John Sickels, lead writer and creator of minorleagueball.com, came up with the concept of the shadow draft. In a shadow draft you basically select amateur players whenever the real team you are following (In Sickel's case the Twins, in my case the Giants) is on the clock. You can either agree with the pick the real team makes or pick a player more to your liking.I like to try to stay within budget to make the draft look realistic. Over many drafts you start to build a shadow organization which you can compare with the real organization. In my first year I only did the first 20 rounds and decided to just agree with whomever the Giants took after that point. . I was pretty happy with my overall draft but noticed at the end that I was very pitching heavy so I realized my focus would need to be offense for year #2. Some notable selections I made in last year's draft:
As I said earlier my focus was on offense this year but unfortunately this year's draft class was weak offensively in the college ranks. And since we were drafting low and didn't have any extra supplemental picks I wouldn't be able to dip into the high school pool too much without going over budget. I think I did a pretty great job staying true to the budget and overall I think I like this draft better than last year's. Take a look:
1. Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke- I wanted a hitter 1st overall and there were plenty of good ones available (Trahan, Roache, Shaffer) but Stroman was my dream pick for this spot so I couldn't pass him up here. The Giants drafted I guy I liked but not as much as Stroman in RHP Chris Stratton.
2. Carson Kelly, 3B, HS- Got my power bat in Kelly. They announced him as a pitcher so I may change this pick (cheating I know but doesn't really seem fair to me that another organization should affect this so much). I thought the Giants would do something similar but they went with another pitcher with RHP Martin Agosta
3. Mac Williamson, OF, Wake Forest- Someone I really liked and was planning on taking in the 4th round. Giants kind of ruined that for me but I'm not too upset taking him a round early.
4. Adrian Sampson, RHP, JC- There weren't too many high upside starters left on the board so I grabbed Sampson who I really like. Could be a tough sign here but I think I saved some money elsewhere. Giants went with a reliever in LHP Steven Okert.
5. Preston Beck, OF, Texas-Arlington- I thought he would go much sooner as he was ranked in BA's top 100. Good power and patience combo with defense to boot. I think I got a steal here as I like him more than Williamson. Giants selected LHP Ty Blach.
6. Jamodrick McGruder, 2B, Texas Tech- Someone I really wanted. Doesn't have the power I wanted but he has a ton of speed and is a really good defender that can hit for average. Could be a Jemile Weeks type in the majors. Giants selected RHP Stephen Johnson who I do like, but I don't like taking relievers this early.
7. Buck Farmer, RHP, Georgia Tech- My first two pitching selections had some risk so I wanted to grab someone a little safer. Farmer was ranked #117 by Baseball America so I thought this was pretty good value. Nothing flashy but someone who will most likely make the majors and be a back of the rotation starter. Giants took another reliever in RHP E.J. Encinosa.
8. D.J. Baxendale, RHP, Arkansas- Similar to Baxendale, another pitcher who should reach the majors and profiles as a back of the rotation starter. Not too exciting but the Giants could use some pitchers that can move quickly and slot in behind Bumgarner, Cain, and possibly Timmy. Giants selected RHP Joseph Kurrasch.
9. Shilo McCall, OF, HS- Someone I didn't have on my draft board but intrigued me quite a bit. Decided to trust the Giants here and made him my 9th round pick.
10. William Carmona, 3B, Stony Brook- Someone I started to follow last year when I was interested in Tropeano, Carmona's teammate. He has hit for average every year and he hit for more power last year and started walking. Giants selected catcher Trevor Brown.
11. Ryan Tella, OF, Auburn- He was on my list but wasn't really sure when to pick him. Giants solved that problem as they selected him in the 11th round.
12. D.J. Hicks, 1B, Central Florida- I had been intrigued by Hicks since his showing in the Cape Cod league. He has plenty of power, something I coveted in this draft. Has some contact issues though. Giants selected Jeremy Sy.
13. Derrick Velasquez, RHP, JC- Tough sign at this point but with no penalties I thought I might as well take a chance. Lot of upside in this pick, we'll see how the money works out. Giants selected Ryan Jones, someone I liked but not at this spot.
14. Tyler Hollick, OF, JC- Never heard of him before today. After taking a quick look at some notes and video I decided to stick with the Giants selection. Elite speed here, lot of upside.
15. Ronnie Richardson, OF, Central Florida- Ranked 231 by BA so he dropped a bit here. He's a well rounded player but doesn't have any true plus tools. Probably a 4th outfielder but still good value in the 15th. Giants selected their second catcher in Leonardo Rojas.
16. Travis Ballew, RHP, Texas State- One of my sleeper picks. He actually lasted a bit farther but I'm happy with him here. Was ranked #387 by BA. Giants selected Ian Gardeck who was ranked pretty high before the season but struggled.
17. Jerad Grundy, LHP, Kentucky- Realized I hadn't taken a left handed pitcher yet so I decided to grab one here. Considered Christian Jones of Oregon but thought he might be a tough sign so I went with Grundy who BA ranked #351. Giants selected Christopher Johnson.
18. Damek Tomscha, 3B, JC- Wanted to get some power into the infield so I took Tomscha who topped my board in that regard. Former catcher, looks good at third now. Giants selected SS Matt Duffy.
19. Joe Sever, 2B, Pepperdine- Shankbone likes his second base scrappers and Sever definitely fits that mold. San Jose kid, no stand out tool but someone I could see playing a utility role in the majors. Giants took LHP Randall Zeigler.
20. R.C. Orlan, LHP, North Carolina- Took my first reliever of the draft and I feel like I got good value with Orlan. Ranked #425 by BA, Orlan finished his Junior year with a K/9 over 10.0 and BB/9 under 2.00. Giants selected 3B Mitch Delfino who I had on my board but wasn't willing to draft because I had 3 third basemen already.
21. Jason Forjet, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast- FLA-Giant's guy all the way. He told me about how he saw him in action and came out impressed. Late bloomer, wasn't sure when to take him but figured I'd grab someone I really liked before someone else does. Giants would end up selecting him later on, they selected Benjamin Turner here.
22. Justin Gonzalez, SS, Florida State- He was in BA's top 100 for the preseason but didn't grow as much as BA thought he would. Gonzalez will stick at short and he has some power but he strikes out a ton. He'll be 21 in a couple weeks so there is some time to grow I think. Some upside here. Giants selected Brennan Metzger.
23. Pat Blair, SS, Wake Forest- Doubled up on shortstops here. Not sure if Blair sticks there but he has speed and patience. He's pretty young, turns 21 in October so maybe he improves his other tools. Giants selected Andrew Leehouts.
24. Martin Viramontes, RHP, USC- Older reliever but someone I thought could move quickly through the minors. His stuff played much better out of the pen. This was my 2nd reliever pick of the draft. Giants selected OF Andrew Cain.
25. Mitchell Garver, C, New Mexico- Sleeper of mine. Garver can really hit but not stay behind the dish. Wanted to grab at least one all bat catcher in this draft and he was one of the last available. He didn't end up being drafted so I kind of just lose out on this pick. Giants selected catcher Sam Eberle
26. Mason McVay, LHP, Florida International- Had him on my list of late round lefties so I didn't hesitate at all when the Giants called his name. Big pitcher, 6'7, with strike out stuff. Could see him coming out of the bullpen as a loogy.
27. Phil Pohl, C, Clemson- Needed some catching depth and Pohl was the highest rated college catcher on my board. Not very exciting, profiles as a back up in the majors. Giants took LHP Chris Fern, someone who I liked but I needed a catcher.
28. Randall Fant, LHP, Arkansas- Giants drafted Joe Rapp.
29. Ryan Dull, RHP, UNC-Asheville- A sleeper senior of mine, Dull put up some solid numbers last year with a K/9 over 9.00 and a BB/9 under 2.00. He was very hittable though and is probably only a middle reliever in the majors. Giants took OF Shayne Houck.
30. Anthony Bazzani, RHP, Eastern Kentucky- I actually drafted another reliever here but realized he was already picked so I went with Bazzani, who was the next highest ranked guy. He's a project pitcher for the Giants. GIants took Michael Blanchard.
31. Michael Martinez, 3B/1B, Florida International- Giants Selected RHP Jason Forjet.
32. Colton Plaia, C, Loyola Maramount- Giants selected Christopher Pickering
33. Andrew Barbosa, LHP, South Florida- Has been drafted multiple times by the Giants and I figured I would grab him here. I originally thought the Giants would take him but he went to the Dbacks instead. Giants drafted Brandon Farley
34. Kyle Farmer, SS, Georgia- Giants selected Zachariah Edgington
35. Alex Swim, C, Oregon State- Giants selected Daniel Grazzini
36. Breland Almadova, OF, Hawaii- One of shankbone's sleepers. Wanted two more outfielders so I decided to give him a try. Giants selected Clint Terry.
37. Calvin Drummond, RHP, San Diego- Ranked fairly high by BA at #289. Numbers scream out back rotation starter to me but I figured I'd draft him since BA liked him. Giants selected SS Drew Jackson who I had on my board but didn't think would sign.
38. Justin Leeson, OF, Georgetown- Giants Selected Nolan Long.
39. Tyler Leslie, RHP, JC- Knew he wouldn't sign but I figured what the hell. He was drafted by the Giants last year but turned down their offer.
40. Nicholas Sawyer, RHP, JC- Giants selected Tyler Ferguson.
Overall I really liked this draft. I got some hitters with upside like Kelly, Williamson, Beck, Carmona, McCall, Hollick, Tomscha, and Gonzalez and I also mixed in some solid pitcher too with Stroman, Sampson, Farmer, Baxendale, and Velasquez. I drafted 22 position players and 18 pitchers so even though I aimed for a more offensive draft I had a fairly even mix. I don't think that is me making a mistake as much as it is there being a lack of solid college hitters in this draft.
I ended up drafting 2 high schoolers, 6 JuCo players, and the rest were from college. Being an outsider I don't know who is going to sign for what so I have to play it safe. Seeing how this draft turned out I plan on taking more risk next year. And again because we pick late and don't have any extra picks the talent available to me was limited.
Thanks for reading that monstrosity. I'd appreciate any and all feedback. GO GIANTS!!!