Monday, May 30, 2016

Scouting the 2016 Draft: West Coast Colleges

One thing I like to do leading up to the draft each year is do some armchair scouting of college players. I start with looking up team stat pages, but if I see something that catches my eye, I dig a bit deeper and look up bio information and try to find any scouting reports that might be out there to try to build a profile of the player.

The starting point for all hitters in the stat line is BA.  I have some tiers I divide them into:  .320 or above, I'm interested no matter what else is in their line.  .300-.320 I like to see something else such as double digit HR's or SB's or a reversed K/BB.  Ditto for .270-.300, but in that range you really want to see something special in the line such as 20 or more SB's or 15 or more HR's.  If they have a BA of below .270 in college, they are not a prospect, period.  Of course, Matt Duffy would like a word with me about that, but he is an extremely unusual case.

Once I've established an interest from the stat line, I look up their bio page.  I value size!  6' 2"-6'5" is ideal.  Taller players tend to have more problems controlling the K zone.  I like the weight to be well proportioned, but players on the thinner side may have more upside.  I also look to see if they bat LH or RH or switch hit.  I place slightly more value on left-handed or switch-hit bats.  I then look up any scouting reports I can find.  I like to see if they drew any interest from PG when they were in HS.

For pitchers, it all starts with K/IP.  I like it to be 8 or more.  Greater than 9 is better.  I look for Saves to find college closers who just by that designation are likely to throw hard.  Then I look at size.  I like to see 6'2" or more and weights of 200 lbs or more.

I am not really looking for first round or even second round prospects here.  I'm looking for players who might be available in rounds 4-10 or even later who might be "sleepers" or undervalued by the draft rankings and by other teams.  I've used this method with some success in past years, identifying single digit round picks Tyler Horan and Jose Vizcaino Jr. prior to their drafts.  Maybe it's just the blind squirrel syndrome at work, but it is fun to see a name you really like show up on your team's draft list on Draft Day.

I like to start with the west coast conferences first, especially the non-Pac 12 conferences as they are tremendously competitive and have lots of very good, underrated players.  So here are a few players I would be very happy to see the Giants draft in the first 10 rounds this year:

*Vince Fernandez, OF, UCR.  6'4", 205 lbs.  B-R, T-L.  .350/.431/.509, 8 HR, 4 SB, 30 BB, 58 K's, 222 AB.  Nice looking line, especially the BA with a bit of power, but look at that size!  There are more K's than you would like to see and the B-R, T-L is the reverse of what you usually see, but I LOVE the size!  Giants seem to be doing better at developing hitters.  Gotta think there is some serious upside here.

*Daniel Johnson, OF, New Mexico St.  5'10", 185 lbs.  B-L, T-L.  .382/.434/.630, 12 HR, 7 3B, 29 SB, 18 BB, 29 K's, 246 AB.  Always a bit suspicious of batting stats from desert southwest states, but the combination of speed and BA stands out.  Johnson profiles as a CF/leadoff type.  Not a lot of walks, but not a lot of K's either.

*Gio Brusa OF, Pacific.  6'3", 220 lbs.  B-L, T-R.  .337/.418/.614, 14 HR, 26 BB, 41 K's, 202 AB.  Brusa is a senior this year.  He was ranked as a potential first round pick early in in the 2015 draft cycle, but he got off to a slow start to his 2015 season.  I think he had an injury too.  His stock dropped and apparently has not recovered much despite terrific senior year numbers.  The Giants seem to think guys whose stock drops might be undervalued.  Brusa's weight is on the upper side of ideal which might make you wonder about conditioning.

*Manny Jefferson, SS, Pepperdine.  6'3", 180  lbs. B-R, T-R.  .277/.361/.515, 12 HR, 25 BB, 50 K's, 262 AB.  He's started at SS for 3 full seasons at Pepperdine.  Love the size on this kid for a college SS.  His HR numbers have increased from 1 to 6 to 12 from his freshman season.  All that tells me he has terrific upside.  The question, as always, is can he hit in the pros?

1 comment:

  1. On a related point, Bobby Evans responded to a question from Marty Lurie on Saturday to the effect that the team thought the first couple rounds of the draft were stronger as to high school talent than college. It was a fairly pointed comment that implied (at least to me) that the team thinks itself more likely to pick a high school player with its top pick in round 2.