Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 Amateur Draft Mock Drafts

I'm not as into the draft this season as seasons' past, but thought I would share some information for those who are interested.  The draft starts today with Round 1, and continues over a total of three days.  This site has a lot of good info on the event, which starts at 4PM PDT today:
Draft Primer  
In addition, the Pipeline always provides a nice scouting report on their Top 200 prospects, this is a nice resource to know some key facts on each prospect, plus most of the top ones should have video links too: Pipeline Prospect Watch
Also, Baseball America published their Top 500 list.

Here are the mock drafts I'm looking at today:
Baseball America 4.0
Baseball Amercia 4.5
MLB Pipeline
MLB Pipeline:  Jim Callis
CBS Sports
ogc thoughts

Since the Giants pick 19th, and each team gets 5 minutes to make their selection (and most use the full 5 minutes, or perhaps Selig always chose to wait the full 5 minutes, never sure), that means that 95 minutes will pass before the Giants pick.  And that is just from the draft itself, there will, of course, be hullabaloo before that, as the Commissioner makes his speech, and there will be other stuff too, as usual, so it could be a full two hours before the Giants make their pick.

You could follow along - MLB usually provides a nice website that updates the draft picks made and who's next, plus there is usually a Twitter feed announcing each - or skip the first hour 45 minutes or so and jump in around then to see who the Giants pick.   I used to follow the draft, off to the side, when the draft used to held during the day, but now that it is done as a big event at night (for the East Coast), I tend to be eating dinner around then and miss it.  Hopefully the MLB At Bat app will notify me of each pick, but if not, perhaps I'll be shopping and check Twitter periodically to see what's happening.

Here are the names who are generally available when the Giants pick 19th:
  • Nate Pearson, RHP, Central Florida CC
  • Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
  • Trevor Rogers, LHP, HS
  • Keston Hiura, 2B/OF, UC Irvine
  • Heliot Ramos, OF, HS
  • Logan Warmoth, SS, North Carolina
  • David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
  • Tanner Houck, RHP, Missouri
  • Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA
  • Evan White, 1B, Kentucky
  • Bubba Thompson, OF, HS
  • Jordan Adell, OF, HS
  • Alex Lange, RHP, Louisiana State

Generally, the Giants don't select high school players when they are that far back, but if they do, they have not been considered in the vast majority of mock drafts.  Of course, there will be players expected to be selected way ahead who fall to them, like Chris Stratton did before, or more famously, Tim Lincecum.   The Giants have also tended to draft college pitchers, and if they go for a position player, they tend to pick up the middle prospects:  C, SS, CF (2B, 1B, OF have tended to be in the supplemental first or later rounds).

They also generally pick a lot more pitchers overall.  A team's roster has lately been 13 position and 12 pitchers but not that long ago, most teams had 14 position and 11 pitchers.  Thus teams need more position players than pitchers.  But under Sabean and continued under Barr and Evans, the Giants have always selected more pitchers than position players, and most first rounders were pitchers under Sabean, but after Barr, there has been a mix (Posey, Panik, Arroyo, Brown; Stratton, Beede, Bickford).

In drafts past, I would record each mock draft and follow along on who are the names just before and after where the Giants pick, to see who they might get.  And as part of that, I learn who should be selected beforehand, and thus are aware when prospects fall to the Giants, like Stratton or Lincecum.  That is an interesting aspect of reading up on these mock drafts.

You also get news of injuries.  Both Hiura and Canning were expected to be higher picks, but both suffered recent injuries that will cause them to fall.  The Giants have selected players who fall due to injury, like Susac and Osich, so such an injury is not a reason for them to pass over a player.  And I was able to watch them fall to the Giants and get excited over their selection.  In addition, the Giants have gone for UCLA products in the Barr era, like Brandon Crawford, for a good example.

Crawford is a great example, also, of the Giants draft philosophy after John Barr joined the team.  He fell from Top 10 consideration (he was listed by Baseball America in their annual prospect book as a Top 10 prospect) with a poor Junior season.  The Giants, unlike, seemingly, most mock drafters, do not look solely at what the player has done just in his Junior season.  Humans, being fallible, could just have a bad season that happens to be their junior season.  Good analysis hopefully can divine whether that prospect really just had a bad season, or if they really suffered a real set back.  The Giants look at their whole package going earlier, as to their overall talent level, and includes that into their calculus when drafting.

Thus, the Giants tend to not select players who appear to be close to what mock drafters think.  For example, the Giants selected Matt Cain 25th, but the BA ranking had Cainer somewhere in the 40's, if I recall correctly.  In fact, when I analyzed the drafts under Sabean over ten years ago, the Giants tend to draft prospects at least a round before BA had them ranked at (so if ranked 120th, the Giants would use a pick at 90 or better to select that player).   So expect to be surprised for most of the draft.

The first round pick under Barr, however, has mostly been players who are in the mix per mock drafters.  From Posey to Bickford, the Giants have picked prospects who were expected to fall into the first round.  There are exceptions, like Christian Arroyo, who was a total out of left field pick that is a classic of Giants picks under Sabean, he was ranked by Baseball America (who, to be fair, aggregates prospect opinions, and provides their analysis of that, with, of course, their observations) at 100, if I recall right, but selected late in the first round by the Giants.

Most draft experts have no idea how the Giants are going to draft.  I've not seen one mock ever have the Giants select their player.  The closest was an early mock draft that had the Giants selecting Gary Brown.  Even in the Lincecum pick, the mock drafter who actually called that Timmy would fall to the Giants, had him falling further, as the assumed that Tidrow would want a big strong horse like Daniel Bard.

The Giants love to keep things on the down low and hide things from other teams (and thus the rumor mills).  Tidrow watched Bumgarner and quickly left, and a rival scout asked the Giants scouts, or really stated, "Tidrow hated his cross-arm action, right? That's why he left?"  The scout had a meeting with Tidrow soon afterward, and Dick said simply, "I love him."   He left early in order to hide his excitement over what he saw in Bumgarner.

They like to misdirect other teams in this way.  Another example was Tim Lincecum.  Tidrow loved Lincecum so much that he told Sabean to NOT attend a Lincecum start, so as to not alert other teams of their strong interest in him.  He was the one that showed the mock drafters that the Giant look for more in their pitchers than just size and strength, that they look for pitchers.

Not that this ever stopped the mock drafters, it was only until recently that many mocks state that the Giants tend to surprise, but then they would give what the consensus pick would be, though if they see a characteristic that the Giants like.  The Daniel Bard mock pick over Lincecum is an example of the mock drafter looking at what type of pitcher Tidrow would like, over who is actually a good pitcher.   Shows the weakness of mock drafters, where they go for look more than ability, a nuance that Tidrow and gang has been able to mine for the Giants.

For a great example of a sign of Giants love, the Giants love hitters who succeed in the Cape Cod summer League, one of the few amateur leagues to use wooden bats;  Shaw, Hinojosa, and I believe Duggar, were recent examples of hitters drafted by the Giants who hit well in Cape Cod.  Hinojosa is also a great example of talent falling, his poor season dropped him out of Top 10 round consideration, but the Giants snagged him with their first pick in the 11th, which is where many teams go after high school players who fell due to signability issues.   Of course, success in Cape Cod don't lead to MLB success, as Giants fans learned with Todd Linden and Gary Brown, and I am not sure who had success in Cape Cod and then succeeded with the Giants.

The draft experts sometimes get it right.  Fangraph's prospect expert at that time was the only one to catch and report that rumor, so it was exciting to be "in the know" on that one.  That's one of the fun things doing this exercise.  Catching the Lincecum pick as possible, and watching it happen over real time, was probably what got me so energized doing these over the years.

But the draft experts generally are pretty good at using their sources and getting close to reality.  Talent is one thing, but each team values certain skills more than others, so teams often go off the board (just not as often as the Giants).  I've see Callis mock select the first 10 or so picks before, and the major experts like him and Mayo generally get 80-ish percent correct for the first 10, and not miss by many in the next ten.  But all you need is one team to go way off the board, to create a domino effect and just crush the mock.  Still, these mocks give a great idea of the talent available in the eyes of major league scouts.

I would note that one draft study (BP) found that the youngest draftees tend to do better than their older draftees.  That seems like a valuable insight but it is only useful after the draft, because nobody knows the composition of the draft until after the draft.  As, it is not the youngest overall, else one could just go to the list of birthdates and rank them like that.  But it is a good factor to consider if you are ranking prospects after the draft.  Plus, if a team does use that as a guide to the draft, it probably will ruin it as a predictor in the future, for, in my eyes, it should be the talent that wins out.

The Giants Will Select...

Foolish to try and guess, but I'll share my thoughts.  From the list of prospects above, I would keep an eye on Nate Pearson, Logan Warmoth, David Peterson, Tanner Houck, Griffin Canning, and Alex Lange.   Warmoth and Peterson, in particular.  Plus, any prospect who is expected to go top 15 who falls to the Giants, if you got the time for that.  Warmoth is the only SS in the list, Peterson comes from Oregon, where I believe both Susac and Osich came from.

Peterson especially, as he's a lefty with mid-90's velocity (89-94 MPH per MLB site) and above average slider, changeup, and control (which has been the Giants mantra with Barr for pitchers).  But I've seen mocks with him gone by the Giants, so I won't expect him to be around, but if he is, I would think they would go for him, the Giants always need top line pitching, and he looks like he's going to be one for a while.  He was not considered that great heading into the season but has pitched himself into mid-round consideration.   I've seen a couple of mocks have him gone, and a couple that had him falling beyond.

Most have Warmoth falling beyond the Giants, which is why, while I like Peterson more, Warmoth (or an unknown) is more likely.   He fits the profile, better, too, than Peterson, as Peterson is ranked 19th on the MLB Pipeline, while Warmoth is 27th (Houck 20th, Canning 17th, Lange 23rd, Pearson 35th).   BA, however, has Peterson 17th and Warmoth 19th (Houck 22nd, Canning 27th, Lange 34th, Pearson 13th).

Another name that had popped up before, not sure why I didn't include above,  is Trevor Rogers (BA 31st and MLB 25th), oh, he's a HS pitcher, that's why, and generally the Giants don't select, but did select Tim Alderson in 22nd in 2007 (as well as, of course, Madison Bumgarner).   And he is within range.  

Enjoy and Go Giants!


  1. The Giants drafted Heliot Ramos, high school outfielder from Puerto Rico, with their first round pick, says he has five tools (they do love their toolsy players) and can still stick in CF, though I saw comments that said he would have to move to a corner OF position. Of course, many thought that Arroyo and Panik would not be able to stick at SS either. His nascent power was the big talking point that I saw. They liked his performance in the Under Armour games, where he was a double away from the cycle. BA viewed him as a "divisive" prospect because he did not compete at many top events, and so did not showcase his talents as much as others.

    With their second round pick, #58, they drafted Jacob Gonzalez, 3B, son of former major leaguer, Luis Gonzalez, who made his name with Arizona Diamondbacks and killed the Giants when he played us. Dad has already said that his son is signing and attending whatever camps is available. He was picked higher than expected, and thus there was some speculation that he could be signed for less than the slot. However, the Giants have rarely signed any of their highest picks for less than slot (and some for above slot).

    They appeared to try to do that with Mac Williamson, who was selected many rounds before he was expected, and he basically signed for slot just before the signing deadline. What this said to me was that they tried to get him for a lot less, closer to where his rank was, in order to have extra slot space to sign one of the fliers that they had selected with their picks in round 30 and later (like they did with John Riley), but he held out for slot and eventually the Giants gave in and at least signed him, just before the deadline. If they intended to sign him for slot, it would have made more sense to sign him immediately, like they did with a lot of other draftees, and get him more game experience at Salem-Keizer that summer, instead of waiting at the last moment just to sign him for slot.

    1. I've seen one report that notes that the last first round pick HS OF was Adam Hyzdu back in 1990. While that is true, he was not the last HS OF drafted by the Giants in the first round.

      Arturo McDowell was drafted #29 in the first round of the 1998 draft, but third player the Giants selected in that draft.

      And then there was Wendell Fairley, also #29, but in the first round of the 2007 draft where we drafted Madison Bumgarner with our first pick.

      So the Giants have drafted a HS OF roughly every 10 or so years, over the last three decades. Coincidentally, the only other HS OF the Giants have drafted was Gary Mathews in 1968. So they have had a cycle of this over the life of the draft, missing only the 1978-ish draft period, was late in 1990, but back on track in 1998, then 2007, and now 2017. :)

      Of course, this is all coincidences, this is all about finding data and then fitting it to a pattern, but it's funny how life works sometimes.

      Kind of like how so many people still harp on the Giants for not developing an OF via the draft. They forget to mention how hard it is just to develop any particular position. They forget to mention that they have developed very good, All-Star and/or Gold Glove caliber starting C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, SP, plus RP.

      Those who point out that the Giants are not developing OF are biased. They could be biased against the Giants. Against Sabean. Or just biased because they don't know the truth or just don't want to know the truth, of the draft.

  2. Here are links to Heliot Ramos articles:

    1. He has already signed:

      Forgot to note that he comes from athletic genes, one brother is on the Puerto Rico National Soccer team, and the other is a baseball prospect, signing with Dodgers for this season, after being in the Red Sox's farm system previously and originally.

      Not that much text, so I'll quote here:

      "Ramos was the No. 30 prospect in the BA 500. He has excellent speed and raw power.

      Ramos was the MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game last summer. He’s an explosive, quick-twitch athlete. He has the tools to develop into one of the game’s top prospects, and provides an immediate jolt to the Giants’ farm system. Ramos has made tremendous progress with his English in the past calendar. He receives positive reviews for his character and work ethic. Ramos is one of the youngest players in this year’s class; he won’t turn 18 until September."

    2. On a knee jerk basis, seems like he's like the guy we traded last season, Lucius Fox, only he plays CF, while Fox is a SS. Basically, very raw, but has fast fast speed, very quick.

  3. Links to Gonzalez draft pick:

  4. Links to Round 3 pick, Seth Corry:

    "Corry, who has committed to attending Brigham Young University, is said to possess above-average breaking stuff and complements that with a fastball that hovers in the 90-92 mph range. His 6-foot-2, 195-pound stature makes it easy to project him in any role on a pitching staff."

    1. From CBS:

      "The Utah prep product is a southpaw with a fastball that consistently sits in the low 90s and a changeup that could develop into an average offering. His calling card is his curveball, however, which sits in the upper 70s and consistently misses bats. Inconsistency has been the biggest bane to Corry's senior season, although when he's on, scouts liken him to the dominant phases of Matt Moore. Fastball command has also been an issue, which inhibits him from getting to use his lethal curveball to get outs. Scouts are confident that his athleticism and 6-foot-2 frame will help him garner more control as he matures."

  5. This draft website lists all the Giants picks, as well as others, if you change theteam selection:



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