According to MLB.com, Tim Beckham is the best all-around athlete in the draft. Scouts have drawn comparisons to Justin Upton, and though Upton was a better overall prospect, Beckham will likely be able to play shortstop in the majors. Beckham is a high school shortstop, and his biggest str...
Did you hear that? It sounded like an air-raid siren combined with Ralph Barbieri getting his foot stuck in a luggage carousel. Weird.
Anyways, Upton is certainly a talented prospect, but he'll certainly need some quality development time. As a high schooler, he slapped around opposing pitchers, but a couple of scouts think his swing will need to be refined, and there's....
There it goes again. Sirens. And now there are flashing lights. A baritone voice is trying to tell us someth...oh, I get it. You're worried about the Giants using their first round pick on a high school hitter. Their legacy of doom will do that.
I'd like to think that some hitters are so talented, that even the Giants can't screw them up. Then I think of Chili Davis, the last high school hitter drafted by the Giants to make an All-Star team. When he was drafted, I was still wetting the bed. (The same can be said about my relationship to Arturo McDowell, but, c'mon; that was college. Don't judge me.) At some point, the inability of the Giants to produce any hitters from the high school ranks might have been described as a combination of bad luck and poor decision-making; now it's just morbidly amusing.
The upside is there, though. If Beckham develops according to plan, he'll be an athletic shortstop with enough power for the middle of the order. He isn't quite a can't-miss prospect out of high school -- like Ken Griffey, Jr., Alex Rodriguez, or Justin Upton, to name three -- but Beckham isn't as untested and uncertain as a guy like Matt Bush, either. A 30/30 shortstop hitting third in the order? A 20/20 shortstop hitting second? A .300/.400/.400 shortstop leading off? He doesn't have to be Alex Rodriguez of be worth the fifth pick in the draft. Some folks, like Keith Law, think Beckham is easily the most talent player in the draft. He'll probably go before the Giants get a chance to pick him.
High school hitters are the football. The draft is Lucy. The Giants are Charlie Brown. It's probably worth noting that Charlie Brown did manage to kick the ever loving crap out of Lucy's hand in one strip. I'm not sure what that does to the metaphor. Regardless of past organizational failures, though, the Giants should draft Beckham if he's the highest player on their draft board. It's entirely plausible for three or four hitters to go before the Giants even get a chance. If Beckham's still around, the Giants shouldn't get cold feet because of past failures.
I think. Maybe. Possibly. I don't know.
Rise Mag profile on Beckham
MLB.com draft report
Baseball America article
Atlanta Journal-Constitution article