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Draft Day 1 Review

A predictable draft made for a day that didn’t lead to a lot of excitement among Giants fans and a bit of polarization about whether the day was great, good, or just okay.

REVOLT And The National Cable And Telecommunications Association's (NCTA) Celebration Of Cable - Red Carpet Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Kevin’s Thoughts

Remember when the Giants were an unpredictable team in the draft? Things have changed.

Both the players the Giants took were spot on predictions. Everyone and their brother’s grandmother’s other grandson predicted Joey Bart going at #2 overall. There are almost no reasonable mock drafts that go to the second round, but the Giants had been reported to be interested in Sean Hjelle, and sure enough, that’s who they took.

So what’s my reaction? The Giants got the value they should get out of both picks. Bart was good enough to be the guy some thought would tempt the Tigers away from taking Casey Mize. Hjelle was ranked #30 by Baseball America and #44 by, and the Giants got him at #45.

There’s no need for stairs here.

There will be a few years of debate about how Bart and Buster Posey will fit into the Giants plans, for sure, but Bart should make those conversations interesting by his talent. I’m not going to take the bait to start setting dates and what will happen and if Posey will move to first and what happens to Belt and all that. But I am going to enjoy watching Bart play. That apartment building next to SRP Park in Augusta will be open next season, and I hope their windows are reinforced.

Hjelle is not projected to be an ace, but that’s okay. His height is a unique physical gift, and what it does is give him a natural motion to his pitches that will keep balls on the ground, and that is a very good thing to have in what is a more homer-happy era (at least for now). He’s got a good curve, but there’s still projection in him. If he adds velocity, his ceiling will grow. Plus, the Giants do have a former pitcher who was rather tall that comes into camp and talks with the players sometimes. It’ll be good to have someone for Randy Johnson (6’10”) to look up to.

ROGER: I’m going to just duck into Kevin’s piece for a second here to try to summarize my feelings on the Day. The Giants got solid value with both picks and very likely could have two major leaguers. Bart was on most people’s Top 5 group and my friend David Lee, who has a great eye for talent, certainly loves him. And followers of college baseball have long shown great affection for Sean Hjelle, who JJ Cooper says “will be a major leaguer for a long time.”

Still, this doesn’t seem quite like the “I just slogged through the second worst season in club history and here’s my reward” reward I was hoping for. An excellent defensive catcher with strong RH game power; a groundball pitcher who profiles as a backend rotation guy. It doesn’t really feel all that different that several other drafts of the recent past — drafts that started from much less generous positions. I’ll certainly warrant the value that has been added to the organization, and it was definitely needed. It also appears they’ve gotten two players who can move quickly through the organization and help the big league club in the near future. Also good. But is this the foundation of a Transformative Draft? Is this Will Clark or Buster Posey? That’s a lot harder to see from this seat, I have to say.

In sum:

Value? Solid thumbs up
Excitement? I’m stifling a yawn as I type this

But there’s a lot of rounds to go, and talent on the board so we’ll see what we see (perhaps July 2nd will have to provide the mid-summer excitement; that and the still competing big league club of course).

(Oh, also, Kevin promised me that the title of this piece was going to be “Taking the BART” J’accuse, Kevin!)

Other Notable Reactions

MLB Network gushed about Bart, but Keith Law was keeping things real...

I don’t know if “Expected” is a good thing.

Talking about “Expected” things you were going to see after a Joey Bart pick…

If you don’t know who David Lee is, he’s not a former Warrior, he’s the sports guy in Augusta who has long covered the GreenJackets and Georgia baseball. He knows what he’s talking about here.

I love Hank Schulman being his grouchy self to fans who deserve it.

Bart’s hit tool is one of his weaknesses, but this should give you hope.

Here you go if you really want to squint at stuff.

In regards to Sean Hjelle has been a bit of a polarizing figure in the reviews

But others don’t care for him

But Hjelle had one big fan from Baseball America

There weren’t as many memes posted about Hjelle, but this could lead to a fight in the clubhouse…

Top Names For Day 2

Looking at the top-rated prospects for Day 2, the top of the list is high schoolers with signability questions and a college starter with injury concerns, but there might be some gems.

RHP Kumar Rocker - Rated #13 by BA, #23 by MLB. Rocker was in the mix to be a Top 10 level pick. Now, it might be impossible to sign him away from Vanderbilt.

SS Nander De Sedas - Rated #28 by BA, #55 by MLB. The wild difference in rankings show the difference in opinion on him. All high schoolers are raw, but a poor season took De Sedas from a top half of the first round pick to still being on the board in Day 2. Florida State and improving his draft stock might be his best option.

Other High Schoolers Who Might Be Too Expensive to Sign: RHP Cole Wilcox, OF Mike Siani, LHP Brett Hansen (from Pleasanton, CA), RHP Adam Kloffenstein

RHP Tristan Beck - Rated #31 by BA, #35 by MLB. The Stanford starter missed all of 2017 with a stress fracture in his back, and showed flashes of his pre-injury stuff, but has not done well consistently in the season. He has 3 good pitches and control with them. But as a human being with a back problem...they don’t ever truly go away.

RHP Blaine Knight - Rated #36 by BA, #48 by MLB. Coming out of Arkansas, he wasn’t drafted as a sophomore in 2017 because of big bonus demands. Despite two good pitches and excellent spin-rate, there are concerns about his durability.

OF Tristan Pompey - Rated #51 by BA and MLB. A switch hitter from both sides of the plate, he struggled at the Cape but has shown the raw tools to be a plus hitter. He’s a teammate of 2nd round pick Sean Hjelle.