Thursday, June 12, 2008

Descriptions of Giants Top 3 Draft Picks

There is a new analyst of pitching mechanics on The Hardball Times, in the wake of Carlos Gomez getting a job with a major league team, and he publishes on the website Baseball-Intellect.com. However, he did not cover Posey yet, so I was disappointed.

However, he has linked to another website, Brewersfan.net, where the author of that site published information on the Giants top 3 draft picks. I don't know how good the site is or what their reputation is (though I just found two quotes from BP and BA saying they are a "indispensable" and "unbelievable" website), but what I read there isn't much different from other descriptions, but I like reading a broad range of sources so here is their descriptions of each pick:
  • Buster Posey: He was ranked 4th among eligibles, after Alvarez, Matusz, and T.Beckham, and was drafted 5th by the Giants, and was the top ranked catcher. His comments: "A very good and versatile overall athlete, Posey arrived at Florida State's campus as a two-way talent expected to play shortstop everyday while also pitching out of the bullpen due to his natural arm strength and refined approach to pitching which included one of the better changeups in the prep class of 2005. His lateral quickness and arm strength prompted a move to behind the plate for Posey, a transition he started during FSU's fall practices during his sophomore year. He took to the switch quickly and is already considered a good defender with the ability to neutralize the opponents running game with his strong arm. He still needs to improve in some of the finer aspects, but most don't think that will be a problem given how far he has come in such a short amount of time. His bat is made for contact, with quick hands that allows him to lace line drives from gap to gap. There isn't much over the fence power at this point in time, and he probably will never hit for more than 10-15 homers a year, but he could easily hit for 40-plus doubles while managing the strike zone. His overall athleticism gives him good speed for a catcher, as he profiles in a similar fashion to other catcher conversions such as Michael Barrett, Brandon Inge and even Craig Biggio."
  • Conor Gillaspie: He was ranked the 28th best prospect and was selected by the Giants with the 37th pick, and was the 4th best 3B in the draft, just after Anthony Hewitt (23rd) and Ethan Martin (24th) and of course behind Pedro Alvarez who was #1. His comments: "Gillaspie has always been a solid, hard-nosed player with the ability to hit for contact and gap power. His game exploded last summer on the Cape, leading the league in batting and slugging on his way to being named the circuit’s most valuable player. With a level, left-handed swing and a patient eye at the plate, Gillaspie is able to hit for a high average while walking nearly twice as much as he strikes out. Most of his power is to the gaps, but he get hit one out on occasion with double-digit home run potential. Overall he is a solid athlete, but doesn’t stand out in any one area. His defense has been somewhat shaky, but most seem to believe that he will become solid average and he could rise quickly through the minors."
  • Roger Kieschnick: He was ranked the 66th best prospect and was selected by the Giants with the 82nd pick, and was the 2nd best RF in the draft, behind Dennis Raben (43rd), plus was the 9th best OF in the draft. His comments: "Kieschnick profiles very similar to former big-leaguer Jeromy Burnitz, with a power/power profile suited for right field. Like Burnitz, Kieschnick's swing is long and he strikes out in bunches. But when he connects the ball travels a very long distance, as he punishes mistakes and needs to be pitched carefully too. Overall he needs to control the strike zone better by walking more in addition to striking out less. He is an impact run producer though, and was among the league leaders nationally in doubles with 25. Defensively he has enough speed and range to handle centerfield in a pinch, but as noted above he fits right field perfectly with a strong and accurate throwing arm. Teams always draft power early, as Kieshnick's adjustments at the plate will determine which of the top three rounds he's drafted in."

2 comments:

  1. I'd say we did a damn fine job with the 1st 3 picks. It is a crapshoot, to be sure, but it can't hurt to get the best available guys. Tony Torcato was a #1 pick back in the day, so you never know, sometimes your 6th-rounders are your future stars! Nonetheless, getting a catcher after last year's two stud pitchers was a great move. Wouldn't it be sweet if Posey came up with Bumgarner and Alderson?

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  2. Yes, the Giants certainly were good with their picks this year. I tracked previous years against where the player was ranked by BA and the Giants would routinely select players who were at least 1 round ahead of where BA had ranked the player, in terms of talent. This is the first year that I can recall where we had a pick where he should have gone earlier rather than later, let alone two of them in Gillaspie and Kieschnick.

    Getting the best players is always best. :^)

    Odds are that your stars will come from the first 10-20 picks, depending on the year and whether signability pushed them lower in the draft. Once you get beyond, really, the top 10, it becomes quite a needle in a haystack, a matter of quantity over quality.

    That is because human nature is so vastly complex that heart and being a gamer (plus latent talent) is enough to transform a later (or non) pick into star.

    Never thought of that, but yeah, that is a definite possibility, both pitchers should be in AA by 2009, Posey probably at San Jose after hopefully getting enough good play this season at Salem-Keizer. If he can then dominate there, the three of them could make Fresno in 2010 and the majors in 2011. At that point, we should have two more years of Lincecum, at least one with Cain, plus hopefully working with both on signing into their free agent years.

    Villalona, if he continues to hit like he has as he moves up, he could also make the majors at the same time as Bumgarner, Alderson, and Posey, in 2011. Noonan too, maybe Gillaspie as well.

    In the meantime, bridging from today to when these prospects are ready to contribute:

    Rotation: Pretty set, we can probably trade off either Sanchez or Correia for another hitter.

    Bullpen: Wilson, Sadler, Hinshaw for the three big roles, hopefully Valdez too for a super bullpen, fill in rest with Taschner, Chulk, Walker, others from minors, like Romo, Pichardo, Anderson.

    Lineup (2009-10):
    C - Molina then Sandoval probably though Holm has been a nice hitter in limited play
    1B - Bowker/Howitz, maybe Ortmeier
    2B - Frandsen/Velez/Burriss/Denker
    3B - Castillo maybe Rohlinger/Denker
    SS - Burriss/Bocock
    LF - Fred Lewis, maybe platoon Horwitz
    CF - Aaron Rowand
    RF - Schierholtz

    That is really not bad, not great, but not bad at all. We don't need a great offense if we have a great defense/pitching. This will segue nicely into my next big post that I've had written up on paper for the most part, but just haven't got around to posting.

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