Hello, draft day! On one day, every year, every team gets to pretend they've drafted the next Buster Posey. Occasionally, one of them will draft the actual Buster Posey, who will win every award and trophy outside of the Cy Young. Don't count out that last one, either. He did close in college, you know.
The first round of the draft is at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, and you can watch it live at MLB.com or MLB Network. The Giants will have two picks in the first round, #18 and #31, which also means they have one of the largest budgets in baseball -- just over $7.5 million, which is the 10th-largest. The Giants can employ a couple of different strategies if they want to spread that money around, or they can go for the best players available at the top of the draft.
This also means it's a good time to take a spin around the mock drafts and see who the experts are assigning to the Giants in a format that the Internet expects for some reason. The five most recent mock drafts from draftniks everywhere:
- Pennsylvania high school LHP Mike Nikorak (Jim Callis, MLB.com and Baseball America)
- Broken one-year-out-of-high-schooler LHP Brady Aiken (Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com)
- Louisville RHP Kyle Funkhouser (Chris Crawford, Baseball Prospectus)
- Michigan high school OF Nick Plummer (Keith Law, ESPN)
Pitching, pitching, pitching, and waaaaaait, a minute, an outfielder? Is that even allowed?
We've covered Nikorak and Aiken over here in the Draft stream, but Funkhouser and Plummer are new. Funkhouser is a 60-grade name with 70-grade pun and Photoshop potential. Baseball America sees him thusly:
Funkhouser's control is well below average for a first-round college arm. He's improved his control as a junior, but his 3.7 walks per nine innings is a high number. Part of Funkhouser's control issues come from the life of his fastball; sometimes it simply leaks out of the zone thanks to its excellent run.
Here is that excellent run:
Plummer ranks #11 on BA's draft board, but he also falls to #31 in their latest mock draft. He's down near the bottom of MLB.com's mock drafts, too, but Law's scouting report is selling me:
There are some who believe that Plummer has the best pure hit tool in the class, and it's easy to see why. His approach is outstanding, and his swing has little wasted movement and excellent balance throughout. He also gets enough extension to hit the ball with authority the other way, making him one of the few prospects in this draft with a chance of a plus-plus hit tool.
Okay, looks great, fine, I'll take six.
The only issue, of course, is that the last time the Giants drafted a high school outfielder that worked out, well ...
The last time the Giants drafted a high school outfielder who did anything in the majors was 1977, before the kid in that picture -- that graying, achy, bloated, balding kid who drinks too much -- was born. We're not talking about first-rounders, here. The last time the Giants drafted an outfielder out of high school who was worth even one lousy win over replacement for his entire career, Star Wars had just been released.
Part of that has to do with the organizational preference of polished college bats and projectable pitching. Part of that is just a fluke. Another part of that blows my mind every single time I type it. So, uh, good luck, Nick Plummer.
I'll end with my own mock draft! Not that I know what I'm doing, or that I have any insight, but because it's fun to guess. Based on past history, we'll assume that the Giants are:
- going to draft someone that makes us go, "WHO? WAIT, HE ISN'T IN THE TOP-5O OF THE LIST I'M FOLLOWING."
- doing it to mess with us
I'll go with Arizona second baseman Scott Kingery, then, whose scouting report includes the phrase "Undrafted out of high school, Kingery is a grinder," and is generally projected to go in the second round. That would be a very Giants pick. And in 2018, we'll laugh and laugh at the reaction to it in the draft thread.