San Francisco Giants 2022 draft preview: Will pitching be front and center again?
It hasn’t been since 2013 that the Giants made their first selection in the MLB Draft later than the 20th pick. That year, the Giants selected infielder Christian Arroyo 25th overall. This year, the Giants’ first pick comes in at No. 30 and they pick last in every round due to their MLB-leading 107 wins in 2021.
The Giants have no compensation picks in this year’s draft and second-smallest bonus pool, so they have less leeway to take a player who drops and sign them above the slot, like they did it with Kyle Harrison in the third round in 2020. But even without significant financial flexibility, the Giants can still get creative if a player is available at pick 30 (or even later) who wasn’t supposed to be the.
Nuts and Bolts Project
Draft dates: From July 17 to 19 in Los Angeles
The selections of the first day of the giants: #30 and #66 overall
Giants Draft Bonus Pool: $5,793,200 – the second smallest bonus pool in this draft
AthleticismMLB Draft Coverage
Over the past three years, the Giants’ farm system has gone from a bottom third to a top-10 position, though a significant part of that improvement has been due to the strength of their international scouting program. Their pitching pipeline has been heavily enriched by their last three draft classes, but the results on the positional player side have been more hit or miss.
While the Giants’ farming system has improved dramatically in recent years, it has yet to graduate a steady flow of talent to the Giants’ major league roster.
After an incredibly productive run in the MLB Draft in the 2000s that brought in Matt Cain (2002), Tim Lincecum (2006), Madison Bumgarner (2007), Buster Posey (2008), Brandon Crawford (2008) and Brandon Belt (2009), among other things, the ensuing decade for the Giants has been relatively unproductive, despite generally selecting in the top half of the first round for most of the last 10 years. According to this graph below put together by Down on the Farm, the Giants haven’t had a class accumulated more than 14 career WARS since 2010.
(Graphic courtesy of Down on the Farm)
Heliot Ramos, Joey Bart, Hunter Bishop, Patrick Bailey and Will Bednar are still in the organization and could still be productive big leaguers for the Giants, but it’s worth noting that from 2010 to 2016, the Giants’ two draft picks who had the most productive careers to date were traded before establishing themselves as big leaguers.
(Graphic courtesy of Down on the Farm)
It’s also worth noting that of the above group, only Panik and Bart were selected with higher picks than the Giants’ first pick in this year’s draft at No. 30. So can the Giants find lasting value in this year’s draft? What are they looking for? Let’s dive into it.
Recent preliminary results
With the big caveat that there’s still plenty of time for these players to become strong major leaguers, early feedback on the Giants’ last three first-round picks hasn’t been stellar. Bishop, the 2019 first-round pick, lost his 2020 season to the pandemic and then lost most of his 2021 season to a shoulder injury. He got off to a slow start with High-A Eugene this year, but has since warmed up and posted a .940 OPS in June. He’ll still hit a lot, but there’s still hope that Bishop can be the above-average speed center fielder he planned to be when he finished ninth overall in the State of the State. Arizona.
Injuries have also been an issue for 2020 first-round pick Patrick Bailey, who missed part of last season with a back injury he tried to play through with little success early in the season. the season. It recently missed a week on the Eugene IL and has hovered around .200 for most of the season. He’s been solid defensively behind the plate even though he’s struggled to do so, and the former 13th overall pick will have plenty of time to figure that out. Last year’s top pick, right-hander Will Bednar, was considered a polished arm coming out of Mississippi State, but he was inconsistent with his command for Low-A San Jose, where he has a 4 ERA ,19 and a 51:22 K:BB in 43 innings. He recently landed on the IL with a back injury.
First-round picks aren’t always part of the draft class, however, and there have been plenty of first-round successes in the Giants’ last three draft classes. Right-hander Caleb Kilian, an 8th-round pick in 2019, developed so quickly that he was the centerpiece of the deal that marked Giants Kris Bryant last season. Kilian made his major league debut earlier this year. Harrison, a 2020 third-round pick, has quickly become one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, while 2020 fourth-round pick reliever RJ Dabovich has already reached Triple A, the fifth-round pick. 2020 round Ryan Murphy starts in Double A and 2020 clearing round pick Nick Swiney is steadily progressing through High A as a starter. On the positional side, Grant McCray, a quick center back who went to the third round in 2019, has worked his way up the Giants top 10 prospect rankings with a big Low A season so far, and 2020 second-round pick Casey Schmitt draws comparisons to Matt Chapman with his dazzling play at third and powerful batting.
It’s too early to rate the 2021 draft class, though 10th-round pick Vaun Brown and third-round pick Mason Black made very notable debuts. The Giants threw a lot in last year’s draft, taking up arms with nine of their top 10 picks. Of the 17 draft picks they signed, only four were position players (Brown, Donovan McIntyre, Jared Dupere and Irvin Murr III). Of that group, only Brown has passed the rookie ball so far.
Agricultural system needs and potential targets
Despite the heavy pressure on pitchers last year, the Giants’ farming system is actually pretty evenly balanced between pitchers and positional players among their top prospects. Shortstop Marco Luciano remains the crown jewel of the positional side, with Harrison leading a pitching contingent that is heavy with missing arms.
Although Bart, Ramos and Sean Hjelle (2018, second round) could end up making an impact at the major league level in the second half of this season, the Giants’ best prospects are still at least a year away from being announced. major-league ready (unless the Giants want to rush Harrison as a reliever). It’s not a gap the draft can fill, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Giants target polished college hitters early on who can theoretically replace prospects like Luciano, Schmitt, Jairo Pomares, Luis Matos, and more. at the High-A level next season and move fast enough to join this potential future core of the Giants roster.
As a collective, the Giants get a lot of pop from their minor league hitters and they got on base at a good time. One area they struggled in, however, is swing-and-miss, as seen here in this chart from Down in the farm.
With the organization’s focus on contact rates at the major league level, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were looking for college hitters with a history of low strikeout rates. Grant Brisbee’s Tennessee selection DE Drew Gilbert in AthleticismThe MLB Beat writer’s fictional draft fits that profile. Whether Auburn slugger Sonny DiChiara Where Texas slugger Ivan Melendez are still around when the Giants make their second-round selection, they could be targets as advanced power hitters at a position (first base) that could open up for the Giants in the near future.
On the pitching side, the Giants have a deep stable of pitchers who lack bats (they led all systems in strikeouts last season and are striking out well over one batter per inning again this season). They haven’t been shy about pushing their relievers through the minor leagues aggressively, but they’ve been conservative with their starters, placing many of their 2021 college pitching draft picks in Low A rather than High. A or even Double A, like many other organizations. . They have also been cautious about how deep they let their starters into games, although restrictions have been eased in recent weeks.
Given this developmental model, the Giants don’t have an obvious need for polished college weapons in this year’s draft, as their A-ball and Double-A depth is strong. They’re in a good position to be patient with a high-potential pitcher recovering from injury, like Peyton Pallette or Connor Prielipp, if one of those lands on them at pick 30. They could also take a chance. on a promising summit. the school arm, although these pitchers can often be more difficult to sign late in the first round due to bonus demands.
(Photo of Giants 2021 first pick Will Bednar: Stan Szeto/USA Today)