Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Scouting Report and Review on the Giants Day 1 Picks

      The first day 2015 MLB Draft has ended and surprisingly, the top 10 picks of the draft went as most of baseball fans expected as well as the draft gurus. There are surprising picks like Miami's Josh Naylor and such. The San Francisco Giants have the #18, #31 and #61 pick as you all know and I'll give you my thoughts on the guys that the front office has drafted for us. 

      You can find the stats of the draftees at Cove Chatter's compilation of stats and other reliable websites like BA.

#18. Phil Bickford RHP, CC of Southern Nevada
        6'4" 205 lbs.  R/R  Video: Full credits to Eric Longenhagen

         Bickford is previously drafted by the Blue Jays but didn't sign then he went to Cal State Fullerton but transferred to College of Southern Nevada to make himself eligible to this year's draft. He is a tall, lanky guy with room to add 10-20 lbs more. He stands on the mound on the first base side of the rubber and he starts his delivery with a step simple step on the side to start his rhythm then and his leg kick is pretty wide but it is okay which makes him pretty balanced on the mound. The problem that I see is that on the height of his leg kick, his left foot is facing south which can contribute to control problems sometimes. He got a drop-and-drive delivery with above-average to plus extension at the plate (in which I'll guess to be at 6'8") thanks to his really long legs which causes his pitches to seem to arrive a bit faster (perceived velocity) than the regular velocity. There are a few noticeable changes on his delivery. First is that his elbow placement when he's still pitching in HS or in Fullerton is pretty high, similar to Masahiro Tanaka (image here.) which is pretty dangerous but when he's pitching in CSN, his elbow is now considerably lower and doesn't show anymore the inverted V which is good. Second is that his arm slot is now more of a true 3/4 release than his sidewinder release point in HS and in Fullerton. He lands closed and he finishes his delivery in a north-south path which is good but he finishes his delivery in a pretty bad fielding position due to the energy generated by his delivery but for me, it's not much of a concern. 
         His delivery helps his plus fastball to have tremendous sink and arm side run than most pitchers while having a low to mid-90s (up to 98 MPH when pitching in relief) with great command on it. He can spot it pretty much wherever he wants to. The problem that I see about him is that when he throws his plus fastball high as you'll see on the 3:01 of the video, the run is there but there's no downward plane in it due to his release point which the hitters can see well and can result to more flyballs. His slider also is a potential plus pitch as you can see him throw that pitch on the 1:10 of the video. It got a sharp late break and with similar arm speed as his fastball that the hitter managed to foul the pitch off. It got a chance to be a great putaway pitch. I've seen him throw a changeup in other videos and it is an average pitch with the same arm speed as his fastball plus a good fade on it but I expect him to have a better feel on it in the future since he's been mostly a sinker-slider guy in college. He got a good feel with his body and he got tremendous pitchability. There are velocity issues about him, reliever possibilities, and the marijuana issue but his velocity is up to 93-97 MPH recently, his past reports indicate that he got a good makeup and I believe that he's a mid-rotation starter material and I am confident that the Giants will tap on that ceiling (a bit of polish on his delivery, improvement of changeup, possible addition of a cutter) and join MadBum and pretty soon Beede in the Giants rotation. 

My Grades: FB 65 | SL 60+ | CH 50 | CMD 55
Ceiling: #2-3 Starter   Floor: High-end reliever

#31 Chris Shaw 1B/OF, Boston College
       6'3" 248 lbs.  L/R  VIdeo: Credits to ACC Digital Network

      The Giants surprised a lot of their fans when they decided to pass on the plethora of HS talent and went to one of the best power hitters in the draft in Chris Shaw. First thing that I saw from him is that he's a big dude, built like a defensive tackle. He got a textbook lefty swing with a good balance in the box, slightly open stance and as he begins to swing, he closes his swing with a simple toe turn, allowing himself to be in a good position to use his plus power to all fields. His bat is not the fastest swing in the world unlike Javier Baez but he utilizes his powerful body to drive the ball with relative ease. MLB.com noted that he tends to become overaggressive at times which means he needs to have a better plate discipline and a better approach at the box in the minors. His body will make him planted to 1B in the future and he will never be a good runner but he'll be an average fielder with an okay arm in the future. His calling card is his plus power and his hammate injury might sap him some power as he's recovering but the Giants believe he'll come back strong and he got a chance to be the signature power hitter of us in the future or he'll be like Adam Duvall if he doesn't pan out.

My Grades: Hit 50 | Power 65 | Run 30+ | Field 45 | Arm 50
Ceiling: Borderline All-Star player    Floor: Pinch hitter/DH

#61 Andrew Suarez  LHP, Miami
      6'2" 205 lbs.  L/L  Video: Credits to Fangraphs

      At the second round, the Giants again passed on a number of highly regarded prospects and instead picked Andrew Suarez, ace lefty of Miami. He got little or no more room to fill out in his body which is okay. He stands on the first base side of the rubber similar to Cliff Lee. As he begins to begins to deliver the pitch, his leg kick is a close resemblance to Tyler Beede's leg kick this year with Suarez having a more quiet one creating a good balance. I think one of the selling cards of Suarez is deception in his delivery as he hides his left hand really well in his body, similar on how Dallas Keuchel hides the ball well, causing his fastball to jump on to hitters as you can see on the 0:40 part of the video where it made the hitter pop up the bunt attempt. He throws his pitches with a good arm path and a standard 3/4 release and ends up in a good fielding position. He thows his fastball in the low to mid-90s with a bit of movement. His changeup flashes above average at times in videos though he tends to slow down his motion and his slider flashes above average too, but the curve's an average pitch. He's shown to have great feel for pitching and with a good knowledge about the strike zone and sequencing. His injury issues are not mechanics-related in my opinion but it's his body that's failing him. If he can get healthy throughout the minors, I expect him to be a useful starter in future.

My Grades: FB 55+ | SL 50+ | CH 50+ | CB 50 | CMD 55
Ceiling: #4-5 Starter    Floor: Long-man

      Overall, I will grade the Giants' day 1 draft as a B+ with potential high value picks in Bickford and Shaw as well as a safe pick in Suarez. A lot of people expected the Giants to become unexpected at this years draft and as you have seen with who most of the draft gurus mocked for this year. It maybe one of the down drafts that I have ever researched from but the Giants got good values and never punted their picks. I hope you find my first true blog post to be informative. Cheers!

P.S. The grades are my own grades about the players when they reach their true ceilings. All similarities on the grades of other websites are coincidental but I researched a lot from several draft sites and videos together with my own hunches to build my own scouting report. I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. I would give it a C/C+ grade so far. I wasn't expecting Bickford at all. A little worried about the drugs. He better take baseball seriously. But the talent is there....just video game numbers he put up this year.

    Shaw is light tower power. Sounds like Oropesa, Duvall, Pill, Dominguez, etc. He may have power,but can he hit? Also he's stuck at one position, 1b. I don't think he will cut it in the OF.

    Suarez is ok. He has some polish to him, but has injury concerns.

    I think I'm a little harder with my grading because of whom the giants could have snagged with 31. I'd rather have them go after a prep arm or go for broke with Cameron at 31. Suarez is ok at 61 or they could have gone the prep route.

    1. Thank you for your reply, Mr. Richie!

      I agree that the Giants could've had better picks at all the 3 available especially with the #31 with Watson, Hayes, Nevin and others still available I based it on the value of the pick not on the what ifs. We could've got better players in the draft but I didn't let that inner rage inside me get a hold of my evaluations.

      Personally, Bickford and the marijuana issue will affect him a little bit and it raises some eyebrows from us fans but I have read from Baggs' Twitter that Barr believes that he has the makeup to reach his potential so let's all hope that he became better and this pot issue is just a blimp in his radar.

      Shaw's got immense power as I have seen it in videos. Based on what I have seen, his hitting mechanics is pretty standard and the problems are in pitch selection and overaggressiveness so the Giants needs to teach him about patience at the plate and being more selective. I have hopes for him to be an average hitter somewhere in the .250 to .290 range in the Majors.


  2. Hey Wrenzie! First comment! So happy you're joining the blog ranks for MiLB, and especially Giants' prospects! I've bookmarked you and look forward to everything.

    Personally, I like Bickford. I think the combination of his high leg pick-up in his wind-up and his live arm might offer some good deception. Stuff looks very good. Great foundation for him to work from and develop polish at the pro levels.

    I'm a bit less enthralled by Shaw. I think his swing mechanics look limiting (for his potential at the highest level). Does his lower half seem to activate in his swing at all? Maybe relies on strong shoulders for his power. If his pitch selection is great, maybe his power can play up, that's the hope.

    Suarez doesn't look like anything special to me. His medical history is worrisome. And he's old enough that I wonder if he's still got untapped potential. That deception you mention (from a somewhat 'closed' body position) is something I don't much care for here, with him specifically. All his body angles seem a bit wonky to me. I'd love to be wrong and see him be a highly successful #4 starter for us someday.

    Love all your info! Thanks. Hope you can keep up the great work. Cheers!

    1. Hey Mr. carmot! Thank you for the compliments and the bookmark!

      Personally, I am not that concerned with Bickford's high leg kick because it can be a part of deception like you said. I am more concerned is that his foot is pointed to the ground at the height of his leg kick which can be a contributor to some control issues. I would like him to try out Jacob DeGrom's lower half during delivery but Bickford will finish closed just the same just to make him more sound at the mound. He got buttloads of deception due to his extension, short arm path, and release point but another problem I can see is that if you see on the video above, one of his high fastball in terms from the hitter's point of view still got the insane horizontal movement but it has no downward plane therefore can be easily hit for a flyball. He might trend to be a flyball pitcher for us if he doesn't throw his sinker which I think he has.

      Shaw's swing is textbook but I can see that he uses almost all of his upper body and just uses his legs to pivot and rotate but there's still energy on rotation so I don't think his legs are not providing him power. The first thing that stuck to my head in terms of his swing is Jason Kubel which is a pretty fitting comparison to him overall. If his pitch selection can be pretty good, he's a man to watch.

      Suarez doesn't look like anything special to me at first either but his pitchability is ahead of most of the college pitchers (Eshelman has the best of them all) and the fact that there's deception in a simple, compact delivery due to him hiding the ball to his body, there might be some hidden potential right there. I agree with Mr. Covechatter's remark about him that he's Ty Blach with more velocity and I'll stay put right there. Thanks for having the time to visit my blog!


  3. Welcome to the SFG blog world Wrenzie! You came out with a bang, if I do say so myself. Very impressive, detailed scouting reports here. I'll admit there was some frustration on my part last night with the Giants draft, especially after reading about Bickford's marijuana-positive test yesterday morning. I also was not expecting them to draft a 1B with the supplemental pick, and Suarez injury history is a bit worrisome.

    However, after sleeping on it, I do feel better about the 3 picks today. Bickford has a chance to be a truly special pitcher. You can't fake those strikeout numbers he posted, no matter what level of ball you are playing. And we Giants fans have been clamoring about a power bat for years. The Giants went out and found a guy with tremendous power, whose stock had slid some. If Shaw was healthy all season, I could have seen him as a top 25... his rankings weren't that far off where the Giants selected him. There are worse things in the world than plus left-handed power, I suppose!

    Again, congrats on your new blog. Thanks for contributing to Cove Chatter, and I look forward to more great work from you here!

    1. Thank you Mr. Covechatter! You're one of the inspirations that created my blog along with DrB, Shankbone, Mr. ogc and others!

      Even though Bickford got velo issues early on this year, his last playoff start where I linked the video from Longenhagen is what killed me. There are only some guys that can spot mid-90s fastballs and got a potential plus slider at age 19. He's some kind of special. Love what DrB said about Shaw. Incredible Hulk with buttloads of butt! Big body. Might be more of a upper body swing but level, smooth, compact, stays through the zone and good follow through. Kinda like what the Giants preach on hitting. I am hoping their issues will be just a blimp.

      Thank you again for taking some time to read Mr. Covechatter! I'll still contribute some on your blog because I love the contents on it!