Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scouting the Draft: Round 1 Thoughts

I had to work all day, so did not get in on all the draft day live blogging and chats.  I got home to watch just in time for pick #19, Nick Howard to the Reds.  I will do a full analysis of the Giants draft after all 3 days are completed, but here are my snap judgements on the first round picks:

1.  Astros- Brady Aiken, LHP, HS:  Talk of striking a deal with Nick Gordon faded away in the final days leading up to the draft and the Astros ended up taking the consensus #1.  Tremendous talent!  Now, they just have to develop him!

2. Marlins- Tyler Kolek, RHP, HS:  Many thought the Marlins could not resist Rodon here, but Kolek is Jose Fernandez on steroids(I did not mean that literally!).  He's a TJ waiting to happen, but maybe that does not matter?

3.  White Sox- Carlos Rodon, LHP, NC State:  No way were the ChiSox going to let Rodon drop to the crosstown rivals the Cubs.  Sox need pitching and Rodon should be a solid addition to the staff in  a very short time.  Maybe even this year!

4.  Cubs- Kyle Schwarber, C/OF/1B, Indiana:  First big surprise of the draft although several draft sites had is scoped out as early as last night.   Cubs obviously believe in the bat.  They better hope it's good because he does not help in any other way.  Big mistake, IMO.  They should have taken Beede here.

5.  Twins- Nick Gordon, SS, HS:  The Twins have been taking toolsy guys forever.  How many have panned out?  They were in on Gordon all the way and didn't mind telegraphing it.

6.  Mariners- Alex Jackson, C/OF, HS:  Consensus best HS bat in the draft.  Not clear where he is going to play.  Mariners have been stockpiling guys like this.  Derek Hill would have been a better pick here.

7.  Phillies- Aaron Nola, RHP, LSU:  Phils resisted the temptation go all-tools and took the steady college pitcher.  Nola's ceiling may be higher than I give him credit for.  To me it's a safe, low ceiling pick.

8.  Rockies- Kyle Freeland, LHP, Evansville:  Part of pitching well in Coors is having great FB command.  Freeland has that!  On the other hand, the Rockies have been taking guys like this forever and have little, if anything to show for it.  Personally, I think they would have been better off taking Touki, Beede or even Grant Holmes and I'm not a huge Holmes fan.

9.  BJ's- Jeff Hoffman, RHP, East Carolina:  Jays get cute with the draft again and take a guy who is on the shelf with TJ surgery.  I wasn't sold on him before he got hurt!

10.  Mets- Michael Conforto, OF, Oregon St:  Best hitter in the draft, IMO.  Mets need hitting yesterday!  Easy pick to predict.

11.  BJ's- Max Pentecost, C, Kennesaw St:  Great college numbers and can stick at C.  Not sure about the strength of his competition.  Pretty safe pick, but I'm thinking his ceiling may be lower than what you want for a pick this high.

12.  Brewers- Kodi Medeiros, LHP, HS:  BrewCrew spent a top half first round pick on a future LOOGY, not that they aren't valuable!

13.  Padres- Trea Turner, SS, NC St:  Thought for sure they would take Touki if he was there.  He was and they didn't.  I'm not sold on Turner at all.  Average MLB SS is his ceiling, not that they aren't valuable!

14.  Giants- Tyler Beede, RHP, Vanderbilt:  OK, Team!  Listen up!  I had Beede at #4 to the Cubs in my mock draft, and they should have taken him there!  IMO, he's top 5 talent in the draft.  Maybe even #1!.  The only reason I did not talk about him in terms of the Giants pick is I did not think there was any way he dropped that far.  In case you think the teams that let him drop know something the Giants don't, remember Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner!  The Giants are the ones who know what they are doing!  They obviously think his command issues are behind him or that they can fix them.  He could well be Timmy's replacement when Tim's contract is up after 2015.

15.  Angels- Sean Newcomb, LHP, Hartford:  Big doughy lefty.  Gotta wonder about his college competition.  Angels had several much better choices here.

16.  D'Backs- Touki.  D'Backs snag an enormous talent.  Now they have to develop him.  That has been the hard part for the Snakes!

17.  Royals- Brandon Finnegan, LHP, TCU:  Smallish, hard throwing LHP.  I know he throws hard and has put up great numbers, but something tells me he just never pans out.

18.  Nationals- Erick Fedde, RHP, Nevada:  Nationals have been through TJ with several of their pitchers and think they have a superior system for rehabbing it.  Problem is Fedde was neither Jordan Zimmermann or Stephen Strasburg before he got hurt.  Mistake pick, IMO.

19.  Reds- Nick Howard, RHP, Virginia:  Hard throwing under-the-radar guy whose stock rose as the draft approached.  High ceiling and fairly high floor.  Nats should have taken him one pick earlier!

20.  Rays- Casey Gillaspie, 1B, Wichita St:  If the bat plays, he's got very interesting power.  I'm not sold on the bat!

21.  Indians- Bradley Zimmer, OF, San Francisco:  Athletic big man with 5 tools.  Question is if the bat develops.

22.  Dodgers- Grant Holmes, RHP, HS:  I know some of you are weeping and gnashing teeth over this, but as I've said before, I'm not sold on Holmes!  He may look a bit like Matt Cain but if his interviews on TV were any indication, he is dumber than a stump!  I hate his delivery too!  100% arm with sudden acceleration and even more sudden deceleration.  Dodgers have been drafting HS pitchers forever.  Aside from Kershaw, which ones have made an impact?

23.  Tigers- Derek Hill, OF, HS:  I love Derek Hill and the Tigers got themselves a great pick here. Curious that he fell past the Dodgers, though, as his Pop is a Dodger scout.

24.  Pirates- Cole Tucker, SS, HS:  First pick where a team went completely off the board for a pick.  Skinny athletic kid, but man, he does not really look like a ballplayer at all!  Oodles of room to fill out, though.

25.  A's- Matt Chapman, 3B, CS Fullerton:  Another big time reach.  Very curious pick and one I don't understand at all.

26.  Boston Red Sox- Michael Chavis, SS, HS:   Terrific bat.  Questionable glove.  Red Sox don't care.  Not sure why the A's passed.

27.  Cardinals- Luke Weaver, RHP, FSU:  Very Cardinal pick.  Low ceiling, high floor pick who might just have a higher ceiling than he's been given credit for.


  1. I'll admit Beede wasn't the name I was hoping to hear (I had him #20 on my "big board."), but he did show last weekend why he has been considered one of the top pitchers in the country. 8 IP, 14 K against Xavier. Early in the season, I had him pegged as a top 5 pick. I don't, however, feel like he was still a top 5 pick candidate last night. I don't love the pick, but I can certainly get on board. Big, durable frame... top flight arsenal.... can he make adjustments?

    FYI.... Vandy plays Stanford this morning in the Super Regional. Any of the "not-at-work" folks can watch Tyler Beede pitch at 10 AM (PT) on ESPN2. Good luck dude, show us your stuff!

    1. I know a lot of people had their hearts set on other players. I love the pick myself and like how the Giants stayed flexible and took a guy who fell to them. This is a deep draft, but not all that at the very top. I honestly think Beede has a chance to be the best professional career in the draft when all is said and done. I see this as being very analogous to the 2006 draft when Timmy fell to the Giants at #10 in part due to command concerns.

    2. I'll add that to me, Beede and Rodon were the two top college pitchers in the draft. Rodon may get to the majors first, but probably not by much and I'm very concerned the Rodon's reliance on the slider this early really limits his ceiling. Beede's ceiling is much higher IMO.

    3. I do love that Beede's got that curveball in his pocket. I saw him mixing all 4 pitches in his conference tourney start. He just didn't have great control, and ran up high pitch counts. You can't teach that velocity, or that athleticism. I checked Sonny Gray's college stats this morning. Very similar... I would be absolutely smitten if Beede could move along like Sonny, but that might be asking a lot.

    4. I don't think it's asking a lot. I expect Beede to be better. He's got better tools. The Giants have never shied away from pitchers who tend to run up the pitch count. I think Beede fits right into the Giants development comfort zone.

    5. I sure hope so DrB. I think Beede has more potential, but I don't think he has Sonny's curve... and that's a major weapon.

    6. I've heard plus plus changeup in a few places now, with the ability to put action on it to fade or cut. Add that to a 97 heater that runs to 99, and sits 94, you can teach control but you typically cannot teach stuff.

      I also really like this pick. It's of the ilk of Brandon Crawford - guys who were predicted at season's start to go much higher than they did - and the Giants swooped in and showed that some slightly deflated statistics does not a broken prospect make. Worked out with Craw BIG TIME, and I really like what I'm hearing right now of Beede's arsenal, potential and projection.

    7. I am a mere novice here, but Al Leiter raved about Beede's curve. IIRC, Leiter compared Beede's curve to Sonny's. I could be off base though...

      Giants come from behind and win vs Mets pen! Reach 40 wins in fastest time since the halcyon days of 1962!!!


  2. DrG, you think Beede is more advanced than Crick and Blackburn, or are you more thinking that one of those guys takes over for Vogey and the other for Hudson? Tall order there (and you'd have to think they will try to sneak a lefty in that group to even out the staff). I like the pick a lot. Top 5 talent at 14; if anyone can fix control issues, it is he Giants.


    1. More advanced than Crick and way more stuff than Blackburn. I'm not sure his control issues need all that much fixing. To me, Beede is progressing exactly as you would expect a hard throwing young pitcher to progress.

    2. I was hoping for a pitcher with our first pick. Never can have enough pitching.

      Maybe more pitching today.

      I trust the Giants to develop him the Giants Way and we will see him for a long time in San Francisco.

      Are some pitchers trade baits now?

  3. Is Casey Gillaspie related to Conor Gillaspie, or is everyone in Wichita named Gillaspie?

  4. Yup, Casey is Conor's little bro.


    1. Thanks, covechatter and LG.

  5. DrB, Chad Billingsley has been a good pitcher for the Dodgers when healthy (he was drafted out of HS)

    1. OK, if you want to count Billingsley, that's 2. He was drafted what, the same year as Matt Cain? That's 12 years ago!