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They Might Be Giants

The Giants finally drafted some pitchers in rounds 11-25

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... but not only pitchers. They were still very focused on interesting position players.

After a hitting-heavy first two days, the Giants began drafting to fill out the rest of their 2019 draft class. They finally got around to drafting pitchers, and even a catcher, even if not as many as they usually do.

The rules around signing Day 3 picks are different than with Day 1 and 2. Players taken in the first ten rounds have their bonuses applied to a draft pool, which a team can not go over in sum without incurring significant penalties, including losing draft picks once you spend 5% over the pool. No team has taken that penalty since it was instituted.

But for Rounds 11 through 40, teams can pay bonuses up to $125,000 each. They don’t come out of the bonus pool. However, if a player gets more than $125K, then any overage will count against the bonus pool. On the flip side, there’s no risk to not signing a player (if you don’t sign a player in the Top 10 rounds, your bonus pool is reduced based on the pick).

For this reason, you don’t often see high schoolers taken and signed after the 10th round. Many are courtesy picks late, if at all…and that will come into play in Part 2 of this review.

The Giants had an “Evolutionary Draft”, as Bryan put it yesterday, and even these picks show a different theory by the Giants, often going after players with one big tool rather than several average but well-rounded ones. And, of course, lots of hitters.

But for now, let’s look at who the Giants picked in rounds 11 through 25…including one high school pitcher who might sign after all.

11th Round, #326: Trevor McDonald, RHP, George County HS (MS)

HT: 6-2 WT: 180 B-T: R-R

McDonald is a high school pitcher that’s already touched 95, although he sits low 90s as a start. As with many high schoolers, his secondary offering are more raw and need development. Taking high schoolers above the 10th round isn’t common, as going over the standard bonus eats into the main bonus pool. It’s possible the Giants reach out to McDonald and have the framework of a deal in place to sign, but it’s impossible to tell. If he signs, he’d easily have the highest ceiling of any pitcher taken in this draft.

12th Round, #356: Chris Wright, LHP, Bryant University

HT: 6-1 WT: 205 B-T: L-L

Wright nearly gave up pitching in his sophomore year, suffering from control issues, but he made some changes that turned things around in the summer before his Junior year. He had a 21:5 K:BB Ratio in the Cape Cod league, and then struck out 60 in 31 innings in college, working in relief. His fastball is 88-92, but he’s gets deception off of a high spin rate. His breaking pitches aren’t anything to write home about, but he got the strikeouts in college. He could be a high strikeout reliever from the left side.

13th Round, #386: Harrison Freed, RF, Butler

HT: 5-11 WT: 205 B-T: R-R

5’11” walk-ons probably would have a number of stereotypes attached to them. Being one of the of the most dangerous sluggers in the Big East conference is not one of them. Freed went from four home runs is sophomore year to a conference-leading 17 his Junior year in 52 games. He also had a 36:23 K:BB ratio in 218 at-bats, a nice ratio for a slugger. His other tools are not as great, and if he develops, he’s probably a left fielder, but his power tool is real, and that can be enough for a prospect.

14th Round, #416: Nick Morreale, RHP, Georgetown

HT: 6-5 WT: 220 B-T: R-R

Morreale switched from relief to the rotation with Georgetown in his Junior year, and maintained an ERA in the mid-4s. While he gets strikeouts, averaging 10.66 per nine innings this year, Morreale has had problems with control thanks to inconsistent secondary stuff. His fastball is low-90s in his starts but gets up to 95 in relief. The Giants will likely explore all options with him, both the rotation and bullpen.

15th Round, #446: Carter Aldrete, 2B, Arizona State

HT: 6-2 WT: 205 B-T: R-R

Nephew of former Giant Mike Aldrete, and son of Rich Aldrete (a 31st round draft pick by the Giants in 1987), Aldrete doesn’t have any standout physical tools, but he has excellent instincts and an ability to play almost everywhere, if not being excellent at any one position. He’s played at every position except catcher at ASU. He has power, but not a great hit tool, so his ceiling would likely be as a utility player.

16th Round, #476: Brandon Martorano, C, North Carolina

HT: 6-2 WT: 198 B-T: R-R

After batting just .068 in his freshman year, Martonrano developed into a competent hitter and was added to the Watch List for the Buster Posey award for the best catcher in college baseball. Martorano has some power but not much of a hit tool to unlock it with. His defensive skills should let him continue to move up the system.

17th Round, #506: Connor Cannon, 1B, UC Riverside

HT: 6-5 WT: 240 B-T: R-R

I’m sure there’s a joke somewhere about Connor Cannon’s home runs looking like they were shot out of a cannon, so…you probably don’t need to look them up. BA ranks Cannon’s raw power as 80-grade. But Cannon’s profile is that he’s a first baseman when healthy. And he has not been healthy, having already had surgery on both knees as well as back and shoulder problems, so he DHed this year a lot in Riverside. But Baseball America says his makeup is among the best in the draft class, so he may be able to work hard to deal with his health history.

18th Round, #536: Cole Waites, RHP, University of West Alabama

HT: 6-3 WT: 180 B-T: R-R

Cole Waites throws across his body and has a live fastball that can vary between low and mid 90s, but that’s the majority of what he offers. His secondary pitches and control are in need of development, but the fastball itself was more than live enough to get 118 strikeouts in 72.1 innings.

19th Round, #566: Kanoa Pagan, RHP, Mission College

HT: 6-2 WT: 190 B-T: R-R

Pagan is a south bay native who went to San Jose’s Leigh High School and was drafted out of Santa Clara’s Mission College. There was not a lot of buzz about him before the draft, but he threw in the mid-90’s in his workouts after making big changes to his mechanics last season. He’s a raw arm to work with, and his agent has indicated he wants to sign this year.

20th Round, #596: Najee Gaskins, CF, St. Cloud State

HT: 6-0 WT: 185 B-T: R-R

Gaskins played in Division-II baseball up in North Dakota displaying some Grade 80 speed. His mother was a sprinter in the past, and apparently he acquired that talent from her. He collected 21 stolen bases, and had a 27:24 K:BB ratio to support getting on base to use it.

21st Round, #626: Bryce Fehmel, RHP, Oregon State

HT: 6-2 WT: 205 B-T: R-R

While Adley Rutschman got most of the attention in Corvallis, Fehmel was one of the leaders of the rotation for the Beavers. Coming out of Southern California as a prep pitcher, Fehmel was a streaky pitcher. He does have a reputation for showing up for the big games, however. He doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, but when he’s on he has control and a good mix of pitches.

22nd Round, #656: Javeyan Williams, CF, Southern U A&M

HT: 5-9 WT: 160 B-T: L-L

Williams is an undersized but speedy outfielder at Southern University, who has come a long way in his time. Coming to the school very raw, he has picked up baseball very quickly and by this season had become the team’s leading hitter on a team focused on batting average and on-base percentage. If he can keep up that learning curve, he might turn the big speed tool into something big.

23rd Round, #686: Taylor Rashi, RHP, UC Irvine

HT: 6-4 WT: 220 B-T: R-R

Taylor Rashi came to UC Irvine by way of El Camino College, where he set the school record with 144 strikeouts, pitching 118.2 innings working mostly as a starter. At Irvine, he split time between starting and relieving, and while his strikeout rate dropped, he improved. He has improved dramatically, after walking 26 in 63.2 innings his junior year, he walked just 7 in 45.2 innings, yet he increased his strikeouts from 47 to 56.

24th Round, #716: Evan Lumbert, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast University

HT: 6-0 WT: 175 B-T: L-R

Lumbert was one of Gulf Coast’s regular starters the past two seasons, pitching steady. He has a fastball that sits around 90 mph, but relies more on his mix of offspeed pitches to get outs. His ceiling is not as high as some, but should be a workhorse in the organization.

25th Round, #746: Richard D. Rodriguez, 2B, Pro Baseball HS & Academy

HT: 6-0 WT: 165 B-T: R-R

Like many players coming out of Puerto Rico, Rodriguez is a raw player with a bit of development. His big strength coming out of the limited scouting reports on him is that he has some strength with some excellent bat speed. He has the tools to play second base and the arm to play third base, if his bat develops.