Friday, June 8, 2018

Scouting the 2018 Draft: Giants Picks Rounds 3-10

We posted full profiles for Joey Bart and Sean Hjelle after Day 1.  The Giants are generally getting positive reviews for their draft.  Even Keith Law, who usually hate just about everything the Giants do, had some positive things to say in his Klawchat on his blog.  Here's the exchange:

Chris:  As a Giants fan, is my overall attitude of "meh" justified?  While they got two players who will contribute(and Bart will likely contribute a lot), it just doesn't feel like much upside considering they had the number 2 overall pick and a high second round pick.

Keith Law:  It feels very safe, and they have taken four players so far who should contribute sooner rather than later, but you are right that they forewent upside in favor of probability and proximity.

I would argue that there wasn't that much upside to be had in this draft, and Joey Bart just might have the most!  I mean, the big question about Bart is whether he will make enough contact.  If he does, wow!  We have a Hall of Fame catcher! As for Hjelle, it's not like a 6'11" pitcher is devoid of upside.  He fills out that frame at all and boom!  Dominance!  Upside is generally a code word for high school prospect.  While this year's HS class ran fairly deep, there were no standout prep prospects which is why teams went college so heavy in the top 10.  High school prospects also come with risk.  Covechatter showed that if you want to get an elite player in the top 5 picks, you best take a college hitter.  Of the college hitters, Bart has the biggest upside and highest ceiling, IMO.  I would say the same about Hjelle out of available players in Round 2.  Some might argue for Kumar Rocker or Cole Wilcox, who were available, but if teams didn't think they would sign for first round money, why would they sign for second round money?  While Bart may sign for slightly under slot, he would not accept a big enough discount to sign Rocker or Wilcox in Round 2.  It also makes little sense to skimp on a high first round pick to try to upgrade your later round picks based on probabilities as ocg has pointed out numerous times.

OK, with that out of my system, let's move on!

Round 3, Pick #80.  Jake Wong, RHP, College(Grand Canyon University).  6'2", 215 lbs.  2016:  2-3, 4.28, 54.2 IP, 29 BB, 28 K.  2017:  5-3, 4.00, 78.2 IP, 25 BB, 51 K.  2018:  9-3, 2.81, 89.2 IP, 29 BB, 89 K.  Grand Canyon U is an emerging D1 program.  Wong is their highest draftee.  Solid build which should play as a SP.  He has a solid 3-pitch mix fronted by a FB that sits 92-94 MPH and touches 96.  According to his MLB scouting report, his changeup might be his best secondary pitch, something Mike Krukow will approve of.  He pitched in relief in the Cape Cod League with an uptick in velocity.  While I had not heard of Jake Wong before the draft, MLB had him ranked #72, so he was not a reach at #80.

Round 4, Pick #106.  Blake Rivera, RHP, JC(Alabama).  6'4", 2015 lbs.  7-1, 1.94, 55.2 IP, 72 K's. The Giants drafted Rivera in round 32 last year after his freshman JC season, but he returned to school and bumped his stock to the 4'th round.  MLB had him ranked at #111.  Same school as Craig Kimbrel.  FB sits at 90-93 and touches 96.  Curveball is a "legitimate out pitch" with "sharp bite."  Scouts are divided re. whether he best profiles as a SP or RP.  Giants will likely give him a chance to start, at least in the minors.

Round 5, Pick #136.  Keaton Winn, RHP, JC(Iowa).  6'4", 2015 lbs.  4-1, 2.23, 36.1 IP, 59 K, 5 Saves.  Winn was drafted by the Giants in round 20 last year and moves up to round 5 this year.  Have I ever said the Giants like to redraft players they have previously drafted?  MLB scouting report has his FB 89-94 with a good slider.  Pitched mostly in relief for his JC team but started 2 games.  Giants will probably try to develop him as a SP.  He is quite athletic winning a state championship in track and also playing football and basketball in HS.

Round 6, Pick #166.  Patrick Hilson, OF, HS(Arkansas).  5'10", 165 lbs.  B-S, T-R.  Here is the Giants upside play.  Hilson is a smallish but muscular HS 2-way player with a 94 MPH fastball on the mound and can fly as a runner.  Giants drafted him as an OF and you don't get much more tooled up than Hilson.  As always, the question is whether he will hit.  On video he has a deep hand dip at the start of his swing that reminds me of a beer league slow-pitch softball swing.  One he gets it going, though, theres a lot of whippiness and wrist action which could generate a lot of power.  The swing will be a project, though.  Does not turn 18 until 8/25.

Round 7, Pick #199.  Edison Mora, SS, HS(Puerto Rico).  6'2", 165 lbs.  B-R, T-R.  Another upside play.  About all we have on this kid is a scouting video for college which shows him running a 6.7 60.  He's on the tall side for a SS with a thin, wiry frame and some lankiness with long arms and legs.  The frame looks like it can fill out.  I'm always annoyed in scouting videos when I see players on defense double clutch and crow hop, and they always do. Kid!  I don't want to know what you are going to do when Buster Posey hits a medium-hard grounder right at you.  I want to know what you are going to do with a chopper hit by Billy Hamilton or a grounder into the hole by, say, Hunter Pence!  Double clutches and crow hops are not going to do it.  In fairness to Mora, some later plays show him hustling and unloading a lot more quickly, but no throws from deep in the hole.  Mora does not turn 18 yo until 8/13.

Round 8, Pick #226.  Solomon Bates, RHP, College(USC).  6'2", 210 lbs.  2018:  6-3, 3.14, 77.1 IP, 21 BB, 79 K's.  USC's top pitcher in 2018.  I don't have much of a scouting report. He had 18 appearances for USC in 2018 with 9 starts.  A video from his Santa Barbara Foresters summer league team shows a very big body with a huge, muscular lower half reminiscent of Bartolo Colon.  Another video from 3/9/2018 during the college season shows him slimmed down considerably.  As you know, though, I don't mind seeing some bulk in pitchers.

Round 9, Pick #256.  Ben Madison, RHP, College(Central Baptist(AR)).  6'3", 205 lbs.  6-6, 2.70, 96.2 IP, 172 K's.  NAIA First Team All American.  Not much info here.  Can reportedly dial it up to 96 MPH.  Obviously a strikeout machine but you have to consider the competition.  Let's just say the Giants started drafted lottery tickets in round 6 with Hilson, and Madison looks to have as much upside as any of them.  2 more things.  We now have a pitcher with the last name of Madison to go with a pitcher with the first name of Madison.  This Madison has the Johnny Cueto hair and smile going on!

Round 10, Pick #286.  Alex Dubord, RHP.  College(Faulkner University(AL).  6'5", 225 lbs.  7-1, 4.01, 51.2 IP, 14 BB, 55 K.  Another NAIA pitcher with the size the Giants look for.  Have I ever said the Giants like to draft big pitchers?  Reportedly had hit 94 MPH with the FB.  Not much more info out there.  I'll take a stab and comp him to Joe Biagini.


  1. Thanks for rounding out the known scouting reports for this draft. I'm happy for the way they went about it; you said "they need to draft college pitchers early" and there they went. It's a nice haul, they went the same way many teams did digging into college pitching near the top.

    Really appreciate them going right where they should with pick #2. After Bart, I think the talent dropped off precipitously!! Excellent pickup for the org, and right when they'll be needing their next Catcher OTF.

  2. Would you say Bart comes in day 1 as the giants top prospect?

    1. I think he does. He was the #2 overall. That comes with lofty expectations.

      And this time next month, Ramos may drop to #3 if the rumors about Luciano are correct.

  3. those strikeouts numbers for madison cant wait to see how he pans out

  4. Thanks for the rundown of picks 3 thru 10! I'm glad they loaded up on pitching. I'm curious as to which 4 players did Keith law refer to who should contribute sooner rather then later. While "Upside" picks are interesting, the most important thing to me is how many of these draft picks will make it to the big leagues and contribute to future giants teams.