Saturday, December 27, 2014

Scouting the 2015 Draft: Ian Happ

Ian Happ is a switch-hitter who has played multiple positions for Univ. of Cincinnati and has made the Cape Cod League All Star team twice.  Here are his Cincy stat lines:

2013:  .322/.451/.483, 13 2B, 6 HR, 25 SB, 5 CS, 47 BB, 32 K, 205 AB.
2014:  .322/.443/.497, 13 2B, 5 HR, 19 SB, 5 CS, 32 BB, 35 K, 171 AB.

He also hit .329 with 12 2B and 4 HR in 149 AB's in the 2014 CCL

He has played 2B in college but also CF.  Most scouts think he will end up in LF, but think he can hit enough to play there.  There is some thought that he could be a 3B.

He is ranked as the #17 draft prospect by BA, #13 by Kiley McDaniel who comments that he has above average hit/power tools and plus speed. He is ranked #16 by mlb.com.

There are some things here that the Giants historically look for, versatility, switch-hitting, CCL credentials.  I could see them pulling the trigger if he is there when they pick.

21 comments:

  1. Great timing DrB. I really hadn't been following the draft profiles until earlier today, when I spent an hour or so reading over your snippets as well as the profiles on MLB Pipeline. Happ was a guy I spent considerably more time looking over, for many of the reasons you mentioned. I watched a little bit of video. He's got a nice looking swing. Very consistent college stat lines, and a switch-hitter! Unless he becomes an All-American this year, he just seems like the kind of college bat who will be overshadowed by the high profile names come draft day.

    I will be following Ian Happ closely this spring.

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  2. Did Happ really have 2015 PA in 2013? Looks like an impressive draft prospect.

    Good reports to read. Keeps us uninitiated folks up to speed on the MLB draft.

    NWGiantsFan
    DtF!!!

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  3. Good call, Dr. B! Happ does have some of the qualifications on the Giants look for in a hitter they draft early. Could be the kind of solid, consistent bat who moves quickly through the system. Maybe the 3B of the future? Of course, the Giants could be swayed by a college power arm who might be available to them, some who I am sure you will profile: e.g. Kyle Cody, Cody Ponce. Or for the second year in a row the Giants might go for a promising arm who spurned the Blue Jays if they take Bickford. We really appreciate the draft profiles, Dr. B. Keep them coming!

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  4. I'm pretty sure we'll draft a pitcher w/ our 1st pick.

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    1. What makes you say that, David?

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    2. I've found with the Giants' draft philosophy that I can pretty comfortably say they won't draft a raw talent with very high upside in the 1st round (a Jacob Gatewood type from 2014). Other than that, I'd say they are one of the hardest organizations to read when it comes to first round priorities. The one player profile they haven't gone with 1st round recently is a college power bat. Buster Posey would seem to be the last one (2008), and even he was looked at more for his hit tool than power. I'd say the "all-around college hitter" seems to be the missing piece in the system right now (if that makes sense). That being said, the Giants haven't used many recent 1st round picks on pitchers either.

      That's all a very long way of saying there's know way you can be "pretty sure" the Giants will draft a pitcher with their 1st pick. They will draft the best player on their board, and Ian Happ seems like a guy who offers tools they seem to value highly in drafts under Barr.

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    3. Yep. Agree with Covechatter on this. I'm just curious what would make someone be "pretty sure" the Giants would draft a pitcher. Prior to the John Barr era, that would indeed be a safe bet, but since the Posey draft, it's been pretty much split evenly.

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    4. I think our scouts are excited about getting to pick this early after a WS.That's why they didn't sign Scherzer or Shields.I think they like the arms in this draft.And,they feel they can get one at that pick.

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    5. David,

      First rule of draft evaluation: MLB needs are not a consideration!! Remember that!

      Scherzer and Shields have nothing at all to do with who the Giants might draft. Organizations do have tendencies. For the first 10 years Brian Sabean was GM the Giants drafted pitchers in the first round almost every year. Since John Barr took over as Scouting Director, it's been split evenly between pitching and hitting. If anything, I might say that because they took a pitcher in 2014, they may be more likely to take a hitter in 2015, but I am confident they will take the player they think is the best one available regardless of the position he plays.

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    6. First Rule should read PRESENT MLB needs are not a consideration!! The purpose of the draft is always to supply talent to the major league team, but current needs are filled through trades, free agents and prospects from the upper minors, not through the draft.

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    7. Dr B No doubt they'll take the best player available.I was making my assessment based on the board as it is now.We'll know more in May.

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    8. How can you possibly know that a pitcher is going to be the 19'th best player available on anybody's board let alone the Giants? Everybody's draft board is different and it all depends on what players get taken ahead of their spot. It is true the draft is heavy on college pitching, but the Giants have seldom gone with the grain of a draft. In fact, they tend to cut against it more than most teams, I would say.

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  5. Dr B That's true about different teams have players at different spots on their board.I was just going on MLB and Kiley McDaniel's top prospects list,and where we pick at.

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    1. I also believe we're going to draft a high school arm instead of a college arm.

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    2. Trust me, after years of following the draft, I have learned that you cannot go by draft prospect lists or mock drafts. Ones that come out on the eve of the draft based on specific information tend to be more accurate, but even those tend to break down after the first 4 or 5 draft slots. I could see the Giants taking an up-the-middle position player, either college or HS or a college or HS pitcher. Like Covechatter, I would be surprised if they took a "toolsy" HS player or a power hitting corner dude based on their draft tendencies. Beyond that, I absolutely do not believe you can make a prediction like that.

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    3. Dr B All these guys have another season left before the draft.We 'll see what happens.

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    4. The rankings will undoubtedly be much different as the draft approaches although I have to say last year the early lists held up pretty well.

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  6. If Nikorak is still there at #19.I think the Giants will take him.If he's gone.I think Burrows or Whitley.If the ranking stay the same.

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    1. Those are nice names but the Giants love to go their own way and cross up the lists, so don't get too zoned in on 1 or 3 names or 1 type of player.

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