UPDATED: Draft Day Wish-Lists: Who to Watch For

I know we’ve already done a mock for tomorrow’s MLB draft, but I thought it might be worthwhile to post my individual rankings for the 1st round, as well as some lesser-known players I’d like the Giants to go after in later rounds. Call this a kind of “wish-list,” if you will. I’ve done a lot of digging, especially on the “other guys.” With 30 teams picking, it’s easy to forget that each team might only get 3-4 players from the Top 100 lists… some may not even get that many. The majority of the Giants draft class will be made up of names falling outside that top 100.

If I remember correctly, Christian Arroyo was the only BA Top 100 player the Giants selected last year – and he was considered a reach in the first round. The Giants, for their part, did really well in snagging some nice value picks in rounds 5-15, selecting multiple college players that were ranked somewhere in the mid-100’s while other teams were going after elusive prep talent in many of those rounds. The Giants were able to grab a few high schoolers late, along with some intriguing collegiate options… most importantly, they got something like each of their first 30 picks to sign. That’s impressive. Keeping that in mind, I tried to find players who fit the Giants drafting mold. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see Brian Sabean, John Barr and their crew latch onto a couple of these guys outside the 3rd round.

As for the first round, I decided to come up with a top 30 “best player available” list. These are my personal rankings, and the order is not at all how I think the players will be drafted. I truly don’t think anyone in the top 6 (Aiken to Toussaint) will make it to the Giants at 14. Really, I don’t believe LSU’s Aaron Nola will slide that far either (he’s #7), but I wouldn’t completely rule it out just yet. The range to look over closely is that 8-16 group. Those are the guys who I think are realistic targets for San Francisco, and that is the order in which I would take them. Obviously, Grant Holmes is my #1 pitching target, and Elk Grove star Derek Hill is the hitter I’m dreaming on. If neither of those two are available, I’d gladly take Pentecost, Reid-Foley or Chavis as a consolation prize. Kyle Freeland is projected to go higher than 11, where I have him, and I don’t think he makes it to 14. But he’d be an interesting arm to consider, if he falls.

As for college bats, I really wouldn’t be shocked to see the Giants go after Trea Turner or Brad Zimmer. I’m not in love with either of those guys, but both of them do offer speed, athleticism and defense. If they can hit, you could be looking at 5-tool talents. However, I’m not sold that either will at this point. Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking this over. If you’re unfamiliar with some of these players, I’d recommend MLB Pipeline or Baseball America. MLB has their top 200, with grades and profiles on each player, while BA has quite a bit of video uploaded for its top 500 list. I use those sites a lot. Knowing the Giants, they probably have a completely different view of the draft class, and won’t select a single player listed here! But it’s still a fun exercise to get to know this group a little better.

Top 30 Wish-List (chance of being available at 14)

1 Brady Aiken LHP – HS (0%) Went #1 to Houston.

2 Carlos Rodon LHP – NC ST (0%) #3 to CHW.

3 Alex Jackson C/OF – HS (0%) Fell to Seattle at #6.

4 Tyler Kolek RHP – HS (0%) #2 to Miami.

5 Nick Gordon SS – HS (0%) Went right here to Minny.

6 Touki Toussaint RHP – HS (10%) Fell (past the Giants!) to AZ at #16.

7 Aaron Nola RHP – LSU (10%) Went #7 to Philly.

8 Grant Holmes RHP – HS (35%) Fell big time to Dodgers at #22.

9 Derek Hill CF – HS (45%) Taken by Detroit at #23… right after Holmes. Ironic?

10 Max Pentecost C – KNSW ST (20%) #11 to Toronto. 

11 Michael Chavis IF – HS (60%) #26 to Boston.

12 Sean Reid-Foley RHP – HS (60%) Dropped all the way to Toronto at #49.

13 Kyle Freeland LHP – Evansville (15%) #8 to Colorado.

14 Kyle Schwarber C/OF – IU (40%) Big riser to Cubs at #4.

15 Trea Turner SS – NC ST (35%) #13 to San Diego.

16 Brad Zimmer CF – USF (40%) Fell to Cleveland #21.

17 Sean Newcomb LHP – Hartford (25%) #15 to LAA.

18 Monte’ Harrison OF – HS (75%) Fell to Milwaukee at #50!

19 Jacob Gatewood SS – HS (50%) Milwaukee again, #41!

20 Tyler Beede RHP – Vandy (50%) Our guy at #14. Like it or not, you just joined the Beede fan club.

21 Michael Conforto OF – OSU (30%) #10 to Mets.

22 Kodi Medeiros LHP – HS (55%) #12 to Milwaukee. What a draft for the Brew Crew.

23 Brandon Finnegan LHP – TCU (75%) #17 to Kansas City.

24 Jeff Hoffman RHP – ECU (30%) Toronto at #9.

25 Nick Howard RHP – UVA (75%) Taken #19 by Cincinnati.

26 Forrest Wall 2B – HS (85%) #35 to Colorado. Nice pick.

27 Foster Griffin LHP – HS (75%) #28 to Kansas City.

28 Luke Weaver RHP – FSU (85%) St. Louis at #27.

29 Casey Gillaspie 1B – Wich ST (75%) #20 to Tampa Bay.

30 Luis Ortiz RHP – HS (70%) #30 supplemental pick to Texas.

2nd Round Wish-List (Pick 52)

Pitchers:

Cameron Varga RHP – HS (#47 MLB.com/#60 Baseball America) Dream pick. 6-3, 205: 60 FB, 60 SL. 2nd Rd Tampa Bay.

Carson Sands LHP – HS (53 MLB/53 BA) FSU commit. 6-3, 200. FB 90-94, 12-to-6 hammer curve.

Jacob Lindgren LHP – MS ST (51/50) Lefty starter turned reliever w/ overpowering FB/SL combo. 2nd Round Yankees

Jack Flaherty RHP/3B – HS (54/39) Star SoCal 2-way player. UNC commit w/ signability concerns. #34 to St. Louis.

Alex Verdugo LHP/OF – HS (60/55) ASU commit, 2-way player. FB reaches 94, 55 CV. Dodgers #62.

Keith Weisenberg RHP – HS (65/70) 6-4 Stanford commit. May be tough to sign.

Michael Cederoth RHP – SDSU (59/45) Moved to bullpen this year. High-90’s heat, poor control.

Austin DeCarr RHP – HS (70/68) FB/CV/CH. Ceiling not as high, but might have higher floor.

Mac Marshall LHP – HS (66/57) LSU commit. 6-2, 180. FB/CV/CH all have above average potential.

Scott Blewett RHP – HS (55/51) 6-6, 210. +FB, athletic frame. Has some health concerns. 2nd Round Kansas City.

Hitters:

Taylor Sparks 3B – UCI (56/87) Big, athletic IF. Fits Chris Dominguez mold. Might not be around in 3rd. 2nd Round Cincy.

Matt Chapman SS – CSUF (82/64) Big arm, can handle 3B. Has power, but questions with hit tool. #25 to Oakland.

Matt Railey OF – HS (64/59) Bat stands out. Currently CF, might move to corner.

Aramis Garcia C – FIU (78/74) Won’t make it out of 2nd round. Good all-around backstop. Didn’t make it past 2nd… Gigantes snagged him at 52.

Josh Morgan SS – HS (85/63) UCLA commit with an interesting tool set. May move to 3B, but should hit.

3rd Round (Pick 87)

Pitchers:

Jake Cosart RHP – CC: Features a FB up to 98 and a “biting” curve.

Daniel Gossett RHP – Clemson: Video A’s 2nd round (#65). 

Zech Lemond RHP – Rice: Video

Jordan Brink RHP – Fresno ST: Video

Sam Coonrod RHP – SIU: Video Giants just plucked him 5th round. #102 overall on MLB.com. Good value. 6-2, 180 reliever. Big velo, no idea where it’s going. Classic Giants pick.

Wyatt Strahan RHP – USC: Video

James Norwood RHP – St Louis: Video

Hitters:

Jordan Luplow OF – Fresno ST

Dylan Davis OF – OSU: Video Giants 3rd round pick, right here. Similar profile to Mac Williamson. Big guy, contact questions, power profile… plus arm strength. Maybe not as athletic as Mac.

Connor Joe C – USD: Video #39 to Pittsburgh.

Brian Anderson IF – Ark: Video

Nick Torres OF – Cal Poly: Video

Greg Allen CF – SDSU: Video

Others to Watch For

Pitchers:

Cameron Bishop LHP – HS: Video

Gage Hinsz RHP – HS (Billings, MT, represent!): Video

Justin Garza RHP – CSUF

Andrew Morales RHP – UCI 2nd round St. Louis (#71).

Jake Reed RHP – Oregon

Reed Reilly RHP – Cal Poly

Jake Jewell RHP – CC

Ben Smith LHP – Coastal Car.

Mason McCullough RHP – Lander CC

Brian Clark LHP – Kent ST

Matt Cooper RHP – Hawaii

Austin Davis LHP – CSU Bak.

James Farris RHP – Arizona

Hitters:

Joey Pankake 3B – South Car.

Austin Cousino OF – UK

Tyler Kuresa 1B – UCSB

Max Murphy CF – Bradley

Michael Katz IF – William & Mary

Brandon Cogswell OF – UVA

Shane Zeille C – UCLA

Jake Peter IF – Creighton

Skyler Ewing C – Rice

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4 thoughts on “UPDATED: Draft Day Wish-Lists: Who to Watch For”

  1. Nice set of prospects. Arroyo was 101 on the list I believe, the Gints didn’t have anybody on the BA top 100, Ragira was on the back of the MLB top 100, in the 90s I believe. There were a fair amount of guys ranked in the 100-200 range that got swooped up in the net though. Weisenberg has the Stanford commit as one factor in his rankings, nobody knows his true demand but if its around 1MM, the Giants can step up there as they did last year with Ryder Jones, tweaking Stanford and their mighty rep two years in a row would be a fun story.

    One thing that I trust the Giants to do is if they draft somebody, they’ll sign them, until you get to the late teens early 20s where it might be a bit more of a varied. They have an excellent track record in this regard, and I think its quite deliberate to their style. I also wouldn’t expect any big draft games, but they like to do 1-2 subtle “small” draft gamings each time. I’d expect a lot of 100K guys in the 11-20, and maybe a senior sign in the 9-10 rounds for 10K to save money for overslot later on.

    1. Thanks for the comment. The Giants did nail a ton of guys in the 150-200 range last year, so I tried to find some names in that range this year who seemed like realistic suspects. Not that it changes my opinion about him, but I didn’t realize Arroyo wasn’t top 100. I just thought he wasn’t in the top 50, and that’s why it was a big deal. The kid can hit, but hopefully they don’t go that far off the reservation this year. Lots of talent hanging around that 14 spot. Go nail someone big!

      1. To understand the Arroyo pick you have to look at position scarcity. Even though the ratings services had him outside the 100, he would have been popped by the middle of the 2nd round. Kiley McD has verified this btw. I did a analysis of this in my draft review last year. I’d like the Giants to go off the reservation and go get Kodi M! That would be awesome. They are looking at Nick Howard though, that could bring as many boo’s out as Panik and Arroyo. It’ll be interesting.

  2. Wow, what a list! Nicely done! I like your wish list. I still think a pitcher will be selected. They have had good vision as to underlying talent with their early picks lately, and they have the Pitcher’s Whisperer with them. And, of course, once I say this, they’ll select a hitter…

    Yeah, Arroyo was just short of being in BA’s Top 100, if I recall right. That’s why it was such a big deal, what with their first round pick and all. To Shankbone’s point, if you really like someone and there’s nobody else you think who could fall, you grab the guy early, like they did with Cain, not quite as extreme as Arroyo, but his selection also got tongues wagging for the earliness in selecting him. Under Sabean, they have a long history of selecting players at least one “round” (30 spots) higher than where BA ranked them, from what I researched.

    What’s been different under Barr is that they are also selecting guys who fall for whatever reasons, with all those 101-200 picks that they got later.

    The Giants have been great in signing who they draft, just as Shankbone described it. I think his view of what might happen is spot on.

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