Monday, June 12, 2017

Scouting the 2017 Draft: Giants Take Two High School Hitters

The Giants don't hit a lot of home runs, but they swung for the fences in the first two rounds of the 2017 draft taking the 5-tool stud, Heliot Ramos, at #19 overall and the power hitting son of Luis Gonzalez at #58.  Personally, I would have taken pitching in this draft, but you sure can't argue with the ceilings of the two hitters here and the Giants sent a strong signal that they were not thinking of the short term future with this draft.  Let's break it down:

Round 1, #19:  Heliot Ramos, OF, HS(P.R.).  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 185 lbs(PG measurement)  I've also seen 6'1", 188 lbs which might be closer to his real size.

PG Metrics:  88 MPH OF throw.  6.55 60 yd dash.  1.32 Time to Impact(a bit long, but I'm not sure this metric means anything).  I'll add that I believe in John Barr's ability to scout bats and in the Giants ability to develop them.

Video:  This kid packs an impressive amount of muscle onto that frame.  Big broad shoulders.  Physically looks a whole lot like Gustavo Cabrera and we can only dream about where Cabrera would be without all the injuries.  Plus power potential.  A SS in HS, will almost certainly move to the OF and could stick in CF although scouting reports I've seen project him as a corner OF.

I had Ramos at #14 on my draft board, so obviously I think this is a good pick.  There were other players available who were higher on my board, but but I'm not going to argue with the ceiling.  He'll be fun to watch develop.  Be prepared to be patient.  Added bonus:  He does not turn 18 until September.


Round 2, #58:  Jacob Gonzalez, 3B, HS.  B-R, T-R.  6'4", 210 lbs.

PG Metrics:  84 MPH IF.  7.10 60 yd dash.  1.04 Time to Impact(very good).

Video:  OMG! Does this kid look good in a baseball uniform?  A tall kid but very well proportioned.  Imagine Wil Myers but an inch taller.  He has a simple looking swing with minimal pre-swing movement and minimal load.  He has a pretty good leg kick in which he brings his front foot back to even with the plate rather than lifting it high off the ground.  He uncoils in a powerful stroke with more of a downward chop designed to backspin the ball.

I knew Luis Gonzalez had a son in the draft, Luis Gonzalez who plays college ball for New Mexico.  I did not know he had a son coming out of HS who is much bigger than his older brother.  I did not profile him as I had not heard of him prior to tonight.  Apparently Eric Longerhagen of Fangraphs sniffed out that the Giants were in on him, but seemed to think it would be an underslot deal in Round 1.  Fits a very similar profile as Jonah Arenado but seems to be a better prospect coming out of HS.  Again, love the upside of the pick and the Giants seem to be drafting for the post-Posey era which is OK by me.


  1. I read up on the Time-to-Impact stat. If your bat is restless during the top of your swing, the Zepp device can produce false and inconsistent readings as it counts all motion as forward motion. That also messes up it's measurements for swing angle for some reason.

    In short, a long time-to-contact may or may not be true. But a short time-to-contact is not going to be false. So the time-to-impact number they have is dependant on whether Ramos' pre-swing barrell activity (which he does have some) is generating a false-positive or not. So maybe it's true, maybe it's false. I can't tell. I can only see the possibilities.

    Anyway, it was a surprise to see Ramos and Gonzalez go to the Giants. For various reasons I figured pitching.

    1. Thanks for that research. I am fascinated by the metric and whether it provides any objective way to measure the hit tool which has always been the most difficult to scout.

    2. I'd rather look for how fast the hands/wrists are going because it is correlational to bat speed. Ramos is at 37.8 mph which is better than 97.4% of all the hitters measured. Gonzalez is on the lower side at around 31.4 mph which is better than 73% of hitters but managed to put up a better exit velo than Ramos (92 mph vs 89 mph) but the videos I have seen Ramos hit the baseball hard, the ball looks way faster than 89 mph.

  2. Like most isolated statistics, they only tell part of the story. Time to impact might have some importance but what kind of impact is made is probably just as important- is the ball barreled, what is the launch angle (which seems to be the stat everyone is looking at these days), what is the exit velocity? I would imagine someone could even look at bat weight and design used by a batter and factor that in to the overall picture- it stands to reason that time to impact with a heavy bat would result in a better result than someone swinging the proverbial "wet noodle". But leaving the research lab and returning to the field of play, I am pretty happy with the Day 1 picks- especially since Ramos had been linked to the Hated Ones for quite some time. If that had happened, they probably would have developed him into their next 5 tool superstar... good thing we got him first!