Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Your 2011 Giants: Giants Draft Pick #116 Ricky Oropesa

Another quality pick for the Giants, selecting 1B Ricky Oropesa with their 3rd round pick.  For me, it reminds me of the time when the Giants picked some QB with their early pick, allowing Oakland with the next pick to select another USC product, Mark McGwire.  Can you imagine if we had somehow been able to field Will Clark at 1B, Mark McGwire at 3B (A's had him there his first season; maybe he wouldn't have gotten so muscle bound if forced to play there), and Matt Williams at SS (he was a shortstop when drafted, but Al Rosen said he had hands of 3B).

Jonathan Mayo had him pegged at 46th best prospect, and had this to say:
In a class that is less than deep in college bats, Oropesa's stands out based on one tool: power. The corner infielder has always had it and was a prospect back in high school, when the Red Sox took a shot and selected him in the 24th round of the 2008 Draft.

The left-handed hitter has plus raw power, perhaps as much as anyone out west. He hasn't always swung the bat consistently enough to tap into it, but he made some good adjustments this season to show a little more overall hittability to some. He's shown he can rise to the occasion, picking up three hits -- including a homer -- against UCLA ace Gerrit Cole. He's not a clogger on the bases, but he's not a runner, either. While he's got a plus arm, he's below-average defensively overall, meaning he's likely destined to be a first baseman or designated hitter when all is said and done.


As one of the few guys in this Draft with true plus raw power, there's bound to be a team fairly early thinking his bat will play just fine at those spots.

Perfect Game did not profile him under their 50 on 50, ranking him #84 and noting:
6-3/225 LH hitter, ++ bat speed/raw power, Cape 2010 HR leader(7), improved contact (.330-6-36, 27 BB).
Another Cape Code hitter targeted by the Giants, imagine that. ;^)

Perfect Game profile notes the following (as well as saying Padres drafted him, at least right now):

Tools standout other than run, big arm, big power LH bat, 92 on mound, put on power display Aflac BP, having a big spring for big scouts 

Forgot to mention, but a lot of the tweets by draft experts noted that should he flame out as hitting prospect, his arm is good enough for conversion to pitching.  In fact, John Manuel of BA noted that once Tidrow sees him, will put him on mound if the bat don't develop.

And here is what Perfect Game noted on his pitching skills when he was in high school, looks pretty tempting:
Should something happen with his bat, Oropesa could be a top prospect on the mound as well. He threw up to 94 mph from a power overhand release point that created a heavy downhill angle to his fastball. The velocity came easily for him and he showed command of his fastball.
Lastly, wanted to note that Baseball America had him ranked #57 in their Top 200 ranking and John Sickels had him ranked #68 in his final publicly shared draft board.

Giants Thoughts

Another exciting pick for the Giants.  Their pick, being in the back of the third round is basically a fourth round pick, yet they were able to pick up Oropesa, who the draft experts had ranked from 46th to 84th, solidly a round two type of pick.  His big plus is power, I saw someone tweet a comparison with another Giants prospect, Chris Dominguez, which I agree with, only from left side (but throws right).  I guess the Giants do not view him at a 3B, though, as he was reported as a 1B/3B in pre-draft, but the Giants drafted him as 1B.  And the bonus is that should he fail to develop as a hitter, he has pretty good skills as a pitcher.

Which brings me to my pet dream:  a hitting pitcher.  With the Giants 25-man roster being squeezed by carrying one more pitcher than other teams, it would be helpful for the Giants to carry a relief pitcher who can hit a bit.  A failed hitter could still be a very good hitting pitcher, a tweener.  Not that I'm wishing that Oropesa becomes one - I hope he's the second coming of a masher - but more throwing this out there as a desire of mine to see.

I did have thoughts that perhaps Posey could be one at some point, he was the closer for the Florida team when we drafted him.  He could come out and pitch to a few guys, when the backup catcher is starting, then could take over catching at that point, perhaps, or even go to another position, why knock out the other catcher?

7 comments:

  1. Ahh, good old Alan Cockrell. Pretty sure the Giants didn't anticipate his drinking problems. Vetting sure has come a long way, no?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Statman, his name used to be burned into my memory, but I couldn't bring it up today. Yeah, another football type they tried to get to play baseball (Fred Lewis anyone? I know, he claims baseball was his first love...)

    Did not know that it was drinking problems that derailed him. Heard that was the problem with the Aussie we got for Russ Ortiz from the Braves (forgot his name too :^).

    Yes, vetting has come a long way!

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  3. I think Ricky is a much better hitter than Dominguez. He may not be a runner, but he's been able to steal a few bases at USC. He's not a base clogger by any stretch. I even think he could play corner OF. If he has one big weakness, I think it might be his glove. He doesn't seem to have great hands or reactions at 3B, so he's probably a first baseman.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the comment DrB.

    Good info to know, there was not a lot out there, not that I went deeply looking for it, mainly because I don't know who is a good source, other than the most well known guys and, well, you.

    Re-reading the info from the sources I did find, I can see what you say is true, that it sounds like he's a better hitter than Dominguez, who has always struggled.

    Obviously, if defense is a concern, we don't want him in RF at AT&T. Should he develop, it sounds like it would be better overall defensively if we leave him at 1B and move Belt permanently to LF. Or do you think it would be better to move Oropesa to LF and keep Belt's gold glove caliber defense at 1B?

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  5. Moss, Bobby Bonds, Krukow, Sam McDowell, Zito, Frandsen, heck you could go as far back to Jim Ray Hart too. The drug of choice for many.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Some more names I remember or didn't know (really, Zito and Frandsen?).

    Ah, Sudden Sam McDowell, we traded away our Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry for that pile of nothing. Memories...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice interview with Oropesa by his school: http://7traintoshea.com/?p=5905&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Interesting fact is that he prefers wood over metal, so he's raring to go use wood bats in the pros.

    Unfortunately, unlike Panik, I don't see Oropesa signing early. He dropped while Panik rose. So he probably had a higher number in his head (#116 pick slot last season was $258,300 and rumor is that teams can go over by 5% and not be delayed by MLB, so that's another $13K roughly).

    He expected to go in first two days (which is actually realistic, as most talent rankings had him solidly somewhere in the supplemental first round or second round, covering picks 35 to 90, roughly - don't feel like checking exactly - though should note Perfect Game had him ranked at 84) which would be around $400-650K slots this season, so he could be fighting to get up to the $400-500K range.

    ReplyDelete

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