Saturday, December 8, 2012

Scouting the Draft: Brett Morales RHP

If I had to pick one prospect who I think the Giants have a decent chance of drafting in 2013, I'd have to say the guy I want is Brett Morales.  Although I doubt he will still be on the board at #27, the Giants still have a chance to move up several notches in the draft depending on how the FA's with qualifying offers shake out and Morales could well still be there in the early 20's.

He's out of the Florida HS ranks.  He's got nice size at 6'2", 190 lbs.  He's a hard thrower with a fastball that touches 94 with sink.  What has scouts excited is his changeup which is already an above average pitch with plus potential.  He also has a 12-6 curveball with above average potential.  He throws from a high 3/4 delivery that is easy and loose.  He mixes his pitches well.

Perfect Game comments after one showcase called him one of the best arms so far and called his changeup the best off-speed pitch seen so far.  His HS 2012 line:  6-1, 0.99, 49.1 IP, 14 BB, 58 K.  He's mostly played IF before 2012 so hasn't built up a lot of miles on his arm.  BA had a rave review of another showcase event back in June 2012.

He has a big, strong lower half that reminds me a bit of Chad Billingsley.  Some scouting reports mention that he can learn to use his lower have more to build velocity down the road.  The video I saw looked like he already uses it to his advantage.  It looks like he already knows how to use his legs to take stress off his arm.

Big League Futures has a more complete profile.  They have him ranked as the #11 draft prospect.  Most mock drafts have him anywhere from the mid first round down to the late 20's.  BA has him ranked as the #21 HS draft prospect which would put him all the way out of the first round.  I find that a bit hard to believe after some of the scouting reports I've read!  BA also had him ranked at #23 in their first overall draft ranking from August, so there's a discrepancy there.  Jonathan Mayo has him ranked at #32 with a similar scouting report.


  1. Love this guy. I'd be very happy for the Giants to swoop him up if he's there. It cracks me up the standards these days - Mayo is saying he's not the biggest guy ever - he's 6'2! A 17 year old throwing a 12-6 curve like that is sweet. The movement on the fastball is nice. And the easy loose arm. Very nice. Lets see, he has a fastball, a nice curve and his change up is being called the best off-speed pitch. Mayo says he needs to develop his breaking ball. What, a slider? Again, crazy standards.

    Sometimes the projection stuff gets way overvalued in my opinion. What is wrong with a HS player who is already pretty mature anyways? Maybe scouts are just in love with projects and dreaming. I would go with the smoother, closer to ready most of the time, unless the raw tools were absolutely smash your face overwhelming.

    Lots of nice pitchers in this class. Only a couple stand out as definite top 10 to me. Giants should be able to get something nice.

    1. The great thing about this class from the Giants standpoint is the prospects who will be available in the first and even second rounds are nearly as good as the guys who will be at the top of the draft. Second year in a row for that dynamic in the draft.

    2. This is where I love the new CBA. The Giants pick 3 times in the top 100. In the 20s, right around 60 and then again at 95, give or take with these silly comp picks for "small market" teams. I think that will get that second tier HS talent a little more consideration in the 2nd and 3rd round, as the bonuses are still pretty nice.

  2. And DrB - you see the DPL signing? Nice looking RHP, Argenis Rodriguez. Here's a link:

    I think its safe to conclude now that the Giants played the back end of the draft very conservatively this year because they were saving their pennies for the DSL. I have to admit I was mostly wrong (our dustup on OGC's joint) on where the money should go and what they were doing.

    Raiby Barias 115K
    Argenis Rodriguez 160K
    Nathanael Javier 500K

    Not a bad haul at all, and just as good as American HS kids in the 11-20 rounds. I've looked through, and the signing rate wasn't very high. Teams like the Yanks and Mets loaded up (a strategy I was pushing at the time) and it turns out they were only signing 1 out of 3 as a rough ratio. So the Giants played it insanely conservative, but they had other fish to fry.

    My bad on that. I think I fell into the HS kids are awesome upside trap, and put too much emphasis on the fact Clayton Blackburn has broken through as a 16th rounder for 100K signing.

    The other thing that keeps going through my head is that you only have so many roster spots, and so many kids to bring along. You have to spread it out somewhat, to be able to have your instructors do the best work. Because all development is a gamble.

    1. Giants definitely ramped up their international activity this year. I think the new bonus limitations have helped them a lot with more good prospects now dropping into their price range. I read somewhere that the international bonus limitations will not be equal in the future and the Giants stand to have theirs cut, so gotta make hay while the sun shines.

      As we've noted here, another area where the Giants have really stepped up their game is scouting and signing minor league FA's. Vogey, Blanco and Arias represent enormous low cost talent additions through that process. They got some value out of Justin Christian too.

    2. The low cost talents have been very successful. I am sure they aren't aiming at a fill-in for a year when they scout though. The huge success stories such as Joey Batts or Jeff Kent, both not quite top prospects who bounced around from team to team until something clicked is the ultimate goal. The Giants may not get another shot at one of those premium players like Posey or MadBum. To maintain the success they have now, its going to take hard scouting work, and some luck. They get a big bat out of this (yes, I fully admit to being greedy here) and that can help sustain the run they are on big time.

      I would like them to take a shot once in a while on a HS bat, but I know it has to be the right timing, and a very special player. This McGuire guy out of Virginia coming off of back surgery is a sort of beat up value who might be interesting. But the problem with HS players in the next 4-5 years is you lose out on the development time. Its a fine line between team needs and best player available, and even though teams always say best player available, a lot of time team needs take first dibs. The Giants got lucky with Stratton dropping to them, they didn't have to make a choice.

  3. I liked the video and scouting reports I saw of Brett Morales. It looks like he has a nice easy delivery. The Giants might have a chance at him, depending on the season he has.. I've read in BA that the Giants have good scouts in Florida, so I'm sure they're on him as we speak..

    It was interesting looking back at the Giants drafts from 2007 to 2012, and they've definitely concentrated more on the College ranks for their early round picks. However the Giants have gotten a lot of return that helped them win their 2 WS titles from high school players they picked early: 2007-MADBUM (rotation), Tim Alderson - (traded for Freddie Sanchez), 2009-Tommy Joseph (traded for Hunter Pence).. Zack Wheeler - I was skeptical when they picked him because he sounded like a high risk/high reward pick coming from the High School ranks.. Look at him now, he is one of the top pitching prospects in MLB. The Giants winning the WS in 2012 has lessened the sting considerably for me of that trade for Carlos Beltran.. I'm hopeful of Kyle Crick developing into a good pitching prospect looking back at their recent track record of drafting high school players. I would be happy if the Giants pick a high school pitcher like Brett Morales based on their recent track record with their high school draft picks and success of developing young pitching.


    1. I wonder if it's cheaper to get help in the offseason than during during the season before the deadlie.

      For the conjecture: Pagan, Melky, Arias, Blanco.

      Against: Beltran?? (not saying if it was right or worthy, but cheaper comparatively speaking versus mroe potential choices/trading partners available during the offseason, and even then it's ??).

      I am for spending a little more to get a left fielder now than trying to visualize a trade of Crick for help during the season. If we have a need due to something unforseen, and if we are in it, I am for doing what is necessary to go for it...for a reasonably price hopefully, knowing we will have to overpay.

    2. Well, Scutaro was cheap enough, but Pence and Beltran were both expensive. I think it just depends on the individual player a team is trying to acquire and how urgent they are to land him. On average, probably mid-season trades are more expensive because of the urgency of nailing down a playoff spot and trying to outmaneuver competitors.

    3. I wouldn't want to trade Crick either, but he is a pretty sweet chip. Its going to be a rough 3-4 years for prospect hounds, because we will need to sell off parts to fill in on the major league level. Sabean got knocked for his sideways trades (I admit I grumbled) where he would shuffle off a B piece and get back some other B piece. 2006's Accardo for Hillenbrand. Barnes for Garko in 2009. Little risked, little rewarded. But if Freddy Sanchez didn't get hurt (and that's a can of worms) (and man did a lot of Giants blogs not like THAT trade) and Garko played up a little, they had a shot in the West. Mainly though, he was protecting his core, and everybody wanted to poach Timmy/Cain/MadBum/Johnny Sanchez and he stood tall. He takes a shot on winning the west again (with a 4 game lead, that is constantly swept under the rug now) and the roof caved in. I commend Sabean for a) making the Wheeler trade because flags fly forever and b) not chasing after Beltran because he saw the flaws.

      But yeah, Pence was expensive, but flags fly forever. With Wheeler and Joseph in our system it would be considered top 15 easy, and there'd be a bunch of hype. But we're competing to win, not have the bestestest farm system in the world. And here is where Sabean is head and shoulders above these other GMs that get hyped all the time. He scraps together parts and goes and competes. Only 4 years losing over his stay, and that was being saddled with unreasonable ownership requirements and bad luck with pitching prospects. I think the farm as trading post will come back in vogue though, and so I'd buckle up on that front.

    4. Expensive Pence: How expensive was Pence, a mid-season acquisition? Let's compare him with a parallel instance, of someone comparable acquired offseason, B.J. Upton. Pence and BJ Upton have about the same career fWAR value (Pence 21.1 in 3787 PA, Upton 23.1 in 4063 PA) and except for BA very similar Bill James projections for 2013, ISO virtually identical, Pence thirty points of BA ahead (.277 to .248), nine points of OBP ahead (.338 to .329), twenty-eight points of slugging ahead (.464 to .436). Pence cost us Schierholtz, who was injured and then non-tendered, so hardly counts, plus Tommy Joseph. So the question of how expensive Pence was is how good Joseph may someday be--we don't really know. The cost of Upton was a first-round draft choice, an imponderable to set against the cost of Joseph. The Braves got themselves a center fielder, at the cost of a hefty contract ($15 p.a.) and a 5-year obligation. We got a year and a half of Pence (2012-2013) for some millions less than $22.5M--a year and a half of Upton at his Braves rate--and in exchange for the cost of uncertainty in our OF roster after 2013, considerably more freedom and maybe still more millions. I can't say that this comparison suggests that midseason help, which we got when we really needed it, is costlier than offseason hiring. And I am glad we didn't get a LF this offseason, and thus shut down the 2013 roster so that we wouldn't be able to benefit from surprise discoveries of the sort that Sabean has made the last three years, for the field and for pitching.

    5. Might be small potatoes but we gave up Seth Rosin, the Minny RH, who most likely goes to the pen. Pence was a lot cheaper with only 1 arb year on him though, that's for sure. The Phils gave up a lot to grab him. And as things go full circle, it looks like Bourne is out there as the last man standing, in FA as he was in the trade market, and he might get some team a deal yet again.

      I agree, the offseason is different, and the price you pay most times in these times is big money and locking out your other opportunities. You can gain big by locking up, but you can also lose. I think most interwebz roster dreamers only look at the possible gain.

  4. re: Morales - my first guess was that the Giants would select Morales, also. It will be interesting to see how things shake out between now and then, but Morales sounds like the perfect Tidrow project.