clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants Draft Q&A with Jim Callis’s draft guru answers some questions about players at the top, middle, and bottom of the Giants’ 2017 draft class.

Jim Callis has been covering the MLB Draft since 1988, first for Baseball America, and now with He’s forgotten more about Brien Taylor than we’ll ever know about Buster Posey, and he was gracious enough to answer some questions for Roger about how the Giants did with their draft haul this year.

So ... how did the Giants do with their draft haul this year? To the questions.

McCovey Chronicles: You were the only person I saw connecting the Giants to Ramos, including correctly guessing the pick on the draft show right before it was made. If you don't mind taking us behind the curtain a bit, what leads you to connect players and teams? Is it seeing high ranking brass at particular events? Knowing org proclivities? Or conversations with decision makers?

Jim Callis: Well, I was a bit lucky on Ramos and the Giants. The first-round projections are based on a lot of things, though not so much on who is seen watching whom, because a lot of times that can be misleading. With Ramos, I got some late intel that he was going to go higher than I expected, somewhere in the middle of the first round. The Giants were one of the teams I had connected to Ramos, and after a couple of mock drafts of projecting Evan White to go to San Francisco, I wound up moving White up and needed someone at 19. So I guessed Ramos.

MCC: I'll say upfront, Ramos is very much the type of pick I hoped the Giants would make: adding potential up the middle athleticism and power. What did you think of the pick? What type of player do you see Ramos developing into and what kind of time line do you think he'll be on.

JC: Ramos offers an exciting combination of power and speed, and I saw him play very well at the Under Armour All-America Game last August. He may wind up on an outfield corner but has the offensive upside to make an impact there. He'll need time to develop, so I think a realistic ETA in San Francisco would be 2021.

MCC: Once we get past Ramos, what's your overall assessment of the rest of the draft class?

JC: The Giants poured most of their resources into their first four picks. Jacob Gonzalez is an intriguing high school hitter with big league bloodlines. Seth Corry is a prep left-hander who can hit 96 mph and spin a mean curveball, and he has more projection remaining. Garrett Cave has a similarly electric arm as college righty, and he's in the right organization to learn how to harness his stuff.

MCC: I've seen some pretty enthusiastic views on Jacob Gonzalez' offensive potential, but general consensus that he'll have to move off 3b. Do you see enough potential bat to carry him to the next level even if he ends up a R-R 1b?

JC: Gonzalez has that kind of upside. He also may be able to handle an outfield corner.

MCC: Seth Corry gets a lot of Matt Moore comps (which is an ever so slightly cruel joke to play on 2017 Giants' fans). Looks like he can spin a serious breaking ball and after that there's lot of mechanical things to work on. What's the potential here and what needs to happen to see him get to that potential?

JC: As with most pitchers, it's going to come down to consistency and command. Given the track record the Giants have of develop pitchers, he's in a good place.

MCC: After going young on their first three picks, the Giants went to a well we've seen a lot from them the last few years: hard throwing pitchers with command issues. What's your assessment of Garrett Cave and do you think he will ultimately be best served as SP or RP

JC: It's always easy to peg a pitcher as a reliever than a starter. But given Cave's lack of history throwing strikes, he's probably a better bet to wind up in the bullpen.

MCC: Another somewhat common trope in Giants' drafts is the guy who barely pitched in college for one reason or another (e.g.,Garrett Williams, Chase Johnson, Jordan Johnson, Heath Hembree). Jason Bahr's story is pretty incredible. What can you tell us about him?

JC: Bahr is an interesting story. He barely pitched in three years at Central Florida, but stuck with it and got a chance with a new head coach. He had a tremendous year, averaging more than 14 strikeouts per nine innings thanks primarily to a low-90s fastball with riding life. I'm very curious to see how he does in pro ball.

MCC: And then the last really interesting mid-round pick to me is Bryce Johnson, who sounds like a throwback to the 70s mold of CF. Super fast, covers ground, will steal bases. Will Johnson have enough bat for the rest of his game to play?

JC: That's the question on Johnson. As you note, he can play center field and steal bases. Most of the scouts I've talked to like Johnson more from his natural right side, think he hits the ball with more authority than he does left-handed. He shows signs of becoming a sound hitter but needs further development.

MCC: The Giants seemed to really go hard after small school and JC kids in this draft. Sort of felt like the Avis "We try harder" draft as they were really out there beating the bushes for talent. Are there any potential gems in this group?

JC: Besides the guys we've already discussed, Buffalo right-hander Logan Harasta is pretty interesting. He's 6-foot-7 and can run his fastball into the upper 90s.

MCC: One relatively big school kid they did grab was Texas Tech SS Orlando Garcia. SS with pop is a pretty decent recipe for advancement. How do you think Garcia stacks up for the pro game?

JC: Garcia is a good value for the 15th round. He has the tools to stick at shortstop and more power than a lot of guys at the position, though he can get overly aggressive at the plate.

Thanks to Jim Callis for answering our questions, and you can read him at!