2014 Draft - Prospects I Like for the Giants in Rounds 2 & 3

The Giants have the #52 overall pick and the #87 overall pick in rounds 2 & 3, respectively. Not only should there be a lot of very good prospects still available to them when they pick in both rounds, but the amount of money that MLB has made available for the Giants to spend at these spots ($1.0669M and $622.3K) should mean that they can afford to draft and sign almost any high-upside prospect that would still be available when they draft. Even a high-upside high school prospect with a top college scholarship offer should still be in play for the Giants in rounds 2 & 3. To back that up, we only have to look to last year's draft and see that the Giants were able to sign Ryder Jones, their 2nd-round pick (#64 overall), away from a prestigious Stanford scholarship offer for only $880K. If that isn't enough confirmation for you, let me add that in the 2013 draft (when the slot amounts were 10% less than what they are this year) teams drafted 24 high school prospects between the #47 and #85 overall spots - and only 1 of those kids ended up not signing. In fact, the HS kid drafted at #85 overall last year ended up signing for $650K, which is in the mid-range of what the Giants would be able to offer a draftee with their #87 overall pick in this year's draft.

Why am I focusing on the historical ability of teams to draft and sign HS prospects in the 2nd and 3rd rounds? Because I strongly feel that the best values in this year's draft during the 2nd and 3rd rounds will come from the HS ranks. This year's draft is especially deep and rich in HS pitchers that I rank in tiers 3 and 4 (consisting of the group of overall prospects that I rank approximately in the #21 through #110 range). High school position players make up the 2nd largest number of prospects in this range and college pitchers rank a distant 3rd. So, my list of guys that I'd like the Giants to target with their 2nd and 3rd round picks is going to lean heavily towards high-upside high school prospects with only a handful of college guys.

Not only does this logically fit into the value that should be left on the board when the Giants draft at these 2 spots, but it also corrects a significant hole that past John Barr-led drafts have historically shown. Barr tends to go for "fallen" or "underrated" college players in rounds 2 & 3 - and he doesn't have a good track record of success with those picks. Since taking over the Giants drafts in 2008, here are the players that the Giants have drafted in rounds 2 & 3:

Conor Gillaspie & Roger Kieschnick
Tommy Joseph & Chris Dominguez
Jarrett Parker & Carter Jurica
Andrew Susac & Ricky Oropesa
Martin Agosta & Mac Williamson
Ryder Jones & Chase Johnson

Only 2 HS guys in the group and not a very pretty picture as a whole. While it's too early to make a judgment on the last 4 names on this list, the only names on that list that I would say still have a chance to make a noticeable impact on a major league roster during their careers are Susac, Williamson, and Jones. It should also be noted that, although I don't expect he'll have much of a major league career, Tommy Jo was the key trade piece that allowed us to get Hunter Pence from the Phillies. The main point I want to make with this historical review is that the Giants haven't had hardly any success going with the safer college guys at these spots in the past, so why not go a different direction and draft riskier (?) high school kids that have more upside in rounds 2 & 3. Especially this year when the HS crop is large and deep for these 2 rounds.

Now that I've given you the thought process that I went through, here's my list of guys I like for the Giants at #52 and #87. I'm not separating the list into 1 group for each round like I have in the past, because I don't think there's a lot separating these guys once you get past the first 5 or 6 names - and because I don't have a good handle on where these guys will actually go off the board once we get past the first 30, or so, picks in the first round. I also want to add that any of the prospects on my "Dandy Dozen" list for pick #14 that don't get drafted in the first 51 picks would be placed at the top of this list. Admittedly, I really only see 2 guys from my Dandy Dozen list (Michael Kopech and Garret Fulenchek) that would have any possibility at all of falling all the way to the Giants at #52. Let me also note that, in case it isn't already apparent, my "Draft Day Age" data is in the form of "years.days" - not a percentage. So, somebody with a draft day age of 21.056 would be 21 years and 56 days old on June 5th. Let me also note that, for the sake of better presentation, I'll just list the names and major data points of the prospects here in the body of this post, but I'll add my detailed analysis of each guy, along with links to video clips, in the comments section. Let me finally note that this list consists of prospects that I like for the Giants in the 2nd & 3rd rounds - that I think stand at least a fair chance of still being on the board when the Giants draft in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. There are a bunch of prospects that I rank higher than the guys on my list below who I haven't named, because I believe they will be long gone before the Giants draft at #52 overall.

One bookkeeping note, the 3 bracketed numbers at the end of each prospect's entry corresponds to their final overall rankings as posted by Baseball America;; and Kiley McDaniel of, respectively. A "--" entry denotes that the player didn't make it onto a specific list - meaning they fell outside of BA's top 500 prospects, or MLB's top 200 prospects, or McDaniel's top 291 prospects.

1. Forbes, Edward "Ti'quan": SS, RHH, Columbia HS, MISS (6'4", 185) DOB=1996/8/28 (Draft Day Age=17.281) [47; 50; 29]

2. Ortiz, Luis: RHP, Sanger HS, CAL (6'2", 210) DOB=1995/12/30 (Draft Day Age=18.157) [28; 24; 25]

3. Benes, Shane: 3B, Westminster Chr. Acad., MO (6'3", 200) DOB=1996/2/16 (Draft Day Age=18.109) [488; 116; 176]

4. Gatto, Joseph: RHP, St. Augustine Prep, NJ (6'5", 215) DOB=1995/6/14 (Draft Day Age=17.356) [42; 43; 79]

5. Vallot, Chase: C/1B, RHH, St. Thomas More HS, LA (6'1", 205) DOB=1996/8/21 (Draft Day Age=17.288) [47; 49; 38]

6. Blewett, Scott: RHP, Baker HS, NY (6'6", 215) DOB=1996/4/10 (Draft Day Age=18.056) [51; 55; 51]

7. Travis, Sam: RHH, 1B/LF, Indiana Univ. (6', 205) DOB=1993/8/27 (Draft Day Age=20.282) [56; 63; 76]

8. Lindgren, Jacob: LHP, Mississpi St. Univ. (6', 190) DOB=1993/3/12 (Draft Day Age=21.085) [50; 51; 77]

9. Stinnett, Jake: RHP, Univ. Maryland (6'4", 200) DOB=1992/4/25 (Draft Day Age=22.041) [67; 72; 81]

10. Cosart, Jake: RHP, Seminole State JuCo, FLA (6'2, 205) DOB=1994/2/11 (Draft Day Age=20.114) [97; 99; 123]

11. Verdugo, Alex: LHP/RF, LHH, Sahuaro HS, AZ (6', 200) DOB=1996/5/15 (Draft Day Age=18.021) [55; 60; 40]

12. Reed, Andrew "A.J.": 1B/LHP, LHH, Univ. Kentucky (6-4", 240) DOB=1993/5/10 (Draft Day Age=21.026) [34; 30; 39]

13. Skoug, Evan: C, LHH (throws RH), Libertyville HS, ILL (5'10", 200) DOB=1995/10/21 (Draft Day Age=18.227) [96; 98; 68]

14. Schwarz, Jeffrey "J.J.": C, RHH, Palm Beach Gardens HS, FLA (6'1", 190) DOB=1996/3/28 (Draft Day Age=18.069) [73; 97; 53]

15. Imhof, Matthew: LHP, Cal Poly-SLO Univ. (6'5",220) DOB=1993/10/26 (Draft Day Age=20.222) [58; 44; 58]

16. Oliver, Chris: RHP, Univ. Arkansas (6'4", 180) DOB=1993/7/8 (Draft Day Age=20.332) [66; 48; 94]

17. Norwood, James: RHP, St. Louis Univ. (6'2",200) DOB=1993/12/24 (Draft Day Age=20.163) [79; 119; 102]

18. Velazquez, Derick: RHP, Fresno State (6'3", 180) DOB=1993/11/28 (Draft Day Age=20.190) [308; 144; 116]

19. Padlo, Kevin: 3B, RHH, Murrieta Valley HS, CAL (6'1", 195) DOB=1996/7/15 (Draft Day Age=17.325) [153; 129; 244]

20. Greiner, Grayson: C, RHH, Univ. South Carolina (6'5", 210) DOB=1992/10/11 (Draft Day Age=21.237) [86; 96; 70]

21. Chester, Carl: CF, RHH, Lake Brantley HS, FLA (6', 170) DOB=1995/12/14 (Draft Day Age=18.173) [257; 183; 138]

22. Finfrock, Cre: RHP, Martin County HS, FLA (6', 170) DOB=1996/6/26 (Draft Day Age=17.344) [225; 135; 189]

23. Isaacs, Todd, Jr.: CF, RHH, American Heritage HS, FLA (6'1", 175) DOB=1996/6/? (Draft Day Age=18.00?) [378; --; 186]

24. Wiggins, Blake: 3B, RHH, Pulaski Academy, ARK (6'1", 195) DOB=1996/3/1 (Draft Day Age=18.096) [--; --; --]

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