I won’t pretend to have any idea as to who the San Francisco Giants will select. I’m not a draft guy in any sport, but baseball is an especially difficult sport to scout for, since it really requires intense advanced scouting, which is reliant on A) seeing things in person, and B) data that isn’t always publicly available or easy to sort through.
With enough hours of just watching games, it’s fairly easy to have a decent grasp on the top NBA and NFL prospects; not so much with MLB prospects. So I’m going to leave this in the hands of the experts. Here’s who some of the top media minds in scouting and drafting see the Giants taking with the 13th overall pick. These things change, so I’m sure we’ll get new mock drafts in a few weeks, and we can try again.
Links to the full mock draft for each writer are included on the selection’s name. Link to Fangraphs’ big board is here.
Kiley McDaniel, ESPN
The prep pitcher group is tightly packed this year, with Kelley, Mick Abel, Nick Bistko and Justin Lange all in the same range of talent for clubs, but Kelley and Abel had a full summer of looks and Kelley pitched a good bit this spring. He was the top prep arm coming out of the summer and has held serve. Both Kelley and Abel should come off the board in the next 10 or so picks, but it’s tough right now to peg which clubs are willing to take a prep righty in general, much less in this draft.
Fangraphs ranking: 17
Fangraphs FV: 45
The Giants have used their first-round pick on a RHP four times in the last eight drafts. It has not gone well, as those four have been Phil Bickford (2015), Tyler Beede (2014), Chris Stratton (2012), and Kyle Crick (2011). If you go back a little further, though, you’ll find Zach Wheeler (2009), Tim Lincecum (2006), and Matt Cain (2002).
Kelley looks and sounds good, but you know what they say ... TINSTAAPP.
Keith Law, The Athtletic
I’ve also heard them as toying with the idea of taking Tennessee’s Garrett Crochet, who threw just 3.2 innings in one unannounced appearance before the sport shut down, showing a 70 fastball but struggling in the past with secondary stuff.
Fangraphs ranking: 20
Fangraphs FV: 45
Taking a catcher two years after taking Joey Bart would probably make a few people scratch their heads. But I’m firmly in the “best player available” camp. The odds of any prospect making it to the big leagues are low. The odds of any prospect making it to the big leagues while staying at the position they were drafted at are even lower. The odds of any prospect making it to the big leagues while staying at the position they were drafted and and staying with the team that drafted them are even lower.
You take the best players. If what you end up with is two All-Stars at the same position, well ... a good front office can turn that into something fantastic.
Carlos Collazo, Baseball America
Up until this spot, just one of the first 12 picks is projected to be a high school player. There could be a slight run on preps in the teens as teams sort through the top high school righthanders and a cluster of talented outfielders. There’s real concern about not seeing Abel in a game since last summer, but at some point the upside he offers will be too much to pass up and he made clear improvements over the offseason based on bullpens. “I believe in the velocity and the stuff that’s there. You can dream on the body and the repertoire,” said one scouting director. “For me I would take him right outside the top 10. With a full spring easier to see (him in the) top 10.”
Fangraphs ranking: 8
Fangraphs FV: 45+
I’ll admit that a tall, young pitcher intrigues me greatly. With the Giants new development team, I’m all for drafting high-upside players who fall because they haven’t been seen in a while.
But again ... TINSTAPP.
Jonathan Mayo, MLB Pipeline
The raw power and bat speed are elite-level, though he was a bit mercurial over the summer.
Fangraphs ranking: 18
Fangraphs FV: 45
“Mercurial” is a great baseball scouting word. Sign me up for raw power and bat speed, especially in this era of player development.
So, four mock drafts, four high school players. Is that at all a reflection of the Giants front office, which is entering just their second draft under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, and their first under general manager Scott Harris and manager Gabe Kapler? Or is that just coincidence?
And for those of you who do take a stab at draft stuff, who are you mocking — or hoping — the Giants to select?