MLB Draft 2013: Giants take Chase Johnson, RHP, with third-round pick

The Giants drafted Chase Johnson, a right-handed reliever (who still could be a starter, settle down) out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo*, which spawned Ozzie Smith, Kevin Correia, and Mike Krukow. The exchange on the MLB.com telecast:

"The Giants stay local ... what did they get here?"

"... I don't really know ..."

Oh, man. Just the best. But what they meant was that Johnson didn't pitch a whole lot this year, and John Manuel said it was frustrating for teams that wanted to scout him. They weren't sure if it was coach/player rift or something else, but that Johnson still flashed a 97-m.p.h. stuffball when he did pitch.

The high school hitters? Yeah, I'm pretty skeptical. A raw arm? I have a little more faith in the Giants with this one. Some video is here, and the MLB.com capsule:

Chase Johnson's junior year has been curious, to say the least. The big right-hander threw well in the Cape Cod League over the summer, following up a sophomore season as Cal Poly's closer. But he's been used sparingly in 2013, yielding the closer role to Reed Reilly. Johnson still has good stuff, though, with a fastball up to 93 mph that has good sink to it to go along with a slider and changeup that both have the chance to be Major League average. Command has been a bit of an issue, but he's generally around the strike zone and a team that feels they can help him improve on that may get a solid setup-type of a reliever as a bargain in the Draft.

Reed Reilly is probably an alter-ego, so maybe there were larger forces at work in that struggle. Still, an interesting pick. Someone on the Giants must have really liked the arm.

* sources describe this school as "Harvard of the West"

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