Monday, June 15, 2009

Giants 2009 Draft: The Rest of the Draft

The Giants finished up the draft and below are the picks (culled from the article that covered the second day and the one covering the last day).

Round 4, Jason Stoffel, RHP, University of Arizona
UA's all-time saves leader (29) had a down year last season, posting a 4.67 ERA in 54 innings pitched. But as a freshman and sophomore he closed out the Wildcats' games ahead of 2008 first-round picks Ryan Perry and Daniel Schlereth, going a combined 9-2 and collecting 18 saves in 60 appearances. That had many around the game pegging Stoffel as a top relief pitching prospect. Instead, he wasn't even the first Pac-10 Conference closer drafted in his class.

According to MLB.com's scouting reports, concerns grew over Stoffel's conditioning -- he weighs 225 pounds at 6 feet, 1 inch tall. A dropoff in command -- his strikeout-to-walk ratio worsened from 79-to-15 in 2008 to 55-to-25 in 2009 -- didn't help either.

Stoffel said he intends to skip his senior season at UA to sign with the Giants -- clubs have until Aug. 17 to sign all of their Draft picks -- and added he's glad four of the organization's six Minor League teams compete on the West Coast. The Southern California native said being a closer in the big leagues is his ultimate goal.

"He's got a quality arm, he's been a part of a quality program," said Bobby Evans, the Giants' vice president of baseball operations "He's statistically maybe a victim of a few bad outings, but otherwise has a lot of ability and upside."

Evans said he expects the Giants Draftees with college experience, Stoffel included, will start their careers with the Class A Short-Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.

Round 5, Brandon Belt, 1B, University of Texas
The left-handed-hitting Belt led the Longhorns with a .336 batting average. He hit eight home runs in 57 games.

Round 6, Matthew Graham, RHP, Oak Ridge (Texas) HS
According to MLB.com's scouting reports, Graham can pump his fastball into the mid-90s but needs to improve his secondary pitches and his mechanics. The 6-foot-4-inch Texan has a "Roger Clemens-type body," the report stated.

Round 7, Nick Liles, 2B, Western Carolina University
Liles hit .367 and made the move from second base to center field midway through last season. In 56 games, he hit nine home runs and stole 24 bags. The Giants drafted Liles in the 2006 Draft's 29th round.

Round 8, Karl Benusa, CF, Riverview (Pa.) HS

Round 9, Evan Crawford, CF, Indiana
Crawford is simply a speedster. The right-handed batter stole 61 bases in 64 attempts in his three seasons at Indiana. He hit .323 his junior season.

Round 10, Jeremy Toole, RHP, Brigham Young University
In his one season at BYU, Toole went 5-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 14 starts. A season highlight: He threw a complete-game three-hitter against the University of Utah, striking out nine batters.

Round 11, John Eshleman, SS, Mount San Jacinto College (Calif.)
Eshleman was the second of three players from MSJC taken in the Draft's first 14 rounds. Eshleman hit .436, setting the program's single-season hits record.

Round 12, Christopher Heston, RHP, East Carolina University
As his team's No. 2 starting pitcher last season, Heston went 7-0 with a 4.17 ERA in 15 starts (17 appearances). He struck out 88 in 90 2/3 innings pitched.

Round 13, Shawn Sanford, RHP, University of South Florida
After saving a combined 22 games in the closer role in 2007 and 2008, Sanford moved out of the bullpen in 2009. In 10 starts (17 appearances) he went 5-4 with a 4.68 ERA.

Round 14, Brian Salsbury, RHP, Mount San Jacinto Junior College (Calif.)
Salsbury won 13 games for MSJC, whiffing 127 hitters in 111 innings pitched.

Round 15, Kyle Vazquez, RHP, Franklin Pierce University
Vazquez, selected to the Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association All-America Third Team, was his team's top starting pitcher last season. He went 8-1 on the mound, posting a 1.93 ERA. He threw three shutouts on the season, striking out 112 batters in 93 1/3 innings pitched.

Round 16, Ryan Cavan, SS, University of California Santa Barbara
Cavan already listed the Giants as his favorite big league team. Now he likely loves the organization. In one season at UCSB -- after playing at Trinity College in 2006, Chapman University in 2007 and sitting out in 2008 -- Cavan hit .341 and scored 50 runs in 49 games.

Round 17, Christopher Gloor, LHP, Quinnipiac University (Conn.)
Gloor went 7-4 with a 4.63 ERA in 12 starts this past season, retiring 81 batters on strikes in 81 2/3 innings pitched. "I was listening on the radio and waiting and when I heard my name, it finally hit me," Gloor said, according to his school's Web site. "I knew there were teams that were interested in me, and right before San Francisco's pick, my advisor mentioned that the Giants may take me soon. I'm excited to get started as soon as I'm assigned to one of their affiliates."

Round 18, Jonathan Walsh, OF, Coppell (Texas) HS
The switch-hitting Walsh mainly played catcher last season, though there are concerns about his future at that position, according to MLB.com's scouting reports. Walsh has signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at the University of Texas.

Round 19, Jason Walls, RHP, Troy University
In one season at Troy, Walls went 4-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 13 starts.

Round 20, Mitchell Mormann, RHP, Des Moines Area Community College (Iowa)
Mormann won 10 games in 13 starts last season, posting a 3.40 ERA. The pitcher could make for an imposing presence on the mound as he stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall.

Round 21, Zachary Wasserman, 1B, Lake Shore (Mich.) HS

Round 22, Andrew Biery, 3B, Kansas State University
Biery played shortstop in college but was drafted to man the hot corner. He played four seasons at KSU, finishing his senior year with a .329 batting average and nine home runs in 57 games.

Round 23, Adam Champion, LHP, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Giants fans will want the organization to sign this 6-foot-7 junior, if only for his surname. Champion did have a lopsided win-loss record (3-7), however, and sported a 5.60 ERA.

Round 24, Alexander Burg, C, Washington State University
Burg -- Seinfeld aficionados would say he has a nice "John Houseman name" -- played two seasons at Clemson before finishing his amateur career with two more at WSU. In 2009, he led the Cougars with a .346 batting average.

Round 25, Steven Rogers, RHP, Tulane University
The junior, who goes by his middle name, Taylor, had a 4.43 ERA in 14 games last season.

Round 26, Luis Munoz, CF, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School

Round 27, Kyle Mach, 3B, University of Missouri
The four-year player led the Tigers in hitting (.335 batting average) last season and struck out just 19 times in 224 at-bats. His grandfather, Phil Gagliano, played 12 seasons with four big leagues teams and won the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968.

Round 28, Jamaine Cotton, RHP, Western Oklahoma State College
Cotton, who hails from the U.S. Virgin Islands, won 10 games in 13 starts this past season.

Round 29, Luke Demko, RHP, University of Rhode Island
Demko struck out 44 batters in 33 innings pitched in 2009, earning 11 saves in the process. The 6-foot-7 closer is listed between 260 and 289 pounds.

Round 30, Craig Westcott, RHP, Belhaven College (Miss.)
In 2009 Westcott put up all the numbers desired of a pitching prospect. In 17 starts, he went 11-4 with a 3.29 ERA and threw seven complete games (five shutouts). He also fanned 124 batters in just 90 1/3 innings pitched. His task will be to do more of the same against fiercer competition.
Round 31, Diego Seastrunk, C, Rice University
The junior can definitely hit, a line-drive machine from both sides of the plate. And there's no doubt about his makeup and his knowledge of the game. He just goes about it the right way. The question, and it will ultimately determine his Draft status, is if he can catch well enough. If he can learn the position defensively, he could be an everyday backstop at the next level and would obviously create a lot of interest on Draft day.

Round 32, Luke Anders, 1B, Texas A&M University
The junior is 6'6", 225 lbs lefty hitter.

Round 33, Jake Dunning, RHP, Indiana University (Junior)

Round 34, Brandon Kirby, CF, Lake Wales High School (R/R)

Round 35, Brandon Graves, LHP, Valdosta State University (Senior)

Round 36, Ryan Scoma, RF, UC Davis (Senior; L/R)

Round 37, Ryan Lollis, RF, University of Missouri Columbia (Senior; L/L)

Round 38, Addison Proszek, RHP, Gonzaga University (Senior; R/R)

Round 39, Kyle Henson, C, University of Mississippi (Senior; R/R)

Round 40, Jonathan White, LF, Vanderbilt University (5th Year Senior; L/L)

Round 41, Gary Moran, RHP, Sonoma State University (Senior)

Round 42, Nicholas Schwaner, 3B, University of New Orleans (Junior; L/R)

Round 43, Matthew Jansen, LHP, Purdue University (Junior)

Round 44, Joseph Lewis, 1B, Pittsburg High School (L/R)

Round 45, Kyle Kramp, RHP, Westfield High School

Round 46, Juan Martinez, SS, Oral Roberts Univeristy (Senior; R/R)

Round 47, Michael Ness, RHP, Duke University (Junior)

Round 48, Randolph Oduber, LF, Western Oklamhoma State College (Junior; R/L)

Round 49, Austin Goolsby, C, Embry-Riddle University (Junior; R/R)

Round 50, Kaohi Downing, RHP, Point Loma Nazarene University (Senior)

Scouting Reports

As usual, the prospects drafted after the third round is not so easy to report on unless a highly thought up player has a hiccup season and drops in the draft. Last year, the Giants pounced on Roger Kieschnick and Brandon Crawford under such circumstances. This year, it's Jason Stoffel, who actually had a full scouting report on MLB.com:

Stoffel entered his junior season as perhaps the top college closer in the class, a guy who closed ahead of 2008 first-rounders Ryan Perry and Daniel Schlereth at Arizona in years past. But his stock took a hit for much of the spring season as he was more hittable than in the past. He simply hasn't been as sharp, particularly command-wise, and there was concern about his conditioning playing a part in that. His power arsenal out of the 'pen will certainly get drafted, but it seemed unlikely to be as highly as was once thought.

Strength: He's got a power arsenal well-suited for short relief work and he's got a track record of success in college.

Weaknesses: He seems to have taken a step backward in terms of his results, command and conditioning.

Fastball: Stoffel's velocity has been up and down this season. He's been as high as 96 mph in the past, was as low as 90-91 and has been in the 92-94 range in most outings.

Fastball movement: He'll throw an occasional two-seamer with sink. Most of his fastballs are four-seamers with a little tail.

Curve: He throws a hard, overhand power curve, 80-84 mph.

Poise: He's very stoic on the mound. He's laid back, but you can tell he's poised on the mound and has pitched in a ton of big games.
Stoffel sounds like a find in the fourth round, just sounds like he just had a bad year, as he was very good in previous years, and he's coming to the right organization to help him work out his kinks. If he signs quickly, the Giants might work him up and bring him up in September. Another power arm for our bullpen in the future.

Another player with a scouting report is RHP Matthew Graham:

Graham, truth be told, is a project. But he's one that someone might like to take on, because he's got plus raw arm strength and can crank it up to 95 mph at times. The problem is he can't repeat his delivery, so it's not consistent. Neither is his command, or any secondary offerings. The best thing might be to teach him a second pitch, like a slider, and make him a short reliever. It's something the University of North Carolina might do, and it might be tough for an MLB team to keep him from honoring that commitment.

Weaknesses: He's just a thrower and doesn't really know how to pitch. He can't command the baseball at all and his fastball is his only decent offering.
A total project but the Giants have not backed away from such projects in the past (like Erick Threets). I don't know what his interests are, but if he wants to make it as a pitcher, again, one of the better organizations to be in.

Another draftee with a full scouting report is OF Jonathan Walsh:

Walsh entered the year as one of the better high school catching prospects, but those who have seen him haven't been that impressed. He does have some ability with the bat from both sides of the plate. His defensive skills are lacking and he might need to move to first base when all is said and done. If that happens, then his bat will really have to carry him. A team will have to seriously believe in his offensive upside to sign him away from the University of Texas.
He's not that great a prospect, for hitting and power, so to draft him means the Giants think they can develop him as a catcher, as the description of him as a hitter is not impressive enough to put him at 1B.

Diego Seastrunk is the last prospect to have a full scouting report:

Seastrunk can definitely hit, a line-drive machine from both sides of the plate. And there's no doubt about his makeup and his knowledge of the game. He just goes about it the right way. The question, and it will ultimately determine his Draft status, is if he can catch well enough. If he can learn the position defensively, he could be an everyday backstop at the next level and would obviously create a lot of interest on Draft day.

Hitting Ability: Seastrunk can swing the bat well and is the same hitter from both sides of the plate. He has excellent pitch recognition, allowing him to take pitches others can't hold up on. He uses the entire field.

Strength: A real baseball player, he knows the game and plays it the right way. His makeup is off the charts -- he volunteered to move behind the plate this season. He has some hitting ability from both sides of the plate.
Being drafted so far back in the draft, it appears that none of the teams think he can catch well enough. Still, he appears to be a good hitter, so perhaps if he can develop, he can, if necessary, move off of catching to another defensive position. He previously played 3B and that is a position of need in our organization, though it should be noted that the Giants announced him as a catcher, so that should be his position to start with. Still, nothing says he can't move there at some point, the Giants are not shy about switching players around to other positions. And he appears to have suffered offensively switching to the catching position, as he hit .331 during this freshman and sophomore seasons, but only .288 with 7 HR and 45 RBI in 61 games last season.

Giant Thoughts

The Giants appeared to have focused on a lot of catching prospects in this draft (5 drafted in total plus one who was a catching last season but drafted as OF), as well as their usual assortment of pitchers. They also went for more position players, drafting 24 pitchers and 26 position players, as well as focusing on college players, with 10 high school prospects. They normally end up drafting many more pitchers than position player during prior drafts. But I am not sure about their propensity towards college, other than I don't think they leaned one way or the other previously (unlike, say, the A's, who normally focused on college players in prior drafts). Also, while 5 are catchers, there are enough question marks on their defense that catching might not be their eventual position.

Jason Stoffel was the most prominent of the picks in the remaining two days of the draft. He could conceivably join the Giants in September if he signs quickly enough and picks things up quickly. Other better prospects who fell back were RHP Matthew Graham, OF switch-hitter Jonathan Walsh (the former catcher), and switch-hitting C Diego Seastrunk (who might eventually shift to another position). There were a number of other prospects with videos when the draft began, but when I tried to go back to list them, they were gone.

Baseball America ranked the following players among their top 200 for the 2009 Draft:
  • #12: RHP Zack Wheeler (Giants 1st round pick, #6 overall)
  • #49: C Tommy Joseph (Giants 2nd round pick, #55 overall)
  • #62: RHP Jason Stoffel (Giants 4th round pick, #117 overall)
  • #85: 3B Chris Dominguez (Giants 3rd round pick, #86 overall)
  • #141: RHP Matt Graham (Giants 6th round pick, #177 overall)
Typically, the Giants tend to draft their players higher than the Baseball America rank. Did not happen that much this time, only Wheeler was drafted before he was expected.

1 comment:

  1. John Sickels, of MinorLeagueBall.com, posted his impressions of the NL West Draft: http://www.minorleagueball.com/2009/6/13/906697/national-league-west-draft

    Here is what he wrote about the Giants:

    The Giants have a good track record with high school pitchers, and Zack Wheeler out of Georgia fits the mold: he's big, throws hard, and has additional projectability. He could be another Matt Cain if all goes well. Second round Arizona prep catcher Tommy Joseph needs to improve his defense but has enormous power in his bat. Third round Louisville 3B Chris Dominguez also has enormous power and a very strong arm, and he's made progress reducing his strikeouts. I wonder about what his batting average and OBP are going to look like, but he's got 30-homer juice. Fourth round Arizona RHP Jason Stoffel was a first round candidate before a disappointing spring. He throws hard but needs polish. I thought that fifth round University of Texas 1B Brandon Belt was one of the more underrated bats it the draft, and I think he's a good pick here. Sixth round Texas prep RHP Matt Graham is erratic, throwing 93 in one outing then 85 in the next. Giants coaches could perhaps turn him around. I like the top five picks in this class a lot, a nice mixture of talent.

    ReplyDelete

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