The big guy finally finds a home. The Giants do have three first-round picks, so it will be very intersting to see how they go about picking and signing those selections. They generally scout players based on their abilities only and don't shy away from signability concerns. Brackman came into the season as one of the top couple of arms in the draft and the raw stuff has been there. But the performance has not. Some think that perhaps he's experiencing a dead-arm period based on the fact that the former two-sport star has never thrown this many innings in a season. How he recovers and bounces back from that could determine his ultimate draft position, but he's definitely in the Giants' conversation.
There is also a draft report here plus there is a video link there too. Here are some key facts:
- SP who is a junior, 21 years old, 6' 10", 230 lbs, so he's a big one. Throws and bats right.
- Throw fastballs 92-97 MPH, both a 2-seamer and a 4-seamer. 2-seamer has plus life and was effective in the zone, he commands it extremely well, hitting the inside part of the plate at will.
- Also has a knuckle curve (78-81MPH) and changeup (82-84 MPH), which is just average but he can throw strikes with it. Command of breaking pitches not as consistent as FB.
- Strengths include above-average velocity on his fastballs, with plus command of the 2-seamer; weakness include poor command of his curve, which pro hitters will be disciplined enough to lay off of if out of the zone.
- Problem area: obviously was a basketball player before, so he has never spent an entire college season as a starting pitcher, so his durability is a concern and needs to be watched closely.
Sounds like a nice prospect, but he's not worth the $2M we would have to pay him based on this description, he sounds like he only has his fastballs plus will have to be handled carefully to bump up his IP and build up his arm strength to handle a full season starting. I suppose he could be like our old F-Rod and relieve based on the two pitches, but I don't think the Giants would want to pay $2M for a reliever prospect.
Other Possible Scenarios
As noted in the article, whether the D-backs can sign Scherzer or not will affect how this draft goes, as it adds another top 5-10 talent into the pool of possibilities. If he does go back in (most probably not but the D-backs would at least get a supplemental 1st round pick, so they might not sign him), then perhaps the Giants might be able to pick one of the players just ahead who might fall down to them. Plus a name I see as a possible Top 5 pick isn't picked in the article:
- Matt Dominguez: He might fall to us if the Rockies don't pick him as projected in the article. He's 3B but only a high schooler. His main asset is his bat and power, he's average otherwise and has drawn comparisons to Travis Fryman.
- Mike Moustakas: If the D-backs don't sign Scherzer, it might domino a player they like down to them, leaving Moustakas for the Giants. A SS/3B, he can "flat-out hit" and has "serious power". He's also has played catcher before, so he has great arm strength. His main weakness is his defensive range, which probably limits him to 3B. Says both Dominguez and Moustakas, who happen to be teammates on the same high school team "have the chance to be special hitters."
- Matt Wieters: He was not picked in the projection but according to a few comments on MLB.com, the D-Rays and Orioles are considering him and they have Top 5 picks. He is a catcher AND he is his team's closer as well. So he could technically move from catcher to pitcher, get a guy out, then return back to catcher, assuming there is another catcher still available to catch when he relieves. A switchhitter, he can hit for average and power from both sides. He is one of the top college bats in the draft, with above-average power from both sides, and his arm strength and accuracy are strengths of his, his throws are always on target. Tall for catcher (6' 5") but Mayo thinks he can stay a catcher in the pros.
- Beau Mills: He also wasn't mentioned but I've seen his name mentioned as a possible pick by the Giants. A 3B for Fresno State, he hit 22 HR as a freshman, then hit 14 HR in his sophomore year, plus hit .355 with a .675 SLG. After academic problems forced him off the team, he landed with Giant's favorite college to draft from, Lewis-Clark State, and hit even better there, with 16 HR and .914 SLG. He is the son of the Red Sox's bench coach, so he is totally prepared to be a baseball player. A lefty, he has excellent hitting skills and plus power, and can punish any mistake. However, there are questions on his arm strength and thus he might end up at 1B in the pros. There are few impact college bats, so the Giants could pick him as they need help soon for their wunderkind starting pitching. I wouldn't call this a positive description, but some has compared him to Scott Spezio according to the scouting report Mayo filed on him.
Given that they don't have a good catching prospect in the minors and already has a strong 16 year old 3B prospect, I would think that Matt Wieters would have the inside track even though Scott Boras is his agent and probably would want $4-6M in bonus when #10 normally get paid $2M. But Beau Mills appears to be a strong prospect right now and perhaps Frandsen could keep the position warm for Mills for 2008 or 2009, until Mills is ready, and the Giants just move Villalona to 1B (or even Mills there since his arm strength is suspect) - as much as they profess looking for talent over signability issues, that is a lot more to pay for your #10 pick and Mills appear to be equally strong as a hitter, though obviously Wieters play an important defensive position, catcher.
I'm a power guy so I would have to lean towards Mills right now. But either would be a great pick. I'm not so sure about Brackman, particularly since he is also a Boras client as well, but also because the Giants rotation is full already plus have Jonathan Sanchez capable of being a good starter already, why pay $2M+ for a starting pitcher who you might not have a spot for in your rotation, though I guess it would free the Giants to trade someone, but if they do that, signing prospect pitchers to such a contract might be not as likely as they would balk at the thought of signing a good contract then being traded off
Plus that goes for any starting pitcher, not just Brackman, as you don't want to pay that much for a reliever in the draft. You want an impact type of player, and in the Giants case, particularly a position player who is a hitter. Wieters and Mills appear to fill that bill.