Monday, June 12, 2017

Scouting the 2017 Draft: DrB's Final Draft Board

A couple of housekeeping items before we get started.  LHP Seth Romero remains off my board due to a history of multiple discipline issues at Univ of Houston including being kicked completely off the team midseason this year.  LHP Luke Heimlich, Oregon St. is off due to a devastating legal situation.  That's all I'm going to say about that!  I am also not ranking Griffin Canning, UCLA.  I have never been a big fan and there are now rumors of a bad MRI.  Who knows if those rumors are true or the result of some malevolent misinformation campaign, but almost every time a player has turned up with a MRI issues TJ has followed within 1 year.

This is my final draft board.  This is how I rank the prospects, NOT a mock draft.  There are lots of Mock Drafts out there and they all pretty much look alike.  I thought it would be fun to do my own ranking, almost like a shadow draft, and then look back in a couple of years and see how my rankings stack up against actual draft slots.

This was actually way more difficult than I thought it would be as there is no clear cut top tier of prospects as has been the case for several drafts now.  IMO, the Giants drafting at #19 have approximately the same chance of getting a star player as the Twins drafting at #1.  My rankings are based on my readings of scouting reports, statistical analysis of college players, Perfect Game metrics such as throwing velocity, 60 yd dash times, exit velocities and Time to Impact as well as my own analysis of videos on as many players as I could find.  I weigh ceiling vs risk with college players generally carrying less risk than HS players.

1.  Kyle Wright, RHP, College(Vanderbilt).  Top combination of ceiling vs Risk here.  He's got the size, athleticism and pitches to have a ceiling of #1 SP while bringing the polish of a college pitcher from an elite program and conference.  I have to admit a disaster start yesterday in the College Super Regionals made me think twice about this one but you should never base your draft rankings on a single game performance and Wright has been stellar through the second half of the college season.

2.  Adam Haseley, OF, College(Virginia).  An Andrew Benintendi clone.  Before you jump all over me, let me ask you this.  If the BoSox could do the 2015 draft over except with the #1 overall pick, do you think they would still take Benintendi?  You bet they would!

3.  Hunter Greene, RHP/SS, HS.  I'm not sure if it's that he can't seem to decide if he's a pitcher or hitter or if he'll likely be drafted as a pitcher which means there is a high probability of TJ in his future, but there  is something that makes me a bit uneasy about Greene.  On raw talent alone, he has one of the 2 highest ceilings in the draft(Jordan Adell being the other).  Just an incredible physical specimen who also seems to have a clue about how to play the game.  I'm ranking him ahead of Adell because I think he'll be drafted as a pitcher and HS pitchers tend to move faster than HS hitters. Even if he eventually tears his UCL, there's at least a 50% chance he'll still have ace potential as a pitcher.  Plus he can convert to hitting if he blows out his arm.

4.  Evan White, 1B/OF, College(Kentucky).  Despite being a 1B in college, White is a tremendous athlete who has been clocked at 4.2 down to 1B from the RH batters box.  Some scouts even think he could play CF!  He's actually more of a line-drive/gap power hitter with enough strength to hit a lot of HR's anyway.  Has a lean body on a strong frame that should have a ton of room to fill out.  He is the rare player who B-R, T-L so he's limited to 1B or OF.  I'll use Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers organization as a comp.

5.  Brent Rooker, 1B/OF, College(Mississipi St).  To me, Rooker is the best hitter in the draft, period.  He's numbers this year are elite in what might be the strongest conference in college baseball, the SEC.  .385 BA, 30 doubles, 23 HR.  He's played 1B this year but played RF last year and has enough speed to steal 18 bases.  He has also hit well in wood bat league including the Cape Cod League.  Weakest tool is his arm which might limit him to 1B or LF.  Love the bat, though.  To me, its the bat in this draft most likely to impact within 2 years.  He redshirted his freshman season so is a year older than most college juniors but to me the bat should move fast enough that his age won't matter.

6.  JB Bakauskas, RHP, College(North Carolina).  Physically smaller than Kyle Wright, which may limit his ceiling but has had a tremendous junior season and should move very fast for whatever team drafts him.  Possibly the closest to the majors of any player in the draft.  Ceiling is #2 SP.

7.  David Peterson, LHP, College(Oregon).  Big lefty who has put up tremendous numbers.  Another guy who should move very fast with a ceiling of #2 SP.

8.  Jordan Adell, OF, HS.  His physicality rivals Hunter Greene's.  Recorded a 6.2 60 yd dash.  Arm is good enough to pitch but will be drafted as a hitter.  Tremendous power potential. Some questions about the hit tool but if Time to Impact means anything, his is very good.

9.  Shane Baz, RHP, HS.  Love his size, stuff and projectability.  I've seen some some nit-picking that the package may be less than the sum of it's parts, but it seems to me you can teach the stuff that might be lacking.  Top HS pitcher not named Hunter Greene for me.

10.  DL Hall, LHP, HS.  Not a big kid but not small either.  Has hit mid-90's with the FB. I'll take his present velocity over Mackenzie Gore's secondary stuff and Trevor Rogers' projectablity.

11.  Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, College(Louisville).  Again, you have my bias against 2-way prospects.  McKay is a top notch college pitcher and hitter, but I'm not sure he's even a first round prospect in either one alone.  His best bet for making it to the majors is probably as a polished college SP who should move fast.  I would rate his ceiling as a future #3.  He may be a slightly better hitter than pitcher but he's strictly a 1B.

12.  Trevor Rogers, LHP, HS.  I may be all wet here, but I love Rogers' 6'6" height on a projectable frame.  He may be more of a project than Mackenzie Gore, but I'll take my chances with Rogers' ceiling.

13.  Alex Faedo, RHP, College(Florida).  Big, strong RHP. I see him more as an innings eater than an ace, but he has turned in some dominating performances and seems to have gotten stronger as the season has progressed.  Struck out 9 in 4 IP, yesterday in the College playoffs.  FB goes mid 90's but his best pitch is a wipeout slider.  Could turn into an ace with the right development.

14.  Heliot Ramos, OF, HS(P.R.).  5-tool OF whose stock seems to be rising.  Swing can get long but should be developable.

15.  Bubba Thompson, OF, HS.  Another 5-tool OF whose stock is rising.  Lean, projectable body with solid present skills.

16.  Mark Vientos, SS, HS.  Love his size and athleticism.  Has enough arm strength to stick at SS if he can maintain his lateral movement.  Bonus:  He's one of the youngest players in the draft.  I have him ranked higher than most lists.

17.  Brady McConnell, SS, HS.  Not sure why is stock has dropped.  I see a young Troy Tulowitzki here.  I'm sticking with what I see on video.

18.  Royce Lewis, SS/OF, HS.  Tremendous athlete but I am afraid the hit tool won't develop, so I rank him lower than most.

19.  Keston Hiura, DH/2B?, College(UC Irvine).  Possibly the best hitter in the draft, but right now is a DH due to a UCL tear he is trying to heal without surgery.  Arm was not great before the injury.  Swing is different.  Looks like he's sweeping at the ball with a broom but when you see it on video, you can see why it works.  Very short and quick to the ball without extraneous movement, yet with power behind it.

20.  Sam Carlson, RHP, HS.  Perfect size for a pitcher with projectablity.

21.  Matt Sauer, RHP, HS.  Could easily interchange Carlson and Sauer.  I like them both.

22.  Austin Beck, OF, HS.  Caught helium a few weeks ago and has now slipped back on most lists. This is a deep draft for HS OF's and Beck is probably as good as any not named Jordan Adell.

23.  Nate Pearson, RHP, JC.  Huge body at 6'6", 240 lbs.  FB has hit triple digits.  Secondary stuff is lacking but a great base to build on…..except for the future TJ part.

24.  Pavin Smith, 1B, College(Virginia).  Tremendously disciplined hitter with power but limited to 1B.    That demographic has not fared well as far as draft outcomes go, but could become Joey Votto.

25.  Nick Allen, SS, HS.  Diminutive stature but what a motor!  Might be the top defensive SS in the draft already and at least Keith Law thinks the bat will play albeit with very limited power potential.

26.  Logan Warmoth, SS, College(North Carolina).  A slightly faster and RH hitting version of Joe Panik.  Fits a certain profile the Giants seem to like but they already have Christian Arroyo and Ryan Howard in the system that fits the description.

27.  Jake Burger, 3B, College(Missouri St).  Good bat, bad body, but with enough athleticism that he should stick at 3B or even be able to play LF.

28.  Stuart Fairchild, OF, College(Wake Forest).  High floor college hitter with average, power and some speed.

29.  Brendon Little, LHP, JC.  Big lefty with a low-mid 90's FB who the Giants have drafted before.

30.  Jeren Kendall, OF, College(Vanderbilt).  Kendall's stock seems to be in free-fall due to a very worrisome K rate.  You might want to take that risk late first round but not in the top half.  Tremendously toolsy athlete, though.

31.  Drew Waters, OF, HS.  Looks a lot like other HS OF's this year

32.  Blayne Enlow, RHP, HS.  Projectable HS pitcher.

33.  Hans Crouse, RHP, HS.  Love the height and projectable body.  Hate the delivery that includes what appears to be enormous effort.  Don't see how he pitch deep into a MLB game with that kind of effort on every pitch which makes me think he's a reliever.

34.  Kevin Merrill, SS, College(Univ of South Florida).  Late riser.  John Sickels at Minor League Ball reports he may be the fastest college player in the draft.  Also bats LH.  Only thing keeping me from ranking him ahead of Logan Warmoth is strength of competition.

35.  Jeter Downs, SS, HS.  Intriguing toolsy HS SS who should easily stick at the position.  Yes, he was named after Derek Jeter.

36. Drew Rasmussen, RHP, College(Oregon St.).  Big, hard throwing college RHP who started the season late due to injury but has been lights out.

37.  Corbin Martin, RHP, College(Texas A&M).  Hard thrower who actually had better results when he moved from the bullpen to starting.

38.  Alex Scherff, RHP, HS.  Classic big, hard throwing kid from Texas.

39.  Jacob Heatherly, LHP, HS.  Nice mix of pitches with some projection.

40.  Garrett Mitchell, OF, HS.  Very toolsy.  A bit of a funky swing.  Type 1 Diabetes.  If he knows how to manage it, should not be a problem.

41.  Calvin Mitchell, OF, HS.  Sweet swinging HS OF who has been comped to Garrett Anderson.  Doubters think he may end up at 1B.

42.  Cole Brannen, OF, HS.  Another sweet swinging HS OF.

43.  Wil Crowe, RHP, College(South Carolina).  TJ is in his rearview mirror but pitched well this season.

44.  Hagen Danner, RHP/C.  Nice athlete who can probably play almost anywhere on the field.  May be a tweener who is not quite there at any one position.

45.  Nick Pratto, 1B, HS.  Some scouts really like him due to a very sweet swing that has been comped to Will Clark.  Has a strong arm but lack of speed limits him to 1B and I don't see much power potential.

46.  MJ Melendez, C, HS.  Athletic enough to play anywhere on the field.  Not a classic catcher's build but the new rules favor smaller, more mobile catchers.

47.  Brian Miller, OF, College(North Carolina).  Can play CF in the pros and hit for average, with some power.

48.  Quentin Holmes, OF, HS.  Could be the fastest player in the draft although Jordan Adell might beg to differ.  Bat is a project.

49.  Conner Uselton, OF, HS.  I really like Uselton's bat but probably a corner OF.

50.  Ricardo De La Torre, SS, HS(P.R.).  Not highly ranked on most lists.  I really like what I see on video.  I see tremendous size with projectability and a chance to stick at SS.

51.  Michael Gigliotti, OF, College(Lipscomb).  Couldn't hit his way out of a paper bag early in the season but improved in the second half and still maintained on OBP of over .400.  Stock dropped but may be undervalued now.

52.  Evan Skoug, C, College(TCU).  Another guy whose stock dropped precipitously after a disastrous start to the season.  Hit much better late an finished with close to 20 HR's.  Another rap is he probably won't stick at catcher, so you have to believe in the bat.

53.  Colton Hock, RHP, College(Stanford).  Successful closer for an elite program.  Great size and velocity but K rate was unexciting.

54.  Luis Campusano, C, HS.  Giants fan via the Augusta Greenjackets whose ballpark he lives near.  Giants reportedly love him.  Looks like a Molina.  Projects as a plus defensive catcher.  Also has plus power but the swing is very long and the hit tool is a project.  I would be A-OK if the Giants drafted him at #58, but he may not last that long and they may be tempted to make a big time reach at #19 to make sure they get him.

55.  Alex Lange, RHP, College(LSU).  I actually forgot about him.  Big, hard throwing but with a lot of effort.  Probably a reliever in the pros so I'll put him here.

56.  Tanner Houck, RHP, College(Missouri).  Forgot him too.  Not sure where to put him.  Top 10 draft prospect at the beginning of the season.  Struggled with a reported loss of velocity.

57.  Zac Lowther, LHP, College(Xavier).  Big strong lefty.  Had a great Cape Cod League and lots of K's for Xavier this year.

58.  John Gavin, LHP, College(Cal St. Fullerton).  Big lefty at 6'7". Has been throwing down in the College playoffs.

59.  Wil Zirzow, RHP, College(Florida St.).  DrB's Sleeper Pick!  Great size at 6'5", 220 lbs.  Has only pitched 45 innings with with 52 K's against 19 BB's.  Threw down a 12 K game in the college playoffs.

60.  Quinn Brodey, OF, College(Stanford).  Great size and across the board numbers.  Reminds me of Austin Slater and that seems to be working out A-OK.

That's all I have folks. Anybody who wants to add their favorite draft targets, let me know in the comments.

I should be home from work before the Giants make their pick at #19.  I will try to do some live blogging.


  1. You have two #8s'...

    8. Jordan Adell, OF, HS.
    8. Shane Baz, RHP, HS.

    Also, what about Clarke Schmidt. I've his name (twice) mentioned at #19? He's just coming off TJ.

    1. Fixed the numbers. Bumped Dylan Busby to keep it at an even 60. Was never a huge fan of Clarke Schmidt. I would not draft him in the first 2 rounds post-TJ. Seems like I should have Brewer Hicklen in there somewhere.

  2. From BA's coverage, it sounds like there could be a whole bunch of under slot deals in the top 10 of this draft with teams going off their board to save money for later rounds.

    1. That would lend credence to the notion that the G's might take Campusano at 19 -- that is, they may have a handshake on an under-slot deal.

      Might even have that with Rooker, who is rated by MLB/BA as a 2d rounder. I'm persuaded that Rooker would be fine at 19 in any event, as long as Clark backs him.

    2. P.S. I wonder if that means that a couple of top-ten prospects will drop to 19. Still, as you say, there may not be much difference.

  3. It's amazing how closely we rate players DrB. Haseley, Rooker, White, & Peterson are some of my highest ranked players in this class as well. Rooker has Paul Goldschmidt's body & a viscous swing. I would be surprised, but thrilled if the Giants "reached" on him at 19.

    Cove Chatter

  4. Great stuff, will continue reading this over the next few days.

    Looking forward to the draft, regardless of the black cloud descending over the team right now... Things can start the turn around at any moment...

  5. Wow, Royce Lewis went #1. You had him at #18. The Reds are probably pretty happy as they now have the #1 draft.

  6. The one thing that is crystal clear is that the G's are desperate for right-handed power. My!

  7. Given who was available, which pitcher(s) would you have taken in rounds 1 and 2? Thanks.