Monday, June 8, 2015

Scouting the 2015 Draft: A Few Quick Draft Thoughts

I decided to not do a mock draft.  If I did, it would be hurried and not well thought out.  If you are into mock drafts, Covechatter's, linked to the left, is as good as any out there.   Mayo and Callis at MLB have their final mock draft up.  I expect a new one from Kiley at Fangraphs later today and possibly one more from BA before the day is over.

College pitchers are generally the easiest to project and closest to the majors.  College hitters usually need a bit more development time and are a bit tougher to project, but usually don't get injured as much as pitchers.  HS hitters are the toughest to project, particularly players who are known for their "tools".  HS pitchers are the most likely to get injured.  I don't know if these notions are backed by stats, but that's how I conceptualize draft risk.  

I thought about doing a mock draft where I was the GM for each team.  Rather than take who I think the team will take, I would pick the players I thought they SHOULD take, then put it in time capsule and see how it turns out in 5 years.  I may do a retrospective Giants draft after the draft is over, but that can come across as being critical of who they did pick, which would not be the point.

The D'Backs have said they know who their choice is, but are not revealing it.  They have notified 5 players they are under consideration.  Dave Stewart is unpredictable enough that I think they just might pull the trigger on HS catcher Tyler Stevenson.  That would be a huge risk to the point of recklessness. You absolutely cannot whiff on a 1-1 pick.  Since their is not clear #1, a player with a high probability of having a HOF type career, they should take either Dansby Swanson or Alex Bregman who both have a high probability of being above average MLB players.  I lean toward Swanson, but you could really flip a coin.

The Astros, who have multiple high picks including #2 and #5, plus a huge bonus pool to play with should swing for the fences and take HS LHP Justin Hooper at #2.  Hooper is the one guy in the draft who I think has a reasonable chance to have a HOF type career.  

If Hooper is on the board at #18, the Giants should take him.  I think they can get him signed there.  Worst case scenario is he doesn't sign and they get two first round picks in a stronger draft in 2016.  

A player who has serious helium on my personal board is James Kaprielian.  I've always liked him.  To me, he has the best combination of current pitchability and future projectability of any pitcher in the draft.  He's got the size, he's got the FB, he's got the pitchability and the Pac-12 pedigree.  He has the highest KATOH projection of any college pitcher in the draft.  He might be already gone at #18, though, as the Yankees are thought to be interested.

The second highest KATOH projection belongs to RHP Riley Ferrell, who I think projects more as a reliever.  I really, really like him for the Giants in round 2 if he is still on the board.

Assuming Kaprielian is off the board at #18, I think the Giants best bet is to go HS pitcher at both #18 and #31.  Any combination of Hooper, Mike Nikorak, Donnie Everett, Ashe Russell, Nolan Watson, Beau Burrows and several others would be just fine by me.  I am just not impressed that any hitters likely to be available have anywhere close to the ceilings of any of these pitchers.  Historically, the Giants are as good as any team and better than most at keeping their pitching prospects away from the knife and getting them to the majors.  Speaking of the knife, I hope the Giants stay away from any of the currently injured pitchers.

It will be interesting to see if Phil Bickford's + test for Marijuana will affect his draft status.  He was already a bit of polarizing name to begin with.  

There are a couple of college senior pitchers who the Giants drafted and failed to sign last year:  Matthew Crownover of Clemson and Benton Moss of UNC.  

My mid-late single digit round pick for this year is Jose Vizcaino, Jr.  

Speaking of MLB bloodlines, here's a name that I saw connected to the Giants at #31 which makes way too much sense.  Tyler Nevin.  He's Phil Nevin's kid.  I think Phil Nevin just might have played for Bruce Bochy once upon a time!

Despite all that's been written by me, Covechatter, Shankbone, the Minor League Ball community and the other usual draft sites, look for the Giants to take someone early who you've never heard of before.

I won't be home from work until about 5:30 PDT.  That is right about the time the Giants should be picking.  I'll try to do some live-blogging from that point on.  Otherwise, look for  a draft recap later tonight on top of Down on the Farm.  At least there is no Game Wrap today.  Giants will have 3 picks for us to discuss.


  1. BA released their latest mock with Nikorak and Plummer. With Hooper committing to his scholarship at UCLA and little intention to sign this year, Nikorak's the best possible choice.

  2. Don't worry about a mock draft, Doc. They are fun to look at and talk about but their main use is as a vehicle to look back and see how wrong everyone's predictions were. I no longer even try to think about a mock draft since my board is usually blown up by pick 3. I will say though that I was elated when my 2008 mock turned out exactly correct up to pick 5, when the Giants picked Posey... I probably got every other pick after that wrong, but it didn't matter a single bit! I would love for the Giants to pick Nikorak as projected (or Happ if he drops), but we all know the Giants don't always draft the way they are expected... and who can really complain about the results? Looking forward to reading your take on the Giants picks over the next few days, and thanks for all the time and effort!

  3. Too bad Kaprielian has a little too much helium, but thanks for all your thoughts, Doc. Maybe Funkhouser is to their liking.
    There should be some interesting talent available at pick #61 as well. The Astros picks are unreal - seem almost unprecedented, to have that many high value picks : 2, 5, 37, 46, 79. They are definitely on the rise. I imagine they grab Preston Tucker's brother early.