Friday, June 15, 2007

A View of Giants #10 Draft Pick, Madison Bumgarner

I've posted other articles by Carlos Gomez (aka ChadBradfordWannabe) and here is his latest, his take on the first 10 picks of the amateur draft. Carlos had done this last year and raved about Lincecum. Interesting for us Giants fans because we had the #10 pick, LHP Madison Bumgarner.

Carlos "really like this kid:"

Oh my goodness, I really like this kid too. Good arm action, very good tempo. Don't be fooled. He looks really smooth, but this kid is aggressive, which I really like. I may disagree with other scouts about changing his arm slot. I say leave his arm slot where it is. As you can probably tell, I like athletic pitchers, and he certainly fits the mold.

He again drifts and leads with his hips into a nice long stride, but his finish is a little on the abrupt side. A couple of things that I would do with Bumgarner: Teach him how to finish his pitches better (upper body lean, long arm deceleration a la Price) and scrap the curve and go with a slurve/slider-type pitch that starts on the same plane as his fastball. He could also speed his body up just a tad...

I really like this pick at No. 10. As of right now, Price and Parker are Nos. 1 and #2, and Bumgarner is probably my No. 3.
That sounds like a great review to me. He rated Bumgarner 3rd among the pitchers selected in the first round, significant because there were 5 pitchers selected above him. So another top arm falls to us at #10, this time the third best pitcher out of the 6 selected (his rank could change, as a top-ranked pitcher, Porcello, fell much lower).

Given that the Giants left Lincecum alone, that suggests that they would also leave Bumgarner alone as well. After all, he has been ultra-successful with is command and control the way he is, and mucking with his arm slot could be messing with his command.

Carlos described Bumgarner as an athletic pitcher, and I saw that description from various quotes from Giants management, and that is how Lincecum was described too, as athletic. Sounds like Carlos thinks that Madison have a few items that he could work on to reach his potential: finish better, speed up body, learn slurve/slider-type pitch. Still, he "really like this pick at No. 10."

Can't wait until he covers #22 Tim Alderson and #29 Wendell Fairley.


  1. Hey-did anyone hear that Juan Marichal will be at the Bank of America at 1 Powell Street from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the banking center at Market & Van Ness from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow signing autographs for free? BofA is giving away tickets to FanFest to anyone who signs up for a checking account and you can enter a drawing for tickets to the All-Star Game!

  2. Hello Martin -
    Allow me to comment on another topic. I know it was a horrible weekend and I know the Giants have fallen from leading the NL West in runs scored just 2-3 weeks ago to now being 14 in the NL. Here are some numbers for us, the Pads and Dodgers:
    team runs BA OBP SLG GDP GO/AO
    Gia 284 251 318 388 57 1.24
    Bums 294 259 328 379 44 1.14
    Pads 303 244 316 394 44 1.00

    What I see in these numbers is that the WAY we are hitting is what is preventing us from scoring runs. ie, We are last in the league with a 1.24 GO/AO (what does AO mean anyway? How does it mean fly out?). The Padres, who have a lower team BA and OBP, also have a much lower GDP number BECAUSE they are much more prone to hit the ball in the air. So, this caused me to look at the SFs for each team, and, voila, the Pads and Bums have 22 and 24 respectively, while we have a miniscule 14. What do ya think? I would surmise that these numbers result not only result from not hitting smart (situational) but also from hitting the pitcher's pitch. You will note that, not only are we worst in the league with the 1.24 GO/AO ratio, only two other teams are close - The Nationals at 1.22 and the Cubs at 1.21, both well under 500 teams, altho there are 4 other teams in the NL Central with worse records than the Cubs.

  3. Unless I'm missing something, it doesn't look like the Giants have signed their top two picks. Neither of the names comes up on the minor league baseball site. Also, it seems like Chris Begg and Dave McKae are making names for themselves in the system.

  4. Thus far, I'm only aware of the Giants signing Nick Noonan, since someone noted that he's on the Arizona Rookie League team.

    I've read over my post, where does it say that the Giants signed the picks?

    Anyway, since you don't seem to be that experienced with the draft, this could be helpful to you and others new to this.

    First off, unless there is some pre-arranged deal (as the Giants apparently had with Nick Noonan if he is signed already, which usually suggests that the pick was an "overdraft" where he normally would not be picked so high but agreed beforehand to a lower bonus amount than is usual for that pick in previous drafts), most first round draft picks take a while to sign with their drafting team. They are basically waiting to see what picks around them get, and that gives a clue to how much you should get relative to the marketprice of others.

    Now if everyone did that, then no one would ever sign, but there are those with a dollar amount in mind that they want beforehand and once the team gets there in the negotiations, they sign, they don't need to suck the blood out of the stone like Boras does.

    For example, last year, Lincecum signed after most other picks had signed. He, I believe, had a dollar amount in mind that he wanted and he got about $200K more than what the mid-point between what the 8th pick and the 12th pick got; however, his amount was basically the amount one would expect based on the bonuses from 2005's draft.

    Plus this is all very imprecise anyway, because high school players often get more because they can always leave your offer on the table and go to college, which means you then lose the pick this year (sure you get a pick next year, but that's one developmental year you just lost). And college seniors get less, while college juniors (like Lincecum) could get more as well because they can go back to school for their senior year. It is all about leverage.

    So I wouldn't expect Bumgarner, Alderson, or Fairly to sign anytime soon. I'm hoping Fairly will sign soon since he's expressed that he's a Barry Bonds fan and that "he's a Giant now", when asked about his plans for signing or college. But for some, they want their fair bonus, and that could take time for all that to fall out.

  5. About Begg and McKae, for an indication of how good they are, neither made the Baseball America Top 30 prospect list that they compiled for the Giants 2007 season, nor the 2007 Minor League Baseball Analyst for top 30 or so prospects for the Giants (this only lists top 15 but includes approximately 30-40 prospects per team in their mini-profiles). So neither were highly heralded coming into the season.

    Doesn't mean that the light bulb can't go on and then they start performing great, but the normal talents you look for in a solid prospect are apparently not see in either of them.

    Begg had been struggling for a couple of years now to stick in AAA, so his success now could just be a result of him learning how to handle AAA hitters. That does not bode well for moving up to major league hitters.

    McKae, I think he's still below AA. Until a prospect is doing something at AA or AAA, while it is nice that he is doing well, there is still a lot of adjustments and learning necessary to make AA and AAA, let alone the majors, that still needs to happen. Success at A-ball or lowere, is interesting but he would have to be dominating, like Lincecum and Cain did or Schierholtz blasting 15 homers in two months at Hagerstown, to perk up your ears.

  6. The problem with the Giants first two picks is they are white surbanite boys whose families want them to go to college. A $1 M contract would not persuade me to allow my own son to pass up college. So if wish to see Bumgarner play I advise buying tickets to some UNC Tar Heel games the next few years.

    FYI, Matt Cain was drafted out of college and came into the majors at about the same age as Lincecum who passed up school. This fact is not lost on suburban parents, and increasingly teams have trouble signing players who have good grades and come from well off families. There is no certainty you will be a successful ball player, so why throw away other opportunities for the rest of your life?

    These two boys will probably get drafted by Billy Bean in four years and then enter the Majors by age 23 anyway. Billy likes to draft college players because they zip through the minors and give him help fast.

    I get the impression that Brian Sabean did not talk in depth to the parents, or he drafted these two pitchers expecting not to sign them, but as a signal to disgruntled fans that he was "looking to the future" without spending any money on playesr who wont be in the majors for 4-5 years. Judging by the thread starter this tactic worked

  7. You don't even know what you are talking about. You got facts wrong at every turn.

    First, Alderson has already signed. And each player the Giants have signed have been given another $100K to cover going to college.

    Second, Cain was a high school pitcher, he was not drafted out of college.

    Third, Lincecum was drafted out of college. While Lincecum is about the same age as Cain today, he came into the majors after Cain, who came up last season when he was a full year younger.

    Here's the way I see it. You get $1M, which is still a lot of money today (Bumgarner is getting more like almost double that). You also get the $100K for college. You try baseball for 3-5 years to acheive your dreams, and if it don't work out, you got the money to put you through school afterward. After taxes, you still have $600-700K left, even if you only earn 5% on that money, that covers the mortgage easily for any home you can purchase (assuming you are middle class suburbs bound) plus some spending change left. Then the income you make from your career will be gravy.

    Bumgarner would get about double that.

    Billy likes college players because they are more fully developed and you are more sure what the value is that you got; that's why they "zip" through the minors. Funny, though, Eric Chavez was one of his best draft picks and he was a high school draftee.

    As I noted Alderson already signed, so you are wrong there, and there are still 5 more days to sign them.

    So get your story straight next time you feel like posting. That's why this saying is so well known: "Better to be silent and apppear dumb, than to speak and remove all doubt."



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