Disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m talking about. If you’re tired of reading that in every draft article, I’m certainly tired of writing it, but it’s only fair. I was one of the Giants fans who wanted Beau Mills instead of Madison Bumgarner, which disqualifies me from ... well, lots of things, actually. But certainly draft opinions.
On the other hand, it’s fun to rank things, and it’s good to get opinions in front of the world before they’re super wrong. This combines both of them. These are the top five players I’m hoping will be around when the 19th pick comes around on Monday night. Share yours!
5. Jake Burger, 3B, Missouri State
I guess we’ll get the obvious out of the way. His name is Jake Burger. Which means he brings the beef. Lettuce see how many puns we can grind out of this one, because it’s a meaty opportunity. We know he won’t have trouble against the slider, lol.
And I guess I’m done with that.
Man, those went quick.
But Burger has power. Nice, clean right-handed power, and I’m very much into the idea of the Giants hitting for more power. His MLB.com scouting video has this to say:
While Burger isn’t the most graceful player, one scout compared him to Hunter Pence for his ability to “get the job done in less than pretty fashion.”
Yeah, I can get into that.
Burger should be able to stick at third base, but he’ll get drafted for his bat. Christopher Crawford had this to say about him:
Burger had a sensational sophomore season, hitting .349 with 21 homers for Missouri State, and earning a spot on the Team USA roster. His best tool is his power, and his impressive strength along with his natural loft and some leverage gives him present power to all fields.
I always worry about drafting a poor power hitter to play in the salt mines of AT&T Park, though. So he’s at the bottom of this list. Because I’m being merciful.
I would like to point out, too, that Jake Burger looks like a Jake Burger. And that is especially pleasing to me.
4. Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
This is probably an unlikely tumble for Faedo, who is one of the better right-handed pitchers in the draft, but I’ve seen him go as low as 17 in some drafts, so I’ll slip him in here. He would be my number one if I thought this was a realistic option for the Giants. Which he isn’t. But I can’t help myself.
Faedo has first-round stuff, but he also has above-average command, walking 35 batters and striking out 132 in 107 innings this year. But I’m into the idea that he was a potential first-overall pick before offseason knee surgery and a slow start this season. Call it the Brandon Crawford Theory, where you pretend like the season never happened, and that he’s still one of the best prospects in the draft.
3. David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
You can read more about Peterson here, but the short version is that he struck out 20 batters in a single game this year, and he’s walked just eight batters all season. He’s advanced and should move quickly, unless his new team wants to keep him in the minors for a bit to refine his changeup.
Everything I’ve been reading and seeing about Peterson has me excited, and even though “getting to see him within the next couple years” isn’t really a draft category the Giants should care about, it’s definitely one that I care about. So if the Giants decide they want him for baseball reasons and I decide I want him because of the chances he’ll move quickly, we’re all happy.
On the other hand, a team with Ty Blach, Andrew Suarez, and Peterson in the rotation would get awfully stale. Worth keeping in mind.
2. Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina
Is it possible that I’m just into the name? Yes. Yes, it is possible.
This novelty would tire quickly. For you. Not so much for me. You will see those images for years until you block me on Twitter.
More importantly, though, is that Warmoth is a polished college hitter with a line-drive bat, and I trust the Giants with those. At least, I did before this polluted season started. I’m all for the Giants picking a hitter with a high floor. Remember what Christopher Crawford wrote for us last week:
There's a lot to like about Warmoth, and at this point, he may not even make it to SF's pick. He has two above-average tools, the hit and the speed. There's also some power in his bat as well. I think he probably ends up at second base, but it's not crazy to think he could play shortstop because of the range and solid footwork. He's a really nice player, with a high floor because of the acumen and feel for the barrel.
Do the Giants need another infielder? We don’t know what the next couple years will look like, so I’m going to ignore the question. They might! The future is a weirdo, and it always will be.
1. Keston Hiura, 2B/?, UC Irvine
Baseball America had Hiura going to the Giants in their first mock draft, but lately he’s been up in the top 10, possibly for teams that want to cut an under-slot deal. Here are some of the red flags with Hiura:
- He was a designated hitter for most of the year because of elbow problems
- Even when he was healthy, his arm was weak enough to make his future position a question mark
- He will probably need Tommy John surgery before starting his pro career
Those are some scary red flags. On the other hand, he might be the best hitter in the entire draft, with a .405/.551/.684 line and eight home runs. As a figure-it-out extremist, I’m extremely for the Giants drafting the best hitter in the draft and figuring it out later, even if he has to miss a year before getting his pro career started.
This would be a ludicrously risky pick, even at #19, and the siren song of Peterson’s slider is forever calling for me. But the Giants used to have a noodle-armed left fielder that teams could run on. They had him for well over a decade. It worked out.
Keston Hiura is basically Barry Bonds is what I’m hinting at. He’s the same ... aw, wait, come back, I wasn’t serious. But I’m not as worried about a positionless player if he can hit like the dickens. So I’m putting Hiura at the top of my meaningless list and crossing my fingers. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll slip to the Giants, who will be waiting with open arms.
Also, they’ll be waiting to open his arm.