Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 MLB Draft: First Look At The Draft Prospects Part 1

First of all, happy new year to the readers of my blog! Thank you once again for reading and I'm hoping that everyone of you will have a great 2016! 

The 2016 MLB Draft is still 6 months away but hey, I guess it's never too early to talk about it. Unfortunately for the Giants, the team will not have a 1st round pick as they have forfeit it to sign Jeff Samardzija which I think is a really outdated system. So, the Giants will pick from the 2nd round, specifically pick number 58, which is really far if you come to think of it. But if compared to last year's draft crop, this year is deeper and better overall. I'm here to help you look at the draft prospects this year with my thoughts on them and my projections on them. 

In Part 1, I'll help you choose upon the draft prospects that are projected to be close to the Giants pick of number 58. I'm going to use the prospects order of the late Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs (he didn't die, he just got an executive position with the Atlanta Braves). I'll be doing from picks 52-64.


Anthony Kay  LHP  COL
6'0" 190 lbs. L/L Videos: Credits to Jheremy Brown and 2080 Baseball

Anthony looks like the prototypical pitchability left-hander. Kay's body is already filled with muscle and I see him not putting anymore on his pretty lean frame with enough athleticism. His mechanics are sound, safe and pretty conventional for a left-hander. I really love his aggressive drive to the plate like he's attacking the plate with extension. He throws from a high 3/4 slot but he sometimes alters his delivery and throws his pitches from a true 3/4 slot from time to time for deception. His motion causes his pitches to have a good downhill plane on it. 

His fastball has the looks of a close to above-average pitch, throwing it from 90-93 MPH, topping at 94 that got little tailing movement on it. He got a good curveball with flashes of an above-average pitch with knuckle-curve-like movement in it at mid-70s. His changeup looks good as well with fade and tailing action in it at low-80s with pretty similar arm speed as his fastball. He can throw strikes and he can pitch and I feel he can have above-average command in the future. Another pitch like a cutter of slider can help round up is repertoire.

He doesn't pack a lot of punch unlike other pitchers but he can be a fast-mover, low-ceiling, low-risk option to have with some room to improve. 

Grades: FB 50+ | CB 55 | CH 55 | CMD 50+

Ceiling: #4 Starter   Floor: Middle reliever

Tyler Baum  RHP  HS
6'1" 170 lbs.  R/R  Videos: Credits to Play In School, Brian Sakowski, and Andrew Krause

Listed at just top 60 in McDaniel's list, I felt Baum was supposed to be much higher on the list. When I watched his videos, I was blown away and impressed on what I watched. His got a thin, wiry frame that can add more muscle all over his body, possibly 20-25 pounds, that should help him in terms of durability and maybe add even more velocity on that right arm. he got good athleticism as well. 

His mechanics for me are pretty conflicting. He pushes on his elbow when loading and driving and displays elements of an inverted W on his arm action but he doesn't have a timing issue on his arm when his foot lands, even having his throwing arm on a good and safe position. He got plus arm speed that really make his pitches jump. He lands closed and somehow slings the ball, throwing his pitches on a 3/4 slot but he does a good job on staying on top of the ball and making his pitches have a downhill plane on it. His follow through is good. 

His stuff is the thing that blew me away. He got a three-pitch mix highlighted by his fastball that can reach mid-90s and with him filling his frame, he might be hitting mid-90s consistently. His fastball got a hard tailing action in it that coupled with the pure velocity is a plus pitch. His curveball at high-70s exhibits sharp, downer movement with great shape on it but is still inconsistent. Moving forward, it is a potential plus pitch as well to complement his fastball. His changeup looks raw but it can be an average pitch down the road but it got similar arm speed as his fastball. His command of his pitches also looks raw but I feel he can have average command at least on all his pitches.

If he's low on this list, he might have a strong intent to go to college but based on what I have seen, the projectability, the stuff, the future potential all suggests that he can be something special in the future. A first-round talent in my eyes even though he looks pint-sized. Hopefully, he didn't got abused when he's still in his youth.

Grades: FB 60+ | CB 60 | CH 45+ | CMD 50

Ceiling: #2-3 Starter   Floor: #4 Starter/set-up reliever

Alex Speas  RHP  HS
6'4" 190 lbs.  R/R  Videos: Credits to Jheremy Brown, Skillshow Videos and The Prospect Pipeline

Speas is the prospect that I don't really have a lot of excitement running. Even though he got the prototypical body of a pitcher, the long, wiry frame that should add more muscle on his frame, the immense athleticism that he got and he just looks like he's going to be a great pitcher down the road.

He got a lot of problems in his mechanics. He got a really pronounced inverted W in his delivery when he finishes his drive and his front foot lands, his throwing arm is still loading immensely. His arm is still down and his elbows way above the shoulder line, causing him to be extremely late in respect to his body. He even has some crossfire in his delivery which doesn't really help his mechanics. In my opinion, his mechanics is even worse than Stephen Strasburg and Mark Prior. He throws over-the-top and his athleticism allows him to have a plus to plus-plus arm speed. He throws max effort and he follows through on his pitches well.

His stuff is undeniable. His fastball is plus-plus in my eyes with him reaching low to mid-90s and possibly flirting the high-90s once he fills up his frame. His fastball also has great tailing and sinking movement in it. His curveball is also a plus pitch for him in the low-80s with really sharp downward movement in it. I have not seen a changeup but reports are saying it's not good. His command is really raw with him looking to have problems locating his pitches and I have doubts if he can have an average command due to his dangerous mechanics. 

I don't see Speas as a starter due to his command and mechanics issues. If he can fix his mechanics, I might be able to like him but I feel he won't. He needs to have a changeup too to be a starter as I can only see him being in the bullpen. His problems outweigh all of the good things that he has.

Grades: FB 70 | CB 60 | CH 40 | CMD 40+

Ceiling: #2 Starter   Floor: Middle reliever/Setup reliever

Bailey Clark  RHP  COL
6'5" 210 lbs.  R/R  Videos: Credits to Baseball America and Jesse Burkhart

Bailey Clark is a big man. With his beard, he looks older than some of the Major Leaguers. His body is already filled up, big and strong that should handle a lot of innings.

If you have watched the videos, his mechanics is really similar to Jered Weaver. He throws across the body, with his arm going to a wide, full circular motion. His foot lands closed but sometimes, it can land in line with the plate that can cause control issues in my opinion. He throws in a high 3/4 slot and he digs his front foot to rotate and be ready in fielding. His athleticism is enough so that he repeats his sophisticated mechanics consistently. 

He got a three-pitch mix. His fastball sits at the low-90s but it can reach as high as 96 MPH with some movement in it. His changeup looks good at upper 80s with same arm speed as his fastball. He can locate it and it got a pretty good fade, a possible above-average pitch for him moving forward. His slider got sharp and late downward movement but not a lot of sidewards movement in it, a swing and miss pitch for him down the road. He can repeat his mechanics well and that is good for his command but he still needs refinement on it.

His frame and repertoire make me think that he can start in the Major Leagues but there's also a risk of him being a long reliever if he can't refine his command. 

Grades: FB 60 | SL 55 | CH 50+ | CMD 50

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter   Floor: Middle reliever

Cole Ragans  LHP  HS
6'4" 190 lbs.  L/L  Videos: Credits to Skillshow Videos, Brian Sakowski and Andrew Krause

Tall and projectable, Ragans reminds me of someone really famous. I'll get to that later. His frame is very projectable, with little muscle on his frame and he should add weight on it to improve his durability and as well as his velocity but I feel he could only add little weight. From the looks of it, he got good athleticism on the mound. 

In his mechanics is where you can find the guy that I compare him. He got a pitching mechanics closely resembling to Cole Hamels. From the overhead windup, to his slight pause to his delivery and his aggressive drive towards the plate with good arm speed. He got good mechanics to say the least. He throws his pitches on a high 3/4 slot and throws his pitches downhill. With Ragans though, he falls off the mound in his follow through but I have no problem with it. His mechanics passes my grade.

The future potential stuff is primarily based on his projectability. His fastball right now sits around 88-91 MPH topping 92 MPH with sinking movement in it but with him filling his frame, I can see him throwing on the range of 91-94 MPH. His changeup has the looks of a potential plus pitch with tons of sharp arm-side run, looks of big velocity differential and close to same arm speed as his fastball. His curveball flashes above-average with plenty of 10-4 movement although he can still spike it and be inconsistent. What I love about him is that he can locate his three pitches for strikes and his command can be above-average in the future if all goes well.

He has the makings of being a great starter in the future with his three-pitch mix with good projectability and advanced feel for his repertoire and overall command. With a good spring and summer showing, he can be on the first-round conversation. My comparison of him to Cole Hamels looks closer than you think.

Grades: FB 55+ | CH 60+ | CB 55 | CMD 50+

Ceiling: #2-3 Starter   Floor: #4 Starter

Wil Crowe  RHP  COL
6'2" 240 lbs.  R/R  Videos: Credits to Chris Slade 1, 2, and 3 and Andrew Krause

Unlike the projectable high school guys on this list, Wil Crowe is on the opposite spectrum. His body is huge, filled out already and filled out is an understatement. He got a big torso, big legs but he's athletic enough to repeat his mechanics. 

His mechanics are pretty max effort for a guy his size. His arm swing is pretty big and he loads by doing the arm swing as well as loading his elbow. He got a pretty big hip-shoulder separation and he stays closed until releasing the ball on a pretty high 3/4 arm slot. His follow through can vary but he disperses the energy that he created on his big body. Pretty conventional mechanics. 

His fastball is above average sitting at low-90s, and holding that velocity consistently deep into his starts. His fastball consists of a sinker with great tail and sinking movement and a cutter/slider hybrid in the high-80s that got late and sharp cutting action. His curveball is another above-average to plus offering in the high-70s, with sharp 12-6 movement and great shape in it and should induce swings and misses. His changeup is average with movement. I am amazed on his great pitchability and his little problem spotting his sinker & cutter on the corners as well as his curveball. 

He looks Major League-ready with just little more seasoning regarding pitch sequencing and overall instincts. Whatever team will select him will have a fast-mover, low-risk pitcher with a nice upside as a workhorse in a rotation soon.

Grades: SNK 55 | CUT 55 | CB 55+ | CH 45+ | CMD 55

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter   Floor: #5 Starter/Long reliever

T.J. Zeuch  RHP  COL
6'7" 225 lbs.  R/R  Videos (GIFs this time): Credits to Fenway Soul 1 and 2

I haven't found any videos where I can 100% justify my thoughts on Zeuch but I will give my opinions based on other person's thoughts on Zeuch. From the pictures I have found on him, he's an intimidating presence on the mound that's pretty lean in terms of proportion. I feel there's still room for more weight to be added but I think it's pretty unnecessary. Nonetheless, he looks slightly athletic on the mound. 

In the only GIFs that I have found of Zeuch, his mechanics are really not the type of mechanics that you will see on tall pitchers. His mechanics is very simple. Simple sidestep to start, then a simple leg lift and drive, pretty little extension that results to a steep downhill plane and with his height, it can cause a lot of trouble on hitters. He releases his pitches on a high 3/4 slot and got pretty good arm speed and finishes his pitches by falling to the side. Really simple, fluid, tall-and-fall mechanics for a tall pitcher and it is really easy to repeat. 

I have read several scouting reports and it is written that his fastball is at 87-91 MPH that tops at 92 MPH but I am feeling with his frame, he can still add more velocity on that. His fastball got some tailing movement in it but with no sinking movement. His curveball is said to be as a sharp pitch with almost 12-6 movement in it at mid-70s and he can locate this pitch well against righties. His slider is at low-80s but unimpressive and his changeup are still lagging in his repertoire. Thanks to his simple repeatable mechanics and his feel for pitching, Zeuch can have an above-average command on all of his pitches in the future.

I think Zeuch is still not a finish product when a team selects him in the draft as there's still room for more velocity and better projection in his future potential. The grades that I will give to him are pretty murky.

Grades: FB 55 | CB 55+ | SL 45 | CH 45 | CMD 55

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter   Floor: #5 Starter/Set-up reliever

Corbin Burnes  RHP  COL
6'3" 205 lbs.  R/R  Videos: Credits to Sean Walsh Cape Cod Sports Videos and mvpbaseballUSA

Burnes looks a guy who can still add a little more to his frame but there's somewhere on my mind that's telling me that he won't add more weight as he looks right physically.

Burnes mechanics look pretty much the same from his previous mechanics to his mechanics at the Cape. Little to moderate extension on his drive, pretty short arm swing that can add deception on his pitches, pretty tall-and-fall delivery, throwing his pitches on high 3/4 slot and he falls to the side on his follow through. 

I haven't seen his stuff on videos but according to reports, his fastball sits on 93-95 MPH that can even reach 96 MPH that's a plus velocity pitch and a slider that can be a swing and miss pitch on him in the mid-80s that's when he's on top of it, got sharp tilt. His changeup has improved in college and has been said that it can also be a swing and miss pitch on the road that he can throw on any hitter. His curveball is more of a show-me or chase pitch and is lagging behind. He can spot his fastball well in the zone but there's still inconsistency on his secondary pitches.

I have also read that his makeup is also good with a really good work ethic. If he can truly develop his slider and changeup, there's a chance that he can be a mid-rotation starter someday but a place in the bullpen is also an option if his changeup didn't improve on par with his fastball and slider combo.

Grades: FB 60 | SL 55+ | CH 50 | CB 45 | CMD 50

Ceiling: #3-4 Starter   Floor: Setup reliever/Closer


Jake Fraley  OF  COL
6'0" 185 lbs.  L/L  Videos: Credits to BPProspectTeam and

Fraley looks like a thin but muscular guy with little projection left in his body with good athleticism. 

His approach is patient and contact-oriented, stands pretty open on the box with the bat low then raising it when he starts to close up (pretty different swing on the BP video where the bat is resting on his shoulder). His swing path is direct and he got quick wrists that can generate good bat speed as well as good eye-hand coordination. He got a pretty funky looking follow through on the ball where he's trying to uppercut pitches but his swing is flat like what videos said and his frame also has limited raw power so he's going to be more of a gap to gap, doubles guy during the game. He can extend singles into doubles thanks to his plus to plus-plus speed, giving him great stealing capability and great range in the outfield as well. I feel he suits best in CF because of his speed and his pretty subpar arm strength.

He can be a traditional leadoff hitter in any lineup due to his leadoff hitter-type qualities (patience, above-average contact potential, plus-plus speed) as well as a good defensive player.

Grades: Hit 55 | Power 30 | Speed 65 | Arm 45 | Glove 50+

Nick Quintana  SS  HS
5'11" 185 lbs.  R/R Videos: Credits to The Prospect Pipeline and SoCal Baseball

Quintana looks pretty stocky and already built as a high school player. He got a pretty big torso but I think from what I watched is that he got sneaky athleticism in him and giving him pretty close to above-average raw power. 

That said, his swing looks like he can hit for a good average. His swing starts pretty compact and silent then his leg kick gets his thing going. His swing is very powerful for his size and it got some loft to it. His wrist speed are very good and the result of it is an above-average bat speed. His powerful swing and wrist speed can make his hit tool an above-average one in the future. His swing can also convert his raw power into real game power and he can be a pretty close to 15-20 HR type of guy in the future. His speed looks like is not an asset for him. He's listed as a SS but I think it's not a good place for him as his speed and athleticism can relegate him to 2B but his fielding actions are smooth and good anticipation of the ball and his arm strength was clocked at 93 MPH so there might be a chance he'll be a 3B defensively. 

Nick can be a fit for the Giants philosophy of drafting infielders with not much speed but pretty good athleticism and good hit tool. Problem is there's no space for him right now so he might not be on their radar come draft day but the last time the Giants drafted a HS INF in the early rounds is the number 1 prospect right now so anything can happen. 

Grades: Hit 55 | Power 50+ | Speed 45 | Arm 50 | Field 50

Ceiling: Above-average player   Floor: Bench bat

Joe Rizzo  3B  HS
5'11" 215 lbs.  L/R  Videos: Credits to SkillshowVideos, Jon Tarr and rkyosh007

I think this is the first time that I have ever seen a HS player this big for his size. Rizzo looks like a shorter Prince Fielder that joined The Biggest Loser. His body is very muscular with no more projection needed for him as he's filled out.

His swing is very powerful with a wide base and highlighted by his huge leg kick and his phenomenal transfer of his plus raw power to his bat by moving his body forward, causing loud contact every single time and ball just jumps out of the bat. And he can also hit for contact if he wants to with his good bat speed and his direct path to the ball. His swing might cause some swing and miss on the game but his hitting talent really impresses me. He can have an above-average offensive game (hit and power) moving forward. His speed might be a question for him moving forward but even though he's really big and muscular, there's some athleticism that I can see in him. I have seen him in a fielding video and he is agile for his size with good arm strength (90 MPH) and I think he will be able to stay at 3B but I think he'll transition to 1B once his gets older. 

His offensive potential is immense especially from the left side of the plate. He can be a really good player. The only problem that I can see is where will you put him defensively. I think third base is still the way to go with his solid all around game. He said his greatest strength is his work ethic so my outlook for him is really good.

Grades: Hit 50+ | Power 60 | Speed 45 | Arm 50+ | Field 50

Ceiling: Above-average player   Floor: DH/Bench bat

Jake Rogers  C  COL
6'1" 185 lbs.  R/R  Videos: Credits to PerfectGameBaseball and Eric Richey

Rogers looks pretty lean for a catcher's body but in the video above, he said that he has played catcher since 10 years old so he is used to the grind of catching and has maintained a great shape and good athleticism.

His swing is pretty with a simple stance on the box and a long and big leg kick in between. He does a good job on loading his wrists and moves forward to a good extension. His wrists are quick, resulting to an above-average bat speed and a pretty good swing path. The problem that I see in his mechanics is that his leg kick is very big and could be toned down and his swing can get long so he can be susceptible to quality offspeed pitches. He got average power that he can tap on and his swing can produce an average hit tool if all goes well for him. His speed is not an asset to say the least. What I really like about is that he is a catcher by heart. He has played catcher for a really long time, calls a good name per reports, already mastered the fundamentals of catching, blocking and his moves behind the plate are astounding. There's this stat on him that his pop time is consistently around 1.75 which is elite and he has thrown out 56 base stealers in the NCAA, accounting to 54% of all the players who tried to steal off him which is immense and he threw out 15 out of 21 baserunners in the Cape which speaks volumes to his defense. 

He will always have a value as a defense-first catcher and looks like his defense is truly elite. The question is whether his bat can deliver enough juice for him to be a good prospect to have and become a Major Leaguer someday because for now, his hitting is way behind his defense. I love him though, because he treats playing catcher as an art.

Grades: Hit 40+ | Power 40 | Speed 30 | Arm 70 | Glove 65

Ceiling: Above-average catcher   Floor: Everyday catcher

Short thoughts: I like everyone on this list except for Alex Speas. Tyler Baum and Cole Ragans are my favorite pitchers on the neighborhood of the Giants right now. I can see Tyler Baum being a great mid-rotation starter at least like Sonny Gray and Ragans as a Cole Hamels-type of pitcher. For the hitters, I like everybody but Joe Rizzo take the cake for me as a future solid all-around player with a great offensive potential. Jake Rogers' defensive potential at a premium position is really, really interesting because I love catchers, especially defensive catchers.

This concludes the Part 1 of my first look at the draft prospects that are in the neighborhood of the Giants right now. I told you this draft class is very deep. I hope you enjoy reading!


  1. Alex Speas-I like this kid a lot.Especially if he's there at #58.I think one of the reasons for his inconsistency with his control.Has to do with the pace of his wind up.He needs to slow that down.He looks a little rushed on some of his pitches.Good arm,good athleticism,and good size.I think these are issues our staff could help Speas work on.You raise good points regarding injury.I believe if he's there at #58.The organization would love to get there hands on him.

    1. I just don't personally feel a whole lot of positives on Speas. He is not a type of pitcher that I like and prefer. His control is really a big issue as well as a lack of third pitch. He might just be a reliever in the long run. The Giants already have one with Cricky and I don't think they should risk another. I also don't like pitchers with nonexistent feel for pitching. I prefer prospects with innate feel for the game, whether hitters or pitchers.

    2. Good point regarding his control and pitch arsenal.The organization may feel the same way.We'll see if Speas can start to develop a third pitch.And,if he can continue to develop his control.You're correct in saying if he can't.He'll be in the pen.And,it's not worth using a second round pick on a future reliever.The organization has done a great job drafting relievers in later rounds.Moving forward he'll be one of many players that I'm going to keep an eye on.In regards to Crick.Big year for him next year.Maybe now that the rotation is strong again.He can focus on throwing strikes.And,not getting to the big league squad to help a depleted rotation.I was watching video of Crick last night.His problems are easy to fix.We'll see if the kid can make the adjustments.I have more to say on Crick.But,I'll save it for your prospect list and profile.

      Peace Weenzie

    3. Just talked to a good guy on Twitter and his point about Crick is that he is thinking about where he will put the pitch like if the catcher's glove is set on the outside corner, he is overthinking about it and missing. The guy pointed that the mentality that Cricky should have a mentality where he just let the ball fly and split the strike zone in two halves whether crosswise or lengthwise.

      If you have other thoughts on Crick, I think the Tier 2 list is where you can put it Mr. David. I am thinking of not doing a full prospect list because I pretty hate a list, but I'm still thinking thrice.

    4. I'll just say it here.Crick has the same problem Coonrod had in college.If you watch video of Coonrod in college(You Tube),and compare it to his video from Augusta.Adjustment in the leg kick.In college his leg kick was higher,and it would cause his front shoulder to come up,and back shoulder to dip.Tilting his head back.That causes all kinds of problems with control.It's equivalent to a hitter over swinging.A lot of swing and misses.Not fundamentally sound.What Coonrod learned from instructors.When you have a good arm.You don't need a big leg kick,and you don't have to rear back to get velocity.That's natural.What's important is that you're balanced and square to the target.Just like when you're playing catch.Ian Gardeck was mentioning this in an article someone posted on Twitter.

      Peace Wrenzie

    5. That's a pretty good point. That mechanical fixes as well as some mental refreshment might give Cricky a much better 2016. I am still believing on him being an elite closer for the Giants. It will be such a disappointment to see him not reach his ceiling.

  2. Cole Ragans-Good analysis on Ragans.He has good size,good stuff,and good control.That should improve w/ strength.The video that you posted is from his Junior year.By the time the draft comes around.He could be throwing harder.

    1. Noticed that too. But the video of BA on Ragans is dated at 2014 and his mechanics then doesn't have the Cole Hamels look in it and the stuff is really raw compared to what I saw on those videos above. He got good potential even though I feel he will sit on low-90s.

  3. Two more players Giants might consider at #58

    OF Jaren Shelby
    P Zach Liginfelter

    1. Ziginfelter is ranked #46 by MLB he'll probably be gone.

    2. I am planning to write him up on the next part of the draft looks. Man, in my opinion, there's just not a lot that's going for him. His body is already filled out so his low to mid-90s fastball might be it because I can't see any projectability left in him unless he gets fat. There's issues on his durability as well and a guy with that body, I don't see much daylight. His fastball-slider are good and explosive but the mechanics are too wild for me and should be toned down. I think that's the only thing going for him right now. Looks like he got some feel for his fastball but he's still raw. He could be just a reliever at the end of the road.

    3. Talking about Linginfelter on my comment above.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. Thanks for the info on Liginfelter.Other players in Mcdaniel's 100 that have my interest.

      Jaren Shelby OF(mentioned earlier)
      Mitchell Miller LHP
      Rian Haire LHP
      Hudson Sanchez SS

      Peace Wrenzie