San Francisco Giants: 5 Bold Predictions for Chris's Stratton's Giants Career
Chris Stratton, the San Francisco Giants first round draft pick, will have plenty of pressure on him, as he is joining an esteemed list of Giants first round draft picks.
Since 2006, the Giants have drafted players such as Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, and Madison Bumgarner in the first round—all solid contributors now.
Let's take a look at Stratton, as well as make five bold predictions for his Giants career.
1. He Will Start Games
Stratton finished his 2011 college season with a record of 11-2 at Mississippi State in 17 appearances—12 of those being starts.
That brings to me to my first prediction: Stratton will start multiple games during his Giants career.
Stratton has multiple pitches and mixes them effectively. This allows him to be a starter, most likely in a spot-start situation.
The reason his starts will come as "spot starts" is because of my second prediction...
2. Stratton Will Break into the Bigs as a Relief Pitcher
The Giants starting rotation appears to be solid for the next few years.
Therefore, Stratton may likely find his time better spent working on his skills as a relief pitcher.
With the loss of Brian Wilson at the beginning of the season, it makes complete sense that the Giants would draft a guy who could eventually fill the closer role.
That said, it may take some time...
3. He Won't Be in the Bigs for a Few Years
Look at how GM Brian Sabean has handled previous first round pitchers.
Tim Lincecum: drafted in 2006, debuted in 2007.
Madison Bumgarner: drafted in 2007, debuted in 2010.
Zack Wheeler: drafted in 2009, yet to debut. (Traded to the Mets in 2011)
Pitchers take time to develop, so if you are planning on seeing Stratton in person, you may have to take a trip to Fresno to watch some minor league baseball action. I predict Stratton won't be playing for the Giants until 2014, and that's at the earliest.
4. Stratton Will Not Be Traded
Sabean made an aggressive move last summer at the trade deadline by acquiring Carlos Beltran from the Mets in exchange for young pitching prospect, and former first round draft pick, Zack Wheeler.
While Wheeler has yet to crack the Bigs in New York, one thing many Giants fans can agree on is that the Beltran trade didn't work.
Therefore, I think Sabean has learned his lesson, which is why I predict the Giants won't trade Stratton until they see him in a Giants uniform.
Stratton Won't Be a Bust
Sabean has done a great job drafting the first round. With first round picks such as Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, and Posey all being instrumental to Giants success, one thing Giants faithful have learned is trust Sabean and his first round picks.
That is why I predict Stratton will be a valuable relief pitcher for the Giants in the future and once again we will praise Sabean for his drafting ability.