Latest Predictions on Who the San Francisco Giants Will Draft
There are 40 rounds in the MLB draft and the Giants also hope to bring in several strong prospects.
Drafting and developing young players is extremely valuable, as the organization has financial control over these players. This approach is critical to retain budgetary sanity, as the price for free agents is extremely high.
The Giants have developed several top pitchers who are currently on the big league roster. These homegrown pitchers include Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo.
Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt are position players that have come up through the Giants system.
The Giants have had a good track record of developing young pitchers, so Sabean may elect to go in that direction. Several of the Giants' top pitching prospects were recent draftees, including Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton, Clayton Blackburn, Martin Agosto, Heath Hembree and Derek Law.
Not since 2011 when the Giants brought up Crawford and Belt have they had a starting position player come through the draft.
The Giants do not have any position players that are ready to make an impact in the majors. After 2011, the Giants' success in developing position players has been poor.
Looking at the lack of quality offensive prospects in their minor league system, the Giants could also select an outfielder with their top pick.
As Sabean ponders his selection, the ability of the Giants to sign that top pick will also play a key role.
Let's take a look at five players who could be a good fit for the Giants.
No. 5: Sean Reid-Foley, Pitcher
Sean Reid-Foley is a power pitcher with a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s, which is complemented by a hard slider and changeup.
As you will see in the video, Reid-Foley has a live arm and his pitches have a lot of natural movement.
The fastball and slider are Reid-Foley's two best pitches, but he does need to polish his changeup.
The Giants have the 14th overall selection and Reid-Foley may not be available there. However, if he is and GM Brian Sabean feels he can sign him, Reid-Foley would be an excellent pick.
Reid-Foley is one of the top pitching prospects coming out of high school and has committed to Florida State. This may scare some teams off, but if he can be enticed to sign, he would be worthy of the Giants' top pick.
No. 4: Bradley Zimmer, Outfielder
Bradley Zimmer is playing his college baseball at the University of San Francisco, just a few miles away from AT&T Park. The Giants have undoubtedly seen him, and if they like what they saw, he should be available with the 14th overall selection.
The video, produced by USF, gives you a good insight into Zimmer's focus and desire to be the best he can be.
Zimmer is a junior at USF and stands 6'5" and weighs in at 205 pounds. For a tall, lanky player, Zimmer moves well, and has even stolen 21 bases this year.
In 220 at-bats this season, Zimmer is batting .368 with seven home runs and 31 RBI. His OBP is .461 and his OPS is an outstanding 1.034.
Zimmer has a quick bat and as he matures, he should put on more muscle, giving him a lot more power.
No. 3: Michael Conforto, Outfielder
If the San Francisco Giants opt to go with a position player, Michael Conforto would be an excellent selection. GM Brian Sabean should also have a good chance to sign him.
Conforto is a junior and has played three very strong seasons at Oregon State. His career batting average as a Beaver is .345, with an OBP of .466 and OPS of 1.033, per TheBaseballCube.com. He has also shown good power with 31 career home runs.
2014 has been another very productive year for Conforto. In 184 at-bats, he is hitting .364 with an OBP of .518 and OPS of 1.100. Conforto has seven home runs and 55 RBI. Another positive sign is that Conforto has 49 walks while striking out only 33 times.
No. 2: Touki Toussaint, Pitcher
Touki Toussaint is a right-handed pitcher out of Coral Springs Christian Academy in Florida. He has signed to play his college ball at Vanderbilt but is still garnering a lot of interest for the 2014 draft.
Toussaint has a fastball in the mid-90s and a very good curveball. Jim Callis of MLB.com states that Toussaint may have the "best fastball/curveball combination in the entire draft."
Toussaint has a tremendously live arm, but he will need to develop more command of the strike zone in order to be a top big league pitcher. If he's still available, the upside may be too much to pass up for the Giants.
No. 1: Nick Burdi, Pitcher
Although it's rare to take a relief pitcher this high in the draft, Nick Burdi out of Louisville might be the exception. The junior is their closer and stands 6'4" and weighs in at 215 pounds.
Burdi's stats are extremely impressive, as he has appeared in 26 games, throwing 32 innings and earning 14 saves, per GoCards.com.
Burdi has been overpowering this season. He has allowed just 15 hits and eight walks while striking out 57. His ERA is a minuscule 0.56 and his WHIP is 0.719. Opposing batters are hitting just .129 against him.
Clint Longenecker of BaseballAmerica.com reports that Burdi's fastball was consistently in the upper-90s and reached the 100-mph mark on occasion. His slider is in the 88-92 mph range.
The Giants have some good young starting pitching prospects in the minors, such as Kyle Crick, Edwin Escobar, Clayton Blackburn and Chris Stratton. With that in mind, GM Brian Sabean might be open to taking Burdi with the 14th overall selection.