Sunday, June 30, 2013

Your 2013 Giants: Top 11 Picks

The following profiles are available at this linky from, Giants Draft Tracker, but for those who are lazy, I've copied the text down below, as well as highlighting what I think are key points.  Very worth going to link if you want to see video too.  Also included Perfect Game info as well.

As has been noted all over about the picks, they were mostly under the radar overdrafts, so, for example, many of them were not even profiled by Perfect Game on their website, many profile info were from their high school scouting notes. 

First Round pick:  Christian Arroyo

Hernando HS (FL), SS, R/R, HS
5'11" 185lbs DOB: 05/30/95

MLB.comArroyo was Team USA’s starting shortstop on the 18-and-under team last summer in the World Championships in South Korea. He hit .341 in the tournament and helped the national team to a gold medal. Arroyo is a steady presence on the field. He doesn’t stand out for his tools as much as his good baseball instincts and his ability to seemingly rise to the occasion. He makes all the routine plays and has solid range. Arroyo likely won’t ever have much power, but makes good contact and covers the plate well. He is committed to Florida.   PG:  Outstanding at WWBA, nice swing, good bat speed, showed well @ PG National.   PG Grade (2012 National Showcase):  10.0 (Potential very high draft pick and/or Elite level college prospect).  [ogc:  this description fits in with why the Giants might draft him where they did.  However, in pre-draft ranking, they only had him in the 200-250 range - I think BA had him at 102nd - so he apparently fell in 2013, Barr has shown tendency to not look at the player's last season of performance, he looks at past performance too, like this.  Following is what they said about him based on this showcase, I highlighted interesting comment]   Christian Arroyo is a 2013 MIF/3B with a 6-1 175 lb. frame from Spring Hill, FL who attends Hernando HS. Medium athletic build, good present strength. Right handed hitter, outstanding plate coverage and hand/eye coordination, short crisp swing with bat speed, squares up everything, no problems against plus velocity, hard line drive contact to all fields, gap power, has special ability to square up the ball. Second base tools defensively, 7.10 runner, good hands, stays balanced and light on his feet, arm strength playable. Bat is special. Excellent student, verbal commitment to Florida.   Second Round Pick:  Ryder Jones   Watauga HS (NC), 3B, L/R, HS 6'03" 185lbs DOB: 06/07/94  Because Jones' father, Billy, is Appalachian State's baseball coach, he has spent a lot of time around the diamond. His upbringing shows and he has a good feel for the game. While Jones is a two-way prospect, his future is probably as an everyday player. He plays shortstop now, but his range and 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame are better suited for third base. At the plate, Jones has good power. On the mound, Jones' fastball has been clocked in the low-90s and he also throws a solid breaking ball. If he becomes a pitcher, scouts see him as a reliever. Jones is committed to Stanford.   PG:  Ranked 101-150.  2 Way prospect nice left handed bat and low 90's on the mound and looked good doing it @ PG National.  Lights out at WWBA World Champ.  PG Grade (2012 National Showcase):  10.0  [ogc:  another rated 10]  Ryder Jones is a 2013 SS/3B/RHP with a 6-3 185 lb. frame from Stillwater, OK who attends Stillwater HS. Long and well proportioned athletic build, very projectable. 7.31 runner, third base tools and profile, smooth easy defensive actions, strong accurate throws, quick release, moves well laterally, has a feel for playing defense. Left handed hitter, unusual high hand position to start swing, some length, aggressive swing with very good bat speed, looking to hit the ball hard, fires hips hard, power approach, ball jumps hard when squared, timing works well, very good hitting tools to develop. Also pitched, drifting delivery with some effort, 3/4'/s release lot, fast loose arm with good extension out front. Fastball topped at 92 mph, soft sweeping slurve type breaking ball, might really throw hard with mechanical adjustments. Has all the tools to be a high ceiling prospect, skills still developing. Very good student.   Third Round Pick:  Chase Johnson   Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo (CA), RHP, R/R, JR 6'03" 190lbs DOB: 01/09/92  Chase Johnson's junior year has been curious, to say the least. The big right-hander threw well in the Cape Cod League over the summer, following up a sophomore season as Cal Poly's closer. But he's been used sparingly in 2013, yielding the closer role to Reed Reilly. Johnson still has good stuff, though, with a fastball up to 93 mph that has good sink to it to go along with a slider and changeup that both have the chance to be Major League average. Command has been a bit of an issue, but he's generally around the strike zone and a team that feels they can help him improve on that may get a solid setup-type of a reliever as a bargain in the Draft.   PG:  Ranked 201-250.  PG Grade (2009 West Coast Top Prospect):  9.0 (Potential top 10 round pick and/or highest level college prospect) [ogc:  this was from when he was in high school, many moons ago.   Apparently PG did not have an opportunity to see or rank him since.]   Chase Johnson is a 2010 RHP with a 6'3'', 185 lb. frame from Fallbrook, CA who attends Fallbrook. Johnson has a long athletic frame, good pitchers build, long loose quick arm action, heavy arm side run with some sink on fastball, clean arm, 10-4 slider with good tight spin, good down plane, repeats delivery, flashed a solid 12-6 curveball with depth, projectable arm, quick hitting hands, makes good contact, ball jumps off bat, opposite field approach. He is an excellent student.   Fourth Round Pick:  Brian Ragira   Stanford (CA), 1B, R/R, JR 6'02" 185lbs DOB: 01/22/92  Scouts will undoubtedly be watching the Stanford lineup closely, with two of the more intriguing advanced bats in Austin Wilson and Ragira. Some think Ragira is a better pure hitter than Wilson. He was perhaps the most consistent college bat on the West Coast for his first two years, though he has struggled a bit in his junior season. He has some serious raw power, though it hasn't always shown up in games, perhaps because of the Stanford approach to hitting. A team that thinks the power will come once he's a professional -- he did hit nine homers with wood bats in the Cape last summer, equaling his long ball total for his first two years at Stanford -- will take the first baseman off the board early.   PG:  Ranked 151-200.  PG Grade (2009 National Showcase):  10.0  [ogc:  another old profile from when he was in high school]  Brian Ragira is a 2010 OF/P with a 6'2'', 175 lb. frame from Arlington, TX who attends James Martin HS. Lean, plus projectable athletic build. Very strong hands, ball jumps hard, good extension out front, front foot hitter, battles/fights off good pitches, hits to all fields, highest ceiling projection with bat. Very strong OF arm, good OF actions, 6.88 runner. Would be high level pitching prospect also, sound fundamental delivery, ball leaves hand + easy, FB topped at 91 mph, CB showed good spin, 2 plane break. Early draft prospect. Outstanding student. Aflac All-American.   Fifth Round Pick:  Daniel Slania   Notre Dame (IN), RHP, R/R, JR 6'05" 265lbs DOB: 05/24/92
MLB.comCollege relievers are often in high demand because of the well-founded belief they can impact a big league staff rather quickly. Slania was on radars as a result and a solid junior season certainly didn’t hurt his stock. The big right-hander has been extremely effective closing games for the Fighting Irish and he’s more than just a pure power guy blowing college hitters away. Yes, he can run his fastball up into the mid-90s. And his sharp slider acts as a strikeout pitch. But he has really good feel for a changeup that has good fade and deception. With a three-pitch mix and pretty good command, it might be interesting to see if a team gives him a chance to start. Whoever it is knows that he has the ability to get hitters out late in games as well.   PG:  Ranked 101-150.  [ogc:  Amazingly enough, despite being 101-150, they have no profile information of any sort, even from high school, where he was ranked 421 nationally in 2010.]   Sixth Round Pick:  Nick Vander Tuig   UCLA, RHP, R/R JR 6'03" 195lbs DOB: 12/09/91 MLB.comVander Tuig was an intriguing prospect in high school, but he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and missed his senior year. He re-established himself at UCLA, where he was a right-handed reliever as a freshman before moving into the rotation last year. Vander Tuig commands four pitches well. His fastball sits in the low-90s and his best pitch is his straight changeup, which has the potential to be a plus offering. His breaking balls are still developing, giving him a chance to be a solid back-of-the rotation starter. If starting doesn't work out, Vander Tuig should find a role in a Major League bullpen.   PG:  Ranked 151-200.  PG Grade (2009 California Underclass Showcase):  10.0  [ogc:  another old profile from when he was in high school]   Nicholas Vander Tuig is a 2010 RHP/OF with a 6'3'', 185 lb. frame from Oakdale, CA who attends Oakdale. Vander Tuig has a good pitchers build, pitches from an easy 3/4 arm slot, arm works well, easy effort, quick arm, repeatable motion, projects to gain velocity on a lively fastball, straight deceptive change, committed to UCLA. Named to top prospect team. He also is a good student. [ogc:  if you haven't guess yet, Giants do love smart prospects who are good students; means that they could maybe take it to another level because they will learn from the Giants staff of coaches]   Seventh Round Pick:  Brandon Bednar   Florida Gulf Coast University (FL), SS, R/R, JR
6'04" 185lbs DOB: 03/21/92  Florida Gulf Coast has produced some high-profile pitching prospects in recent years, but no Eagles position player has ever been drafted in the top 25 rounds. Bednar is poised to end that drought. Bednar is a solid fielder who can play anywhere in the infield. He has a strong arm and is good enough defensively to handle shortstop. Bednar's plus speed could help him run down balls in the outfield and make him a fit as a super-utility player. His future role will depend on his bat, which is not as advanced as his glove. Bednar has a quick, line-drive swing, allowing him to make a lot of contact.

PG:  Did not make Top 500 rank apparently.  PG Grade (2010 World Showcase):  9.0 [ogc:  the Giants apparently sees what PG sees, following up on players who were graded 9 or 10 when in high school, but were not highly rated in college;  this is from his high school profile for the World Showcase]   Brandon Bednar is a 2010 SS/RHP with a 6'4'', 165 lb. frame from Stuart, FL who attends South Fork HS. Long and tall look, has wiry strength. Gliding defensive actions, quick throwing release from multiple angles, throws carry well, 6.78 runner, deceivingly good athlete. Open to closed hitting approach, shows present bat speed, fast hands, has power potential especially with added strength [ogc: he has added 20 pounds since high school], lift in swing, moves well thru the ball, looks to pull, squared up consistently. Very interesting athlete with projection. Good student, signed with Florida Gulf Coast.
Eighth Round Pick:  Tyler Horan   Virginia Tech (VA), LF, L/R, SR 6'02" 230lbs DOB: 12/02/90  Horan had a big year leading up to the Draft that included leading the Cape Cod League in homers last summer. Power has never been an issue for Horan as he has good bat speed and generates good loft. He hit well during his junior season but many scouts question how much he will hit in pro ball due to a good amount of swing and miss in his game. He is a below average runner and can handle left but will never be anything better than average there. A team that believes in his bat could take Horan in the early rounds of the Draft.    PG:  Ranked 201-250.  Athletic player.  [ogc:  he was barely a blip in high school, was honorable mention in the 2009 Northeast Region - I have not been noting All American designations, just for Horan since his profile got nothing to speak of].    Ninth Round Pick:  Donald Snelten   Minnesota (MN), LHP, L/L, JR
6'06" 215lbs DOB: 05/29/92
MLB.comPitching behind potential first-rounder Tom Windle in the Minnesota Golden Gophers' rotation, Snelten, a left-hander, has made it worthwhile for scouts to stick around to see him pitch. Snelten's fastball sits in the low-90s and he regularly touches 94 mph. His curveball and changeup both need work, but with some improvement he could have a solid Major League arsenal. He attacks hitters and has good poise on the mound. Snelten is more athletic than his 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame might suggest. He profiles as a starter as a professional. Snelten missed the first month of the season with an elbow injury, but has been healthy since returning in March.

PG:  Ranked 151-200.  PG Grade (2010 Pitcher/Catcher Indoor Showcase):  9.5 [ogc:  high school profile]  D.J. Snelten is a 2010 LHP with a 6'6'', 215 lb. frame from Ingleside, IL who attends Lakes Community HS. Young slender slope shouldered build, extremely projectable. On line delivery, gets hips turned and loaded, fast loose arm from 3/4's slot, repeats pretty well. Upper 80's fastball, touched 90, good angle to plate on FB, occ late sinking action. Showed plus change up potential, hard late movement, lots of confidence in change. Limited CB feel now, has perfect release point for power slider. Very nice young prospect with impressive ceiling.  Good student, signed with Minnesota.  [ogc:  there is that "s" word again.  Giants do love pitchers who can throw a good slider or changeup, and have a lot of stuff, i.e. movement, on their pitches.]
Tenth Round Pick:  Tyler Rogers   Austin Peay (TN), RHP, R/R, SR 6'04" 190lbs DOB: 12/17/90  no profile.   PG:  Not ranked Top 500.  [ogc:  added an inch and 25 lbs since high school.]   Eleventh Round Pick:  Johneshwy Fargas   Puerto Rico BB Academy (Puerto Rico), CF, R/R, HS 6'01" 163lbs DOB: 12/15/94  Fargas is one of the best Puerto Rican prospects in this year’s Draft. He is still fairly raw, but his tools make him an exciting, projectable outfielder. Fargas has above-average range in center field and a strong, accurate arm. Offensively, he needs more development. Fargas has a good, level swing, but doesn’t project to hit for much power. His speed has the potential to be a weapon offensively, as well. Fargas is aggressive and has good instincts on the bases. With time, he could develop into a base-stealing threat
PG:  Not ranked Top 500 for draft, but Allan Simpson ranked him Top 500 in January 2013.  Huge tools, 6.55 runner, 97 from OF, 90 from IF, very projectable bat.  PG Grade (2013 World Showcase):  10.0 [ogc:  man, he looks really old in the profile picture, not like a high school kid at all]   Johneshwy Fargas is a 2013 OF/SS with a 6-1 160 lb. frame from Trujillo Alto, PR who attends PRBAHS. Live bodied athletic build, has some wiry strength. 6.57 runner, best speed is top end, will have plus range in centerfield, very good outfield arm strength, very fast arm with a clean quick release, has thrown 97 mph in OF drills in the past, has all the tools/actions to be a very high level defensive centerfielder. Also plays shortstop, tools are strong there, long athletic actions, plus arm strength, tools just better suited for outfield. Right handed hitter, spread stance, quick hands, compact swing with some power and lift when pulling, good bat speed, sees the ball well and squares up.

ogc thoughts

There were a number of common threads throughout the top 11 draft picks, all of whom has signed except Vander Tuig, who has been busy leading his team to the College World Series championship, so hopefully he will sign soon.  One is that the Giants picked a lot of players who, while not highly ranked at the time of the draft (none were in the Top 100 for BA,, or PG, from what I recall), was at one point or another, graded by Perfect Game to be a very high draft pick, most were pegged as a high draft pick when they were in high school.  Another is that many of them are considered to be good students.  For those in college now, most were highly graded in high school, but not highly ranked in college.   

There are some threads common also for position players.  Many of the position players have good bats that can square the ball up and make good contact.  Many of the position players were also up the middle position players. 

There are commonality among the pitchers, but only in a very general sense since each had a different key pitch.  Most had at least one very good breaking ball pitch.  Some have multiple good pitches.  Some have good stuff with late movement.  Most of them did not have a power pitch, a trait that Shankbone noted was prevalent in a prior draft - I think it was last season's draft, or even multiple drafts - and so not one of these pitchers have velocity as a key strength for them, I saw curves, sliders, changeups, only Slania can be called a power pitcher, getting to mid-90's as a closer, plus he has the repertoire to perhaps start.  Also Snelton can get up to 94 MPH and that is a rare area for a LHP. 

High School Focus

The Giants picked a high number of high schoolers for them, and with the new draft rules of the CBA resulting in fewer talented player falling in the draft due to signability issues plus the probability that the Giants will be having poor draft position (back third of first round of the draft) for the foreseeable future, this makes sense if you project that the high school prospect might become a Top 20 draft pick, with development, in 3 seasons.  Another reason to do this in this particular draft is because the college players were considered underwhelming in talent, as a class,  so if you can pick a high school player that you project to be better in three years than the college player that you can pick instead, that would make sense.

This is obviously a high risk move, but it can also be high reward.  Atlanta has been known for drafting high school students, particularly local to Atlanta, with the idea of getting them now instead of waiting three seasons when they might have rose beyond your draft pick position.  Heyward and Freeman are the most recent successes that they have had with this strategy, McCann is a much earlier one, that's three of eight starting position players. 

The Giants also went crazy for high schoolers in the last 11 rounds of the draft, and will have some leeway in bonuses since each pick can get up to $100K without penalty, and another quarter million is available at the moment to distribute (due to drafting low cost seniors late in rounds 1-10), though Vander Tuig could take out a check.  Remember, we picked up Blackburn for $150K in the middle of the whole draft, so the Giants could have a whole raft of high schoolers bouncing around the minors over the next year if they can sign Tuig to close to slot and use some of that 5% leeway teams are allowed to go over without losing a draft pick. 

I think that this is a good tactic if your scouting staff has a good eye for high school talent.  Given that the Giants picked players not as highly ranked by any of the free publicly available rankings, they clearly believe that they do.  And that is their M.O. in prior seasons, they have mostly, except for the first round pick, selected guys who were ranked to be picked at least 1-2 rounds later than where the Giants picked them.  Under Barr, he has not been as hard and fast to that rule, picking a number of players who fell in the draft, like Susac, Oropesa, Crawford, and Osich, but still the Giants have mostly chosing to pick them now instead of risk missing out on them in a round or two.   And even for the first round pick, they have usually selected someone considered an overdraft where the Giants selected them, like Cain, Brown, Panik. 

However, their history, under Sabean, has not been good at all.  Schierholtz has probably produced the most of any high schooler, and technically, he had one year of community college when drafted and thus not a high schooler (but one year of community college is not that much to me), so after him, that would be Ishikawa as the high schooler position player who has produced the most on the MLB team under Sabean.  The highest level drafted high schooler right now is probably Noonan (if you count international free agents, then Sandoval would be the best, which is obviously good).  So they have been underwhelming in finding and developing position players drafted from high school. 

But while people characterize the Giants as not being very innovative, but I don't see that to be true. As noted, they regularly go against consensus, as represented by BA and PG, and select players at least a round if not more ahead of where others think they should, based on rank. They were the ones to shock everyone with the Ishikawa pick, paying him nearly a million in bonus in the back of the draft, to get him to skip college. They also did a lot of draft and follows, though there was not any successes there. They have also been popping big money for international free agents, like Villalona, RafRod, and Gustavo.  But as you can see, underwhelming in getting position players from the high school ranks, or any rank for that matter.

But Barr came in as a guy who had found position players in the draft for his prior teams.  Hopefully Barr has a better eye for position players than Sabean did.  And so far, he has, with Belt and Crawford as clear wins for his drafting ability, as well as picking up Posey instead of other highly valued picks like Gordon Beckham or Justin Smoak.  Also, he did draft Joseph and developed him enough to get Pence in trade.  And Chuckie Jones did well for a while before falling back.  This is his big bet on high schoolers, though, especially if he signs a bunch of the ones drafted late in the draft , so this will be a very interesting draft class for us prospect hounds to follow. 


  1. Barr clearly looks at a player's entire body of work and not just what he did in the draft year. This has led to the Giants drafting many more players whose stock fell in during their draft year than those whose stock rose or had "helium." I get the strong feeling that Barr sees "helium" as being a negative, or at least he doesn't buy into the hype.

    Ragira is probably the strongest example this year and he fits right in with Brandon Crawford, Oropesa and others you mentioned. It will be interesting to follow Ragira's progress now that he is a pro and a Giant.

    I think the Giants were cautious with high schoolers last year because they were not sure how the new CBA rules might affect their signability. When they saw that they were actually easier to sign under the new rules and for less money, they were a lot bolder this year.

    I also agree that they showed flexibility in adjusting to the strengths and weaknesses of the draft. You can make a strong case that Stratton, Agosta and Williamson were the BPA's in 2012 while this year's college class was much weaker, as you noted.

    1. Good point about him not huffing the helium, though I assume he won't let helium mask him from his earlier interest in the prospect either.

      Ragira is a good example, thanks for pointing him out.

      Interesting note on high schoolers. That makes sense, and I would bet that was true on the other side too, the agents for the high schoolers were maybe unwilling to negotiate with teams as much as they were this season, in terms of agreeing to a certain bonus, should they be selected by the team.

      I think Williamson was their test case for trying to get a lower bonus figure last season and that failed (I'm thinking that is why it took so long to get him signed, particularly since he was viewed as a huge overdraft), and thus they didn't have much money to try to sign any of the late draft high schoolers last season. This season, for the most part, they stuck to close to the slot, saved some money with a senior, opening up some potential spending in later rounds for high school players. Hopefully they can pick up at least Arenado and another high schooler, as you noted previously.

  2. I've read all the above summaries but its nice to have them in one place to look at together. Thanks for the effort.

    I tamed my criticism of last year's draft after I looked closer at what other teams did and the final results. This year I wasn't too hot on the 3rd rounder as a little used pen arm who had lost the closer's job... Well, if you actually comp what other MLB teams did in the third round, holy moly there is no consensus at all, and trying to use the BA500 to sort it out shows just how hard it is to evaluate the biggest commodity in the draft: Right Handed Pitchers. Teams drafted guys who weren't even in the BA500, in the third round! Almost half the third round (13/30) were RHPs.

    On the Giants being innovators, this year they were just a little ahead of the reach curve with Arroyo, but by the time Jones got snagged in the 2nd, there was a run of 7/8 teams reaching for talent right along with the Gigantes.

    It IS a huge risk though, not going with a college arm or what not, and going not only into the unknown with the HS guy, but the HS Bat, which as you note has not been the Gints strong suit. But what would you rather have, a back of the rotation arm or a shot at a guy who might turn out like Alex Bregman? The Giants have quite a lot of arms right now, so from position scarcity, going after a SS and a 3B is interesting.

    And if you actually look at the draft from that angle, you'll find that most years there isn't even 1/3 of a position to fill. Meaning 10 possible 3Bs for 30 teams. So you take your poison and take your lumps.

    I take the observation about P/G rating guys high in HS, and having a large body of work to evaluate (because they've been building databases for years, not months) as a huge factor to look at. Helium generally favors the early teams, it sure did for the A"s with Addison Russell last year. And as we know, Panik might have been Plan B his year after the CA prep pitchers got snagged, the Giants said as much.

    These 2010-13 drafts will take more time to mature than the magic of 2006-9. There should be some Gary Brown noise in 2014, and maybe Panik as well. Prospect Hounds get waaaay too impatient.

    1. Yeah, this post was not for prospect hounds like you and I who read a lot of content, but for those who don't have time to dig around.

      I totally agree, trying to find the early first rounders college players now when they are high schoolers is a good tactic to try, whether they succeed is the major question, and I'm not sure there is any easy way to properly evaluate whether they were above average or not, other than if they proved to be major leaguers.

      Definitely high risk, but maybe high reward. We will see. But with failure rates so high, yes, you take your chances, you take your poison, and you take your lumps.

      Don't know the the A's were good or lucky, look at their drafts in recent years and how poorly they have fared, Green has not done that well even though he was high touted (and a Boras Bonus Baby) and neither did Yordy Cabrera or Jemile Weeks. Sonny Gray wasn't looking all that good last season, but has been stellar this season, but which is real? And Robertson and Olson needs to develop more.

      Yes, I agree that impatience is a common trait with many prospect hounds, I think part of that is that they think that they know better and more than the team itself.

      In any case, I think the fun from prospecting is learning about the guys our team selects, and following them as they develop and advance (hopefully). And with our drafts coming in the last third of the first round, they will totally take more time to mature, as well as have much greater odds of failure, enough that as much as I like Brown and Panik, I know that there is strong odds that neither will ever make it, and so I factor my enthusiasm accordingly.



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