Exactly two weeks from today, the Giants will use the #2 overall pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft to select a new baseball player to join their organization and, hopefully, be the face of their future. If you have any interest in this sort of thing, then chances are you’ve read enough to know that MLB drafting is far more of a crap shoot than the drafts in other leagues.
And if you’ve had any interest in the Giants’ minor league organization, then you read Roger and Kevin’s work here on this site, most likely, and you have a pretty good sense of the development system’s strengths and weaknesses, so anything I try to add to the discussion regarding the draft two weeks out will be... incomplete? Ill-informed? Flat out wrong?
Hello, I am an idiot.
So, instead, I’m going to bring into the conversation my fool-proof system for predicting the Giants’ #2 overall pick: The Eye Test. Specifically,
Which potential draftee most looks like a San Francisco Giant?
Is it fair to judge a player based solely on his looks? I’d argue that’s exactly the point of a draft. That’s all scouts are there to do — check out a dude and report back on how he looks. Most of the time, the numbers are ignored anyway. It’s all about the raw potential they see in any player. So, with all that in mind, let’s look at the five main candidates linked to the Giants at the moment through various rumors and mock drafts:
Joey Bart - C, Georgia Tech
On the one hand, he looks like a catcher, and no matter how good he might be, the Giants already have an All-Star catcher in Buster Posey. Maybe the Giants don’t want to rock the boat from a PR perspective — 80+% of their decision-making is PR-based anyway — in which case, there’s no chance they draft him. Then again, they’ve been linked to him repeatedly and their scouting of him has been well-noted by everyone in the industry. He’s been the most frequent choice for the Giants in these mock drafts.
[#MLBDraft Video] Joey Bart (c, @GTBaseball) courtesy of @WillDBryant. Well rounded backstop has established himself as the top catcher in this class with a strong spring. Slashing .371/.481/.657 and 16 HR.https://t.co/Gv9ecnVzJh— 2080 Baseball (@2080ball) May 21, 2018
I’m not a fan of that diminished base to his swing or the 80% swing through after making contact. I also can’t tell if his defense is up to snuff. He looks nimble behind the dish and aggressive when it comes to his throws, which certainly makes him look like an active catcher.
Does he look like a potential Giant? Maybe.
Casey Mize - RHP, Auburn University
Admittedly, this is if things get weird and the Tigers don’t draft the consensus #1 pick. He’s 6-3, 220 lbs, with a fastball that runs 93-96 mph, a plus cutter, a plus split finger, and a quality slider. He’s the whole package, and some even think he could be pitching in the big leagues as soon as 2019. Let’s go to the video:
Casey Mize...— Sam Monroy (@Socal_prospects) May 21, 2018
Natural throwing motion isn’t from the ground up. Arm swing has created a maelstrom of red flags in Detroit? #mlbdraft18 pic.twitter.com/eI8WzkUxzg
Wow. He doesn’t know which direction he has to throw a pitch. That’s a big problem, and I don’t think the Giants are interested in selecting someone who needs this much work. They’re looking for a player who can move through their development system quickly. It’s entirely possible that Casey Mize doesn’t even know the rules of baseball.
Does he look like a potential Giant? No.
Alec Bohm - 3B, Wichita State
If the Giants don’t want to consider a Posey-less future but still want a college bat, then they might consider Wichita State’s Alec Bohm, who plays third base. He’s also really tall (6-5!), as you can see. He has a .435 on base percentage right now, thanks in part to 36 walks to 22 strikeouts. He’s also got power and is a solid defender. But... when I look at him... I just don’t see him as a Forever Giant or even an Eventual Giant. That’s some height and lankiness that I don’t think works at third base and I think his surfer boy looks with tattoo sleeve doesn’t fit the Giants boring-faced aesthetic.
Does he look like a potential Giant? No.
Brady Singer - RHP, Florida
He’s not as good as Casey Mize, but he’s a quality arm all the same. Just glancing at the video...
Ace @gatorsbaseball RHP Brady Singer slings an electric fastball up to 97 mph mixing in a biting slider and an evolving changeup. Could be a top pick in the upcoming @MLBDraft. The value of the first five picks: 1)$8,096,300 2)$7,494,600 3)$6,947,500 4)$6,411,400 5)$5,946,400 pic.twitter.com/7An7ZcK8Hz— Florida Ballplayers™ (@FL_Ballplayers) May 16, 2018
... Yeah... yeah. I can see a little Matt Cain in there. And he’s a college pitcher who could move through the system quickly. I think the blurriness of this video really helps sell the idea that he is the next Matt Cain, because I can just imagine Matt Cain’s face over that blurry tannish area where Brady Singer’s face is supposed to be. Also, his stance and part of his delivery are Cain-esque, in that he has a compact motion and keeps his hands low. If the Giants opt to draft a pitcher and Mize has already been taken, then they’re going with Singer... just because he reminds me of Matt Cain.
Does he look like a potential Giant? He looks like an actual Giant!
Matthew Liberatore - LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Arizona)
I strongly doubt the Giants will draft a high school pitcher with the #2 overall pick, but beyond that...
I liked a @YouTube video https://t.co/BVSd7R5doI Matthew Liberatore Pitching Practice— Pitching Tunnels (@TunnelVisionAZ) May 17, 2018
Where the heck is his glove? Pants?? Where are the batters and fielders? No, no, no. This is all wrong. It’s like he sent in an audition video. Guess what, kid? This isn’t America’s Funniest Home Videos, this is Major League Baseball!
Does he look like a potential Giant? He doesn’t look like a real baseball player, so, no.
So, using my foolproof system, it’s clear the Giants will take Brady Singer. This might afford them the luxury of both drafting a player who can move through the system quickly and save money in the bonus pool to use on great players with their later picks.
Then again, I am an idiot.