So I'm the scouting director for the mock draft, I'll do my best to give a good organizational snapshot, and encourage a lively discussion to flesh out possible picks for Los Gigantes. Official administrative assistants are (alpha order) Fla-Giant, free f.p. #14, Gobroks and James Westfall. I am cribbing from Fla-Giant from last year, and I realize I have some big shoes to fill here. Fla-Giant has graciously volunteered for alternate duty on draft day, hopefully we will all be around to participate.
Cannot emphasize enough the importance for collaboration, different points of view and lively debate. Please don't be shy about chiming in. I have a different style that can at times be a little seat of the pants, I don't always cross the t's and dot the i's. So all constructive criticism and organizational reinforcement is also encouraged. I will crib from some of the posts I put up in the past two months at MCC. More after the jump.First Discussion will lay down the basics and look at first round candidates. Anything down the draft is encouraged as well, but as always, most attention is paid to the magic bullet of that first round pick.
THE PICKS: The Giants pick at the 20th, 84th, 115th, 148th and 178th picks in the first five rounds. No supplemental picks. After the 20th pick, there will be a lot of time as players fly off the boards until that 84th pick.
THE MONEY: The Giants are one of the most underfunded teams in the first draft under the new CBA. The bonus pool dictated by MLB for the first 10 rounds is $4,076,400 for 10 overall picks.
Quick note: here is BA's link to the draft basics: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/draft/draft-basics/2012/2613180.html
THE NEEDS: Let's start the debate right. This goes to the heart of the matter with the Giants. As a rule, do you take the best player available, irregardless? The past two drafts, picking late in the round, the Giants have taken what I categorize as "safe college bats". In 2010, Gary Brown was highly ranked by BA, and not too much of a shock at the 24 spot. In 2011, Joe Panik was considered more of a reach with the 29th overall pick. Since taking over the drafts as scouting director in 2008, John Barr has heavily favored college players. Is this going to continue this year? Just to put it down, here are the first five rounds of picks in the past 4 years: College unless noted with HS, draft round/overall pick:
2010: Gary Brown CF (1/24), Jarrett Parker CF (2/74), Carter Jurica SS (3/105), Seth Rosin RHP (4/138), and Heath Hembree RHP (5/168)
So the GIants have picked in the 147 spot 3 of 4 years under Barr. Weird. But the main point is they have drafted exactly 3 HS players overall in the first 5 rounds with their 21 picks. 2 pitchers with Wheeler and Crick, and 1 position player in Tommy Joseph. This is a pretty heavy trend, and needs to be acknowledged heavily in planning.
Back to the needs, by position. I put up rambling posts on this earlier in the spring, I'll paraphrase greatly here:
Pitching: The Giants have possible back of the rotation arms kicking around with Eric Surkamp and Mike Kickham, both lefties. Surkamp hasn't pitched yet this year and Kickham has been a mixed bag in AA. The bulk of the talent is extremely young, hanging out in Augusta: Kyle Crick, Clayton Blackburn and Adalberto Mejia are the consensus top 3 among MCC prospect hounds. Chris Marlowe and Bryce Bandilla have also been starting in Augusta, which is a very interesting development.
You can never have enough pitching, and I expect the Giants to target pitchers early and often. I believe the Giants look for two things: fastball velocity and the ability to spot said fastball. Big frames help, but they aren't averse to taking risks on smaller frames, as we quite famously know.
Catcher: The Giants are stacked at catcher. Hector Sanchez is up in the majors struggling a bit with adjustments, but looks to be at the least a solid backup in the show. Tommy Joseph is the third youngest player in the Eastern this year. If he proves out, he will get a ton of national press. The rep with him is light tower power and questionable defense. He has been working steadily on that defense. Andrew Susac is perhaps the most athletic of the top three catchers, he has been struggling in his pro debut, but it is early. The Giants also have other backup types including Johnny Monell, Jeff Arnold, Joe Staley, Dan Burkhart, Jackson Williams and my sleeper Alex Burg. And ol Crash Davis himself, Eli Whiteside. The point here is, the Giants have so many catchers they have problems getting them playing time in the organization. However, the theory of musical chairs with these prospects, who take up a fair amount of the top 10 in the org is a valid one. Buster Posey moves to a corner, Joseph moves to a corner, etc. So I wouldn't rule out the seemingly crazy notion of crafting yet another catcher.
Middle Infield: The woes with the big club kind of accentuate this. The GIants have defensive first very questionable bats with Crawford and Adrianza. Then there are the less heralded guys such as Jurica, Tomlinson, Bond, Noonan and the list goes on. 2B there is Culberson, who is still young and doing well in the hitting environment in Fresno. And of course there is Joe Panik, who's ability to stick at shortstop is a big question mark and debate point. The Giants so far have paid pretty big lip service to Panik sticking. Most of the consensus seems to be for moving him to 2B. As a point of discussion, I'd like to touch on the "move off of SS" debate, particularly with the possible first rounders this year. It is one of the hardest positions to fill, there is a dearth of good hitting SS's in the majors and a dearth of good hitting prospects in the minors. Getting a legit hitting SS is a gigantic positional advantage, so this is something the Giants really need to look at. Now whether they will or not, that is the battle with reality we'll have.
Corner Infield: I'd call it weak. The Giants have been taking shots at highly rated "dinged up" power prospects with potential flaws in their game. As in, not enough contact. Chris Dominguez is the poster boy, and Ricky Oropesa is the next in line. Can't emphasize this enough, the Giants need more production from 3 of 4 corners. With Pablo Sandoval out with the broken hamate (thankfully a procedure we're getting comfortable with as Giants fans), at the moment all 4 corners are not making the grade with MLB power and production. There are a couple of college hitters who would fit the need, and the MO of John Barr.
Outfield: Gary Brown is the big hope, to come and solve the leadoff woes that have been torturing GIants fans for... a very very long time. In addition, the Giants have interesting speedy candidates in Jesus Galindo and Shawn Payne. However, they are not playing Payne in CF and Galindo has leg issues and hasn't played yet. Francisco Peguero, aka Frankie Pegs, is the most tooled up guy in the system (courtesy of Andrew Baggerly) and has much to get excited about although Giants prospect hounds eye his walk rate and shudder. Roger Kieschnick is enjoying some mashing in Fresno and has possibly reignited his prospect flame, after struggling with back injuries and contact issues in Richmond the past 2 years. Giants fans are quite rightly very cynical of AAA numbers though. Other names include Jarrett Parker (big time K rate) and young Chuckie Jones (amazing K rate) and RafRod (injured, hasn't played).
STRATEGY: That is the million dollar question. Do you go high upside high school pitcher or even roll the dice with a position player (please note: I will say less than 5% chance but I do want to discuss this)?? Or do you continue to take shots at a college player who might have a quick turnaround and help supplement the big club and the pitching. It is worth noting that the Giants now have Cain and Bumgarner locked for 5-6 years. They have Vogelsong and Zito for the next 2, depending on how that shakes. The other gigantic question revolves around Tim Lincecum and his struggles. They have 2 years to evaluate that, and at the moment its looking pretty savvy that they didn't go all in with Timmy. But the obvious need to get impact bats has to be a huge debate at this point in time, given the proven ability to not only hit on high draft pick ace types but also scrounge the 20s in the draft as well as the reclamation projects and come up with good pitching.
CANDIDATES: I'm going to cut and paste a few candidates that might be on the board for the first round to look at. There are candidates I like more than others, I'm trying to get an early sense of the guys to choose from. Will update stats as needed/available, and these are in no particular order of preference, we'll chop that up soon. If descriptions are needed, we'll fill in on the comments, I want to keep this shorter than my previous ramblings.
Walker Weickel. HS from Olympia HS (FL), Miami commit 6’6 205, R/R 11/14/1993
Lance McCullers, HS from Jesuit HS (FL), Florida commit 6’1 190 L/R 10/02/1993
Lucas Sims, HS from Brookwood HS (GA), Clemson commit 6’2 195 R/R 5/10/1994
Duane Underwood, HS from Pope HS (GA), Georgia commit 6’2 205 R/R 7/20/1994
Carson Kelly, HS from Westview HS (OR), Oregon commit 6’2 200 R/R 7/14/1994
Ty Hensley, HS from Sante Fe HS (OK), Mississippi commit 6’4 220 B/R 07/30/1993
Hunter Virant HS from Camarillo HS (CA), UCLA commit 6’3 175 R/L 05/22/1994
Nick Travieso, HS from Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL), Miami commit 6’3 205 R/R 1/31/1994
Matt Smoral, HS from Solon HS (OH), UNC commit 6’8 225 L/L 03/18/1994
Zach Eflin, HS from Hagerty HS (FL), Central Florida commit 6’5 200 R/R 5/8/1994
Brian Johnson, Junior from Florida 6’3 225 L/L 12/07/1990
Andrew Heaney, Junior from Oklahoma State 6’2 175 L/L 06/05/1991
Marcus Stroman, Junior from Duke 5’9 185 R/R 5/01/1991
Michael Wacha, Junior from Texas A&M 6’6 195 R/R 7/01/1991
Pierce Johnson, Junior from Missouri State 6’3 180 R/R 5/10/1991
Chris Stratton, Junior from Mississippi State 6’3 200 R/R 8/22/1990
Martin Agosta. Junior from St. Mary’s (CA) 6’1 180 R/R
Chris Beck, Junior from Georgia Southern 6’3 220 R/R 9/04/1990
Alex Wood, Red Shirt Sophomore from Georgia 6’4 220 R/L 01/12/1991
Dylan Baker, Sophomore from Western Nevada JC 6’3, 215 R/R
Victor Roache, Junior from Georgia Southern (OF) 6’1 225 R/R 9/17/1991
Richie Shaffer, Junior from Clemson (1B/3B) 6’4 195 R/R 03/15/1991
Travis Jankowski CF Stony Brook (6’3 190 L/R 9/13/1991 JR)
Barrett Barnes CF Texas Tech (6’1 210 R/R 7/29/1991 JR)
Tyler Naquin RF Texas A&M (6’2 175 L/R 4/24/1991 JR)
Stephen Piscotty 3B Stanford (6’3 195 R/R 1/14/1991 JR)
James Ramsey RF Florida State (6’0 190 L/R 12/19/1989 SR)
Deven Marrero, SS ASU 6’1 195 lbs. R/R 08/25/1990 JR
Joey Gallo. HS from Gorman HS (NV), LSU commit (1B/3B/P) 6’4 200 L/R 11/19/1993
Stryker Trahan, HS from Acadiana HS (LA), Ole Miss commit (C) 6’1 220 L/R 4/25/1994
Trey Williams, HS from Valencia HS (CA), Pepperdine commit (3B) 6’1 210 R/R 3/09/1994
David Dahl, HS from Oak Mountain HS (AL), Auburn commit (OF) 6’2 185 L/R 4/1/1994
Lewis Brinson, HS from Tamarac HS (FL), Florida commit (OF) 6’3 180 R/R 5/8/1994
Courtney Hawkins, HS from Carroll HS (TX), Texas commit (OF/P) 6'2 210 R/R
Gavin Cecchini, HS from Barbe HS, LA, Ole Miss commit 6’2 185 lbs. R/R 12/22/1993
Addison Russell. HS from Pace HS, FL, Auburn commit 6’1 205 lbs. R/R DOB: 01/23/1994
So there are 20 pitchers and 16 position players to start. I most likely forgot players and put some on that shouldn't be considered, but I want to start from scratch to not allow my personal biases kick anything off. I am assuming the following players will definitely be off the board, and this is wide open for debate as well:
College Hitters: Zunnino
College Pitchers: Appel, Zimmer, Gausman
HS Hitters: Correa, Buxton, Almora
HS Pitchers: Giolito, Fried
These may be completely wrong, but I feel like they are good assumptions. If you have a case for these guys dropping, throw it down. Definitely some of the candidates I put up above have been falling or losing their shine, but these things can change quick. After some chopping up, I'll put up a narrowed down list with stats and more details.
Excited to do this, lemme know what works and what doesn't.