Friday, May 29, 2015

Scouting the 2015 Draft: New Mocks

A couple of big new mock drafts came out today with Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs doing his Mock Draft 2.0 and BA putting out their Mock Draft 4.0.  Jonathan Mayo of has a new mock draft up too.  At the top of the draft, everybody seems to think Dansby Swanson is the dude for Arizona.  Kiley says there is at least a 50% chance Swanson is #1 overall.  He then says Houston will choose between HS SS Brendan Rodgers or LSU SS Alex Bregman.  BA says it will be Bregman.

Here are a few other nuggets of info from Kiley who seems to have very good inside sources:

Kyle Funkhouser's stock is dropping dramatically due to a sudden unexplained loss of velocity.  His agent, who Kiley lets you guess the identity of, won't release any medical info to teams on "principle".  Uh-huh!

There are several teams who will not draft any presently injured player.  While those teams have not been identified, the Giants are not believed to be in on any of those players.  Personally, I hope the Giants stay far away from injured players as the most reliable predictor of future injury is previous injury.

The Dodgers seem to be one organization believed to be willing to draft an injured player and everybody seems to think they are going to draft Brady Aiken.

Ian Happ's stock is not dropping and Kiley has both him and Benentendi coming off the board long before #18.

The draft is deepest in HS pitching so teams in the top half of the first round are looking at other positions thinking they will be able to take their HS pitcher later in the draft.  This is creating opportunity for a team like the Giants who kind of likes HS pitchers to grab a premium talent at #18.

Which brings us to the Giants:

Kiley says they are scouting Mike Nikorak heavily and in Kiley's scenario, Nikorak should be available at #18.  Enter another HS pitcher, Nolan Watson, out of Indiana who is said to have serious helium and who the Giants are believe to be in on.  Watson has serious helium.  The Giants may decide they like him better than Nikorak and believe Watson won't be there at #31 and just take him.  I've seen video of Watson and he looks very similar to Nikorak, so I'm going to call it a coin flip and trust the Giants.

The Giants have also been tied to multiple college pitchers including James Kaprielian of UCLA.  Mayo actually has them taking Kaprielian at #18.  Nothing wrong with Kaprielian, who I like a lot, but I just think there are several HS pitchers with more upside.

The Giants have also reportedly scouted HS hitters Nick Plummer, Cornelius Randolph and Tyler Stephenson.  They are also believed to be interested in LHP Justin Hooper who Kiley acknowledges has an enormous ceiling.  For his part, Hooper seems to be scaring off a lot of teams with contract demands and there is an emerging consensus that he will go to college at UCLA, but is he just trying to control where he is drafted?  I would think the Giants would be a team any young pitcher would want to sign with.

In summary, Kiley has the Giants taking Nikorak at #18 which I would be very down with.   BA has them taking Watson at #18 and Nick Plummer at #31 which would also be A-OK with me.  Mayo has them taking Kaprielian at #18 and Watson at #31 which would be OK too although maybe not quite as exciting as Watson or Nikorak plus Plummer.  Kiley seems to think Hooper will still be around at #31 and the Giants have $$$ to play with, so my dream scenario would be a 1-2 of Nikorak/Watson plus Hooper at #31.

On last thought: Kiley reports the Giants are one of the team heavily scouting big, flame throwing RHP Cody Ponce of Cal Poly Pomona.  I could see them popping him at #31 if he is still on the board.


  1. Who do you think has more ceiling between Nikorak and Watson? ranked Watson at 61 in their top 200 and I know that the rankings can still change a second before the draft so if Hooper's $4M are really true and Watson is still available at #31, would you be happy of a Nikorak-Watson scenario?


    1. Well, today is the first day I ever heard of Watson and I've loved Nikorak's upside for a long time, so I am biased. Until I see more evidence, I'll have to go with Nikorak. Yes, a Nikorak/Watson draft would be just fine, but Hooper's ceiling is special, IMO. I would not be at all opposed to taking Hooper at #18 so they can offer him a bonus closer to his asking price then take Plummer at 31 or else one of many HS pitchers who should be still available.

    2. I asked Mr. Covechatter about this before so I just want to get your opinion if the Giants could play the underslot-overslot game and maybe pick a player at #18 and give him an underslot deal then pick Hooper at #31 then give him an overslot deal. Mr. Covechatter said that the Giants typically played the draft straight up over the past years but I just want to know your opinion on this.


    3. I agree with Covechatter. The Giants might find an extra $100 K here and there to sweeten the pot for a HS kid they might take in the later rounds, but they play the draft as straight as any organization in baseball. If they decide they really want Hooper and believe it will take #18 slot money to sign him, that is where they will draft him.