Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Giants 2015 Supplemental First Round Pick: Chris Shaw, 1B

The Giants selected with their second pick, the supplemental first round pick, 31st overall, that they got when Sandoval signed with Boston, Chris Shaw, who was an OF in college, but projected to be a 1B as a pro.  He is one of the legit power bats available, batting left while throwing right.

One mock had him selected in the first round, but most had him not selected in the first round.  There were a handful that had him picked in the supplemental first round, though, though not by the Giants.  Most agree that his was the best, or one of the best, college power bats available, and didn't note anything more than that, so this post will be much shorter than Bickford's.

CSNBA had a good overview profile of him of readily available information:
In 40 games for Boston College this season, Shaw led the team with a .319 batting average, 11 home runs and 43 RBI. He posted a .411 on-base percentage and a .611 slugging percentage. 
The junior was named All-ACC Second Team for the 2015 season. He earned All-ACC First Team honors as a sophomore in 2014.
Giants also do like prospects who wins awards and honors like these, as well.


His college profile noted his pre-BC activities:
Drafted in the 26th round by the New York Mets ... earned All-Star status and top pro prospect honors from the Futures Collegiate Baseball League in 2012, playing for the Nashua Silver Knights ... broke the FCBL RBI record (45) and hit nine home runs over the summer ... named the 2012 Middlesex League MVP, batting .500 with 20 RBIs, seven home runs and a 4-0 record with a 1.20 ERA ... named a captain of the Minutemen senior year ... All-Middlesex League honors throughout high school career ... earned the league's co-MVP honors as a junior, hitting .484 with eight home runs and a 5-0 record on the bump ... named to the Boston Globe's and Boston Herald's All-Scholastic team in 2012 ... pitched two career no-hitters ... featured on the ESPN All-State Team and as a Perfect Game Third-Team All-American ... also a four-year starting defensemen on the LHS hockey team, earning a captain spot as a senior.
Giants like guys who set records, show intelligence, win MVP honors, show leadership (his captainship on his hockey team).

There was a nice local interview with him, where he discussed how he grew in college as a hitter:
Each year, Shaw said, he found ways to refine his approach at the plate. “My hitting has changed immensely,” he said. “My approach is a million times better than it was in high school. I really quieted down my swing in the past three years and just have a much better understanding of the strike zone than I did for my freshman year. 
“That goes into being patient and understanding certain situations where I might see a pitch to hit. Where I’m not going to see a pitch to hit and just becoming a student of the game really.”
His final stats were .319/.411/.611/1.022, which is pretty good, but kind of low BA, for a college player.  I saw some comments regarding his not getting enough walks given his power, but he's adding nearly 100 points in on-base ISO, which is pretty good, so I'm not sure what they were expecting, other than having more walks than strikeouts.  And his K/BB ratio rose, year by year, from 50% to 55% in sophomore to 77% in junior year, a huge leap.

Looking at his boxscore stats, I took out his stats from after returning from his surgery nearly 3 weeks after being taken out.  Overall, he hit only .231/.310/.269/.579 after returning, meaning that his batting line when he was sat down with his injury was .339/.435/.686/1.121, which is even better.   That provides for a much higher floor, lesser regression in MLE if translated to the majors.  Remember, it is not that big a deal to hit .300+ in college, the best hitters are closer to .400 than .300.
Pavlovic added in a follow-up article, quotes from Barr:
Listed at about 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Shaw hit .319 last season with 11 homers and a .619 slugging percentage. He missed a month because of a broken hamate bone, a strange coincidence since Sandoval twice broke a hamate bone while with the Giants. 
Barr said Shaw “showed a lot of power but yet a disciplined approach at the plate.” He played left field, right field and first base in college, but the Giants view him as a first baseman. “He’s a guy we think has a legitimate chance of hitting in the middle of the lineup,” he said.
Baggarly posted on BA and on the Merc:
“To be able to get a power arm [Bickford] and a power bat with our first two picks, we’re pretty excited about it,” Barr said. “The room has been pretty happy.” 
The Giants received a supplemental first-round pick (31st overall) as compensation for losing free agent Pablo Sandoval to the Boston Red Sox. They ended up raiding the Back Bay and taking Shaw, a burly, left-handed junior power hitter who led the Cape with eight home runs last summer. 
Shaw played the outfield for Boston College but profiles as a first baseman. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Massachusetts native also was a four-year letter winner and senior captain as a defenseman on his high school hockey team. 
“Maybe that’s why he has a short quick stroke to the ball,” Barr said. “This kid is an athlete and a tough kid and we think it’ll bode well for us.” 
The Giants drafted Shaw mostly off their reports from area scout Mark O’Sullivan and others prior to his junior season, which was interrupted by spring blizzards in the Northeast and then a fractured hamate bone that caused him to miss a month. Four years ago, the Giants took Andrew Susac when he slid out of the first round because of a hamate injury. 
“He is a guy that we think has a legitimate chance of hitting in the middle of the lineup,” Barr said of Shaw.
Giants like athletic players, as well as toughness.  BA ranked Shaw #45.

Callis noted in his after-draft analysis:
Callis: Shaw is No. 46 on the Pipeline board, but he has the tool that this Draft is probably the shortest on: power. He was the Cape Cod League home run leader last year and has as much raw power as just about anyone in this Draft. Shaw has shown the ability to make some adjustments at the plate, so maybe he can hit for average, too. He was an outfielder in college, but probably he will probably wind up at first base
MLB.com's draft profile of Shaw:
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 65 | Run: 20 | Arm: 50 | Field: 40 | Overall: 50 
A 26th-round pick by the Mets from a Massachusetts high school in 2012, Shaw struggled as a Boston College freshman before breaking out in 2014. He led the Cape Cod League with eight home runs and established himself as the best power hitter in the 2015 college crop. He carried it over into his junior season before a broken hamate bone shelved him for a while. 
Shaw packs a lot of strength in his 6-foot-3, 248-pound frame and his well above-average pop extends to all fields. He can get too aggressive at times, though he does a nice job of shortening and controlling his left-handed swing. 
While he has arm strength and has played right field as a sophomore and junior, Shaw likely faces a move back to his freshman position of first base in pro ball. He's a well below-average runner but has the hands and enough athleticism to be a capable defender at first. 
A hamate injury won't deflate Shaw's stock and he still has the chance to join Chris Lambert (2004) and Tony Sanchez (2009) as the only BC first-rounders ever.
Missed by "that" much...

From the MLB.com video, "Chris Shaw has developed a better approach at the plate, showing the ability to shorten his swing and go the other way."

Shaw was ranked #55 by Fangraph's McDaniel's draft board (was #29 previously) and rated as a future 45, which is relatively good.  He noted:
Shaw was on the late first round radar when he was raking earlier this spring, but his season was ended prematurely by a broken hamate bone, which could sap some of his trademark power for a year or two in pro ball.
Kiley projects that Shaw will reach the majors in 2018.

Garrioch ranked him 51st in his Top 400 list and noted:
Chris Shaw is a muscular slugger that is likely tied to first. He is slow and would have very little defensive value in LF or RF. He does have a very good arm that would help him in RF. In the end, where he plays defensively doesn't matter, it's how much he hits. He has progressed significantly since high school and has the power potential one would want from a first round pick. He does come with the caveat of having a 20%+ K rate in college. He hit well last spring and showed considerable improvement on the Cape last summer in his all around game. He could go as early as the mid-first round.
The Giants do love their Cape Cod performers, Bickford also did well there as well.

Perfect Game noted in their article on Preseason College All-Americans:
Opening eyes in front of scouts by performing against elite ACC pitching like Jake Stinnett on a weekly basis last spring, Chris Shaw cemented his reputation as one of the most dangerous hitters in the country with a strong summer in the Cape Cod League in 2014. Shaw’s eight home runs on the Cape led the league, and also could serve as foreshadowing for a significant increase in his home run total in 2015 after he slugged six last spring for the Eagles. Shaw brings more than just power to the table, however, as his 2014 slash line of .329/.393/.502 would indicate. The scary part for ACC pitchers, however, is that Shaw came out of his Cape Cod League season an even better hitter than he was before.
They also noted in their pre-draft profile:
In a draft class that lacks a depth of power bats, Boston College’s Chris Shaw is at the top of most lists for his advanced lefthanded power. Prior to breaking his hamate in the beginning of April, Shaw was on absolute fire, showing off both his high level hit tool and power, hitting to all fields with comfort and intent. He was on his way to a monster spring and has the track record and history to justify a lofty draft position.
They ranked him #53 overall.  ESPN's KLaw ranked him #58.  So he was ranked from #45 to #58, and thus he was drafted a lot sooner than expected by the experts, being selected #31 by the Giants, almost a whole round by one ranking.

ogc thoughts

Given that he was ranked to go at a later point in the draft, that would suggest that maybe he would take less, like if the team had worked out a deal with him.  However, the Giants rarely does something like that (see Mac Williamson, who was considered a huge overdraft) and rarely talks with the prospect much beforehand, they are like ninjas with the draft.

So he's probably going to sign for roughly slot, which is $1.885M, depending on how tough the Giants are going to be with the negotiations.   I would imagine that they will offer below slot and then if he insists on slot, make him wait until the deadline, kind of like with Williamson.  The Giants tend to draft guys at the end of the draft who otherwise probably wouldn't sign, but if the Giants can put together enough extra money, then they might sign someone from the back, like they did with John Riley previously.

While he was ranked lower per most draft experts (#45 to #58), one expert noted that had he not broken his hamate bone, he probably would have fallen into the second half of the first round (another noted mid-first round), and thus, based on talent, he fell to the Giants at #31, as had he been healthy, he probably would have been selected already by #31, similar to how Susac fell to us in his draft with his hamate bone break.  To boot, the Giants love guys who hit in the Cape Cod league, though I would note that the Giants have been regularly guys drafted who did well in the Cape Cod league (like Brown and Linden) who did not do well enough to become a regular MLB player.

Power is the name of his game, and his ability to also hit is the key to whether he'll amount to anything in the pro ranks and become a major leaguer.  The MLB.com video noted that he had "developed a better approach at the plate, showing the ability to shorten his swing and go the other way."   Also, as long the Giants understand that Shaw's power is a bit lacking because of the surgery, which tends to sap power for a year or two (seems like most are a year, two is the extreme, I'm guessing), then perhaps they can focus him on hitting while he is recovering, as he needs to learn that in order to move up the farm system.

We don't need a power 1B (even if Belt is gone, right now, 1B appears to be Posey's long term position once he is ready to stop catching), but he is a really nice power hitter, and if he can continue to develop as a hitter, who knows, maybe he can handle being a LF, even though he has no speed at all, if the Giants play a far ranging CF next to him.

I'll have to trust the Giants on this one, but there were other names that looked more interesting to me, Nolan Watson, Cody Ponce, Jacob Nix, Blake Trahan, Donnie Everett.   Still, his pre-injury batting line of .339/.435/.686/1.121 gives more to dream on than his final batting line, so there is that.  And that is pretty nice HR power too.

As good as a Lottery Ticket

This what Barr did last time he had two early picks, he got one position player (Panik) and one pitcher (Crick).  Even similar types, as Shaw is a position player who is a junior, with just the one plus talent, and Bickford, while not a HS senior, is still considered 19 YO for the purposes of this draft and the aging protocol in baseball statistics (generally age when June 30th is reached; he was born in early July), and thus not much older than some HS seniors drafted before.  For example, Wheeler was 19 YO when the Giants drafted him, even though he was in HS.

And really, when you are this far back in the draft, the odds of finding a good player is between 5-10%, so you may as well swing for the fences (pun intended) with this pick on a position prospect who normally would have been ranked earlier in the round had he not been injured, particularly a college player (tends to be injuries that normally don't affect future value, unlike with a pitcher).  And thus, while I'm not enamored with the pick, I acknowledge that the odds are pretty low of finding a good player, and thus I'm not going to get upset over it.  It is more a matter of preference than any real objection, on my part.  Even this pick, as high as one might think it is, is simply a lottery pick, and so we root, root, root for the home team, and if they don't win it's a shame...

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