The San Francisco Giants had ten picks in the final day of the 2023 MLB Draft one we might be talking about even a few months from now as an unmitigated success. That’s not to say that every single drafted player will hit — Baseball is a brutal, cruel sport that’s built on so much failure it defies comprehension — only that the industry’s perception of the team changed this week and will probably stay changed for at least the rest of the year.
That’s right. The Giants have joined the league of Smart Teams. They are fawned over by the analytics crowd and now impress the prospect hounds. They’re drafting players with interesting ceilings and easily seen floors. They’re taking risks with the bonus pool. They are behaving in the management space like a top tier team, and the industry insiders and outsiders who write about them have taken notice.
Does that really matter to Giants fans? Probably not. We’re just looking for results. But anything a team or a brand can do to boost positive impressions of itself couldn’t hurt. Especially, if they’re say, pursuing top of the market free agents in the near future.
... hey — how’d that get in here? Anyway, here are the picks from today:
C - Jack Payton (330th pick, #148 prospect on MLB.com)
[...] He played sparingly behind No. 1 overall pick Henry Davis in 2021 and shared catching duties with Dodgers second-rounder Dalton Rushing in 2022 before backing up Virginia’s Kyle Teel on the U.S. collegiate national team last summer. [...] Payton focuses on making hard contact to all fields with a controlled right-handed swing. He lets his power come naturally and is driving the ball better than ever this spring, displaying average power that plays to all fields. He manages the strike zone well and waits for pitches he can punish. Payton has the work ethic and leadership skills that teams want in a catcher, but scouts aren’t completely sold on his receiving and worry about his arm. He has fringy arm strength and questionable accuracy, though he did improve his caught-stealing rate from 14 percent as a sophomore to 32 percent during the 2023 regular season. He moves well, flashing solid run times from home to first, and in pro ball could wind up as a left fielder who catches on occasion.
Then again, look at what’s happened with Patrick Bailey, and to a far lesser extent, Blake Sabol.
LHP - Timmy Manning (360th pick)
Timmy Manning (‘23 elig.) has shown intriguing stuff early on. FB has sat 90-92 mph. Shows feel for fading CH at 85-87 mph. Can create quality depth on CB at 73-76 mph when spun well. Still refining the command and consistency of the offering @ASU_Baseball pic.twitter.com/1IIKPziql3— PG College Baseball (@PGCollegeBall) February 19, 2023
BUT, to me, the most interesting party of this guy who is, for now, going by Timmy — evoking Tim Lincecum in my mind for some reason — is his birthday. It’s the same exact date as Marco Luciano’s and it’s before everything changed: September 10, 2001.
OF - Jose Ortiz (390th pick)
Perfect Game has him listed as Jose Luis Ortiz Rivera, and they had him as the #3 overall player in Puerto Rico and the #257 in the national ranking (#49 for outfielders).
Here’s video of him hitting and fielding from a year ago:
.@TheHAthletics 17U Gold’s Juan Estrada (@Juan_Estrada_5) rips a two-out single the other way to RCF but Puerto Rico CF Jose Ortiz makes a nice throw to catch him at second.— ✭Five Tool Texas✭ (@FiveToolTexas) July 6, 2022
Dobie (TX) 2023 #uncommitted
Leadership Christian Academy (PR) 2023 #uncommitted #MattinglyWS pic.twitter.com/ZM0JRtOqPx
Here another look at his swing from a showcase last year:
RHP - Cale Lansville (420th pick)
Credit to the Giants for using pick number 420 to draft a guy whose name makes you think of the color green. He was one of the top prep pitchers in 2020, went to LSU, then transferred to San Jacinto College in Texas for this season, where he had 14 starts (15 games) and pitched 74.2 innings, with 106-29 K-BB and a 3.62 ERA. Video:
LHP - Dylan Carmouche (450th pick)
The Tulane starter’s line for 2023: 90 IP 102-40 K-BB. One draft analyst’s perspective:
15-450. Giants: Dylan Carmouche, LHP, Tulane -- tall/lean projection college arm, high 80's FB w/ deception from high slot, show me SL w/ dev focus to movement, CH w/ SPL action is abv-avg weapon, build w/ enough strike-throwing to attempt starter dev w/ mid-relief outlook— Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) July 11, 2023
3B - Justin Wishkoski (480th pick)
Hit 10 home runs in 61 games for Sam Houston State along with 18 doubles and 2 triples. He had 23 walks against 28 strikeouts, too. As a high schooler, he played 2B and SS, so maybe the Giants see some positional flexibility in there.
16-480. Giants: Justin Wishkoski, 3B, Sam Houston -- college infielder w/ offensive upside, rigid RH cut w/ bat-to-ball skills w/ strength to project fringe pwr, aggressive approach, abv-avg runner w/ dirt actions and 2B/3B outlook— Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) July 11, 2023
Here’s a 12.5 minute highlight video:
C - Drew Cavanaugh (510th pick)
::please don’t be related to that SCOTUS judge::please don’t be related to that SCOTUS judge::please don’t be related to that SCOTUS judge::
Looks to be a strong defender. He was named the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove recipient for catcher last year. This year, for Florida Southern, he hit .316/.441/.588 in 46 games. 12 home runs, 6 doubles, 3 triples with a 33:44 BB:K; and nine times was he hit by a pitch.
LHP - Michael Rodriguez (540th pick)
67 strikeouts in 40.1 IP for North Greenville college this season. He allowed just one home run in his college career. I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen this before, too: he did not go to a regular high school. He was homeschooled.
LHP - Tommy Kane (570th pick)
Yesterday, the Giants took his Maryland battery mate, Luke Shliger, and today the lefty becomes the team’s penultimate pick of the 2023 draft. The Terrapin relieved this season and in 28.1 IP had a 29-16 K-BB and allowed 8 home runs.
OF - Nadir Lewis (600th pick)
Nobody likes to be last, but it’s incredibly cool to be Pick 600, I think. It’ll sound that much cooler if/when he makes it to the big leagues. I’m sure there’s nothing literary about the Giants’ selection — nadir meaning “the lowest point in fortunes of a person or organization” — but at the same time, maybe there is? Last season for Princeton, he hit .329/.428/.613 in 40 games (155 AB) with 23 extra base hits. It looks like that despite being injured this season, he was healthy by the time the college summer leagues opened up. He hit .412/.483/.637 in 120 PA (28 games) for the Boone Bigfoots.
Okay, now that you’ve seen all their picks, which prospect has the best name:
Which new Giants prospect has the best name?
This poll is closed
As for me, I can’t believe they drafted Maui Ahuna! My brain will only let me say his name as Big Ahuna Burger.
You can go back and read Steven’s recap of the draft here, but here are all the picks to this point:
Round 1, 16th pick: 1B/RHP Bryce Eldridge, #23 prospect on MLB.com
Round 2, 52nd pick: SS Walker Martin, #30 prospect on MLB.com
Round 2C, 69th pick: LHP Joe Whitman, #37 prospect on MLB.com
Round 3, 85th pick: SS Cole Foster, # 95 prospect on MLB.com
Round 4, 117th pick: SS Maui Ahuna, #48 prospect on MLB.com
Round 5, pick 153rd: 2B Quinn McDaniel
Round 6, 180th pick: C Luke Shliger, #170 prospect on MLB.com
Round 7, 210th pick: OF Scott Bandura
Round 8, 240th pick: RHP Josh Bostick, #176 prospect on MLB.com
Round 9, 270th pick: 3B Charlie Szykowny
Round 10, 300th pick: RHP Ryan Vanderhei
I look at that list and I think the Giants might want to draft some more pitchers. Today, in the final rounds, 11-20, the Giants have a lot of nice round number overall picks:
330, 360, 390, 420, 450, 480, 510, 540, 570, 600