43, BB=11%, K=13.6%, BABIP=.346
I think of Eberle as a poor man's Dane Phillips. Since I've also described Phillips as a poor man's Mike Napoli, then I guess that makes Eberle a homeless man's Mike Napoli. Seriously though, Eberle also put up above-average offensive stats in the New England Baseball League last summer. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not more than $20K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: .359/.469/.579/1.047 in 209 ABs, ISOp=.220, 1B=47, 2B=18, 3B=2, HR=8, BB=39 (15.4%), K=22 (8.7%)
VID1: live AB - New England Baseball League (July 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7epDpnl46TE
VID2: Postgame Q & A with coach (May 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrKAKywKgzs
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8
26.808 - Mason McVay: LHP, Florida International, (6'7", ) DOB=8/15/90
McVay is a decent gamble to catch lightning in a bottle at this late stage in the draft. A LHP with great size and an advanced K-rate that lacks control and is too hittable. McVay sat out his 2010 sophomore season at FIU due to TJ surgery, so this season was his first at full-strength and complete health since his 2009 college season. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not more than $20K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: G=17, S=12, IP=64.1, K=72, K/9=10.1, BB=41, BB/9=5.7, K/BB=1.8, H/9=8.3, WHIP=1.55, BABIP=.331, BAA=.242
VID1: Q & A (Feb 2012 - McVay names his mustache "Sheila") -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNPbXQL2dyk&feature=relmfu
VID2: McVay (closest to camera) and team does the Cha-Cha Dance - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rgzJtDGSHKU
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/9
27.838 - Chris Fern: LHP, Union College, KY (6'4", 215) DOB=8/22/91
Who do the Giants think this guy is, a potted plant? Actually Fern holds the distinction of being only the 4th player ever drafted out of Union College - a small NAIA member school. Fern transferred to Union last fall from the national powerhouse Univ. of Virginia program. Fern never actually pitched at Virginia in the year that he attended school there, but did play his first 2 seasons of college ball at St. Joh’s River State JuCo. The Union coaches initially had him pegged for the closer's role in the 2012 season, but he ended up being their top starting pitcher this season - throwing 5 complete games (1 shutout). Not a lot of info to be found on him, but from what little I do have I have to say this is an encouraging pick. Fern is very young for his college class, he has an ideal pitcher's frame, and he put up very good stats and peripherals during the 2012 college season. The low BB-rate and BAA are especially appreciated, though we have to keep in mind that he did this against a low and very thin level of competition. One also has to wonder why Fern never played for UVA during the 2011 college season. Fern is only a junior and does have another year of college eligibility left, so he has a bit more leverage than all of the seniors that the Giants drafted before and after him. I'd guess that Fern will take his chances and go back for his senior season unless the Giants offer him more than $20K.
2012: G=15, S=10, IP=76.2, K=72, K/9=8.5, BB=17, BB/9=2.0, K/BB=4.2, BAA=.223
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/10
28.868 - Joseph (Joey) Rapp: 1b, RHH, Univ. of Louisiana-Monroe (6'3", 220) DOB=11/27/89
Rapp played 2 season for the national powerhouse JuCo, Chipola College, in Florida before transferring to UL-Monroe for his junior season. He has above-average power and displays nice patience at the plate (career BB-rate=13%), but not much to get excited about here. He reminds me of a RH Ben Thomas. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $10K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: .322/.418/.527/.945 in 245 ABs, ISOp=.225, wOBA=.413, 1B=59, 2B=19, 3B=2, HR=9, BB=32 (11.1%), K=59 (20.6%)
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8
29.898 - Shayne Houck: LF/RF, RHH, Kutztown Univ., PA (6'1", 210) DOB=5/29/90
Houck has a compact and powerful build - a real fire hydrant body type. He was a powerful and elite offensive force during his 4 years at Kutztown. He set the all-time conference records for single season HRs (17) and in career HRs (44). Despite the elite power numbers that he posted (career ISOp above .270), Houck never struck out more than he walked in any single season of his career. During his 4 seasons, his K-rate ranged between 9.0% & 11.4%, while his BB-rate ranged between 12.9% & 16.6%, and he never had a single season in which he posted an OBP below .473. In addition, he has shown sure and soft hands and an accurate arm at 3B throughout his career - never committing more than 11 errors in any single season. Houck was a starter at 3B from the minute he set foot on the campus as a freshman, so through the first part of his career he was performing at an excellent level against players that were, on average, much older than him. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for no more than $25K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: .329/.473/.588/1.061 in 170 ABs, ISOp=.259, 1B=31, 2B=15, 3B=1, HR=9, BB=37 (16.6%), K=24 (10.8%)
VID1: live AB - HR (April 2012) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IjJrdjIaME
VID2: Q & A (July 2011) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSl_c_qc094
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8
30.928 - Michael Blanchard: CF, RHH, Austin Peay Univ., TN (6'0", 180) DOB=8/01/89
Blanchard was a teammate of current Giants farmhand Jack Snodgrass (currently pitching for SJ) for 2 seasons at Austin Peay. He's got a slim and lean frame and above-average speed. He knows how to work a walk (career BB-rate=13.2%) and steal bases at an excellent rate (career SB=66/77 (86%)), but he strikes out way too much for a guy that has no power to speak of (career K-rate=21.7%). The best we can hope for here is a poor man's Tyler Graham. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $10K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: .290/.405/.379/.784 in 248 ABs, ISOp=.089, 1B=42, 2B=10, 3B=3, HR=2, BB=45 (15.3%), K=63 (21.4%), SB=16/20 (80%)
VID: Postgame Q & A (Blanchard is the 3rd guy in clip, Jack Snodgrass is 2nd guy) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdvhz94UCDc
31.958 - Jason Forjet: RHP, Florida Gulf Coast Univ. (6'2", 185) DOB=1/04/90
Forjet is a senior pitcher who is a late-bloomer with a lot of hidden potential. He has a smooth and seemingly low-effort delivery that can fool a hitter and make his pitches appear to be faster than the radar gun actually shows. He also hides the ball from the hitter very well prior to release, so that also makes his pitches deceptively fast. His FB sits 90-91 mph and touches 93. His average arm speed and slow windup makes his FB seem to rush up on a hitter from out of nowhere. He gets good late movement on it and he has a little hop on his 4-seamer that allows him to throw it up in the zone and still get away with it. He also showed me a consistent effort and ability to pitch inside to both LH and RH hitters - with good success. He has also has a SL, CH and Splitter in his repertoire which are all above-average, but inconsistent. His slider is his best and most consistent pitch after his FB, but it still doesn't have the tight late break that you see in the best slisers. He has a little trouble repeating his delivery and release point, so I think that a good pitching coach could work with him to get a bit more velocity and even better command-and-control in the pros. He's quite lean, but appears athletic and sturdy on the diamond. Would be a good sleeper pick starting in the 5th round, IMO, as a team should be able to use his senior status to get him to sign for an underslot bonus. He was a teammate of the Giants' own Ray Black last summer (for Brainerd in the Northwoods League), so the Giants should have a good source of inside info on him. He was one of the top starters in the Northwoods League, named to the All-Star team and compiled top stats across many ptiching categories, including Ks, BBs and runs-allowed. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for not much more than $10K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: IP=95.7, K=83, K/9=7.8, BB=22, BB/9=2.1, K/BB=3.8, H/9=8.5, WHIP=1.17, BABIP=.316, BAA=.251
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/9
32.988 - Chris Pickering: LHP, Univ. of Rhode Island (6'1", 190) DOB=2/21/89
A little bit of trivia to whet your appetite, Pickering played in the 2001 Little League World Series for the Rhode Island team. That was the same series that the Brooklyn team go DQ'd for trying to pass the 14-year old Danny Almonte off as a 12-year old. I'm at a loss to see what the Giants see in Pickering. The only thing that makes sense to me is that he has 1 offspeed or strange arm angle release that makes them think he can be a LOOGY specialist out of the pen. This is a guy that averaged more than 1 hit per inning (10.7 to be exact) and had a K/9=5.9 vs. a BB/9=3.7 in 251 career college innings pitched. Pickering is not just a senior, he's a 5th-year senior who successfully petitioned the NCAA for another year of eligibility after he injured his arm in the first, and only, game that he pitched in the 2010 season. Since he has no eligibility left, he should be a very easy sign for not more than 5 figure threshold at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: IP=86.1, K=51, K/9=5.3, BB=35, BB/9=3.7, K/BB=1.5, H/9=11.7, WHIP=1.70, BABIP=.357, BAA=.320
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8
33.1018 - Brandon Farley: RHP, Arkansas State Univ., (6'2", 215) DOB=8/01/90
Farley spent the first 2 years of his college career playing for a small Mississsippi JuCo then switched to Akansas State for his junior and senior years. He has only pitched out of the pen at Akansas state - rarely going more than 1 inning. He's been able to keep his k-rate above 1 per inning in both seasons, but he's also been very hittable (H/9=9). He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be an very easy sign for not much more than $10K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: IP=37.1, K=40, K/9=9.6, BB=14, BB/9=3.4, K/BB=2.9, H/9=8.7, WHIP=1.34, BABIP=.340, BAA=.257
UPDATE: SIGNED 6/8
34.1048 - Zachariah Edgington: LHP, UCSB, CA LHP (6'0", 190) DOB=12/21/89
Edgington looks like another bullpen org filler to me. He's a local Bay Area kid - went to Serra HS in San Mateo - though he was born in Australia and has Australian citizenship. Before switiching to UCSB for his junior and senior years, Edgington pitched for 2 years at Santa Barbara City College (OT: SBCC has one of the most beautiful ocean views of any college in the country not named Pepperdine). He's a Giants and 49ers fan. He's a senior with no eligibility left, so he should be a very easy sign for no more than $10K at this spot if the Giants want him.
2012: IP=80.2, K=56, K/9=6.3, BB=35, BB/9=3.9, K/BB=1.6, H/9=8.3, WHIP=1.35, BABIP=.306, BAA=.248
35.1078 - Daniel Grazzini: RHP, College of San Mateo JuCo, CA (6'3", 195) DOB=08/02/92
He's a JuCo sophomore and quite young for his class. UC-Davis commit. A starter this past season. I find it hard to believe that the Giants really are serious about going after a young guy like this when they waited so long to draft him. He has a scholarship offer from a good academic school with a nice baseball program. I think that the Giants would have to pony up close to slot money to get Grazzini to spurn UC-Davis.
His 2012 stats: G=12, IP=74.2, H=49, H/9=5.9, K=56, K/9=6.8, BB=24, BB/9=2.9, K/BB=2.3, ERA=1.21
36.1108 - Clint Terry: LHP, College of San Mateo JuCo, CA (6'2", 195) DOB=06/09/92
A teammate of our #36 pick, Dan Grazzini. Terry is a JuCo sophomore and young for his class. Lee Univ. (of Cleveland, OH) commit. A seldom-used reliever this season. I find it hard to believe that the Giants really are serious about going after a young guy like this when they waited so long to draft him. It seems like he has a live arm, but very little experience versus a good level of competition.
His 2012 stats: IP=16.2, H=12, H/9=6.5, K=17, K/9=9.2, BB=3, BB/9=1.6, K/BB=5.7, ERA=1.08
UPDATE1: Terry is back home in North Carolina and pitching in a local summer league. Last night he took a no-hitter into the 7th inning and ended up with a complete game 4-hitter in an 8-1 victory. Terry had 8 Ks and 1 BB and only needed 97 pitches to complete the 9 innings of work. The local paper had a complete article on the game along with quotes from Terry concerning his dealings with the Giants. Click on the link below to read the full story, but I'll include money quotes here:
With two Giants representatives in the stands, Terry (2-0) struck out eight, walked one and surrendered one run on four hits. “He made some money tonight,” Grizzlies coach Kyle Suprenant said in reference to Terry’s ongoing contract negotiations. ... Terry said he has “no idea” whether he’ll sign a contract. He has until July 15 to make a decision. Terry just completed his sophomore season at San Mateo, a community college in California, and plans to play at Lee of the NAIA next season if he doesn’t go professional.
37.1138 - Drew Jackson: SS, RHH, Miramonte HS, Orinda, CA (6'2", 175) DOB=07/28/93
Very old for his HS class, he should have graduated last year. He's a very talented and interesting prospect that I would love to have in our system, but this was almost surely a throwaway pick. The Giants have no thoughts of being able to sign Jackson away from Stanford at this late spot. The amount of money it would take would put the Giants into the penalty threshold under th enew CBA draft rules.
38.1168 - Nolan Long: RHP, Waterford HS, CT (6'9", 225) DOB=01/19/94
He's a big kid with a strong build. Throws up to 92 mph. An interesting prospect that I would love to have in our system. Too bad the Giants likely have no intent of seriously trying (or any chance under the new CBA rules) to sign him away from his Univ. of Rhode Island commit.
39.1198 - Kevin Fagan: 2B, LHH (throws RH), North Broward Prep HS, FL (5'11", 175) DOB=5/09/94
Stetson Univ. commit. Stetson actually has a very good baseball program. Fagan is unlikely to sign for only $100K, besides, I doubt the Giants ever had a burning desire to try to persuade him at this late spot in the draft. I wonder if this kid is related to the great defensive lineman that the 49ers drafted out of the Univ. of Miami back in the mid-1980s and who was an integral part of 3 of their world championship teams? Fagan certainly is the correct age and lives in the right area to be considered a son of the 4ers' Kevin Fagan.
40.1228 - Tyler Ferguson: RHP, Clovis West HS, CA (6'4", 225) DOB=10/05/93
Ferguson is a very good prospect with a nice-looking delivery. Too bad the Giants have no intent of seriously trying (or any chance under the new CBA rules) to sign him away from his Vandy commit. Either way, Ferguson has already indicated that he has no thoughts of not going to Vandy for the 2012/13 school year.