Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Twas the Night Before the 2008 Amateur Draft

I saw some interesting news about the Giants strategy and thinking about their #5 draft pick. Seems like they can be happy in a number of different ways. Baseball America reported here the following:


The Giants and first-year scouting director John Barr could have a pleasant surprise at five. They’re said to have Hosmer at the top of their board but he may not get that far. However, Beckham or Posey might, which would give the Giants the chance to draft a premium middle-of-the-diamond player.
This is the first I've heard anywhere that the Giants have a player on the top of their board. Of course, the Giants typically play such information close to their vest, so for this to leak out, I wonder if it is a smoke screen to get the Royals to select Hosmer for sure, as rumored and reported in a variety of places.

Basically, there are three position players considered to be the cream of this years crop: Pedro Alvarez, Tim Beckham, and Buster Posey. For one of them to fall to the Giants, at least two of the four teams ahead of them will need to draft someone other than one of these three. Most mock drafts have Kansas City Royals selecting Hosmer 3rd and the Baltimore Orioles selecting LHP Brian Matusz (though one just changed it to the other premier pitcher in the draft, Aaron Crow). The roll of the dice is in who the Rays select.

They are considered to have narrowed it down to T.Beckham and Posey, with Beckham the name most prognosticators have selected as the Rays pick. That would leave Alvarez, who was the concensus top pick for a while now, in the hands of the Pirates, who want to make a big splash this year in a break from the previous regime.

Draft a Posey

And that would leave Posey in the hands of the Giants. He would be a good fit with the Giants. He plays good enough defense that most think that he will be able to stay at the catching position in the majors. But he was good enough to play SS his first season in college, so he could always move up the middle of the diamond positionally if necessary. And his offense is good enough to be plus at any of the middle of the diamond positions. He also relieved a little successfully too.

Here is the MiLB's draft profile for Posey. Pluses include "advanced hitting skills," and "good knowledge of the strike zone". He has the potential for 10-15 homers per season. "He's a highly sought-after package, a catcher who'll be able to stay behind the plate and has a chance to hit."

Weaknesses is the big one, his inexperience behind the plate (he was a shortstop his first season of college before converting to catcher full-time). He lacks the nuances of the position but the cure is easy: he just needs to catch more. Shifting behind the plate is one area of weakness.

Here is the summary:

College catchers who can stay at the position and can hit are always a hot commodity and Posey will be no exception. He's got a great approach with the bat and has a little power. As a converted shortstop, he's still a little raw behind the plate, but all the tools are there for him to be just fine and help ensure he gets drafted fairly early.
Not as good as Wieters, who was selected 5th last season, in my opinion, but he is probably the best catcher in this year's crop and among the top hitters. Perhaps they could partner him up with Jackson Williams and have Williams help mentor him. And, of course, the catcher doctor, Steve Decker is the manager in San Jose, so Posey could end up there next season and learn.

I would be very happy to get him, even the 5th pick is fraught with question marks typically. So selecting an athletic, versatile (he played all 9 positions in a game recently) hitter would help reduce the risk that he might not pan out at C. And if he can stick at C, all the better, Molina could be gone by the end of 2009 and who knows if Pablo Sandoval can continue to impress as he moves up. Better to have an alternative plan.

Giants Eye Isaac?

For the Giants supplemental first round pick, the name I see has been Isaac Galloway, a toolsy CF that fits the mode of the athletic prospects the Giants tend to like.

Here is the draft profile for Galloway.

Wow, he sounds great:

  • Galloway is a solid contact hitter who can drive the ball to all fields.
  • He has plus power to the pull side and has the potential to hit 20-plus homers annually.
  • He's a plus runner now, though he may settle in as a tick above average as he matures.
    He's not a pure basestealer, but he could be a 15-20 steals per year kind of runner.
  • He has a plus arm that has more than enough carry to work from right field.
  • He can go get the ball well, though left field may eventually be his best spot.
  • Strengths: His all-around tools. Galloway has all five of them and is already showing some aptitude toward using them in games.
  • Weaknesses: There isn't much looseness to his body, which could mean he'll lose a step speed-wise as he matures.

Summary:

It's a good year for toolsy high school outfielders in California and Galloway is right near the top of that list. He's got more now skills -- and less projection -- than fellow outfielders Aaron Hicks and Anthony Gose. But he can do everything well and should develop into a guy who will hit for average and power as well as steal some bases. The ceiling may not be as through the roof as with the others, but he's the type who could hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases annually in the future."

Sounds kind of like another Fred Lewis, a toolsy outfielder, only right-handed. He could be ready in 3-4 years to reach the majors given the assessment that he's a bit more developed than others but is lacking in projection. Still, a 20-20 hitter is nothing to sneeze at and would be a great contributor or trade bait.

Plus someone posted in the comments section that the Giants are eyeing Tyler Landendorf SS.
Here is a report on him. Apparently the Giants drafted him last season so they could do it again. He might not stick at SS though, might get too big, in which case probably means the outfield for him. He sounds like a pretty good pick as well, so I could live with him as well.

Happy Picking, Giants!

4 comments:

  1. Here is the latest from Baseball Prospectus:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7615&mode=print&nocache=1212596526

    They have really gone in another direction with their draft, more thoughts for the grist mill.

    I think the wide variety of mock drafts reflect the uncertainty over how the Rays will pick. They probably could go in three different directions, then depending on how they select, the dominos could fall one way or another for the following teams.

    Heck, they all are wild cards for the first few picks.

    You don't know if Pirates are going cheap or not, or even if not, whether they go for very expensive or just regular expensive (i.e. Alvarez or not).

    KC has been rumored to be in on Hosmer but if Alvarez should fall to them, they reportedly will get him just because they dealt with Boras before. But the thing no one has asked is: given how they are a small market team, at some point they run out of money for Boras' clients, whether Hosmer or Alvarez.

    The Orioles are more sure in their pick, they appear to want one of Matusz, Crow, and perhaps Smoak.

    And the Giants are just hoping someone good falls to them or could go off the grid and select someone unthought of as "good" for a top pick.

    BP is the first one to actually select Gordon Beckham for the Giants. I've seen Hosmer (obviously) and Smoak (again obviously), with a T.Beckham once but his stock seems to have risen. Posey has also been showing up and I still think that he's the most likely prospect the Giants will pick.

    And since I don't think I've said it yet here in this post, I think the Giants would be OK with one of the following: Alvarez, T.Beckham, Posey, Hosmer, Smoak, in about that order. The concensus appears to be that G.Beckham is in the next tier of prospects and thus I don't think the Giants pick him.

    John Barr, in an interview with KNBR morning show yesterday said that the Giants are looking to draft a difference maker but that they cannot tell who might reach them, the teams ahead of them don't really know who they are picking yet, particularly with the Rays trying to decide between three prospects: T.Beckham, Posey, and perhaps Alvarez.

    I don't read that G.Beckham is a difference maker. The players I listed above appear to be difference makers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, realized I posted these elsewhere:

    Here is another good one from Scout.com via FoxSports:

    [URL=http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8206762/MLB-Draft-preview:-Top-10-talents-in-draft?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=49]http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8206762...40813162&ATT=49[/URL]

    Repeats the analysis I've seen in the other places, but I still found it interesting as this author brought up stuff I didn't see elsewhere, I guess I like the way he goes over how each team views each player and gives a range of where he might get picked in the draft.

    Baseball America I also posted above, but here are some free stuff:
    [URL=http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/]http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/draft/[/URL]

    Plus this one on best players in the draft:
    [URL=http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-preview/2008/266128.html]http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft...008/266128.html[/URL]

    And this one on a mock draft a couple of weeks ago:
    [URL=http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/mock-draft/2008/266117.html]http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft...008/266117.html[/URL]

    Jonathan Mayo of MiLB.com is a prolific mock drafter, showing how his draft shifts with each new piece of info he gathers, it's very interesting to watch evolution. He was the one whose mock draft led me to predict on my blog that the Giants should draft Tim Lincecum if he did fall to us as Mayo predicted (Mayo, however, predicted the Giants would pass too and draft Bard instead because of the preference for hard thrower body types):
    [URL=http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080603&content_id=2829432&vkey=draft2008&fext=.jsp]http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...t2008&fext=.jsp[/URL]

    He also runs a blog that has draft info:
    [URL=http://draft.mlblogs.com/]http://draft.mlblogs.com/[/URL]

    I've ran into a new site that looks interesting called Saber-Scouting, they just ranked everyone without consideration for how a team might pick:
    [URL=http://www.saberscouting.com/2008/06/02/saberscoutingtop100/]http://www.saberscouting.com/2008/06/02/saberscoutingtop100/[/URL]

    They also held a mock draft a while ago:
    [URL=http://www.saberscouting.com/2008/04/21/2008mockdraft1/]http://www.saberscouting.com/2008/04/21/2008mockdraft1/[/URL]

    I just posted their newest mock draft above.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here is the latest Jonathan Mayo (still Posey, but notes Hosmer if he falls to us):

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080604&content_id=2837388&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnered=rss_mlb

    And I thought I had posted the SaberScouting latest mock draft, but didn't, so here it is:

    http://www.saberscouting.com/2008/06/04/draftweekmock1/

    Despite widely different takes, they end up with Smoak, even though T.Beckham is available in one scenario and Hosmer in the other. I think if either is available, the Giants select him over Smoak.

    ReplyDelete
  4. After all, finishing that last thought, if immediate help was what they wanted, they wouldn't have drafted all those high school prospects last year, they would have gone for some college guys, like Mills as many thought they would do.

    ReplyDelete

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