GM Brian Sabean and his staff have wisely selected some of the cornerstones of the franchise through the draft. Though the Giants haven't had a top 3 selection since 1986, they have used their first round picks to grab top-tier players like Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, and Buster Posey.
In addition, they have made some wise later round steals like Brian Wilson (24th Round), and Sergio Romo (28th Round).
However, for every great pick, there are at least two busts, and the Giants have had plenty of those as well. Kurt Ainsworth, Jason Grilli, and Tim Alderson come to mind as first round picks who never reached their potentials.
Will the Giants select the next Buster Posey or the next Tony Torcato in this year's draft? Be sure to check this article throughout the draft for a full recap and analysis of the Giants picks in 2012.
The organization and their fans are kicking themselves after giving away Zach Wheeler to the Mets in exchange for Carlos Beltran last July. It was a major risk that did not go in the Giants favor, despite Beltran playing relatively well when not injured.
Thankfully, Sabean and Co. have shown skill in selecting young starting pitching. It would be no surprise to see the Giants draft an arm with their first pick. It would serve to fill the hole left by the Wheeler trade, and is logical considering they have selected position players in the first round the previous two years.
The Giants have also been exposed this year for a lack of depth in their middle infield—something they should look to address in this draft. Many wonder whether Freddy Sanchez will ever be able to come back from his string of injuries. Emmanuel Burriss has struggled offensively and has been marginal in the field, and does not look to be the kind of player that can contribute to a playoff contender.
Charlie Culberson could be helpful down the line, but from my eyes, he is also not someone who will be making any all-star games. The Giants would be wise to spend one of their top picks on a second baseman of the future.
First base has been an enormous problem for the Giants this season. First base is typically an offense-dominated position; however, Giants first basemen are batting .240 with just three home runs on the season. It is especially troubling for a team that has historically had problems scoring runs.
Brandon Belt's power has been worse than expected and he hasn't made the necessary adjustments to be successful against major-league pitching. He has not instilled confidence in fans or coaches, hence his spotty playing time.
Angel Villalona was once considered as a promising prospect, but his off-the-field issues have cast doubt on his character. The Giants need to grab a first baseman with one of their first five picks to have another option should Belt and Villalona not pan out. There is also an argument for selecting a catcher assuming Posey eventually moves to first.
Per MLB.com, The Giants' pick order will look like this:
|Round||Pick Number (Overall)|
|4-40||20 (148, 180, etc.)
College: Mississippi St.
Click here for B/R draft guru Mike Rosenbaum's Full Scouting Report on Chris Stratton.
As predicted, the Giants selected a potential hoss with their first pick in this draft. Dreams of Cain-Bumgarner-Stratton could become reality in just a few years, as Stratton is already 22.
Brian Sabean did the wise thing here to reload the farm system with a stud arm that is already developed.
Losing Zach Wheeler hurt the Giants, but this pick could be redemption. Stratton can get his fastball up to 96mph, and has a plus-slider he can mix in to keep batters off balance.
Stratton was the 2012 pitcher of the year in the SEC - one of the top conferences in college baseball. The Giants just got themselves an established winner who has faced tough competition.
You have to love that the Giants avoided selecting a high school pitcher who's ETA would have likely been 4-5 years down the road, and instead went with a guy who could potentially contribute as soon as 2014.
I give this pick an A grade - Giants fans should be excited to have acquired such a promising young arm. I, for one, can't wait to see what Chris Stratton can do.
College: St. Mary's
The Giants stay local with Agosta, who put up some nice numbers at St. Mary's. Last year he posted a 2.18 ERA with 95 strikeouts in 103 innings.
The righty doesn't have ideal size but can get his fastball up to the low to mid 90's with some sink. He has a curve and a change that he'll need to develop. He's a hard worker who has performed, which can now be said about both of the Giants' first picks.
San Francisco is loading up the farm with arms, which continues to be a wise strategy. There are few teams that have shown a track record of developing pitchers like the Giants. Agosta looks like he could be a solid starter with the right guidance, which the Giants are certainly able to provide.
College: Wake Forest
The Giants get a big outfielder with power, which makes sense as the future outfield situation is far from clear. Who knows how long Cabrera and Pagan will stick with the team, and Gary Brown has struggled recently. This is a nice pick to get a solid hitter who should be ready to go in the majors by 2015.
Scouting Report per MLB.com:
Okert switched between the bullpen and the starting rotation before coming on strong as a closer this year. He has been lights out in that role and is one of the main reasons Oklahoma has done so well this year. In pro ball, he will definitely come out of the bullpen and could make it to the Majors quickly.
San Francisco picks up another arm, this time out of the bullpen. Okert has a big frame and adds to a bullpen that already has good depth at LHP. Keeping in mind Dan Runzler's injuries and Jeremy Affeldt's age justify this pick. At worst he could be a lower end middle-relief guy, and at best a future set-up man for Heath Hembree.
In his senior season at Creighton, Blach was the ace of his staff with a 2.69 era and a .219 opponents' batting average. He led his team in innings by over 50 ip, and had a 3:1 k/bb ratio.
Blach as recently as May 22nd pitched a 1-hit shutout against top-seed Indiana state in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. It's good to know he came up large for his team against a favored opponent.
San Francisco has yet to select a high schooler in this draft. Some teams like the Phillies prefer to take on risky projects; however, the Giants have done better selecting more established players. I like what the Giants are doing - taking mature prospects with track records against college level competition.
College: St. Edwards University
Scouting Report per MLB.com:
Sometimes a role change is all a player needs. When Johnson went from starter to reliever, his Draft stock took off. Johnson was up-and-down as a starter for Division II St. Edwards. He gave the bullpen a try over the summer, threw extremely well and then stayed there for the 2012 season. His plus fastball plays extremely well in a short relief role, touching triple digits. He throws a hard breaking ball that is a bit inconsistent as well. Poor arm action hinders his command. If he can improve his mechanics to help his control, he has the chance to close at the next level like he did in college.
That makes 5 pitchers out of 6 picks so far for the Giants, and again they go reliever. Johnson played for Div II school St. Edwards where he excelled out of the pen, posting a 1.01 ERA in 26 innings as their closer. According to fellow B/R contributor Alberto Chapa, Johnson has been overlooked despite exceeding 100mph with his fastball. I would have rather seen the team take an everyday player at this point, but the Giants must have really liked what they saw out of this big righty.
Check below for each of the Giants' later round picks. The deeper we get into the draft, the less likely it is that these guys will see major league playing time. Still, you never know when the team might find a diamond in the rough. This is where the scouting department can really makes its mark.
|Round (Pick)||Player Selected|
Eduardo Encinosa, RHP, Miami
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'5"/225
Joseph Kurrasch, LHP, Penn State
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'0"/205
Shilo McCall, CF, Piedra Vista HS (NM)
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'1"/210 (video)
Trevor Brown, C, UCLA
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/195
Ryan Tella, CF, Auburn
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'0"/185
Jeremy Sy, SS, U Louisiana Monroe
Bats/Throws: R/R, 5'8"/180
Ryan Jones, 2B, Michigan St
Bats/Throws: R/R, 5'10"/175
Tyler Hollick, CF, Chandler Gilbert CC
Bats/Throws: L/R, 6'1"/185
Leonardo Rojas, C, Miami Dade CC
Bats/Throws: R/R, 5'11"/182
Ian Gardeck, RHP, Alabama
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/225
Christopher Johnson, RHP, U. of Portland
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'4"/205
Matthew Duffy, SS, CSU Long Beach
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/170
Randall Zeigler, LHP, U Louisiana Monroe
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'1"/183
Mitch Delfino, 3B, California
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/210
Benjamin Turner, C, Missouri
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'5"/225
Brennan Metzger, CF, CSU Long Beach
Bats/Throws: R/R, 5'11"/180
Andrew Leenhouts, LHP, Northeastern
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'3"/200
Andrew Cain, CF, UNC - Wilmington
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'6"/220
Sam Eberle, C, Jacksonville State U
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'0"/215
Mason McVay, LHP, Florida International
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'7"
Chris Fern, LHP, Union College
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'4"/215
Joseph Rapp, 1B, U Louisiana Monroe
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'3"/220
Shayne Houck, OF, Kutztown U
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'1"/210
Michael Blanchard, CF, Austin Peay St U
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'0"/180
Jason Forjet, RHP, Florida Gulf Coast U
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/185
Chris Pickering, LHP, U Rhode Island
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'1"/190
Brandon Farley, RHP, Arkansas State
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/215
Zachariah Edgington, LHP, UCSB
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'0"/190
Daniel Grazzini, RHP, Col San Mateo
Bats/Throws: L/R, 6'3"/195
Clinty Terry, LHP, Col San Mateo
Bats/Throws: L/L, 6'2"/195
Drew Jackson, SS, Miramonte HS
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'2"/175
Nolan Long, RHP, Waterford HS (CT)
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'9"/225 (Video)
Kevin Fagan, 2B, North Browand HS (FL)
Bats/Throws: R/R, 5'11"/175
Tyler Ferguson, RHP, Clovis West HS
Bats/Throws: R/R, 6'4"/225