Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 Mock Draft: Jonathan Mayo

I will always pay attention to Jonathan Mayo because he was the analyst who thought that Tim Lincecum might fall to the Giants in the draft (he still had them selecting their usual physical specimen pitcher, I think Daniel Bard, but still) plus he did a study that showed how poor a hitters park that the San Jose Giants play in.

He just published his Crystal Ball projection for the first 10 picks of the upcoming draft where the Giants have the #6 pick overall.

He has the Giants selecting Michael Trout:


And now we have our first high schooler going off the board. This is a little bit of a leap, but there’s no doubt Trout has been a late riser on Draft boards. Word is the Giants have been in heavy to see the toolsy outfielder and they are an organization willing to take whoever they want, regardless of perception. In that regard, they could also have interest in Tate. They could have an interest in Wheeler if they wanted to go with the young power arm instead.
This is the first time I’ve seen his name, so he must be opening some eyes with recent hitting and approach. Here’s what Mayo wrote in another article, though this would probably kill the interest of many Giants fans because of the player he’s compared to:


Coming up quickly on the “toolsy” list is a high school outfielder from New Jersey, Michael Trout. Often compared to Aaron Rowand, Trout’s stock has been rising steadily as the weather in the Northeast improved. He’s got speed and should hit for power, especially once he starts to figure things out at the plate more. He’s learning to switch-hit and he’s got a terrific arm from the outfield.

Trout’s season is over now, but he’ll continue to work out for teams as the Draft looms closer. There has been plenty of teams in to see him, including some general managers. His name worked its way into first-round talk a little while ago. Now it’s creeping up higher with at least one team in the top 10 particularly interested. It’s not out of the question that Trout will get drafted before Tate, with signability being a big reason why.
Here is a full report on him by Mayo, below is some key excerpts:

Summary: Trout is a toolsy high school center fielder who was gaining momentum as the weather in the Northeast warmed up. He looks more like a football safety — his position in high school — than a center fielder, but has the tools to play there with plus speed. He just started switch-hitting to enhance his offensive value, and with some changes to his approach at the plate should hit for some power down the line. There is some rawness with the bat, but he has the kind of upside many teams look for in a high school position player, and was moving into first-round conversations as a result.

Power: He should have future average power and has shown some more pop this season.

Strengths: Speed, athleticism, some ability and upside with the bat.

Weaknesses: Still a bit crude at the plate; some teams may not look at him and see him as an everyday Major League center fielder.

Giants Thoughts

Caveat is that it appears that Donovan Tate is rated higher than Trout as a prospect, but with Boras as Tate’s agent, his commitment to University of North Carolina, and being a two-sport athlete, it would probably have to rain money from the heavens to sign him. Still, the Giants could decide to dance with the devil again (Boras was Bonds and Zito's agent when they signed their long-term big money deals with the Giants) and draft Tate instead.

In addition, based on this mock draft, Grant Green would be available to us, as well. He was a Top 10 candidate pre-season, but fell with lack of performance. However, a recent surge has put his name back into consideration for some. Up to now, the premier position players for consideration for the top picks were Dustin Ackley, Grant Green, and Donovan Tate. In fact, in the mock draft, only Ackley and Trout were selected, the rest were pitchers.

Too bad Justin Smoak or Gordon Beckham weren't available to us at the #6 pick this year, it would be a no-brainer to take either of them over the choices available right now. The draft is not very deep this year.

Which brings me to my idea: what if we draft a Boras' client but refuse to offer anything other than the slot amount, which would be around $2.5-3.0M, I would guess. Then that's the best of both worlds.

If, miracles of miracles, the player really wants to play baseball, and decides that he could live with $2.5-3.0M slot and not wait a year in independent ball or go to 3 years of college, then we don't overpay for a Boras client, and that is a win in itself.

More likely, though, if Boras balks and his client refuses to sign, which is what I would expect, the Giants get a draft pick in next year's draft, most probably the #7 pick overall, to go with whatever pick they earn from this year: if they do end up around .500, last year it would have earned them a pick in the 14-18 range.

Plus, we should be getting other picks, a lot of other picks. With Molina and Winn going free agent, the two of them would have been Type A free agents after last season. And if we don't resign Randy Johnson, and he don't continue pitching so lousy and return to his recent norms, he would have been a Type B free agent. That is potentially 5 additional picks coming to us for the 2010 draft.

I think Molina should net a first round pick from a contender, he's good enough and he'll be so insulted that he wouldn't accept arbitration from us, plus he's highly rated. Winn is iffier, I am not sure any team would be willing to give up a first round pick for him, but I can see a team willing to sign him if it's only a 2nd rounder or later. Plus, with him, there is the risk that he might accept arbitration. Johnson would net us a supplemental first rounder as a B, it won't cost the other team anything, but he's pitched so poorly this year that he might not rank as a B for next year's draft.

That's up to 7 picks, 2 within the first 15 potentially, 3-4 within the first 30, and 7 in total in the first 50 picks or so. It would be another draft bonanza, much like 2007's.

4 comments:

  1. Correct me if I'm wrong, Martin, but doesn't a team have to offer arbitration to get a draft pick (unless, of course, he gets signed before the arbitration date)?

    I can see the Giants offering arbitration to Molina because that's a win-win situation, but not to Johnson or Winn.

    It is too bad the draft pool isn't that deep this year. We could've used Gordon Beckham.

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  2. Any indicitation that the draft will be deeper next year? If it is, it would make sense to lowball Tate and take the similar pick next year.

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  3. There's no way Winn get offered arbitration. Molina might, but not Winn.

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  4. I was thinking we should punt this year's pick, too. I don't like any of the players that will likely be available to us at #6 besides Tate, but I also don't trust the organization to develop an unpolished high school hitter. This is one of the crappier drafts in recent memory, so next year's will probably be at least a little better.

    As far as compensation picks go, I doubt we'd get most of the picks you talked about. Molina I think would decline arbitration because he could easily start for another team, and he is well aware that his days here are numbered with Posey on the rise. Winn, though, I'm not so sure of. We could offer him arbitration, but he might accept. That wouldn't be the end of the world because he would only get several million, but it's still not exactly ideal to keep him. I'd rather give Schierholtz a fulltime gig. But if he declined and became a Type A FA, nobody in the right mind would sign him. Hopefully he'll play at Type B level the rest of this year and then we'd have a shot of netting a pick from him. And Johnson's been pitching miserably this year. If he doesn't pick it up soon, it could mean his career is coming to an end. I don't think we should offer him arbitration because he might accept and he has no role in our longterm future, especially with Alderson and Bumgarner already almost in the majors. He could potentially be a Type B FA, but I don't think it's worth the risk that he accepts. But at the very least, next year's draft will have more picks and better players for us to choose from than this year's.

    ReplyDelete

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