Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Scouting the 2015 Draft: BA's Mock Draft 2.0

BA has a new mock draft up along with what appears to be some intelligence regarding specific interests from teams.  They have the Giants taking HS OF Nick Plummer at #18.  Their comment includes "….they(Giants)…..have conviction in his left-handed bat."  I wrote up a short profile on Plummer on 12/8/2014 and said he is "….probably the top 5-tool player in the 2015 draft."  Kiley McDaniel's comment is "….quick twitch athlete with plus bat speed, above average raw power and lots of hard contact."

The Giants are also rumored to be in on another HS athlete, Cornelius Randolph so they may be serious about finally going after 5 tool ceiling here.  The Giants are in pretty good shape at the MLB level and have depth in both hitting and pitching in the organization, so are in a nice position to take a bit of a risk on ceiling here. BA has both Randolph and college 2B/OF Ian Happ going after #18, so if they are looking for a hitter here, they should have their pick of several good ones.

Andrew Benentendi seems to have passed Ian Happ in most draft boards, but I looked up Happ's numbers from this season and he has hit in the .330 range with 14 HR's, so it's not like Happ has had a down season or anything.  I would still be pleased if the Giants drafted him at #18.

BA has HS RHP Mike Nikorak being taken just ahead of the Giants at #17.  He and Justin Hooper are the two pitchers in the draft I would be happy with at #18.  Hooper's stock seems to have slipped into the supplemental first round for some reason.  He may be on the rise again after dominating a H2H matchup against another highly ranked HS pitcher, Joe Demers.

BA has the Giants taking HS RHP Ashe Russell at #31.  I've seen Russell ranked as high as top 15 on some draft boards, so this would seem like a steal.  They have HS RHP Beau Burrows going next at #32 with Hooper going to the Dodgers at #35.  I'll be honest here, I think Hooper is the kid with the highest ceiling here and it's not real close.  If all 3 of these HS pitching prospects are available to the Giants at #31, I would be rooting hard for Hooper.  Between Burrows and Russell, I think Burrows would be the fastest riser but Russell may have a slightly higher ceiling due to a size difference.

If it does play out according to BA's scenario and the Giants ended up with Nick Plummer and Ashe Russell as their first two picks, I would be happy as a clam, but would cringe when the Dodgers took Justin Hooper.


  1. I'm a bit bummed to see Benintendi getting top 10 recognition now, although I'm not surprised. Even the few video clips I saw of him showed a player with major talent. The secret had to get out at some point!

    I really think Hooper is being undervalued at this point, as is Russell. You'd have to think the Giants have an eye on Hooper, and his performance against DeMers and College Park sure seems to put him in top 20 consideration to me.

    1. I think Hooper's value falls off is because of his inconsistencies throughout the year. My thoughts on Hooper are he got a great size and athleticism. He got good balance in his leg kick, a "drop and drive" type of delivery and up tempo similar to Chris Sale, stays closed throughout his delivery and a 3/4 release point though he can open up his front shoulder early causing his pitches to be pulled way in or stay late towards righties. He got a plus mid-90s plus fastball with good tilt and some run. His curveball flashes above-average but he still lacks feel to it and a good change up that can fool hitters with a good disguise. His size, stuff and repertoire is comparable to Andrew Miller. He's a legit 1st round talent for me if he can improve his command.

      My grades on his ceiling are FB 65+ | CB 55 | CH 50+ | CMD 45

      He'll be another Kyle Crick for us if he ever falls down to us. High risk-high reward but so far for me, the risk weighs more than the reward.


      P.S. If I send this multiple times, I apologize.

    2. Well, I think you were one of the first guys, if not THE first to sense that Benintendi was taking on some serious helium. You deserve kudos for that.

      I'm going to put in a word here for Ian Happ. His stock seems to have dropped a bit as Benintendi's has risen, but Happ has put together a darn good season despite playing for a losing team. His season line is .366/.490/.681, 14 HR, 11 SB. Benintendi's had bigger numbers, but Happ has a longer track record of success, he's bigger and is a switch-hitter which we know Brian Sabean loves. I am not so sure the talk about the Giants interest in Plummer and Randolph is not a smokescreen and they aren't lying in the weeds for Happ.

      The Giants have also been know to participate in misdirection shenanigans involving pitchers they covet in the draft. To me, Justin Hooper is the guy who has highest ceiling of any PLAYER in the draft, not just pitchers. He just has that Madison Bumgarner/Clayton Kershaw/future superstar pitchers vibe to him. His big game performance against Demers just reinforces that. I would not be at all shocked if Tidrow is in on Hooper and is begging Sabes to stay away and scout other players to deke his rivals out there.

    3. Oh and I would be just fine with a 1-2 punch of Hooper/Russell or Hooper/Burrows in this draft for the Giants.

    4. Wrenzie,

      In a draft that does not have a lot of high ceiling guys in it, Hooper is one of a very few who has the potential to be an ace, a true #1 SP. I don't think his command/control issues are that severe, and the Giants are as good at fixing that as anyone. The clincher for me was his big game performance in the showdown game in front of a few hundred scouts. Ace pitchers dominate in showdown games and Hooper did just that.

      In short, I think his ceiling and talent trumps the command concerns and it's not a close call.

    5. DrB, I am in a similar note to you that I am high on Hooper as well even though the consensus are low on him because I believe his command can be improved due to his athleticism and can be a high-end rotation someday but there's just this hunch of mine that he's going to be a high-end reliever for us which is still really good. I am also high on Nikorak and hopeful and I am also in a good spot on Happ and personally, I love his super-utility just like the Giants I hope and he reminded me a lot of Ben Zobrist with the switch hitting and the IF/OF versatility. I think that the Giants are in a great place in the draft where we can pounce on every guy that falls to our laps given the options from the injured guys and the high risk-high ceiling guys. My dream draft for the Giants this year now that Benintendi has gone to greener pastures is Randolph/Plummer/Happ-Hooper-White. Do you agree?


    6. If Happ falls to 18, I think the Giants would love to have him. He has hit everywhere he's gone, and I believe he'll hit in the pro's. Totally feels like a Giants type of pick.

      Another guy that's been sliding lately is Funkhouser, and there's something just "Giantsy" about him too. In fact, I've thought all year that he could be a name the Giants are in on. Big, durable frame, power fastball, track record of success (dominant sophomore season), with questions about his command.... Sounds just a tad like our guy Beede, doesn't it? I'm working on a new mock draft, and I am torn between Hooper and Funkhouser for the Giants at 18. I like Hooper better, but the Giants could see Funkhouser as a total steal if he falls to them... which I think could happen.

    7. I would be very happy with Hooper, I think he's the talent of the draft as well. I'd take him, Nikorak, Russell, Burrows and Donny Everett as the 5 HS arms to spend on. I'd be happy with Happ or the Arkansas CF (good call CC!). I'd also be very happy with Plummer or Randolph. Remember the rumors about the Giants being in on Derek Hill last year though, with a eyeball visit from Sabean in the mix... If they can get two of these guys? That'd be outstanding.