- Baseball America: 2013 BA 500
- Baseball America: Mock Drafts (4th and final mock on June 6th)
- Minor League Ball (Matt Garrioch): 2013 MLB Draft Essentials
- Minor League Ball (Matt Garrioch): His Top 400
- Minor League Ball: May 25th: 2nd Mock Draft (probably another mock soon too)
- Baseball Prospectus: Draft Coverage (many links there to their articles, plus they are working with Perfect Games this year, in the wake of Kevin Goldstein's departure)
- Baseball Prospectus: Perfect Game Final Mock Draft (link will show up on June 6th)
- SBNation: Marc Normandin's draft profiles
- SBNation: Consensus Mock Draft
- MLB's Jon Mayo: Top 100
- MLB's Jon Mayo: May 30th: 2nd Mock Draft (probably a final mock on June 6th too)
- MLB's Giants beat writer, Chris Haft: Giants Ready to be Flexible in Draft
- SI: 2nd Mock Draft
What I'm coming to realize is that trying to even get a glimmer of an idea of who the Giants might draft this far back in the draft is an impossible task:
- Someone actually listed Brown as the guy the Giants might pick, but that was in his first mock, Brown was never mentioned again, by him or anyone else.
- Panik did not show up on anyone's list, though perhaps that was a factor of many of the names associated with the Giants were drafted just before him. In any case, most saw Panik as a later round pick (Giants still signed him for slot; they have been accused of being cheap, but first round picks have generally signed at or above slot).
- Stratton was expected to go much earlier, falling to the Giants, as many teams didn't follow what the draft experts thought was the ranking of prospects, but that's hard enough to project for the first ten picks overall, let alone in the 20's where the Giants have been picking since being competitive for the playoffs again.
In so many ways, the dominos of picks ahead can affect who is available, and also in so many ways, the Giants way of ranking prospects is much different from the experts, resulting in most of their picks being selected at least a round if not more ahead of where they are ranked by BA. There is no way to wrap your head around all the various possibilities.
Still, it is fun to look at the names and, like lottery tickets, allow fans to dream "what if" possibilities. It also gives you a list of names to look for when our pick comes up. I know that compiling all the mock drafts of the first round has made it more enjoyable for me, keeping score of which expert nailed it or not (BA's Callis and MLB's Mayo are usually pretty good at getting almost all of the first ten picks right, and often into the teens, with their final list released the day of the draft, but there is always a team or two who goes off the board for someone not expected in the first round, and the dominos fall, ruining predictions).
Here is a list of prospects "selected" (some were just plain 100-400-500 rankings but most were mocks; I included all iterations of the experts mocks) at the 25th pick:
- Chris Anderson, RHP
- Alex Gonzalez, RHP
- Hunter Harvey, RHP
- Michael Lorenzen, RHP-OF (Posey and Belt were pitchers too)
- Tim Anderson, SS
- Jon Denney, C
- Matt Krook, LHP
- Hunter Green, LHP
- Bobby Wahl, RHP
- Eric Jagielo, 3B
- Alex Balog, RHP
- Marco Gonzales, LHP
- Aaron Blair, RHP
- Oscar Mercado, SS
- Nick Ciuffo, C
Of course, one could say that anyway. The Giants have drafted more pitchers than hitters in just about every draft Sabean has overseen as GM (haven't gone through all of them, but since I can remember sfgiants.com press releases announcing the numbers regarding the Giants draft had more pitchers than hitters, I don't recall one where they picked more hitters). And the vast majority of first round picks by the Giants have been pitchers, especially after some early and bad misses like Torcato and Arturo.
According to an interview with Haft on sfgiants.com, John Barr, their head of scouting and the guy who has been running the draft for the Giants since the Posey draft in 2008:
... said that this is a particularly unpredictable Draft that could result in eight to 10 players who intrigue the Giants still being available when they make their first selection with the 25th pick in the opening round.Other names that pop out to my gut as I've been reading all these mock drafts are as follows:
"This year you're going to end up seeing some surprises, because I think there are a lot of differences of opinions on a lot of the players," Barr said.
Consequently, Barr indicated that the Giants will be flexible and ready to adapt when their turn arrives.
"It's not an easy one to try to map out," he said. "We'll get the best player we possibly can, whether it's a position player or a pitcher."
- Ian Clarkin, LHP
- JP Crawford, SS
- Jonathan Crawford, RHP
- Phil Bickford, RHP
- Rob Kaminsky, LHP
- Kyle Serrano, RHP
- Dustin Peterson, SS
- Andy McGuire, SS
Relax: the Draft is a Crapshoot
Most of all relax and enjoy the draft as entertainment. People take too big a view of the draft. Sure, it is important to the future of your franchise, but most people take the draft too seriously, as if it is life and death. And sure, it is for your franchise, ultimately, but there is no way for you and anyone else to know whether that is true in that bubble of time, it will be years before it becomes crystal clear what that draft meant for your team. The draft is a crapshoot where you take your best shots and most likely will fail, horribly, with almost every single pick of that draft. It is not like you can even expect your first round pick to be any good, let alone the rest of the picks.
The problem of most of the draft analysis that has happened since I first published my draft analysis is that they follow the Baseball Prospectus analysis, looking at average player value, or Baseball America analysis, whether they made the majors or not, when instead, you should be looking at whether or not the player turns out to be a good player, which is what my study did. It does not matter to look at the average when the population is not a bell curve. Kind of like how batting average is no longer the metric of choice, the average misses a lot of information that should be accounted for.
And the vast, vast majority of the first round picks in the back of the first round never become a good MLB player, heck, they are lucky just to make the majors and be useful, let alone good. It does nobody any good to make the majors, Brian Bocock made the majors, so did Randy Elliott. And you can't win with the Gregor Blanco or Dan Gladden or Larry Herndons of the world, if they are leading the way, though he's an OK complementary (or useful) player. You need the good players, like Cain, Posey, Bumgarner, Lincecum, who lead the way towards competitiveness and hopefully championships. And you don't find that many of them drafting in the last third of the first round.
So Giants fans should set their expectations low for this pick, just as they should have for the picks the past few years once we started winning and getting later picks, and hope for the best. My study showed that about one in ten back of first round picks ever becomes a good player, two of them becomes a useful player, which means seven of them never amounts to anything substantial in terms of an MLB career.
That means in ten years of such picks, you can expect to find one good player. Cain is that one in ten so far, Lowry is one of the two useful ones, probably. Hopefully the Giants can beat the odds, and find that next one soon (Cain was drafted in 2002, 11 years ago, and he's the only one during Sabean's GM era, though hopefully one among Brown or Panik turns out; luckily he hit homers with Lincecum, Bumgarner, and Posey), but they are tough odds, something most draft experts don't acknowledge when discussing the amateur draft.
This is not like the basketball draft where you can find a starter for next season somewhere in that first round or football where you can find starters throughout the draft, even late in the draft (Bill Walsh once found over a handful of next season starters in one draft). In baseball, you are lucky if you develop a starter two seasons after the draft, and most take 4-6 years years to make the majors, let alone start in the majors. So not only is it hard to identify who the future major leaguers are, it normally is years later before you are able to figure out whether the pick was a good player or not.
So while I can appreciate the enthusiasm over the draft, I don't understand why people get so angry over it, odds are, we'll all wrong about any particular prospect, any particular draft pick. Even the #1 pick overall has a pretty bad record behind it, less than a coin flip, and it just gets worse, fast, as it is substantially below a coin flip by the 6th pick, and under 10% after the first round ends.
Once, I was severely "beaten up" at a Giants watering hole because I had the temerity to say that everyone was making a mountain over a molehill out of the Giants not trying some of the draft budget money shenanigans that other teams did in last year's draft. When they should have chillaxed, as the Giants did the manuevering in the international players arena, picking up a top prospect in Gustavo Cabrera, and even then, the history of international signings aren't that good either. As even there, for every Sandoval, there are dozens more misses, as RafRod appears to be, among many others.
So enjoy the process and have hope for the future, but don't get too hung up over it, as most likely, he's going to be a bust. Not to be a downer, but that's the reality of the situation. Still, most are not clearly a bust, like Brown and Panik, for a number of seasons, keeping hope alive for a while, so that is the upside to the situation.