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Monday, June 11, 2007

Draft Coverage Part 2

The Giants have plummeted to a season low 6 games below .500, and the same problems they've had all year continue to hurt them. I thought today would be a good day to continue focusing on the draft. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Brian Foley, a college baseball enthusiast who does a terrific job covering NCAA hardball action at http://www.collegebaseball.blogspot.com.

SFGBLOG: What are your thoughts on Madison Bumgarner? Was he worthy of a top 10 pick in your opinion?

BF: I personally don't like to see High School kids especially left-handers drafted in the first round of the draft but based on the reports I have read about Madison he is well worth the selection. He is a big left handed pitcher who has some good weight behind him since he weighs 220 already. It is very rare to see a pitcher this big coming out of high school which is a plus. The Giants do have to work with him in the minor leagues in developing some breaking pitchers as he has a poor breaking ball and he change up is just average. I believe he is still at least five years away from getting into the conversation for the MLB rotation.

SFGBLOG: Many Giants fans wanted the Giants to get a hitter with their first pick and they passed up Beau Mills, the apparent top college bat in the draft. Will they regret that?

BF: I grew up near Boston so I am a diehard Red Sox fan and Beau Mills is the son of Brad Mills who is the Red Sox bench coach. Mills wasn't the top bat in the Draft as I believe Matt Wieters is a better pure hitter. Mills picked up the coveted Top Prospect in the Alaska Summer League by Baseball America. Mills stats were skewed some since he was playing at NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State College.

SFGBLOG: Do you think the Giants could have done better with the 3 first round picks they had? Did they pass anyone up that they'll wish they hadn't?

BF: The Giants with their first pick in the first round passed on Phillipe Aumont from Quebec. He is a big right handed pitcher who was getting talked about extensively by New England scouts after appearing at the Cape Cod High School Classic last season. The second pick I think the Giants should have drafted James Simmons who had a dominant season at UC-Riverside. He led the team with an 11-3 record and a 2.40 ERA. Riverside plays in a very competitive conference in the Big West which has sent Cal-State Fullerton and UC-Irvine to the CWS. Simmons also pitched well last summer in the Cape Cod League with a 4-2 record and 1.18 ERA in the premier summer league in the country. I don't know the Giants minor leagues that well but Todd Frazier was passed over by the Giants and the player had an excellent season at Rutgers as he led the team with a .377 average including 22 homers. He also was impressive last summer on the USA National Team. He also played on the Toms River Little League team that won the American title in 1998.

SFGBLOG: Looking at the list of Giants draftees, who jumps out at you as a name that Giants fans will become familiar with over the next couple of years?

BF: I really like Andy D'Alessio out of Clemson who was a ninth round pick last season of the Dodgers but did not sign. His biggest problem is that his swing needs to get a little quicker as he seems to have a very long swing. He did lead the Tigers with 17 homers in the tough ACC. As I am typing this, Evan McArthur of Cal-State Fullerton just made an outstanding play at third base and threw a player out at the plate. McArthur is a solid prospect that the scouts have overlooked as he struggled in his senior season batting only .257. He could be a huge sleeper in this draft class for the Giants.

SFGBLOG: There are scouting videos available for most of the top round picks in the draft, but there wasn't one for Jackson Williams, catcher from Oklahoma taken at pick 43. What can you tell us about Williams?

BF: Jackson struggled last year with the Wood bat in the Cape League. He hit only .245 in 27 games against some elite pitchers. He also showed zero power numbers as he only had one extra base hits out of his 25 on the year. He was named the All-Big 12 Second team behind the plate after batting .344 with 44 RBI. It seems that he needs to change his hitting style to succeed at the next level.

SFGBLOG: What grade do you give the Giants for this draft?

It is really tough to grade a MLB draft but I would give them a B as they have picked many solid players with some of their late picks like Lars Knepper out of Hawaii-Hilo and Ramon Corona who is a solid second baseman. I have had the chance to see Corona play three times in the last year and he is always a solid defensive player and needs to work on his hitting though.

SFGBLOG: 10 years from now when we look back at the '07 Major League draft, who will be the top 3 players we are talking about from the class?

BF: David Price is expected to be one of the top pitchers in MLB for years to come and I really like Aumont that the Mariners picked up. Matt Wieters is by far the best catcher in this draft and with his 6-6 frame behind the plate, he should be a rock back there for years to come with the Orioles. Plus, Wieters is a switch-hitter who can hit for power from both sides and threw off a mound last spring in a game attended by myself 95 MPH.

The biggest disappointment in this draft is going to be Matt Laporta. He struggled mightily in the CCBL last season as he was recovering from an injury and really has been unimpressive with a wood bat.
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5 Comments:

  • At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The only reason to worry about Bumgarner is he didn't become the pitcher he is until his senior year. He has came a long way, but I don't know how much he will improve.

     
  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger Brian P. Foley said…

    His curveball is subpar and needs to work on that to get to the next level. If you play in the Majors then you can hit a 98 MPH fastball.

     
  • At 9:28 PM, Blogger Trevor said…

    Yeah Brian, ML hitters are not impressed with velocity. It certainly helps to be able to throw 96 mph, but Bumgarner is going to have to put something else in hitters minds besides the good old number 1 if he's going to be a success.

     
  • At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Kelsdad said…

    Wieters draft stock had him out of the top ten, I'm really surprised he ended up where he did.

    Bet here is they move the kid, nothing more risky than a tall catcher.

     
  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Brian P. Foley said…

    Wieters can play 1st base also but he has too good of an arm to waste at first. He throws 95 off the mound. He also seems to get rid of the ball well so they really like that. We will see what happens with him.

     

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