The MLB draft is the hardest draft among the big sports to predict. Just trying to pick the first 15 picks is hard, much less the entire first round. Beyond that? Often even the top draft gurus are hesitant to try.
But hey, that doesn’t mean we can’t try to take a look at what might happen for the Giants.
The Giants will draft at #51, the 9th spot in the second round. The #51 spot doesn’t have a lot of history, with only three players ever drafted there to gain more than 3 career WAR…though one was Barry Larkin (70.4 WAR, drafted back in 1982). So getting talent there is rare, but it’s possible The Giants drafted at that spot in 2007, picking up Charlie Culberson…who was traded for Marco Scutaro in 2012, had a memorable 2017 postseason for the (ew) Dodgers, but has collected just a 0.6 career WAR over seven seasons.
It’s fair to say, in the middle of this rebuild, the Giants are going to aim a little higher.
In the early second round, you generally are going to have three types of players: High floor-low ceiling types, players with one standout tool but serious questions elsewhere, or high school players that teams may or may not think are signable, and will want to try to overpay for at this spot to get.
I’ve looked at this year’s draft, and I’ve found nine players who are intriguing and who may be available at the spot. As you’ll see looking at the rankings of each, even the top scouting websites are very split on these guys…some are not even ranked by one site, but are high on another. Some are generally higher ranked that I think(hope?) might slide. Others are players that others might put a big further back ranking-wise, but should be considered since they won’t still be there by the third round.
So, nine guys I like for the Giants. Here goes:
Michael Toglia, 1B/OF, UCLA
Rankings: MLB-39; BA-60; FG-55; ESPN-51
Toglia is my early hope to be available for the Giants at #51, and there’s a serious chance he might not be. He is a switch hitter with above-average power, but he also brings what could be elite defensive skills to first base, which is a bit of a 2000’s San Francisco tradition between Snow and Belt. He’s also one of the youngest college juniors in the class, and has the ability to play outfield, versatility which would appeal to Farhan Zaidi. If he’s available at #51, I’d be a bit surprised if the Giants don’t snatch him.
Greg Jones, SS, UNC-Wilmington
Rankings: MLB-48; BA-61; FG-41; ESPN-62
Jones falls directly in the “Standout Tool” category, with a run grade that is 70 at worst and “if-there-was-a-grade-above-80-he’d-have-it” grade from Keith Law. He’s likely to move to center field, and has a very raw swing that may or may not develop. However, his speed is game-changing, and makes him an interesting pick.
Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State
Rankings: MLB-57; BA-51; FG-43; ESPN-NR
Jameson has a live fastball that can stick in the mid-90’s as a starter and nearly 100 as a reliever, but has command issues the reduces its effectiveness. He also is undersized at 165 pounds and 6 foot. While there’s concerns about his durability, the 21-year old sophomore could still add strength to his frame. There’s a high reward with Jameson, if a team can help him sharpen that fastball control.
Logan Wyatt, 1B, Louisville
Rankings: MLB-49; BA-28; FG-NR; ESPN-43
Wyatt’s standout tool is not one that usually gets graded - an advanced batting eye that led to being one of the leading walk-takers in the NCAA. He’s a big left-handed hitter, but there are serious questions whether or not he’ll ever develop into the power he might have. He does spray line drives all over the field and gets lots of doubles. He’s a solid defender at first. But boy, I’m not sure Giants fans could take a guy with this profile after Brandon Belt.
John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M
Rankings: MLB-42; BA-53; FG-112; ESPN-52
Doxakis is a well-rounded southpaw, who lives more on movement with his fastball than pure velocity. He’s got a slower slider that he pairs it with, and works both pitches with good command. He has a high floor with the ability to move to the bullpen, where he has gotten up to 97 with his fastball. Keith Law calls him the most interesting man in the draft.
Jimmy Lewis, RHP, Lake Travis HS (TX)
Rankings: MLB-63; BA-54; FG-42; ESPN-31
Lewis is one of the high-upside high schoolers with a lot of projection. He currently throws low-90s fastball and a big slow curve, and he gets movement and a great plane on both from his 6’6” height. Lewis may take a lot of money to get to go pro out of high school, but he represents some of the best of the class that might.
Rankings: MLB-94; BA-56; FG-133; ESPN-78
He’s not here for his 80-rank name. Zeferjahn has a three pitches that could end up as plus pitches, although all have some development needs to reach their ceiling. He’s going to be a high maintenance pitcher that good coaches can turn into a high ceiling pitcher. There’s a chance Zeferjahn might even be there in the third round (The Giants will draft at #87 there), but if the Giants really like him, someone else might as well.
Rankings: MLB-55; BA-81; FG-70; ESPN-54
Sikkema is a big-bodied left-hander who sits in the low-90’s with his fastball, but can get into the mid-90’s in shorter stints. With a good slurve and a solid changeup, Sikkema works both sides of the plate with his pitches. He was a reliever as a freshman, but moved to starting as a sophomore and has flourished a bit at Missouri. But one big note scouts love is his ‘feisty mound presence’, as Baseball America says. That mindset and intelligent pitching is something that might be the tilting factor in his getting drafted.
Davis Wendzel, 3B, Baylor
Rankings: MLB-47; BA-69; FG-NR; ESPN-65
Wendzel is used to playing against bigger names (2017 #1 pick Royce Lewis in HS, Shea Langeliers at Baylor), but his smarts and versatility have gotten him noticed (as well as the beard and mullet). He hasn’t tapped into his raw power, but he works with a strong batting eye at the plate and a line drive swing. Third is his prime position, but he has played almost everywhere on the diamond, and MLB Pipeline says he “might even be able to handle catching.” The smarts and versatility might help him play up his tools to be better than their grades.
So, there you go. Nine names to watch for in the second round with the Giants. Keep this list handy on June 3rd. And if you think I’ve overlooked someone or am overrating one of these guys, let me know.