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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Giants Draft Analysis

Well, for most of the 2011 season, Madison Bumgarner has been the bad luck pitcher in the Giants starting rotation, the Matt Cain of 2008. However, after Tuesday night's meltdown vs. the Twins, he has nobody but himself to blame.

The Twinkies put up a 9-spot in the first frame and sent the Giants 21 year-old to a cold shower before he could exit the first inning. It couldn't have happened to a tougher luck pitcher either, as Bumgarner has been one of the most steady arms in that rotation, only to be rewarded with a 3-8 record coming in (3-9 after tonight's mess). Some silver lining to come out of Tuesday's game though was 8 scoreless innings of relief by the bullpen, and another 2-2 night out of Aubrey Huff to help the struggling offense (We need Hardy, We Need Hardy!!!). But anyway, in the midst of a blowout, I wanted to talk a little bit more about the draft and what kind of players the Orange and Black have brought into the organization.

Giants Draft Talk

As we all know by know, the Giants selected St. Johns Jr. shortstop Joe Panik at #29, who I've now had a chance to watch a bit, and he seems like a very nice player, certainly worth a top-50 pick. Top-30 pick though, I'm not so sure? I guess if I had my druthers, I would have taken LSU outfielders Mikie Mahtook or Brian Goodwin, possibly even 6'6" Prep lefty, Henry Owens, all of whom fell just a few picks behind Panik, so I can't help but think they could have gotten two of those names mentioned above. But the Giants have ended up with Panik, he's now our guy and will be rooted for like family. He's a good sized shortstop with a strong arm and average range, but his strength lies at the plate, where he's got an above average offensive skill-set. After watching some extensive video on the shortstop, I can't help but vision a younger Stephen Drew with that compact, balanced stroke. Also, if you check out the videos, you'll be hard-pressed to find him actually swinging and missing. I know they're doctored up some and scouting tapes, but the kid makes contact. First he was a Freshman All-American, then a All-Big East selection (3rd team) as a sophomore, hitting .374 in 60 games supported with 10 HR, 55 RBI and a rock solid 1.098 OPS. He was also recognized as one of the better defensive shortstops in the East. Then, as a senior, he hit over .400 with 9 HR and 50 RBI and had decent success in the Cape Cod League, hitting near .300. Again, I like Panik, and he fits an organizational need, but I really think Goodwin has extraordinary upside, and believe the Giants could have gotten Panik just a few spots later with their compensation pick. Baseball America had Panik as the 66th best prospect out there, just to give an idea of what the national scouts, writers and coaches think of the kid. He's definitely set out on a rampage though, showing up hungry and tearing dominating in Salem to the tune of 10-17, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1.474 OPS in 4 ballgames. Look out San Jose, it's only a matter of time!

After Panik, again, it was the "Big Project", Texas prep right-hander, Kyle Crick. The 6'4" throws in the mid-90's with ease, but has pitched just a few seasons in his baseball life, and still has plenty to learn. If your expecting Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner-type ascending from Crick, you'll be disappointed, cause he's got some learning to do. Speaking of Cain though, Crick reminds a lot of Giants scouts of the 26 year-old rightie, a hard thrower who goes right after hitters and throws 70% fastballs. He's a guy I could certainly see in late-relief down the line if he can't pitch 6-7 innings per start. I wanna say they were hoping for Andrew Chaffin or Michael Kelly to fall a few more spots, cause they just missed out on two of the drafts top-25 arms in those two. They did have a potential ace fall to them in round 6 though, where they selected Oregon State lefty Josh Osich. The guy had a huge 2011 season following Tommy John Surgery in 2010, and if he can stay healthy, he could very well could end up the steal of this draft.

After the selection of Crick, the Giants went with another catcher in Oregon State's Andrew Susac, which was a bit of a head-scratcher at first, being they just drafted Posey a few years back and have another top ranked cathcer in Tommy Joseph coming along. However, I started to see the logic in it very quickly. Susac is a MLB-caliber catcher and was a projected first rounder coming into the year. Also, Buster's injury may force him out to 2nd, 3rd or 1st base in a few years. Susac is a solid defender with pull power which could translate to 15-20 HR/year. I liked this selection, and I think he's a guy we'll see sooner than later up in San Fran! Heck, I already think he's better than Chris Stewart... Rounding out round 3 was the powerful, USC first basemen Ricky Oropesa, who I'm very intrigued to watch develop. Oropesa led the USC team in the triple crown categories each of his last 2 seasons, including a .357, 20 HR, 67 RBI campaign in 2010. Had he entered the draft last year, he very well could have been a first rounder/Compensation A selection. So again, very solid value pick for the Giants. (Here's a video of catcher Andrew Susac connecting for a long homer to left field last summer)

*Other names to follow taken after the 10th round*

(10th Rnd) CF Kentrell Hill, Arkansas Baptist
: Very Brian Gordon-like with speed and power out of center field. 5-tool caliber player could have gone 5-6 rounds earlier, easy. Some character issue, but nothing serious. Giants hoping he's the long lost outfielder they haven't developed in 20 years?

(14th Rnd) 3B Garrett Buechele, Oklahoma: 2-time Big-12 coaches selection, .343 career hitter, but needs some work on defense. Reminds me a bit of Connor Gillaspie coming in, but hopefully we see more positive results in him. Has more pop than Gillaspie, so should be a fine fit at the hot corner as long as the defense comes around.

(21st Rnd) RHP Andrew Triggs: The 6'3" righty isn't very flashy, but is extremely effective. He was USC's ace in 2010 but pitched through a ton of bad luck. In 2011 though, he turned it back on, finishing 5-4 with a 3.67 era and 72 K's in 90 IP in a tough Pac-12. He saved his best start for last; a 7 2/3, 13 strikeout performance that probably solidified his spot here. Sign-ability could be an issue here though.

More Draft Analysis?: We will have one more small segment on the draft to cap things off as we get an up-close and personal look at some of these players as covered by the site that watches these guys day-in and day-out. CBD's Brian Foley so wrapped up in the CWS right now, so I may want to give him another week or so before bombarding him with Giants' draft questions, then again, he's a good buddy of mine and he may end up feeding us something very nice before the end of the Series, so stay tuned!

GBB's Overall Grade for the Giants 2011 Draft: B
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Tyson said…

    Can Susac plan now? I'm so sick of this catching combo. I'm sick of this middle infield without Sanchez... It's hard to believe this team is still tied for first after watching their effort tonight.

  • At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can't believe Susac lasted until the third round! Did he have that bad of a season or what, cause I thought he was the Buster Posey of this draft coming in!

    I saw some of Panik in the Cape Cod League, good comparison to the Jr. Drew and with all his experience, he's a fast-tracker!

  • At 3:57 PM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Looks like the Mets are pushing and pushing more and more to deal Reyes...

    Again, I'd take Hardy at a fraction of the price. May not be the leadoff answer, but a solid bat and would help fill Buster's void...

    You'd also have to think Sabes can work something out with Baltimore in order to get him too.. Give them Burris or Crawford.. It's not like Hardy's staying in Baltimore after this year anyway!

  • At 6:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kentrell Hill is a great 5 tool player that definitely should have went higher in the draft. But has far as character issues, he has none. He is a very classy person on and off the field.

  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger Trevor Cole said…

    Big W for Timmy, once again, elleviated all concerns with a breaze and making it look too easy!

    Stay tuned for Post Friday Morning!


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