Sunday, January 6, 2013

DrB's 2013 Giants Top 50 Prospects #19: Shilo McCall

Shilo McCall, OF.  DOB:  6/2/1994.  6'1", 210 lbs.  B-R, T-R.

Rookie AZL:  .246/.366/.377, 3 HR, 6 SB.

Shilo McCall was drafted in the 9'th round of the 2012 draft out of Farmington, NM.  The Giants actually called in the 7'th round, but wanted a commitment and bonus agreement before they submitted his name at the draft.  They negotiated for 3 rounds before he finally agreed to a $200 K bonus in round 9.  In a post-draft interview, he said he was looking for $250 K to break his commitment to college at Arkansas, but really wanted to start his pro career so decided to take the Giants final take-it-or-leave-it offer.

As for a scouting report, McCall looks like a bigger body stuffed into a smaller one. I've seen his measurements listed as 6'1"-6'2" with weights of 205-215. He is significantly bigger with more power potential than the more highly touted Alex Bregman also from New Mexico. He looks well balanced and athletic.  Hate to say it, but his body and even facial features remind me a lot of Mike Trout.  I also found a picture of him in his batting stance wearing his AZL Giants uniform on Google Images.  His batting stance and bat position remind me of Steve Garvey and Albert Pujols.  Here's his pre-draft scouting report from BA:

"He has a muscular, 6'2", 205 lb frame , runs well for his size and has strength in his swing, though has a tendency to pull off balls.  He shows an average arm.  Some scouts think there's too much stiffness to his game and don't think he's speedy enough for center field or powerful enough for a corner spot."

In 2 scouting videos I found, he has a quiet, squared up stance.  He holds his bat in the ready position and uses no windup or load.  The swing itself is level to slightly uppercut with a noticeable pull.

He got off to a great start in his pro debut but his numbers tailed off in August.  The normal progression would be low A Augusta for 2013, but I could see him staying in extended spring training followed by a stop in Salem-Keizer.  Of course, not everybody who looks like Mike Trout, Steve Garvey or Albert Pujols turns into a player like that but I like what I see and am cautiously optimistic that the Giants may have found themselves a nice hidden gem in the draft here.

BTW, my wife and I lived and worked at a small hospital and clinic in Monument Valley, UT for 2 years after residency.  The nearest shopping mall was in Farmington, NM and we'd make the 3 hour drive over there about once a month, more just to get a sniff of civilization than anything.  Farmington is right on the edge of the Navajo Nation out in the middle of the badlands.  It's a dusty place with not a whole lot near it except those badlands.  Athletes from those parts tend to gravitate more to rodeo than baseball or football.  Shilo McCall is a great rodeo name.  Not sure about baseball.


  1. Your facts are close but not totally square on the draft. They contacted him in the 5th, 7th and then ultimately the 9th. I've never seen a firm figure of what he was asking for. Slot in the 5th was $224,500, in the 7th was $144,000 and in the 9th was $125,600. He ultimately signed for 200K on the nose. As the only HS player taken until the late rounds, McCall stands out in the Giants draft of 2012. He would have most likely not been the Gatorade New Mexico player of the year if Alex Bregman had stayed healthy, but those are the breaks. It is quite possible the scout and the players "representative" had prior history with a player named Jake McCasland, which might have led to the prolonged negotiations over several rounds.

    Interestingly, he might have been the first player the Giants contacted prior to drafting. Not sure about Okert, but Stratton, Agosta and Williamson all found out about getting picked by watching the interenet/tv like the rest of us. This fits with the Giants rep as the Monks of MLB. Now each player most likely has a representative, and some players get more involved in the process than others, so it should be taken with a grain of salt.

    While other teams were cutting deals with college seniors, the Giants played the draft straight. So it turns out they had IFA prospects from the DPL lined up for the July 2nd deadline. Gustavo Cabrera for 1.3MM, Nathaniel Javier for 500K. If you are looking at "slot money" from the draft, 1.3K is between the 39th and 40th pick. Cabrera compares favorably with Byron Buxton, the 2nd pick of the draft. 500K was the slot bonus for the 95th pick (incidentally a HS pitcher Alec Rash who the Phillies failed to sign).

    What's my point? It pays to wait and evaluate when you have as many facts as possible. The draft was debated and outraged in Gints interwebz prospect land, and I definitely did my share of stirring. (Although I did see a lot to like initially as well to be fair). The Giants decided to go pitching heavy, and college heavy in the draft. They also played the draft straight while other teams were playing games with signing college seniors on the cheap.

    The cold hard fact, and I lost sight of this a bit, is the Giants had the 25th ranked amount of draft pool money. 4MM can't really get spread too far. At the top, the Twins and Astros had three times that. Six other teams had nearly double. I held them to a high standard, which got unreasonable. If they found 2-3 HS pitchers in the 11-20 rounds as they did with Clayton Blackburn a year before for 100K plus a little overslot, I would have been very happy with the draft. Instead I thought it was mixed. That was most likely a mistake on my part.

    I would note that my desire for a tad more youth is partly inspired by the fact the Giants seem to be good at it: Crick, Blackburn at the top end already. Chuckie Jones and McCall right here. A few more shots, lottery tickets or steaks in the freezer so to speak, would be nice. But on the other hand, the Giants complete confidence in doing something wildly different than the rest of MLB, I like that. I would note that Ty Blach, the pitcher selected in the 5th round, most likely won't make any top 50 lists. I think its ok to have some constructive criticism of the Giants, but have to admit to a little nitpicking last year that I'll watch out for this coming one.

    1. Shankbone, can you expalin this part - Giants decided to go pitching heavy, and college heavy in the draft. They also played the draft straight while other teams were playing games with signing college seniors on the cheap?

      Were they all, the Giants and other teams, going after seniors, but somehow we played it straight and they were playing games - is that what you're saying? Was the difference college and college-seniors? Was the differnce we were not signing on the cheap and the other teams were? I am not familiar with the details to understand what you'ere saying.

      The second comment I have is that related to the fact that the Giants seem to be good at it: Crick, Blackburn at the top end and Chuckie Jones and McCall right here. There are two approaches to this:

      1. They have been good/great at it, so we want to them do it now (drafting HS kids).

      2. They have been goood/great at it, so they know what they are doing; if they don't do it now, they know what they are doing.

    2. Where were you when I needed you most, BLSL?

      That captures very succinctly what I was trying to convey on MCC when the draft happened. I just was not good at it. I felt like scorched earth afterward.

      If the Giants are good at it, then why not assume that they used their best judgement that there wasn't anyone really interesting enough to jump through all the hoops? Perfect.

      I mostly took the line that prospects that far back in the draft are total crapshoots. Nobody can identify prospects that well once you get that deep into the draft. Heck, nobody can identify prospects that well once you get past the first few picks, the odds move quickly downward as you get deeper into the first round, until it is pretty bad by the last third of the first round. So to have such outrage that the Giants did not deign to try to sign any H.S. prospects or to do the machinations necessary to pick one up then, seemed over the top to me.

      Didn't matter, my point of view wasn't really welcomed, and that's fine, that's why I don't go around there much anymore.

    3. Its fair to say that the Giants took a conservative approach to the draft taking only 1HS player in the 1st 10 rounds. However.its hard to understand why fans would criticize that approach because the Giants have been successful lately drafting good players and the draft is such a crapshoot. I read a BA article recently that attributed the Red Sox recent slide to their high risk/high reward draft philosophy between 2006-2010 of drafting high school players in the early rounds who were costly.misses.


    4. BLSL - Good question, my bad on scrimping on the description but I'm already long winded enough as it is. First off, college seniors have absolutely no leverage. They can sign for whatever is offered or basically kiss a chance at the pro's goodbye. Unfair? A bit. There are a few high profile examples, such as Stanford's Mark Appel, who will get big offers, but that is a special Scott Boras advised case, and in my opinion its a pretty big risk. It should be interesting to see what happens with Appel. I predict he will fall lower than where the Pirates took him, and will have to settle for less money. Right now he's at the top of most draft boards though.

      Anyways, some teams chose to get around the new CBA draft restrictions like this: make a pre-draft deal with a college senior for short money somewhere in the 3-10th rounds, so they would then have more of their pool money preserved to overspend in the back of the draft, rounds 11-40. The Blue Jays and the Rangers were the biggest buy-ins to this concept, but the Mariners, Red Sox were also up there, and eventually the Cubs, Pirates, Rays and Orioles joined in. By the 9th/10th rounds, over half the guys taken were seniors or 5th years. So teams were signing guys for 5K-10K to preserve extra money to spend on the next segment.

      So when McCall was drafted, he really stood out, the first HS guy for the Giants when a good amount of MLB was doing something different. The Giants started THEIR run on college seniors on day 3, around the 17th round, and proceeded to draft 17 seniors or 5th year guys. So they ended up with the oldest draft class in the majors when it was all said and done. Now, this wasn't met well, and I definitely joined in, got in some arguments with OGC and DrB about it. Here's where my mistake was: not waiting to see what the Giants might do in the IFA section of player development. My white whale: one Gustavo Cabrera. So there it is. That has mellowed me out about the whole thing.

      So hopefully that answers your question. College seniors 99% of the time = easy and inexpensive signees. Upon review I actually found some interesting ballplayers. This was my first time delving into the deeper parts of the draft waters and it was a learning experience.

      In answer to the second part, we've had some discussions in this joint about what the Giants might be looking for, and what they are comfortable with. I think they have higher standards for HS players, because its higher risk/higher reward. We discussed pitchers being a surer bet. I think that's most of it. Hope that helps, thanks for reading what I wrote, its a fun thing to try and figure out.

    5. OGC - If I left you hanging in that draft room talk in any way I am sorry. I always try to be polite and thoughtful about these things. I agree with you on a lot of things, and as I have said a ton, that draft study of yours is the goods.

      Here is how I view the draft: an inverse dart board. You have the 1-5 picks as a big fat circle in the middle. Pretty good chances to hit. Then the next 15-20 picks are a smaller circle outside that. Pretty nice, but getting a lot more difficult. Then the next circle of 50 is even smaller, but its a checkerboard and you have to hit on the black parts not the red parts. Then the next 100, smaller, and its a quad checker. And then by the time you get outside the 300 to the 1200 you have a tiny outside mark and you not only have to hit right there to get it... Maybe that's a terrible example, who knows.

      This was my first time researching the draft with any depth. I learned facts and what not on roughly 350-400 players. Top third of the draft maybe? Who knows, its all armchair silliness, but the part that is fun to me is trying to pick the needle out of the haystack. It doesn't take very much effort to say that Clint Frazier might turn out to be a great pick for some team in 2013.

      So I got a little hopped up last year. I've given you the examples of picks I thought were more interesting. But I'll readily admit I know very little compared to a professional scout, and they have to then go negotiate with the players rep, even in this amazing information age where so much is in front of us, there is still a ton of unknowns.

      So I've taken a hard look. I would have liked the Giants to draft a few more HS guys. The fact they didn't, it might just be that there weren't any out there this year they liked. I'm pretty sure you and DrB said the exact thing. I'll stand up and admit when I'm wrong. There were definitely picks I liked more than others, but I was pretty positive about the top end, in fact I was most likely the most positive of anybody. It was a nitpicking criticism. yes, I'm still scarred by the michael tucker years. But the Giants didn't cheap out. They went overbudget. Then they went and filled out their IFA budget. I don't have anything to complain about. I think we have a very interesting scouting team and I enjoy what they do.

      Oh, one more thing - I continued to review after our discussions. Here is what I found: HS players were hard signs after the 11th round. Teams basically gave take it or leave it offers with first come, first served structure. The Mets and Yankees were big on that strategy. So the other conclusion I have is the Giants might have done their due diligence, decided this year was the time to sit out the HS route because of the uncertainty on whether you could get anybody, and get some interesting college seniors on the cheap instead. Like I said, Gustavo washes away all that silliness with a quickness.

    6. LG - I'm heading your way to teach my kids to surf a bit and maybe sample a boat drink or three. That Red Sox article, as well as an examination of the Rays last 5 years of drafting has changed my mind a lot on several of the strategies. Loading up on the draft, as the Giants have done a couple times, is no guarantee of success. Its still a huge crapshoot. I would like to keep all lottery tickets and on occasion get a couple more (Hey, Kyle Crick!) but I have to say, the Giants conservative approach has been working just fine. I love what we've done since 2006. Are there failures? Of course, its built to fail. There are gigantic home run successes, and very possibly more to come. Belt and Crawford's successes are a huge indication that the Giants really, really know what they are doing. When you hit on a 4th or 5th rounder, and in succession...

    7. The Giants have never been shy about drafting college seniors and they have never seemed to be too big on age vs level as a metric. Personally, when you are drafting past the 10'th round or so, I don't see any real philosophical difference between taking a flyer on a longshot college senior vs a longshot HS kid who obviously nobody else is that high on either.

      I also agree with the notion that an organization that would go to the trouble of drafting and signing a Jacob Dunnington as an undrafted FA out of HS is not going to pass on a kid they really believe in. So, yeah, I'm squarely in the camp of assuming the Giants know what they are doing until proven otherwise.

    8. The age vs. level metric worship at MCC is over the top. It took me a while to realize it. I think most of the time talent gets outed quick. Everybody knows who the kids are, starting at age 14. So it should be no surprise that the best talent is succeeding at the youngest ages playing against higher levels of competition. Its common sense.

      And that is a good point, the Giants aren't shy about going wherever they want. The only thing I can think of deterring them is bonus demands, but there again, the CBA is coming to iron that one out.

    9. one more comment, Shankbone.

      The Giants got $4M and the 2 teams got $12M of draft pool money to spend?

      That's quite a bit of differece in firepower. What is the formula to determint it for each team?

    10. Three thoughts on this last draft:

      1. The sequence of drafting nothing but seniors for over 20 rounds, and then drafting JC and HS players in the last five rounds is strange. Statistically speaking, it would be improbable that the Giants are drafting the best player available without regards to signability.

      2. Then, after selecting the five players whom they didn't seemed too serious about signing, they signed John Polonius as an undrafted free agent. They seemed to really like him as the season went on. If they like him that much, why risk having someone take a flyer and draft him? I wonder if he turned out to be much better than they thought during the draft. Like to hear your thoughts when you get to him as one of your honorable mentions.

      3. The Giants, as an organization, seems to draft older, probably more mature and stable players as org-fillers. Is it a deliberate plan to surround the young "real" prospects with teammates who are "good influences"? I wouldn't be too surprise if the Giants are ahead of the curve on this one too.

    11. Point #3 is excellent and one I hadn't thought of before. A few years ago, I read a transcript of an interview with Tidrow or Evans, not sure which, but they talked openly about drafting and signing to fill minor league rosters so I know that is definitely on their mind.

      As for the HS players drafted in last 5 rounds, the Giants have a long history of drafting players more than once and eventually signing them. I think Andrew Barbosa is the only one that eventually got away. Maybe they were just letting kids know they are interested? Maybe it's some other kind of PR move? I really don't have much of an explanation.

      I am quite sure signability was part of the equation with drafting a long string of college seniors late in the draft. Either they were just being conservative with the new CBA rules or else they were saving their pennies to make a run at Gustavo and Javier. Either way, I'm sure it wasn't an accident and they had reasons for doing it.

    12. Shankbone, you know where the edge is. Others just barge right through. If I had a problem with you, I would not have continued conversing with you here and on my blog, honestly.

      BLSL, about the difference in spending power, each draft pick now has a dollar amount - slot money - associated with it. You pass out the deck of picks per the rules of the draft, tally up the slot money for each one, and that is the "budget" for each team.

      There is a small sliver of spending that a team can do over that "max" where there is a percentage penalty, before you start losing draft picks. The first pick being, I think, in the $6M range, provided half of the Astro's slot budget. The Giants got, I forgot the exact amount, but around $1.5M (which is the slot money paid to Stratton who took slot).

      Any pick past the 10th round is "free" in that you can pay up to $100K in bonus with no penalty, but above that adds to your total per slot budgeting. Some teams would sign a lower bonus player (like the Astros did with the number 1 pick), and since they are allowed to spread that budget across as many picks as they want, any signability draftees that fall can be picked up by these teams later. I think the Astros signed the #1 pick to a bonus $2M less than slot, so they were able to spend that $2M in following picks, if they wanted to.

      That is why some teams drafted seniors in the mid-rounds (5-10), as they could then free up budget to sign other players in rounds 11-40. So maybe they offer the senior $50K, more than he could have expected to get had he been drafted where he normally would be, in the much later rounds, but the slot is $350K, freeing $300K to spend on a draftee, say, in round 11, a high school prospect who fell.

    13. One thing I never understood is that a team could be bypassing all these players in the mid-rounds to save money for past the 10th round, but then how do they know that someone worth drafting and paying, say, $300K will be there?

      Oh, forgot to mention that one appealing factor about taking the route above is that when you pay the $300K, $100K is already "free" meaning that only $200K comes out of your slot budget.

      About the Giants picking 5 players at the end, I have my speculation on that. I noticed that Mac was the last to sign. He was also the one most overdrafted among their picks, using BA's top ranking list, so I had commented at that time that the Giants might have been trying to sign him below slot in order to free up money later.

      Of course, the team does not know if that would work at the time of the draft, so instead of picking players early on that they were not sure that they could sign, and taking them out of other teams' plans, they waited until the end. Of course, that would need one to assume that the team is nice and not an evil corporation.

      When they were unable to get him to sign below slot, they had no leeway to sign the high school players. Plus, you never know what the prospect might sign for. As noted somewhere around here, someone actually signed for slot when not expected. Maybe the high school players might have really wanted to play and would have accepted $100K. None did, but until you draft them, you don't really know, especially if the Giants did not contain any of them beforehand, like they are wont to do.

      At least, that is one way to see it.

    14. What is the percentage of HS/JC players who were drafted in rounds 10 and later that signed? I expected the percentage to be high since the slot amount difference between rounds 5 and round 10 is less than $150K. So I am sort of surprised that the real percentage may be quite small. For a HS prospect, unless he is sure he'll move into the top 5 rounds, the $100K or so shouldn't be an incentive not to sign. In fact, if I were to be an agent, I'll tell the kid to sign just to get going with his professional career. If he makes the major one year sooner, he'll far more than recoup any lost bonus, even if he is only a fringe player making the major league minimum. Any argument that the kid is not likely to reach the majors goes both ways. If he is not a sure bet to reach the majors, he is also not a sure bet to get drafted again.

      Also, juniors such as Mark Appel have far less leverage than it appears. If a junior does not sign, he'll become a senior with zero leverage. Therefore, the offer he gets as a junior may be the best he'll ever get. Appel can get a better deal only if he gets drafted at a higher position, a very iffy proposition. Why would any team offer him much more that slot? What will his options be this year?

    15. Anon, that percentage isn't easily picked up for overall. I've looked at some teams though: The Yanks in the 11-40 drafted 10-11 HS guys, they signed 6. The Mets drafted 17-18 HS guys, they signed 3. (both teams drafted guys from Canada, not sure if SS is canadian abbriev for HS or not). That was an eye opener to me. The Braves drafted 9 HS guys at the end of the draft, not a single one signed. The Cards drafted 6, signed 1, but he was a nice get, Max Foody for 385K. I think Foody might be an example of what some fans wanted from the Giants. I have to say that is a stretch. I thought Foody was at least double that, which makes it out of the budget expectations. Everybody's darlings the Rangers went 3 for 14.

      Next year I wait until I see who signs what to see what's what. That's the lesson I learned. Also, the CBA is going to drive even more HS players to college.

    16. $100 K does not go very far these days. If a player washes out of baseball, what does he have to fall back on? The piano mover jokes are out there for a reason. I know that college is way overpriced these days and there is some legitimate concern about whether it is still a wise investment purely from a $$$ standpoint, but a college education is still worth a lot. If a player has a full ride scholarship, I'd put that value at $500 K minimum.

      The other side of the coin is there is no law that says you can't go back to school later if you wash out, you just might have to find a way to pay for it yourself. It's also probably harder to go back if you are older and have a family which some of these guys start to acquire after a few years in the minors. Also on the other side of the coin, it is my understanding that most of these kids do not get full ride scholarships, so I think every individual case is different. You have to factor in their likelihood of making it to the majors, the hard dollar value of their scholarship, the longterm value of their education and what kind of student they are and the non-monetary values of an education.

    17. And sometimes (often?), the player can get the team to kick in a promise to pay for his college should he want to in the future.

      Honestly, I wonder how many of the athletes really take full advantage of going to school. Not for lack of effort alone, but it is kind of crazy how many hours they devote to their sports, then they also have to get good grades too and learn something. Hard to pull that off.

      I felt the opposite about that: I thought the CBA might drive less HS players to college. Not that I'm right, but here is my logic. Before, it was about playing the game to get a big bonus. Players would fall because of that, and thus some fall all the way out or enough that they decide to go to school.

      Today, the CBA is really about "does the HS player want to turn pro or go to college"? Teams are more likely to draft the player where his talent warrants. Thus there is less grandstanding - like Boras has made a good living at for years now - about bonus, because then you risk falling much lower than expected and am forced to go to college, even though, as examples abound (like Blackburn) of HS players falling then signing for a non-huge bonus.

      Now this might change years out as college costs diverge from bonus raises (did Selig have a formula for how much slot is raised each year?), but for now, I think that the market forces would push more HSers, relative to before, to the pro ranks.

    18. As noted in my post above, I am also in the camp that the new CBA will push more HS to sign. It'll be real interesting two to three years from now, when the HS'ers who didn't signed come up for draft again. Most of these players are not top 10 prospects, and OGC's analysis basically says that beyond the top 10 or so prospects, the odd of a prospect succeeding is miniscule. College play should expose many if not most of them. Thus, many of these HS'ers are going to find that they should have signed.

    19. If a HS player is drafted between rounds 1-10, i don't blame them for signing to play pro ball and chase their dreams. Sometimes it works out to the players advantage not to turn pro and play college baseball. Kolten Wong was drafted in the 17th round out of high school, decided not to sign and played 3 years of college baseball to improve his game and draft stock, thus he became a 1st round pick with the Cardinals his junior year. I'm sure you'll find examples of players not improving their draft stock in college baseball too. i tend to side with HS players recruited by colleges drafted between rounds 11-40 should seriously consider going to school. Like OGC mentioned, Hawaii has lost several kids drafted between 11-20 round to the pros never to be heard from again.


  2. Nice rundown DrB. Here is an article that captures a lot of what is known publicly about the negotiations:

    I'm glad the Giants signed him, but I would have been OK if they didn't because of their prior difficulty working with NM prospects and because the odds greatly favor that nothing much will come of signing them.

    They claimed that the Giants lowballed him, but I have to think that is one-sided, that they probably high-balled the Giants. But that is the way negotiations go in business, and I don't think they understood that, at least before.

    1. Bottom line with Shilo is I see a lot to like and I'm happy he is in the organization. Probably gonna have to be patient with him and there is an undeniable probability that he may never pan out, but if they accumulate 1-2 of kids like this every year and just one pans out in 5 or 6 years, it's a major coup for the scouts.

    2. That's the article I re-read this morning. And a bit removed from it all, I agree - the low-ball comment sounded like Agent talk. McCall said they contacted him, that's all fine, don't think there was any story on that part. But the agent, he was definitely the main source, and he was still a bit hopped up about past history. Sounds like a blow-hard local lawyer to me. I bet the Giants offered him 200K in the 5th, 175K in the 7th, and finally went back to the 200K when they realized they had that budget. They cheerfully paid a small tax on their going over, that was their Shilo McCall tax.

      Getting more familiar with the #s involved, the thing that stands out now is that beyond the Giants 4th round pick, the slot is just barely above the 100K max from 11-40. So you have an extra 40-60K to play with for a bit? Its just not enough to move the barometer. However, I did have some white whales, and the fact the Marlins got Ron Miller in the 10th for slot irked! Gotta let those things go.

    3. Yeah, I would have liked Ron Miller too, but I'm quite satisfied with the Giants overall haul, especially when you factor in the international signings. And who knows? Maybe Shilo McCall makes the Ron Miller mancrush look silly someday.

    4. I mostly agree with Shankbone's scenario, but at the point of drafting McCall, my take would be that they decided that he was worth potentially going over slot budget (and incurring the tax/penalty) in order to sign him. That was their version of playing with the new rules.

      I would get irked if I knew that Ron Miller was going to be good. But I am not good enough to determine that, and really, all the major league teams are not good enough to determine that, so I just didn't understand how all those people at MCC thought that they were smarter and better than all the scouts in the MLB, and particularly the Giants, and thus be entitled to be irked and, really, massively P.O.ed.

      And for what? Who could project which players would be available and worth pursuing in round 11? And for the Giants, there would need to be around 15-20 of these players if many teams were playing this game, in order for one to reach them by the time their 11th round pick came around.

      So I never really understood the outrage. Picking Alderson over Porcello I could understand, but for me, that was a matter of opinion. Given that Porcello hasn't been more than a middling starter, I think that they made the right call. But here they wanted extra money for this mythical wonderful prospect that happen to be waiting for them in round 11 and beyond. What if you did all that trickery only to find that there was no one interesting available in round 11? And meanwhile, the prospects you passed on in round 5 to sign that college senior might have been that lottery ticket that everyone was clamoring about.

      Frankly, unless the prospect is a $1M prospect or above, he's a very long shot. Even the $1-3M prospects are a bit of a gamble as well. And the $4-6M+ are still worse than a coin flip. And people are worrying, nay, extremely angry about not signing someone for $100-300K past the 10th round. I could understand such anger, say, for Rays fans who wanted Posey but got Beckett. But once you get past the first 5 picks or so, it's one team's wild guess against another team's.

    5. OGC - 2 things here: one, its a live blog, people might be rushed up and excited, you have to allow something on that front. I don't think I saw that much outrage. Massively PO'd is beyond the pale. Two, some folks spent some time learning about the prospects, and I wouldn't be so dismissive of those efforts. I'm sure most people who are into prospects are well aware of the odds. I sure am. I don't think I'll go down the rabbits hole of a shadow draft, but I did jot down guys I thought might make it. For the fun of it. Because I think its fun. There are a variety of opinions out there, and lumping it all into "pissed off and outraged naysayers who don't understand the odds" is a little too us against them for my taste.

      As I said earlier though, look at our guy Clayton Blackburn, signed for a bit over the 100K in the teens. What's wrong with saying, darn, I wish there were a couple of those? I'm not asking for 15 mythical great awesome guys, I wanted 2-3. I wish the Giants took a little breather on their pitching run and took a look at Cameron Perkins or Jake Lamb in the 5-6th round. I had my crib sheet of HS guys like Miller, Steve Golden, Fernelys Sanchez, Vincent Jackson and Ty Moore. Now all those guys were drafted by teams with budgets similar to the Giants - especially the Yanks and Braves. The Braves got their guy. The Yanks did not - Jackson and Moore both went to college. The Yanks have had some promising results with HS OFs in the teens - I'd love to have Tyler Austin in our system.

      Now part of this was a well established and respected prospect hound did start up a blistering fanpost and continued through the third day as these seniors were drafted. As that prospect hound is a tad obsessed about age equations, the lack of HS draftees did get ahem a little hot. But I think its a stretch to say that poster or anybody else thinks they know more about the draft then the Giants.

      I've got in a bit of hot water by suggesting there is a bit of grass is greener going on always. The Rangers have this, the Rays have this. The Cards do it this way. For me, the Giants can be a little frustrating at times, but they're my team, and they have that distinctive culture. Ultimately, I embrace it. Would I like a different process? Nope. But I do like to dream on 5-tool OFs who run like the wind. Can't help it. I'd just ask for a little humor, understanding that this is all in fun, and that was a very specific and narrow subject. Its gonna get nitpicky, its the nature. I wasn't that bothered by the Giants not following the herd at the time, and I agree with you there might be guys passed over who are interesting. I was bothered at the time by senior after senior. But you do need org filler. And there's 10 less rounds!

      If I had to offer constructive criticism, I have to wonder if the picks in the 4-8 range, most of whom profile as bullpen arms, are the best use of resources when the Giants also grabbed Ian Gardeck at 16 and Mason McVay at 26. However, at this point, I just laugh about the Giants and their bullpen arms. Maybe that's because I've worn myself out defending the Giants paying moneys to retain their bullpen. Will a dozen guys be enough? Nope, I bet they trade Conor Gillaspie during spring training for another arm! Can't never have enough live arms.

    6. I can certainly understand the notion that if anybody drafted after, say, round 5 is a major longshot anyway, why not use the pick to take a flyer on a Ron Miller who appears to have massive power potential but also massive bust potential? There are a myriad ways to look at it though.

    7. Shankbone, I understand that it was live. I was on that site for a number of days though and it never let up, so I think that, as a reason for their level of anger don't hold up.

      I am not dismissive of their efforts. Neither am I not dismissive of the Giants efforts, for that matter. I feel that I'm being cognizant that once you get past very early in the first round, nobody really has the answer, there are all good guesses and thus while one can make an impassioned statement why a team made a mistake in selecting other players, again, no one, even the teams have the real answer. Given that, I still don't think the statements of anger and dismissive nature of the statements made about the Giants draft was warranted.

      And I felt pretty beat up coming over there, at the writer's invitation! Just state your case and move on, but they just kept on coming at me, as IF THEY HAD THE RIGHT ANSWER. NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT ANSWER - that has been my point the whole time.

      And if nobody has the answer, why get so so so angry about what the Giants did in the draft? You made the point then Shankbone, why come into a prospect hound place and rain on their parade (basically). Isn't that what sabermetrics is for? To point out when the prevailing attitude is incorrect? Apparently it is OK to rain on other people's parades but when their own parade is being rained on, screw that.

      It is one thing to say that I would prefer that the Giants had selected Ron Miller instead of XYZ. It is another thing to say that the Giants screwed up the draft by not selecting Ron Miller, by not doing the same as many of the other teams by playing around with the new rules of the draft.

      That is actually one thing I like (and you have stated it here a number of times as well), that the Giants go their own way. That reminds me a lot of the Bill Walsh philosophy in football. The NFL has the Combine that captures all the information on prospects economically and most NFL teams just rely on that data. Walsh always had his own scouting reports that guided his drafts, leading to his great draft where he got 6-7 starters from one draft. Sabean has been like that too, picking players much earlier than the BA ranking would suggest, coming up with players out of the blue versus what everyone thinks in the mock drafts.

      Of course, it is one thing to be different, another thing to be successful, and I think after two of three championships, we can say that he has been very successful with his methodology.

      And one clear thing that Sabean has been different has been his focus on having a great bullpen. So the Giants clearly value relievers much different from other teams, from the general public. Even sabermetrics has not really understood how to correctly value for relievers, Baseball Prospectus' study found that having a great reliever is key to going deep into the playoffs, but I've seen no adjustment of WAR, VORP, etc. that accounts for such leveraged usage. So if they focused on a lot of relievers in the draft, especially given their history of understanding pitching, why not give them the benefit of the doubt?

    8. ogc,

      That is exactly how I would put it too. I have no problem with someone saying, "gee, I wish the Giants had drafted more HS players" or "I wish they hadn't been so heavy into college seniors" or "I really like Ron Miller. I really think they could have drafted him before the Marlins took him." I do have a problem with saying those things and then following it with something like, "Terrible job of drafting, the Giants blew it!"

  3. Thanks, Shakbone, for explaiing the 3 dimensional chess game that was the first draft under the new labor agrement. I think I understand a little better now.

    1. Hey, its fun. Its interesting to see the trends, and try to have a deeper understanding of professional baseball. I loved the Joe Panik draft. I was mixed on this last one, as I've discussed but the 1-3 rounds were great in my opinion, even though I dreamed on HS guys like Addison Russell, Ty Hensley and Alex Bregman. I had noted Agosta as a guy to watch early on, I was psyched to grab him.

      A lot of people are down on Brown, Panik and the 2010-12 drafts. I think there is a lot to like. The entire farm system just started slow this past year. They recovered nicely, and its better to finish strong. I think the Giants have a pretty sweet sleeper system.