Wednesday, June 07, 2006

With the #10 pick, the Giants pick Tim Lincecum

First, I'll cover the Giants draft day for the 18 rounds done Tuesday:
  1. Tim Lincecum (R1; 10): RHP, University of Washington Jr.
  2. Emmanual Burriss (S1; 33): SS-SH, Kent State University Jr. (got pick for Eyre)
  3. Clayton Tanner (R3; 89): LHP, De La Salle High School (got pick for Eyre)
  4. Benjamin Synder (R4; 116): LHP, Ball State University Sr.
  5. Michael McBryde (R5; 146): CF-RH, Florida Atlantic University Sr.
  6. Ryan Rohlinger (R6; 176): SS-RH, University of Oklahoma Sr.
  7. Brett Pill (R7; 206): 1B-RH, Cal State Fullerton Sr.
  8. Matthew Klimas (R8; 236): C-RH, Texarkana CC Jr.
  9. Brian Bocock (R9; 266): SS-RH, Stetson University Sr.
  10. Ryan Paul (R10; 296): LHP, Cal State Fullerton Sr.
  11. Marvin Hobson (R11; 326): RHP, North Carolina State University Sr.
  12. Matthew Weston (R12; 356): OF-LH, University of Houston Sr.
  13. Bradley Boyer (R13; 386): 2B-LH, University of Arizona Sr.
  14. Eric Stolp (R14; 416): RHP, University of Pacific Sr.
  15. Andrew Barbosa (R15; 446): LHP, Riverview High School
  16. Paul Oseguera (R16; 476): LHP, UCLA Sr.
  17. Kevin Pucetas (R17, 506): RHP, Limestone College
  18. Jeff Stallings (R18, 536): RHP, North Carolina State University Sr.

#1 Pick Tim Lincecum

As I put in my other post, I was torn between Lincecum and Drabek, who was also available (he ended up being picked up by the Phillies #17). I'm glad I didn't have to make the choice. In any case, I'm very happy with the pick.

As the article on sfgiants.com noted, he was 12-4 with 1.94 ERA and 199 strikeouts this year, in 125 IP . The 199 strikeouts led the nation. In addition, he is the Pac-10's all-time leader in strikeouts with 491 and was the conference's Pitcher of the Year this year.

There were a lot of interesting bits of information in the article, which I will go over here:

  • His fastball has been clocked at 100 MPH
  • His power curveball is devastating and Baseball America tabbed it the finest in the country.
  • Tidrow had a lot of good comments. Lincecum was suppose to be in the Top 3 according to Tidrow. "We like his arm, his stuff, and his athleticism. He's got a power arm with good breaking stuff. He's a fast mover who can pitch in either a starting or relief role." Tidrow added also that Lincecum will begin play at short-season Class A Salem-Keizer but should move quickly through the minor league system. "This is a good thing for the Giants - this guy's going to be a big-league pitcher for a long while. But we're going to be careful with him for a while."
  • Interesting comments by Lincecum. "Being picked by the Giants really is a good thing for me. It's close to home, San Francisco is a good team, and it's a good place to pitch. It's kind of awkward because I didn't talk to the Giants, but I think everything will pan out." As far as reaching the majors, he does not lack confidence: "I don't doubt myself. It's dictated by how I do. I have confidence, but I'll take it step by step." He compared himself to Huston Street, who is also 6 foot tall, he was aware that he was overlooked by some teams seeking a prototypical 6-foot-4 or 6 pitcher built for durability.
  • He has been compared by some to Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez.
  • "Throw more, not less" is his motto. Despite his unique pitching style, he believes he's sound mechanically and has never had physical problems throwing deep into games.
  • His coach, naturally, raved about him: "He's phenomenal, with great timing and delivery and four quality pitches. It's very exciting for us and we're happy for Tim and the Giants. His stuff is the best in college baseball, always in the upper 90's. He uses the lower half of his body really well and is strong and athletic." "He loves to pitch and is very competitive. He wants to win and was an excellent teammate for three years. I can't find anything bad about him in his abilities as a pitcher."
  • He has been described as being similar to Roy Oswalt for overall effectiveness.

My comments:

  • I have read a number of Roy Oswalt comparisons. If so, we have a real find here and a great trio in Lowry, Cain, and Lincecum. Plus interesting the comparisons also have been relative to relievers: Huston Street, Scot Shields, and Francisco Rodriquez. I think I even saw a reference to Billy Wagner. I hope he's a starter, I think we have enough relievers going forward for the forseeable future.
  • While there was concern in most descriptions about his pitching style and amount of work, I think Baseball America put it best in their free chat: "they [SIC] guy hasn't been hurt. His stuff has stayed firm, and he maintains his stuff up to the 140 pitch mark. Then he goes out the next day and long tosses from pole to pole. He's different. Who knows his arm better, me or you, or his college coach and him? I think they do. If he was hurt or incapable of throwing as much as he did, he would have stopped doing it. I just think we need to not throw a blanket over everybody when it comes to pitcher workloads." This is similar to the practices that Atlanta has their pitchers doing, where more work is emphasized, not less, to build up their arms. BA also ranked him as among the top 5 pitchers in college baseball and noted that they wouldn't be surprised if he went #1.
  • I think the Giants will probably have him relieve first - due to his heavy load already - and aggressively move him up as fast as he is able to, with the thought of bringing him up to the bullpen in the September timeframe. I noticed that they 60-day DLed Kelyn Acosta recently and I'm not sure what exactly they need to DL him for, but I assume they will do that to Acosta, which would allow the Giants to loophole Lincecum into the playoffs the way the Angels did with Francisco Rodriguez.
  • Then next year, there could be up to two openings in the rotation: if Schmidt is not resigned and if Jamey Wright does not pick up his mutual option (a possibility since he is pitching well and it is only for $2.5M, he could get something closer to Tomko's $4M; however, I think he'll be grateful and stay). Lincecum, Sanchez, Hennessey and Correia plus perhaps Misch will battle for any openings, with the thought that if Lincecum doesn't win a spot, he'll spend the year in AAA, just to give him that experience.
  • Funny reading Lincecum talking about how awkward it was getting picked by the Giants when they didn't talk with him. Again, as I mentioned in the other post, Sabean is often very stealthy with who he is actually interested in, that's why I don't trust many of the rumors that says he is doing one thing or another thing. And if any leaked rumor does get out for a trade, its from the other team, not from him. I would guess that this is how the conversation might have went: "Who you like for the 10th pick?" "Lots of good pitchers available, Drabek, Bard, etc." "OK, we'll put you down for them!" My only question is how did they find out how signable he is? Seems like you would want to at least kick the tires and find out what numbers Lincecum is looking for.
  • The number of innings he throws plus all the long tossing he does, it sounds just like the methods of Atlanta's old pitching coach guru, Leo Mazzone. He advocates more throwing, not less, for his pitchers, to build up their arms. He also has his pitchers throwing more than usual between starts. Besides, with all the high pitch counts Lincecum has done during his college career, if there was really any affect on his arm, it should have shown up by now, plus he would not be able to throw in the high 90's still, late in the game, I would think. It's like the guy at BA said, that I quoted above.
  • My memories not exactly clear but I think that Travis Ishikawa was going to go to University of Washington but then the Giants gave him enough in bonus to skip school, so they would have been teammates, and now Lincecum's a Giant too.
  • There was a nice article on ESPN as well (thanks to posters on McCovey Chronicles for the links!). In that article, it describes how his delivery works. It sounds more like he uses his whole body to generate velocity while his arm is being swung around with minimal effort. I'm no doctor, but that sounds like an almost ideal way of throwing to minimize wear and tear on your arm, a la Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. How else can he throw up to 100 MPH on only a 6' body that only recently only weighed 150 pounds? As a caution, this also sounds like Rich Harden, the A's great starter who, unfortunately, has been plagued by various injuries throughout his career. I remember reading that he has a maximum effort type of delivery that sounds similar to what I've read about Lincecum.
  • Another quote on Lincecum I found on McCovey Chronicles: BP's injury expert, Will Carroll, thinks he's a steal no matter where he is picked, which is big because Carroll is a stickler for good mechanics in pitchers to avoid injury.

Other Picks

There was also an article covering the Giants picks. Interesting tidbits of info:

  • Among the 18 picks: 10 pitchers, 1 catcher, 5 infielders, and 2 outfielders.
  • About the second pick, Emmanual Burriss, Tidrow said, "... the second pick is a shortstop who can change the game with his speed."
  • About picks 3 and 4, Clayton Tanner and Benjamin Synder, Tidrow said, "And we have a couple of left-handed pitchers - one high school, one college - who are fast-track starters down the road."
  • More about Lincecum from Tidrow: "His curveball is electrifying and his fastball is very high velocity and can make batters swing, but his curve is what we're looking for -- a high-powered breaking ball."
  • Lots of info on Borriss. Player of the Year in the Mid-American Conference, his .360 average was fourth best in the MAC. And the leadoff hitter ranked fifth in the nation with 42 SB. Director of Scouting, Matt Nerland, noted, "Burriss is a switch-hitter who is a prototypical top-of-the-order hitter with above-average speed. He's a good athlete with quick actions in the field and sure hands." Tidrow added that Burriss can change a game with his speed and "he has the ability to play middle infield, is a basestealer and switch-hitter who knows how to bunt. It's just a matter of learning to hit the ball on a line and get it out of the infield."
  • Some stats on 3rd rounder Clayton Tanner, who is a local kid, though that area might mean he's an A's fan: 9-2 at De La Salle High (known for their football program), with 1.48 ERA and walking only 18 versus striking out 101 (no IP provided).
  • Giants Gamble on #5 pick Michael McBryde: he only played in 3 games this season because of a hamstring pull. They must have liked his 2005 season, where he hit .370 and also pitched well - when they announced his pick, he was noted only as a CF.

Addendum: Congrats to Schmidt

Congratulations to Schmidt for striking out 16 Marlins on Tuesday and tying the Giants franchise record of 16 strikeouts in a game set by the legendary Christy Mathewson for the NY Giants and setting the San Franciso Giants franchise record, passing Gaylord Perry's previous mark of 15 strikeouts. I would have bet almost anything that he had struck out this many before but his previous career high was 13.

The victory put the Giants in 3rd place, 3 games back of surprising Arizona and gives them 3 straight wins and 5 in last 6 games. If Jason Ellison didn't run us out of the victory in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader, it would have been 6 straight. I'm not sure but I think this is the first time this season that the Giants are 4 games over .500. Jamey Wright will pitch with only 3 days rest in the final game of the series for the sweep, he volunteered to do that because the rainout on Friday messed with the Giants rotation, leaving a hole I guess on Wednesday. I thought that was pretty nice of him, giving me hope that he will stick with the team going forward, I think his sinker repertoise complements the hard throwers we got in Schmidt and Cain, plus we may have Lincecum and Waldis Joaquin coming into the rotation in the next couple of years.

4 comments:

  1. I'm not able to follow much college ball and zero HS ball, but damn, it's exciting to have a guy expected to go in the top 2 or 3 fall to us at #10!!!
    I know they're all gambles, but this is exciting. Promising.
    Does this guy, and his being drafted, here on June 8, 06, and that fact alone, make Hennessey expendable?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I think that is inevitable, but first Lincecum needs to sign and come in and blow the hitters out of the water like we are hoping he can. Once he does that, then you can say that because both he and Correia are doing well in the long relief role so far and so we can keep Correia in that role and if Lincecum becomes the starter we are hoping for, Hennessey is then expendable.

    However, I would still prefer to give Hennessey a chance as a starter still. If we happen to have Jamey Wright "David Bell" us in the coming off-season and we lose Schmidt as most of us expect, that leaves the rotation as Morris, Lowry, Cain, and we will need two pitchers. Lincecum, Hennessey, Correia, Sanchez, Misch, and perhaps Joaquin, will be competing for those spots, unless the Giants go the free agent route to replace Wright. I still like what Hennessey did for us when he was on, when he was on, he was a dominating starter.

    But if they extend Wright's contract early, then Hennessey is most probably the one to go in a trade as you suggest, he would have the most value as a trading chip.

    In any case, if the Giants are in acquisition mode this mid-season, they will have to sacrifice some of their young arms to get what they want, whatever that may be (upgrade 1B or 3B is probably the only things I can think of).

    Because Frandsen sat so much while he was last here, I think that means that the Giants were not that impressed with his play his first time around, else they would have played him more, so trading Durham to save salary and get prospects seem to be out of the question.

    And you can't trade Schmidt right now, he is too valuable in the playoffs when he is pitching like this (if he was still struggling, then all bets would have been off, as I suggested this pre-season).

    ReplyDelete
  3. No big deal, but just as a matter of record, Travis Ishikawa was going to go to Oregon State, not Washington.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, big deal to me, my memory hasn't been great lately.

    ReplyDelete

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