Monday, June 11, 2007

Giants Draft Pick 6: Post-Draft Interview Transcription

On or, there is a replay of interviews with Dick Tidrow, Brian Sabean, and two of our draft picks, Tim Alderson and Wendell Fairley. Unfortunately, the sound quality is worse than that of teenagers taping their fake TV interview show in their parent's basement and is pretty amateurish - you can hear some of the sound engineers in the background stepping on the speakers. I did my best to write down what was said, just know that the following is incomplete because of the problems I noted. And they just spliced everything together into one long audio, so the respondents jump around a lot.

Q: Tell us about your two high school pitchers.

Tidrow: Bumgarner is a big strong, power lefty. Good breaking pitch, excellent command, he's going to be a fast mover, he's on the fast track. Has a power curve. Fairley is a 5 tool prospect, power, speed, CF. Noonan is a fast lefty, see him at 2B. Williams is an excellent defensive catcher, he's going to be a big league starter. Culberson we see as a 3B/2B combo, he has a good bat. Chase Corrigan, college pitcher, good curve, FB command, very athletic, lots of innings thrown.

Q: (Sound problems with previous response prompts Tidrow to talk about Alderson; remember this is not verbatim stuff, just my scratch notes off a lousy recording plus my memory on some stuff)

Tidrow: Alderson has a clean arm, throws harder, stronger, has good command, he's going to be a starter, not a reliever.

Q: Other pick's skills that come to mind?

Tidrow: (Noise cuts off name of prospect) has an excellent swing, good speed, will play middle infield, SS or 2B (Noonan? Does not sound like Culberson). Williams great skills at catcher, best in draft for defense.

Q: Why #10?

Sabean: Size, strength, development, track record, athletic development.

Q: Lots of high school players, will this take patience?

Sabean: Giants got talent across the board, diverse group, got the guys we wanted at each pick.

Q: Did you plan to pick so many high schoolers?

Sabean: With so many high school talents, we had to be ready and prepared to pick them.

Q: Fairley's tools?

Sabean: Speed, power, raw power, really can run, throw, 5 tools now, the Giants need to develop them.

Q: When will they play?

Sabean: Will play once signed, either Salem-Keizer or Arizona. If possible, want to send them to Salem.

Q: So the Giants got who they wanted at #10?

Tidrow: Giants targeted him and another pitcher. He's a lefty, big, strong, power, and can locate his pitches. In 1-2 years, he'll be ready for the MLB.

Q: Any concerns about Alderson's stretch delivery?

Tidrow: No concern.

Q: Talk about your pitching motion.

Alderson: I can repeat the motion and have a good feel for it. I am comfortable with it, it is natural and easy to do. I just want to keep things simple. I compare myself with Francisco Rodriguez.

Q: question on baseball draft.

Sabean/Tidrow (don't remember): to develop a player it takes 1200-1500 ABs, 500-1000 IP

Q: Bumgarner's secondary pitches?

S/T: Sweeping curve, cutter, bread and butter is his fastball away though.

Q: Comparable to Cain, another high school pick?

S/T: First year, we just make sure the pitcher is healthy. Both Bumgarner and Alderson are on the fast track to the majors. They have size, ability, and command.

Q: Was Boras a factor?

Sabean: We select talent first, signability and agent concerns second.

Q: Size?

Fairley: 6'2"

Q: Two sport player, is baseball new to you?

Fairley: Baseball is my main sport, the one I'm best at.

Q: Some have compared you to Carl Crawford, what do you think of that?

Fairley: I'm just coming out of high school (poor sound cuts some of the response)

Q: What skills do you need to work on?

Fairley: Sir, I play the field good, run; maybe hit for power is what I need to work on. There's always room for improvement, sir. Did some pitching too.

Q: Do you know if you will sign or consider college?

Fairley: "I'm a Giant now"

Q: Do you know if you will sign or consider college? Do Giants play in your high school stadium during spring training?

Alderson: I will talk with my family, friends and advisors and see how it goes. Yes, in high school I played in the Giants spring training facility. It is just exciting, just absorbing everything, the experience.

Giants Thoughts

I was going to write a post on each of the top 6 picks but I think I'll just wrap up by putting my thoughts here. Here is also some thoughts on them by the website, The Baseball Analyst, scroll down to the appropriate draft number. The comments there are very similar to what I've compiled below.

Pick #32: Nick Noonan

I've seen talk that he's like Chase Utley with less power, more likely 10-15 HR. Why they get people's hopes up by invoking Chase Utley when he seems more like a Marcus Giles - who, by the way, would be a perfectly good 2B to have to, just not elite like Utley - I don't know. Anyway, that's double digit teen homerun power to go with good base-stealing, probably on order of double digit teen stolen bases, I would take that at 2B if Noonan can deliver it.

Oh, found the reference, it was Baseball America who invoked Utley, Noonan's profile was posted on MCC, highlights: one of the most polished bats in the draft, he emerged as San Diego's top prep prospect, evoking comparisons to Chase Utley. Won't hit for same power, but he's also above-average lefthanded bat who profiles best at 2B. Plenty of baseball savvy, particularly at plate, making consistent hard contact. He struggled at first with wood but adjusted. Good basestealer, solid defender, one of steadiest players in this draft.

From, his scouting profile says pretty much the same. His bat will definitely play at the next level, so he could be intriguing table-setter. Has ability to hit for average, profiles leadoff or #2 with excellent bat control and good idea at the plate. Not much power now, could develop 10-15 HR. Average speed, but smart baserunner, able to steal bases. Arm probably puts him at 2B, he would be solid defensively at 2B or SS except for arm. He has excellent instincts, he is an athletic, top of the order MI. Makes consistent contact and has excellent plate discipline.

I like the pick overall, have no opinion on whether they should have waited or not.

Pick #43, Jackson Williams

A lot of people don't like him being drafted here, thinks he was selected in order to save money. I don't agree, he seems to be a nice pick, not that I'm an expert on when a player should be picked. But he seems to be a nice package.

Williams is only a junior, just turned 21, and he was the starting catcher for three years for Oklahoma, which is in the Big 12. According to Boyd's World, a site that follows college baseball closely, the Big 12 was the highest rated conference in terms of strength as of June 8, 2007: So he is doing this in the toughest conference for college baseball.

He is known as a defensive catcher - I've seen someone describe him as the best defensive catcher in the draft - but he started driving in runs this season as well, hitting .344 with 44 RBIs in 50 games (25 RBIs in last 20 games). I think it speaks to how good he is that he is in one of the top conferences, became the starter immediately, and now is one of the better hitters in a tough conference. And his offense improved each year, showing that he's capable of adjusting and improving:

2005: .263/.353/.419/.772; ISO 156
2006: .292/.390/.411/.801; ISO 129
2007: .344/.426/.525/.951; ISO 181

He had the team's third highest batting average and RBI total, and had 4 HR, 18 BB, and 33 SO in 183 AB. And he saved his best for Big 12 opponents, 27 RBI in in Big 12 games. He posted a .985 fielding percentage. He was named all-Big 12 Second Team by league's coaches and named first team All-Big by two local newspapers. The Baseball Analysts also noted that he is "an intense competitor and student of the game, Williams was the captain of the Sooners baseball team. He projects as a solid but 'low ceiling'" backstop."

I like the pick overall, and had they waited to the 5th round to select him, he probably wouldn't have been around. Sounds like a great defensive catcher, even better than Wieters, who I was hoping would fall to us at #5 this year. But the description above by the Baseball Analyst matches what commenters have been saying about him being a MLB backup at best. I like the fact that he was facing some of the toughest teams and pitchers in the NCAA and was able to adjust and learn to hit better against them. That gives me hope that he can do the same once in the pro ranks.

Pick #51, Charlie Culberson

A lot of people have a problem with Culberson because they think the Giants drafted him in order to save money, as he was not expected to go so high in the draft.

I read on MCC the day of the draft that he only gave the Giants and Braves a tryout, the former because the Giants drafted his dad, the later because he lives in the area, and he hit 6 HRs with a wooden bat in a workout for the Giants. Admittedly, probably BP HRs but the Giants got to see him up close and in different situations that apparently impressed them greatly. He was quoted as saying, it would be "really cool to keep the family tradition going with the Giants."

Now perhaps he was selected too "early" relative to where he should do (I've seen rounds 3 and 4), but would you rather be cheap and be "right" in principle by selecting someone else and watch him be taken by someone else or go with your eyewitness tryout experience? If Sabean really thought he was a better prospect, he should pick him now or forever hold his piece.

Stats for him: 123 AB in high school at shortstop, he hit .512 with .611 OPB, 16 HR, 13 doubles, 52 RBI, 59 runs scored. Not too shabby, but I thought Royce Clayton might be a homerun hitter too at SS because of all the homers he hit in high school too. He got a lot of exposure because his teammate, Josh Smoker, was heavily scouted.

BA (MCC post again) labeled him a "game in the mold of Marcus Giles." Said he's a baseball rat who is related to George Sisler and has a lot of intangibles. As I noted above myself, BA said that despite his power in high school, he doesn't project to hit for power in the majors.

I'm OK with the pick. They had him in for that tryout and he apparently impressed them. At that point of the draft, the odds of finding anybody good is pretty slim anyhow. People think they know better but really, if the major league GMs have a hard time finding the MLB player after the 20th pick, why do they think they know better when they don't have all the inside information that the GM have on the players.


  1. Hello Martin. When does the signing start? When does camp start for Salem-Keizer? I like the pick of the C a lot. I'll defer to the Giants up close experience with Culbertson. I think it was wise - as well as perfectly predicatable by Sabean - to pass on Mills. I think I am beginning to understand the emphasis on pitching. Pitching is likely to take up 12, 13 of your roster spots. You need at least 2 LH and 2 RH RPs and at least one SP in reserve. So you need 17 to 18 pitchers to get thru a season. Conversely, you need 3 corner IFs and as few as 2 corner OFs.
    I actually think the farm system is being stocked very fast. We have several useful pitching parts in AAA, a few in AA, several in high and low A. WE are starting to get a nice collection of middle IFs as well as speedy CFs, RFs. I read that Fairley projects to RF. We also have a number of very capable backup Cs - only one of those has to develop the bat, and voila, we have C, 2b, SS, CF, RF. I also think we have more OFs in our system than people give us credit for. True, few are ready for this year, but out of Lewis, Schierhotz, Timpner, Ortmeier, Coleman we have at least a 4 OF, and maybe be able to develop one of them as a league average starter.

  2. For what it's worth, Culberson must have really impressed, as the Giants passed on Mills after having an in-person trying with him.

    Honestly, I believe the Giants were thinking what you were thinking Martin. Mills was an awesome batting prospect, but would have potentially negative impact on the field. The Giants may have taken him if he lasted to their second pick, but he didn't. I like all of their first (and sandwich round) picks.

    Like allfrank, I like the pick of the catcher. I think he could turn out to be a better version of Mike Mattheny, if all is that is said about him is right. If he turns out to be anywhere near what Mattheny was, the fact that he would develop alongside two first round pitchers (on the fast track) would be invaluable. Mattheny made a living on knowing his battery-mates, and this guy has the benefit of working with two of the nations top pitching prospects entering the draft.



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