Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Your 2014 Giants: Drafty Thoughts

As I do every year, I'm posting my thoughts on the Giants draft, based on the mock drafts that I've been perusing.  If you know the draft already or seen the mocks, I'm not going to be adding much knowledge to you, this is for the people who don't have the time to read all this stuff.

ogc thoughts

First off, I want to say that when it comes to baseball analysis, I do not "know it all."  Anyone who reads my blog or my comments regularly and completely would know that.  I like to gather a lot of information and then I like to share it, and if I'm lucky enough, I get to discuss it.  I think I do have a few insights, though, now and again.

However, when it comes to the draft, I don't really know anything other than what I read from the sites, like Baseball America,, Perfect Games,, or bloggers like Shankbone.  Still, I know some baseball, and what is good to look for, so it is not like I'm totally uninformed.

But when it comes to the Giants, they go off the board over and over again, rarely do they go with consensus opinion.   So this, for me, is just a fun exercise to think "what if" but except for the early picks (Posey and Wheeler) where the experts could more logically figure out what they would do, most do not get them right, though I will give Kiley McDaniel's of Scout a shoutout for his mentioning of Christian Arroyo last season.

But I don't fault the draft experts for missing on them.  They, particularly Jim Callis, are generally spot-on with their picks for the first dozen or so, and get 70-80% right up to 20 or so.  The Giants like to play it close to the vest and not share much information, which BA has complained about before.

Since Kiley at least mentioned the right pick, I'll share his last mock comment for the Giants, who he has selecting LHP Sean Newcomb, though it could go other ways too:
Newcomb is in play at most of the 9 picks ahead of the Giants here, so he's a nice value. The Giants love big guys that throw hard and Newcomb is more than just that, while also being relatively new to baseball. These next few picks (Newcomb, Zimmer, Schwarber, Holmes) could go in almost any order as all four teams are on all four players. The Giants would like a shot at Finnegan, as well. Derek Hill, Touki Toussaint, Sean Reid-Foley and Chavis are other options.
Most of those names are the ones I have been hearing. has some nice profiles on all of them here.   I really like Touki and Holmes at our pick.  The hitters are OK, but nothing really screams out to me.  Plus, the Giants historically under Sabean has not picked many hitters with Top 20 picks, particularly since his early years.  So I expect a pitcher to be selected.

Here is a description of Touki ( ranked 8th):
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 65 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 55
Toussaint, who spent most of the first six years of his life in Haiti, has one of the quickest and loosest arms in the 2014 high school class. He's still learning to control his pitches but could have a pair of well above-average offerings once he does. 
Toussaint usually operates at 91-93 mph with his fastball and has shown the ability to reach 97. His mid-70s curveball has so much downward break that his catchers have trouble holding onto it. He also shows the willingness to use a changeup, though he currently throws his too hard in the mid-80s. While he doesn't repeat his delivery consistently at this point, his athleticism bodes well for his future.
After originally committing to Miami, he changed his plans and now is set to attend Vanderbilt.
Three above average pitches (and two of the well above-average) and his fastball gets into the mid-to-high 90's sometimes, plus he has some projection.  The main negative is his poor control.

I think Touki should be gone before our pick though, Toronto is rumored to be very into him and none of the mocks I've seen even has him reaching the Giants.  So I don't expect to get him.

Who I am hoping to get selected is Grant Holmes.  Here's #11's description:
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 65 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55 
Holmes' older brother Colby signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Braves last June after helping South Carolina win two College World Series championships in four years. Grant shares his brother's affinity for spinning a breaking ball but has more power to his stuff, making him a likely first-round pick in 2014. 
He has shown increased fastball velocity this spring, hitting 100 mph during a preseason scrimmage and often popping 97s late in games, showing good life and command. Holmes also features a hard breaking ball that has become more of a true curveball. He'll need to use his changeup more at the next level, though it does show some promise. 
Holmes is shorter and heavier than his listed height and weight and may not have much projection left. That's less of an issue, though, because he already has the makings of two well above-average pitches and he has improved his conditioning.
Almost the same scouting grades, his changeup is only average but he has above average control, so he's probably a surer thing, in terms of risk of not making the majors, vs. Touki.  But Touki has the upside, and my philosophy is generally you shoot for the one with more potential if they are otherwise similar.   And a good number of mocks have the Giants selecting him.

But that is where the Giants zig when the experts zag.  I remember for the Lincecum draft, Mayo actually had him falling to us, so I was hoping we would select him, but he and others thought the Giants would go for the pitcher with the body for it, Bard.  For Bumgarner, many of us were thinking hitters, but they went with another pitcher, and not only that, in the post-pick interview, Sabean said that they expect him to make the majors in two years, the only time I've heard them make such a pronouncement.  And darn if he didn't.

For Posey and Wheeler, the picks were so early, it made things easier for the experts to divine who the BPA would be at their pick.  And there were some rumors swirling on Wheeler as well, about how he humped it up knowing that Sabean was in the crowd.  Of course, he's the only one of the four high picks to get traded, and so far they have been right, he has not been that good in the majors right now, unlike what the experts thought he would be when the trade was made.  Anyone betting against the Giants or doubting them when they trade away prospects have been losers so far, Sabean hasn't traded away any good core players yet.

Here is what was said about Newcomb, ranked 9th:
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 65 | Slider: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 55 
Newcomb set a school record with 92 strikeouts in 72 innings last spring and showed one of the strongest arms in the Cape Cod League when he wasn't battling mononucleosis during the summer. 
An imposing 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Newcomb works at 90-94 mph and reaches as high as 97 with his fastball. His best secondary pitch is his slider, a low-80s breaker with some bite. He also uses a curveball and changeup. He's still learning to repeat his delivery and locate his pitches consistently, but there aren't many left-handers who can match his velocity.
 He's a big kid and got at least four average pitches, with two plus pitches, but poor control.  I rate him under Touki and Holmes, based on the scouting grades.  I assume Newcomb gets ranked higher on because of his physique, whereas Holmes has no projection and probably not what one would call an ideal pitcher's body.

I've seen #10 Zimmer in some mocks, and he was MVP in Cape Cod, a league the Giants like a lot because they use wood bats there, but none of his scouting grades are all that superlative, at least 60, and as I noted above, I would rather reach for a star, especially with so high a pick.

I've seen #12 Beede in some mocks, and he has some nice things going for him - 65 fastball, operates at 92-94 MPH and as high as 97 - but he has problems with his control.  Still, I would rather have him than Zimmer, he has a plus fastball and rate plus overall with a 60.

I've seen #13 Hoffman in some mocks, and he was considered for the #1 pick until he got TJS.  Will the Giants take the risk on one?  I can't see that happening with their first round pick, though picking him would be shooting for the stars, he has plus fastball and curveball, and good changeup and control.

I think I've seen Finnegan in one mock to us.  Looks like a lefty Lincecum - they even wonder if he'll be a reliever, as was doubted with Lincecum - with lesser fastball but better control.  I guess I would be OK with him over Zimmer, but I would prefer the other pitchers over him.

I've seen #19 Pentecost fall by in most mocks, but some he got selected before I think.  I saw his name a lot on Shankbone's and he would be good insurance in case Susac either don't develop and start in the majors or turn out to be too injury prone to stay at catcher.   He was also MVP at Cape Cod league as well.   I like him enough to be happy even if some of the pitchers are available.

I've seen #20 Hill go the Giants in some mocks, or at least rumored to be in play.  I'm sorry, but I've seen my share of CF with speed in my life as a Giants fan, so the only way I would be happy with him is if the other guys above are gone.

Lastly, I've seen #21 Chavis mentioned a lot at Shankbone.  I like that he has a couple of plus areas, and is at least average in all areas.  He's also versatile enough to slot into a lot of different positions, it looks like.  I would like him or Pentecost equally with the pitchers I really like, Touki and Holmes.  And I guess I would be happy with Newcomb.

But as I said, the Giants always seem to surprise people, and I've never been great at seeing what they see, at least before the draft, it is after the draft when I can focus research on the player drafted that I see the beauty of the pick, generally.


  1. Whoa, I wouldn't mind Kodi Medeiros either, I'll add him to my list because I just looove stuff.

    Got this from Shankbone's draft post, great read, great concept, different, I like it:

    1. Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 55

      Hawaii hasn't produced a high school pick in the first two rounds of the Draft since 2001, when Bronson Sardinha went in the supplemental first round to the Yankees and Brandon League was taken in the second by the Blue Jays. Medeiros should end that drought in 2014, as he's a left-hander with impressive movement on three potential above-average pitches.

      The Pepperdine recruit hit 95 mph last summer at various showcase events, though he works more around 90-91 with his fastball during longer stints. He doesn't need velocity to miss bats however, as his low arm slot produces tremendous run and sink on his heater.

      Medeiros' upper-70s slider has so much lateral break that at times he struggles to keep it in the strike zone, and his changeup dives at the plate. His small stature and unconventional delivery lead to concerns about his long-term viability as a starter, though he is athletic.

    2. Lefties that can throw mid-90's are very rare, so his control issues plus size issues (listed as 6 foot, but article link above states 6 foot 2 inches) must be what pushed him down some before. Dirty was good because he could go mid-90 as a lefty, rare birds, that's why I liked the Osich draft pick, he'll be lethal once he works his way up to majors.

  2. We'll get our answer soon! The one guy I really don't want to see is Bradley Zimmer and I just found the comp for him that makes the most sense: David DeJesus. Do you really want to go chasing a David DeJesus type with the 14th pick in a pitcher rich draft? He does a lot of things "pretty good" but he doesn't hit for power and he's most likely a corner. (Practically all who "might stick in center" don't). Now I love to give players the benefit of the doubt on not shifting, but come on, CF is a hugely demanding position and he's 6'5. Mostly I just don't like Zimmer's swing that much. But I've been wrong before.

    One thing that happens as draft day gets near is scouts get more conservative. Let's see if Touki's control issues give him the push.

    I generally have the same attitude as you towards CFs with speed. But there is something pretty intriguing about Hill, I think that he has a nice frame for power, he's one of the fastest in class and has great instincts plus the bloodlines. He's not my total favorite but I'd be pretty stoked.

    Max Pentecost can just straight up hit. I think he's the safest bat in the class, and he can stick at catcher - with speed - that seems like a good thing to go after. Chavis is a 1B to him, I don't think you could get much "safer" for a HS bat than that. Throw in the easy power and great 6th tool and that looks good.

    There's just a lot of variables. You don't know how teams will go. But I'd only have 1 college hitter on my board and I have to say the college pitchers just aren't all that either this year.

    One thing to watch for: the Texas fireballer Kolek might really free fall today. I personally don't think he's all that and hope the Giants let him slide if it goes that far.

    1. Ah, that's a good comp, David DeJesus. Yeah, I don't want that with my 14th pick, I want ma potential!

      Oh, didn't catch that about Hill having potential power like that. Why is his bloodlines good? I think a Dodger scout, but I don't think I ever heard of his father. Basically, I gave up on bloodlines as a factor even since Rich Murray...

      Yeah, Chavis is growing on me more and more, the more I think of him. Kodi too.

      And aint that the truth, too many variables to call exactly everything, but I would note that I've been very impressed with what Jim Callis had done previously when he was at BA, he got a lot right, 75-90% right.

      Of course, as you know, the Giants then throws a gremlin in and goes off the reservation (a bit) with their pick. I do not expect a pick like last year with Arroyo, going way off the draft board, but yeah, it will be interesting to see what happens and who they pull the trigger on.

      Thanks for Kolek, his profile looks pretty good to me, so I was wondering. I would be really happy with a handful of prospects, so I would be OK if they pass on him.



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