It’s February. The 2020 college and prep seasons are still in the future. The MLB Draft isn’t until June 10th-12th. So any predictions made now are very much unlikely to be accurate to a T.
But what the hell, let’s look at them anyway.
There haven’t been many mock drafts put out so far, so I’ve pulled a few from December and January from various sites, including the prestigious Baseball America and local Brian Recca, who runs the SF Draft Talk twitter feed (and you should follow). Now, the names themselves aren’t going to be great predictions right now, but hopefully this should start to get you familiar with the names around where the Giants will draft. But let’s look at who the Giants have been predicted to get so far with the #13 pick:
Baseball America (Jan. 13) – J.T. Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State
My MLB Draft (Jan. 14) – Jordan Walker, 3B/RHP, Decatur HS (GA)
Prospects Live (Dec. 12) – Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (OR)
Though The Fence Baseball (Dec.) – Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia
Brian Recca (SF Draft Talk) (Feb. 9) – Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
This is a revealing list. Four of the five names are pitchers, while the one two-way player Walker is projected to be a hitter more likely. For a system lacking in top pitching prospects, that’s not surprising in the least.
The mix of levels is a bit more interesting, although that may be more a function of the vagueness of early MLB mock drafts. The first half of the Giants top hitting prospects (Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos) are likely to arrive in the next couple of years, without elite pitching prospects to join them. A college pitcher that could move quickly would be interesting, but they likely would not have the ceiling that prep pitchers might. After all, Madison Bumgarner was a high school pitcher with ceiling who fell to number ten overall.
But as I said, these drafts aren’t a great sense of precise predictions, but good indications of names in certain ranges. So here’s some names that stand out in different ways.
Top Names Who Could Slip
RHP Mick Abel is a very interesting physical talent, and might have a great ceiling with a 6’5” frame that has room for strength as he grows He’s had some inconsistency as a teen, but also has the making of three plus pitches as a senior. He’s unlikely to crack the top five picks, and he may slide into the mid 10’s if he does not show consistency as a high school senior. If he does find his way to 13, he could have the highest ceiling of any prospect at that spot.
RHP JT Ginn is notable since he was a Dodger draft pick out of high school, and had triple-digit strikeouts as a freshman. Zaidi drafted him once, and if he’s available, very well could draft him again. Ginn could very well find his way into the Top 10, but he could very well be available at the Giants spot if his sophomore season is not as sterling as his freshman year.
Cape Cod Standouts
It was a Sabean trait to often draft top Cape Cod League prospects. It has yet to be seen if Zaidi is this way still, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Carmen Mlodzinski doesn’t have the raw power that some other college pitchers has, but he has movement. His right-handed fastball sinks even in the high 90’s, and he has developed three other pitches. That has the makings for a top pitcher. Mlodzinski could appear in the top 10 picks, but others have him as low as the 20’s. A pitcher like him has a different kind of appeal than just a strike thrower.
Right In The Range
LHP Garrett Crochet has the pure stuff to be higher, a lefty that can get up to triple digits. But there’s significant risk as well, with inconsistency one would expect from a hard thrower. He could end up being a reliever, and even an elite one might be a disappointment from top half of the first round.
LHP Reid Detmers is more about control than power, but has a higher floor than other prospects at the level. He’s got a starter’s strikeout combo of a deceptive fastball and a strong curve, mixed with a big, strong body and a good approach. However, his ceiling won’t tantalize as much as others at this spot.
Let’s put a position player on this board. SS Casey Martin has been projected in the early 10’s a lot. This is a draft short on shortstops, but he has a good hit tool, a mix of power and speed (though neither is elite), and good baseball instincts. He had some trouble with his approach in his sophomore season, which may keep him in this range. He’d be a more natural shortstop than Marco Luciano, maybe allowing the latter to focus on third base, as some have suggest him moving to, or left field (and a crowded outfield prospect picture).
RHP Cole Wilcox will be part of Georgia’s rotation in 2020 after being a reliever in 2019. He can hit triple digits after adding strength, so he has a Top 10 fastball but without the track record. He could be anywhere in the first round from #7 to the compensation round depending on how he does in his first year as a starter.
RHP Nick Bitsko recently reclassified himself to be a part of the 2020 draft class, and is one of the youngest members of this draft. He has physicality (6’4”, 220 lbs) at a young age, with a clean delivery and two projectable pitches. He’s more of a project, but could rise if he starts delivering on it this spring.
1B Blaze Jordan is a name to watch. He’s know for his power, and has a good all-around bat. What he does not have is a clear defensive position. He has been working on being able to play third base, but first base could be his ultimate position. But he has rare power, and a successful spring could launch him to the top half of the first round, and help the Giants fill in a need for top corner infielders in their system.
RHP Slade Cecconi was a top prep arm in 2018, but ended up on the college path after turning down the Orioles drafted at the 38 spot. He has a 98 mph fastball and multiple pitches, but he didn’t deliver in his first year of college. If he has a big sophomore season, Cecconi will move from his current rankings in the late first round through early second round, and into the middle of the first round.
3B/RHP Jordan Walker is getting a note here since he’s in one of the mocks as a Giants pick. Walker is a big kid (6’5” and 220 lbs) and should continue to project physically, already with good power and likely to add more. He’s also all over the rankings, with a Fangraphs ranking at #8 overall, but a Baseball America ranking of #43, especially with a though he’s more likely a first baseman. He could rise with a strong spring, but I’m not sure he’s going to be drafted as high as #13.