San Francisco Giants 2014 Draft Picks: Scouting Profiles and Analysis
The MLB Draft is underway!
I'll keep you posted here on the San Francisco Giants' first ten selections—their 1st pick is at No. 14, followed by picks 52, 87, 129, 118, 148, 178, 208, 238 and 268—as they try to add talent to a farm system that includes top prospects Kyle Crick (1st Round 2011, pick No. 29), Clayton Blackburn (16th Round 2011, pick No. 507) and Andrew Susac (2nd Round 2011, pick No. 86).
Round 1: Pick No. 14 (Tyler Beede, SP)
Bleacher Report's Mike Rosenbaum compared the 21-year-old Beede to Tampa Bay Rays lefty Matt Moore, mainly because of his size (6'4"), dynamic fastball and lack of consistency. Like Moore, Beede could turn into a top-of-the-rotation stud if he can improve his command.
Keith Law of ESPN had projected Beede as a top-five pick after watching him dominate in an early March game, but his inconsistency may have been the reason for his fall.
In 16 starts with Vandy in 2014, his junior season, Beede had an 8-7 record, 3.20 ERA with 43 walks and 106 strikeouts in 98.1 innings pitched. His ERA and record were better in 2013, however, winning 14 of 15 decisions while posting a 2.32 ERA in 17 starts. His walks and strikeouts weren't—he had 63 walks and 103 strikeouts in 101 innings pitched.
Giants vice president and assistant general manager John Barr told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that they felt his command had improved from his sophomore to junior seasons.
“From a record standpoint, but everybody’s different. When we look at numbers . . . we felt like he improved some on his command. But we also know that there’s also so much more. It’s a good arm and athletic player and hard working player. We think the combination will be a postive.”
John Manuel of Baseball America had Beede going No. 19 to the Cincinnati Reds, while MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis each had him going a pick later to the Los Angeles Angels at No. 15. The experts at Perfect Game and Baseball Prospectus were right on, projection the Giants to take him while calling him a potential "ace" if it all comes together.
While the Giants do have several solid mid-rotation prospects, including right-hander Clayton Blackburn and lefties Edwin Escobar and Adalberto Mejia, Beede is more comparable to top prospect Kyle Crick, who has top-of-the-rotation potential and inconsistent command. He could potentially slot in right behind Crick, or possibly even ahead of him, in organizational top prospect lists heading into 2015.
Round 2: Pick No. 52 (Aramis Garcia, C)
The Giants didn't get the catcher I had originally predicted with their 1st round pick—Max Pentecost went three picks earlier to the Toronto Blue Jays—but they drafted another highly-touted college catcher with their next pick in the 2nd round.
Aramis Garcia, a right-handed hitter out of Florida International University, was selected by the Giants with the 52nd pick. The 21-year-old, ranked 69th on Bleacher Report Mike Rosenbaum's list of top 100 draft prospects, is known more for his bat than his glove, which many experts say needs a lot of work.
His college coach, Turtle Thomas, who has a 37-year coaching resume, thinks he has what it takes, though.
“He’s got the arm strength to play in the major leagues. He’s got a cannon for an arm,” Thomas said. “He’s a good receiver, a good blocker. He communicates well with his pitchers in the dugout, during the game. He has the great body language to throw to. He’s got a good setup behind the plate. He’s got the skills to be good back there and to play this game for a long time.”
Scouts believe his line drive stroke will also produce power down the road. If it can all come together within two or three years, Garcia could be the heir apparent to Buster Posey, who could eventually find himself settling into a corner infield spot to reduce the wear and tear that comes with the daily grind of being an everyday catcher.
As a college junior, Garcia hit .368 with eight homers, 14 doubles, 23 walks and 25 strikeouts in 45 games. He'll likely play in a short-season league if he signs, though an aggressive assignment to High-A San Jose is possible to begin the 2015 season.
Round 3: Pick No. 87 (Dylan Davis, OF)
The Giants went for offense in consecutive rounds, hoping to boost a farm system that lacks much power potential.
In Dylan Davis, who they took with the 87th pick out of Oregon State, the Giants get a corner outfielder who can instantly become the top power-hitting prospect in the organization.
The 20-year-old stands out with his raw power to all fields and plus throwing arm—he can reach the mid-to-upper 90's with his fastball—that gives him a chance to have a fallback plan as a reliever if he fails to hit enough in the minors. His other tools are average, at best, so he'll have to be an above-average hitter at each level if he's going to climb the ladder to the big leagues.
In 2014, the right-handed hitter finished his junior season with a .290 batting average, seven homers, 14 doubles and 64 runs batted in to go along with 21 walks and 28 strikeouts.
Round 4: Pick No. 118 (Logan Webb, SP)
After picking college players in the first three rounds, the Giants drafted their first high schooler, right-handed pitcher Logan Webb out of Rocklin HS in Northern California.
The 17-year-old, who has a commitment to Cal Poly, began to draw attention from scouts when he hit 96 MPH on the radar gun six weeks ago, according to Kiley McDaniel of Scout.com. Webb posted an 0.49 ERA with 30 walks and 73 strikeouts in 57 innings for Rocklin in 2014.
Round 5: Pick No. 148 (Sam Coonrod, SP)
With the 148th pick, the Giants selected right-hander Sam Coonrod out of Southern Illinois University.
The 21-year-old can reach the high 90's with his fastball out of the 'pen, though the Giants will likely allow him to pitch as a starter to begin his pro career so they can find out if his secondary pitches can develop enough for him to remain in that role long-term.
While Coonrod is only a junior, SIU head coach Ken Henderson acknowledges that he's ready to take his talents to the next level.
"He’s physically ready to go out," said Henderson. "He’s mentally ready to go out. Maturity wise, he’s ready. It’s time. As much as I’d love to have him back, it’s time he goes to the next level and I supported that from day one."
After taking college players with four of the 1st five picks, the Giants continued the trend by taking four more college players between rounds 6-10. In all, they've potentially added five college bats to their farm system.
Round 6, pick 178: Skyler Ewing, 1B (Rice University): Power remained the theme for the Giants. Three rounds after taking power-hitting corner outfielder Dylan Davis out of Oregon State, the Giants took Ewing (video above), who had nine homers and 16 doubles in 61 games for Rice in 2014. The 21-year-old first baseman has also done some catching, which could prompt the Giants to at least give him a look at the position.
Round 7, pick 208: Seth Harrison, CF (University of Louisiana-Lafayette): The ability to play center field, hit for power (nine homers, 15 doubles, six triples in 2014) and steal bases (15 stolen bases in 2014) makes Harrison an intriguing prospect as a seventh rounder.
Round 8, pick 238: Austin Slater, CF (Stanford University): The 21-year-old hit .350 with two homers, 17 doubles, six triples and six stolen bases in 57 games as the regular center fielder for Cardinals. He was listed as the 139th best player on Baseball America's draft rankings.
Round 9, pick 268: Stetson Woods, SP (Liberty HS, California): The 6'8" right-hander, who has committed to Fresno State, already throws in the low 90's.
Round 10, pick 298: Mathew Gage, SP (Siena College, NY): He didn't dominate at the collegiate level (3.99 ERA in 248 career innings), but the 6'4 " lefty struck out 212 batters and allowed only four homers over that span.