Thursday, June 05, 2008

Giants Select Buster Posey as Their #1 Pick in 2008 Draft

ESPN Keith Law in the live broadcast says that Buster Posey is one of the top hitters in the draft period, not just among the catchers.

Well, I won't say that I know better than the Giants and Posey is good enough to be in play for the #1 pick, much like Lincecum was, but I'm disappointed right now.

One guess I have is that they didn't want to face a Villalona vs. Smoak decision. Another is that catching is a weak area in our farm system, Pablo Sandoval is probably our top prospect there, with Jackson Williams behind him, and I've noted the poor odds of supplemental round players becoming a good ballplayer. As well as Williams hit in the college ranks, he was questionable as a major leaguer hitter when he was drafted and perhaps the Giants have decided that as well after having him in the system for a while now.

And, again, there is the fact that Posey was good enough that the Rays were considering him for the 1st pick overall, and most mock drafters and talent evaluators had Posey among the top 3 overall.

Scout.com: "The move behind the plate went smoothly. And we know what a hot commodity a catcher who can swing the bat is. Posey may not be a slugger, but he can swing the bat and stick behind the plate." They rate him as #3.

Baseball Prospectus: Goldstein had the Rays selecting him #1 overall. "Posey is the safer pick, a player who could make it to The Show quickly while providing nearly Gold-Glove-level defense and contributing at the plate by hitting .280-plus with 15-20 home runs and 70 walks. That's an All-Star at the position, and more importantly, he'd be ready to help over the next few years...". "This is a fantastic pick at five for the Giants. Really great find at five, and I’ll bet anything right now that he doesn’t get $12 million from SF."

John Sickel: "Would be easier to fit into the lineup long-term than Smoak." "Close-to-ready bat." Had the Giants picking him 5th.

Baseball America: Had Florida picking him 6th, "Posey's emerging bat and defensive superiority trump his asking price."

Saber-Scouting: Had Posey ranked 3rd overall in talent and noted in their mock draft (#3), "with a guy as special, high probability, and scorching hot at the most premium of positiosn, like Posey, you can’t let him past..."

7 comments:

  1. The following players I have seen suggested for the Giants #37 pick have already been selected: David Cooper 1B, CAL by Blue Jays; Ike Davis, 1B, ASU by Mets; Allen Dykstra, 1B, Wake Forest by Padres.

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  2. Ooops, not that I suggested, but had seen other people project the Giants selecting. Only Issac Galloway is left of the predictions for this pick.

    John Sickel's mock draft did not go very well. Weeks, Davis, Dykstra, Cooper all went way before he thought, particularly Weeks, selected 12th by the A's when he had the Twins selecting him 31st. Alonso went almost 10 picks ahead, as well as Jason Castro, but he hit the nail on the head with Ethan Martin by the Dodgers at 15.

    But at least he nailed the top 6 picks. BP's Goldstein was off with the first pick and that reverberated through the picks, though they got Skipworth right.

    Still, these mocks are good for going through different scenarios of who each team might pick. There is only so much you can do when projecting, when you don't know what each team has seen and what they "know".

    So this was not to blast BP or BA or Sickels or anyone, but rather to show how hard it is for even the experts to project this.

    Still, there was good info out there, particularly about the Rays, Pirates, Royals, Orioles, and Marlins. They went basically as guessed by most, and even the Giants was predicted by some to select Posey. Alonso at 7th was the first big surprise of the draft, then ChiSox got G.Beckham as one or two said they wanted. Castro at 10th was probably the next big surprise.

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  3. Here is a nice article on the selection of Buster Posey on the Giants website: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080605&content_id=2845483&vkey=news_sf&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf&partnered=rss_sf

    They noted that only Pedro Alvarez was ranked higher by the Giants. But there was no way he would fall to the Giants.

    Looks like the lack of catching fed into the selection, and Posey could rise as fast as he is able, and as soon as he signs. They noted that Molina's contract is up in 2009 and otherwise we have no real catching prospect high in the system.

    Apparently they think that he will be a run producer too, which is what we need, based on his hitting in the NCAA Regionals.

    In addition, he is one of the finalists for the 2008 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, the same award that Lincecum won in 2006, so that would be pretty cool having a battery of the two.

    Hopefully he is willing to sign quickly plus not asking for an outrageous contract (plus the Giants are willing to pay the slot rate or above) and can start his career with the Giants quickly, unlike the top picks last season who missed most if not all of the 2007 season. I think Noonan benefited from playing so much.

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  4. Baggarly has a better account here (for a week): http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9490926

    Interesting points:

    * Giants see him being an All-Star
    * Sabean: "He's going to be a run producer with the bat, so it's kind of like getting two players in one. It's very, very difficult to get an all-around catcher, especially a run producer. Posey is on the fast track and Bengie's clock is winding down. It's really up to him how soon he wants to get going and how soon he can get here."

    * Jack Hiatt scouted all the catchers and wrote a glowing recommendation. Sabean" "Jack Hiatt, I trust with my life. He was duly impressed."

    * Sabean: "We were looking for the best all around player. We thought we got one of them." He wouldn't say that Posey profiles as a middle-of-the-order bat, but that he would contribute offensively. "He's far more advanced than he gets credit for by people who have no business evaluating him."

    * Barr: "He brings a leadership that Russell brings [Barr selected Russell Martin for the Dodgers]. He also can make a difference in a game with his offense or his defense, which Russell can do. I don't want to compare them, but we look at him and feel he can help a team win.

    * Barr tracked Posey since he was a junior SS in HS: "It shows how good an athlete he really is [on his conversion to C]. They were weak behind the plate and he strapped it on. It also talks about makeup as a team player. He put the team in front of personal achievements." He has also pitched and has a plus-plus arm.

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  5. So more from BA: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/news/2008/266273.html

    Posey was recruited out of high school by Florida State to play shortstop, and he started all 65 games there for the Seminoles as a freshman. Following the 2006 season, however, Posey was asked to move behind the plate and catch for the first time in his life. He took to it naturally and two seasons later is considered the top catching prospect, both defensively and offensively, in the country.

    His offensive numbers this season, including a .471 average, put him among the national leaders in several categories. His receiving, footwork and release are all advanced, and his athleticism is apparent. Posey's arm strength (he reaches 94 mph off the mound) and accuracy are pluses as well.

    At the plate, Posey has above-average bat speed and makes consistent contact. He has power to all fields but will probably be known more for his batting average than home runs. Drafted out of high school by the Angels in the 50th round in 2005, Posey is regarded as one of the safest picks in this year's draft. His projection as an offensive catcher with Gold Glove-caliber defense has boosted Posey's draft stock as much as anyone's over the weeks leading up to the draft.

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  6. I also like that he is very smart, got really good grades in college and isn't a dip shit like Lastings Milledge or Elijah Dukes. Learning, adapting, developing, are all aided by intelligence as well as desire and willingness to work hard. Posey seems to have all of these. So, I think it is reasonable to think he might learn and develop during his career - as did Bonds.
    I have to say, I was hoping for Smoak. But it certainly seems that I was wrong. Despite the projections, this guy (Posey) is rated significantly higher than Smoak. I think it is significant that smoak fell to #11 - and to Texas, not a draft powerhouse.

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  7. I think we can all safely say that Posey was the right pick :)

    ReplyDelete

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