Monday, June 07, 2010

2010 Amateur Draft - Giants Thoughts

Unlike recent years when the Giants selected early and the possibilities were limited, there are a lot of prospects who could fall or be available when the Giants pick, so it is too hard to project, I think.  That is why I've been tracking various mock drafts by experts with national media companies - like Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, John Sickel, Frank Piliere of AOL Fanhouse, and Jonathan Mayo - to get a flavor of who might be available, depending on the scenario and not just who they think the Giants would pick, when the Giants pick.

For this post, I'm going to post the MLB draft info on the top names I think could be available when the Giants pick:

  • Scouting Report:   Zach Cox
    Hitting ability: Cox has a great, compact swing with excellent bat speed. He makes solid, consistent contact and uses the whole field. He will be a plus hitter in the future.
    Power: He should have at least average power. There's some leverage in his swing.
    Running speed: His speed is a touch below average but it's a little better once he gets underway.
    Base running: It's not a big part of his game, but he's a heady, smart player who makes good decisions on the basepaths.
    Arm strength: He has a plus arm, with an easy motion and plenty of carry from third or first. He doubles as a relief pitcher.
    Fielding: Recently moved to second base, he looks better there than he did at third. He sees the field better from second and seems to have adjusted to turning the double play well.
    Range: He's got average range, at best, but it might be enough for him to be an adequate second baseman.
    Physical Description: He's solid, strong and compact, kind of like a young Ken Caminiti.
    Medical Update: Healthy.
    Strengths: Plus hitting skills, at least average power, a plus throwing arm.
    Weaknesses: It's a little unclear what position he'll play, though second base looks like a better bet than at third.
    Summary: A Draft prospect two years ago, Cox is back as a Draft-eligible sophomore. His best tool is his bat and he should hit for plenty of average with at least decent power. His plus arm plays just fine at third, but his overall defense at the hot corner likely won't work at the next level. Arkansas has been mixing him in at second and that might prove to be a better spot for the left-handed hitter. Regardless of the position, the bat should be enough to get him off the board sooner rather than later.

    ogc:  I think he'll be gone, but the recent Piliere rumor has Cox wanting Pedro Alvarez money and a big league deal.  That is probably too rich for the Giants blood, but if I were the Giants, if he's available, you have to go for it and start negotiating.  If he really wants that, then you let him go and the Giants would receive a replacement pick in next year's draft, which I have read is prospect-rich.  If he's more accommodating, then you sign a top 10 talent when you have a back of first round pick.
  • Scouting Report:  Stetson Allie
    Fastball: Allie has one of the strongest arms in the class and can throw his fastball up to 98 mph. He throws a four-seamer and an occasional two-seamer.
    Fastball movement: The two-seamer has good movement; the four-seamer is pretty straight.
    Slider: He has an above-average slider that he throws 87-91 mph.
    Changeup: He could develop an above-average changeup. He doesn't throw it as much as he should, but when he does, it's 85-87 mph with very good sink.
    Control: His command is okay at times; other times, he lapses and loses his feel for his pitches.
    Poise: He seems to want to get in and go as hard as he can and get off the mound. He'll sometimes lose focus after a couple of innings, making some think he's best suited as a short reliever.
    Physical Description: Allie is big and strong. He's slimmed down from last year and is in very good shape.
    Medical Update: Healthy.
    Strengths: Power arm with a plus fastball, above-average slider and changeup as well.
    Weaknesses: He doesn't maintain his stuff and command deep into games. Focus seems to be an issue at times.
    Summary: Allie has one of the best pure arms in the Draft, especially among the high school set. He can get his fastball into the upper 90s with good movement. He has good secondary stuff as well but tends not to maintain it deep into starts. As a result, he could eventually wind up in the bullpen. High school relievers don't typically do all that well, but this kind of arm strength doesn't grow on trees. There are bound to be teams who will work with him as a starter and see what happens.
    ogc:  Giants do love the power arms who can sling the heat.  And as nicely as Wilson has done, his salary is going to be through the roof in 2-3 years unless they sign him to a long-term deal that is has a hometown discount, so he could be the heir apparent in 2-3 years.  Most drafts have him going late in the teens and not make it to the Giants, but the latest Mayo draft have the Giants picking him.
  • Scouting Report:  Yordy Cabrera
    Hitting ability: There are some questions about Cabrera's ability to make consistent contact. Pitch recognition will be the key for him in this area.
    Power: He will definitely run into some balls with legitimate raw power.
    Running speed: He's not a bad runner, considering his size.
    Base running: He's not a base-clogger, though running won't be a big part of his game.
    Arm strength: He's got plenty of arm strength that could play anywhere, even the outfield.
    Fielding: While his hands are fine, few think he'll be a shorstop long-term. He could move to third, and he's probably athletic enough to handle a move to a corner outfield spot.
    Range: He has below-average range and his footwork is not great at shortstop.
    Physical Description: Cabrera looks the part in uniform, with a large frame, lean build and broad, sloped shoulders. He's high-waisted with a strong lower half.
    Medical Update: Healthy.
    Strengths: Plenty of tools, with raw power and solid athleticism.
    Weaknesses: He doesn't always show the tools consistently on the field. He'll have to move off of shortstop at the next level.
    Summary: Cabrera certainly looks the part of a ballplayer in terms of his build and how he carries himself on the baseball field. He's got the raw tools as well -- it's just a question of whether he'll learn to use them consistently. He's got plenty of power, but there is some concern about his ability to recognize pitches well enough to tap into that power. His days as a shortstop are likely numbered, with a move to third or an outfield corner in his future. His athleticism and upside will have many teams interested, and the team who believes it can tap into that will be the one to take him.
    ogc:  He reportedly has plus power and tools a-plenty, which is something the Giants need and like.  At 6' 4", don't have much speed and since in H.S., he still has physical maturation to go, so he'll probably not stay at SS and could end up in 3B or RF.  BA latest mock drafts by Callis has the Giants selecting him and the second and final Piliere mocks had the Giants selecting him.  Piliere reported that the Giants really believe in his bat and is their prime target.
  • Scouting Report:  Nick Castellanos
    Hitting ability: Castellanos has the offensive skills to be an average hitter in the future.
    Power: He's got some raw power, but it remains to be seen how it will translate into production at the next level.
    Running speed: He is a slightly above-average runner.
    Base running: He's fine on the bases, though he's not likely to be a big base-stealing threat.
    Arm strength: Shows a plus arm in the infield.
    Fielding: He's got the footwork and hands to be an average fielder.
    Range: His range is below-average, which will necessitate a move to third.
    Physical Description: Castellanos is big and athletic, with long legs and medium shoulders.
    Medical Update: Healthy.
    Strengths: Good overall hitting potential; some power; runs well for his size; good work habits.
    Weaknesses: Below-average range -- he'll have to move to third, where the question will be if he'll hit for enough power to be an everyday player there.
    Summary: With an athletic frame that looks like it has room for some added strength, Castellanos has become one of the more talked about high school bats in the class. Whether he's worthy of that kind of high consideration remains to be seen, but he does swing a pretty good bat and shows decent raw power. The question is if he'll be able to translate that to in-game pop down the line. That becomes more important considering that most feel he'll move to third base at the next level, where run production is often a requirement. The team that feels he will indeed reach that potential is likely to take him off the board early on.
    ogc:  More questions marks regarding power, but looks to be a good hitter.  Signability will be the issue that pushes him to us, as some mocks have him selected in the teens and others have him falling out of the first round.  The third Piliere mock had the Giants selecting him, noting that with Cabrera gone, Castellanos would be on the Giants short list.  
  • Scouting Report:  Jedd Gyorko
    Hitting ability: Gyorko has quick hands, good bat speed and excellent pitch recognition. He starts and stays open, leaving him a little vulnerable to balls on the outer hall and he's a little pull-conscious as a result. But that could be corrected.
    Power: He has raw power and in-game power. He's got enough bat speed where he should be a 15-18 homer kind of guy at the next level.
    Running speed: He runs a well-below-average 60 and isn't very good from home to first either.
    Base running: He's not a clogger and knows what he's doing on the basepaths.
    Arm strength: He shows an average arm with solid online carry across the infield. He does need a littie bit of a windup to get it there.
    Fielding: He uses angles well and understands positioning. He turns a decent double play. The hands work, he fields the baseball. What he can get to, he catches. It doesn't seem like he'll be able to stay at shortstop as a pro, but third, second or maybe left field are possibilities.
    Range: He has below-average range, where maybe even second base might be too difficult. .
    Physical Description: Gyorko has a stocky, medium-sized frame with a thick lower half. He'll have to watch his body, but he's a better athlete than his body makes him seem.
    Medical Update: He had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder his freshman year, but there have been no lingering effects.
    Strengths: Good overall hitting skills, great bat speed, at least average power. The guy knows how to hit.
    Weaknesses: He stays open on his swing, making him a little pull-conscious and unable to reach pitches on the outer half. He doesn't really have a true defensive position because of his lack of speed and range.
    Summary: It seems that every Draft class has at least one good, advanced college bat that comes in a less-than-athletic looking body without a true position. This year, Gyorko likely will head that group. He knows how to hit and should have at least average power. He doesn't run well, however, and it's highly unlikely he'll stay at shortstop at the next level. The team who feels he'll be able to watch his body and have just enough range to be an offensive-minded second baseman may be the one to take him.
    ogc:  Suppose to be one of the better advanced college bats available but look to not stay at SS.  The rumor (reported here by Boof) is that the Giants flew him in for a workout and gave him tickets to the game and thus they are interested in him (at least before the workout).  
  • Scouting Report:  Bryce Brentz
    Hitting ability: Brentz has a short, compact stroke and could become an above-average hitter.
    Power: He should have solid average-to-plus power and has it to all fields.
    Running speed: He's shown average speed.
    Base running: He's a solid base runner, though it likely won't be a big part of his game.
    Arm strength: Clocked as high as 93 mph from the mound, he has plenty of arm strength from the outfield.
    Fielding: He's an average defender in the outfield now and should be solid-average in a corner spot in the future.
    Range: He has average range, but enough to handle playing a corner OF spot.
    Physical Description: Brentz has an athletic and well-defined, strong, medium frame. He has a build somewhat like Chad Curtis.
    Medical Update: Healthy.
    Strengths: Excellent offensive skills, with hitting ability and plenty of power. He has an outstanding arm from the outfield.
    Weaknesses: He can be overly aggressive at the plate and is occasionally top-hand dominant with his swing.
    Summary: A year after having one of the best offensive seasons in college baseball, Brentz entered his Draft year as one of the top pure college hitters. He's done nothing to alter that impression. He has a short, compact stroke and plenty of power to all fields. A two-way player in the past, the arm that worked well for him on the mound is more than enough from the outfield. He could be one of the top college bats to come off the board.
    ogc:  Depending on the picker, he could go early or he could fall out of the first round.  Both Sickel and BP's Goldstein had the Giants selecting him in their mocks.  
  • Scouting Report:  Christian Colon
    Hitting ability: Colon looks good at the plate, with a strong setup and good center of gravity. He doesn't get fooled, but at this stage of the season, he wasn't having good results. He likes to hit with wood.
    Power: Home runs aren't a big part of his game now, but he can drive the ball and should hit for some power down the line.
    Running speed: He has below-average speed.
    Base running: He is heady in all facets of the game, including on the basepaths.
    Arm strength: He has enough arm to stay at shortstop.
    Fielding: He plays above his tools defensively, but he makes the plays. He can add or subtract defensively and has a little extra when he needs to make a play. Some question his ability to stay at shortstop.
    Range: His pure range is average at best, but he's got a good first step and positions himself well.
    Physical Description: Colon doesn't have the best body. He isn't a perfectly fit athlete, with a Ronnie Belliard-type look.
    Medical Update: Healthy.
    Strengths: Baseball instincts/IQ, outstanding makeup and leadership ability, plays above his tools.
    Weaknesses: His tools, taken individually, don't grade out well. At least early on, he wasn't producing at the plate.
    Summary: A big prospect since high school, there's a lot to like about Colon's game. He's got a solid approach and setup at the plate and he makes the plays in the field. His individual tools don't grade out well, and some think he'll need to move to second as a pro. He was the captain of Team USA last summer and put up big numbers as well. He hadn't done that in the early going of his junior season and this is a performance-based industry, so that could hurt his draft stock a little. Even if he doesn't pick it up, his past performance, makeup and baseball acumen should help ensure he doesn't wait too long to hear his name called.
    ogc:  Out of Fullerton's baseball factory, Colon is a solid prospect because of his intangibles, not for any particular tool.  Colon was selected by the Giants in Seiler's Bonus Baby Mock Draft (working for Perfect Game) and both BA and Mayo had Colon selected 25th, but the latest Mayo and Sickel mocks had him selected early in the 10's.  But the blowup with KC and Grandal for the #4 pick now has KC selecting Colon instead, showing how this draft is so similar at the next tier of talent that prospects can be picked early or fall out of the first round.
Nice blend of mostly position players.

Bryce Harper, unsurprisingly, selected by the Nationals with the first pick, but surprisingly (but not so much) as an OF (Boras been publicized as saying that Harper should be an OF, what else is the team going to say?).


  1. Baseball Intellect has some short blurbs on a number of prospects:

    Castellanos: "He’s a first round pick, but he seems to be floating under the radar. He’s got a good approach at the plate, using the entire field…good power potential with room to add size and his swing is a good one for developmental coaches to work with"

    Cabrera: "Intriguing player with good athleticism for his size and a strong arm. He generates excellent bat speed and has plus power potential. He’s old for a high school prospect and he hasn’t faced really good pitching yet, so he does come with red flags"

    Colon: "I think he’s a good prospect and a relatively safe one at that, but I don’t see the upside. He looks more like a solid regular and I’d want something more out of a first round pick."

    FYI: lovely ad on Tim Lincecum and his dad on the draft show just now.

  2. KC indeed takes Colon, so he's out.

    But based on the Baseball Intellect comment, perhaps that's a good thing.

  3. KC indeed takes Colon, so he's out.

    But based on the Baseball Intellect comment, perhaps that's a good thing.

  4. Some had Harvey falling far enough for the Giants because of his contract demands, but obviously the Mets were not deterred by his bonus demands.

    He was in the draft before but the Angels would not give him what he wanted in round 3-4. Looks like it paid off, will get very good money at #7.

  5. Astros select Delino DeShields Jr., a player who most thought would fall out of the first round, but certain teams liked him, obviously.

    Most had him late in the teens or out of the first round, so obviously that shows how even the experts can make certain logical guesses based on logical and talent, team M.O. and so forth. Then things get blown up once a team goes off the ranch and that domino hits other teams down further in the draft.

    Though, to be fair, most had Houston picking him 19th but apparently they were afraid that a team in between would pick him first. Appears his father is working for Houston now.

  6. Padres select Karsten Whitson, as BA and Mayo both thought for a while. A's rumored to be interested in Zach Cox as well as other college bats like Michael Choice.

  7. A's chose Choice with their pick.

    Toronto next and rumored to be very interested in Austin Wilson but recent mocks have Wilson either falling out of the first round or selected late in the first round by Phillies or Yankees.

  8. Grandal selected by the Reds.

    Grandal caused most mocks to go off the rails because KC was rumored to have worked out a pre-draft deal with him, only to have the Indians reportedly offering more money, causing Grandal's agent to back off the deal they had agreed on with KC. That led to Colon being selected 4th when most had him going either around 10th or to around the 25th pick.

    CWS selects Chris Sale, LHP. He was originally thought to be selected in the 6-10 range and thus I never covered him. All these falls will push other players to us.

    Forgot to mention that Toronto selected Deck McGuire, meaning that they did not select Austin Wilson as many mocks projected.

  9. Brewers take Dylan Covey, take him off the draft board. Mocks had him either late teens or late first.

  10. Both BA and Mayo called Jake Skole #15 pick by Texas. They were hitting them in last year's draft and they are hitting them again this year, despite the surprises so far with KC and NYM.

  11. Though looking at BP's Goldstein's final mock - - while he didn't call the picks as accurately as BA or Mayo, his comments did note what the teams prefer and ultimately what they picked when things fell their way, like for Astros and A's.

    Cubs shocker: Hayden Simpson with 16th pick. Mayo had them picking Harvey, BP Castellanos. BA had Justin O'Conner.

  12. Simpson was not on any mocks.

    Cox, Wilson, Brentz, Castellanos, Cabrera still available. Just 7 more picks to the Giants.

  13. Rays pick Josh Sale, OF, with 17th pick. Most had him gone earlier but the dominoes fall, mostly with Houston picking DeShields instead. Almost made it to Houston again.

  14. Kaleb Cowart drafted by Angels as a 3B, which he wants to play, not pitching as most think he is better at. Wants $3M though, reportedly.

  15. Astros, with no Sale around, select Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, who nobody projected for the first round.

    That's good, leaves good players around for us to select.

  16. Well, they lagged so unfortunately, I'll have to leave now for dinner. Hopefully I can catch the pick on the radio.

  17. I don't believe it: the Giants select a leadoff CF speed type who doesn't take many walks and they still had Zach Cox and Nick Castellanos, among others (Bryce Bentz et al). A college player, he'll be available sooner than later as Castellanos would, so I can at least understand that, but Cox is a college player as well.

    The Giants have been looking for speed for a while now, but failing so far to find that right player (unless you want to count Andres Torres) who could lead-off, steal a lot of bases, and play good CF defense in Death Valley.



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