The Giants went with one of the high-ceiling, high-risk, and very interesting players in the 2022 draft at #30.
The Giants drafted two-way player Reggie Crawford from the University of Connecticut, a player best known for his pitching with a highly-ranked fastball, but who also had Tommy John surgery that kept him out of the 2022 season, and he only has a college career of 8.0 innings. He also played first base, where he had a .309/.362/.546 batting line with 14 home runs over the shortened 2020 and 2021 seasons with the University of Connecticut.
Crawford was ranked as the #59 prospect in the draft by Baseball America, and #80 by MLB Pipeline. It had been predicted by both publications that Crawford is expected to become a pitcher, but few ever expected a two-way player to stay that way going forward, even after Shohei Ohtani’s success.
Before the draft, Crawford committed to transfer from the University of Connecticut to Tennessee, a move that would greatly increase his profile on the draft board if he were healthy for the 2023 draft. That made for an interesting wrinkle, as he might demand an overslot deal to keep from going back to school, where it’s very realistic he might aim to improve his draft stock.
However, early reports indicate that Crawford plans to sign.
The Giants have plenty of needs, and Crawford, if healthy, would easily become one of the best fastballs in the system. By the same token, Crawford becomes one of the team’s best first base prospects, though that is a factor of the team’s lack of depth there.
This pick breaks the (short) trend for the Giants under Farhan Zaidi by picking a high-ceiling risk as opposed to safer, college players at the top of the draft. This may have something to do with the late pick, and the smaller draft pool that comes with it, that limits what the Giants have done in 2020 and 2021: to save money in the first round and use it on an overslot high school pick in a later round. That would be unlikely to happen this season.
The Giants’ second round pick was left-handed pitcher Carson Whisenhunt, and only a pitcher from East Carolina University. Whisenhunt did not pitch in 2022 after being suspended for a positive PED test. He did pitch in the Cape Cod League in the last month, but got knocked around a bit in that stint.
Ranked as the #28 draft prospect by Baseball America and #30 by MLB Pipeline, Whisenhunt throws in the low 90’s, but makes waves with one of the best changeups in the draft. He works with good velocity separation and deception in his delivery, and also has a solid curveball. Whisenhunt has all the tools you want from a pitcher in terms of size and overall tools, and has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter and a good floor.
In the past, the Giants have enjoyed working with pitchers who have one standout pitch and developing a repertoire around it. In some ways, Whisenhunt could draw comparisons to Logan Webb, in terms of being a pitcher who can use an excellent changeup to develop around. Webb has four pitches to Whisenhunt’s current three, but he could still add another to the list.
Day 2 of the MLB draft will start at 11 AM Pacific Time on Monday, and will cover rounds 3-10. Day 3 will be Wednesday, 11 AM Pacific Time, and will cover rounds 11-20.