Monday, June 8, 2009

2009 Draft examined: Why the Giants need to find a bat, yet need to take a pitcher

Draft day is tomorrow! The Giants have only 1 early selection (6th), and Time to break out the champagne and strawberries, cause Sabean is about to make us toast to the heavens with... a question like "who did they say?"

Actually, in all fairness, he's done OK for us the last 3 years, especially since giving Bobby Evans more say & hiring Ron Schueler 2 years ago to teach him how to spot non pitching talent...not that I'm complaining about the pitching we've drafted over the decade. Still, with the needs the Giants currently have & the lack of really anything substantial offensively in this years draft, I worry about what decision the Giants brass makes with the 6th overall pick.

The Giants need to make this pick count, and then worry about the rest later. So whom to take?

Really, with the 6th pick, Giants need a Time Machine. They need to go back to 2003 and select any one of Carlos Quentin, Adam Jones, Jared Saltalamchia, or Matt Murton, with their 22nd overall pickas each would be drastically helping the offense this season because David Aardsma (he of the trade with Jarome Williams for LaTroy Hawkins) is certainly helping. Shit, for that matter, they could have taken Brandon Wood, who went 23rd to the Angels, and be better off. Actually, if they had taken Chad Billingsly, who went 24th tothe (gulp) Dodgers, the Giants would be in even better position for what I'm about to propose. (Consolation prize goes to Andre Eithier as he was picked just 7 spots in the second round AFTER the Giants took C Jeffery Jennings {he who doesn't even have a baseball stat I can link to his name})

Then again, if I had a time machine, the first thing I'd do wouldn't be baseball related, but the second... well I go back to Oct. 26, 2002 and SHAKE THE SHIT OUT OF DUSTY BAKER UNTIL HE REALIZED NOT TO PUT FELIX RODRIGUEZ IN TO FACE SCOTT SPIEZIO IN THE 7TH!!!

Back to reality though. Reality is, the Giants have the 6th overall pick in the draft and NEED help on offense. They need help now. Not too many draft picks end up fast tracking the majors like Evan Longoria, so the help won't come this year, or probably even next from this draft class. But the Giants need help now.

This years draft is widely considered to be weak on top tier offensive talent and strong in first round starting pitching. So weak infact, that the top ranked offensive talent accross almost all boards is Dustin Ackley, who the best favorable comparison I've heard is John Olerud...exceptin center.(OK, I'd take 10 years of Olerud's offense, but it's not like they are comparing him to Joe Carter). Problem is, he most likely will be gone by the time the Giants pick. The other guy you can definitely forget about is Stephen Strasburg, because if he doesn't go #1, the Nats GM will get fired. He certainly won't fall past his native San Diego at #3 who would giveanything for him.

Back to the Giants needs though. After Ackley, the pickings are slim.

There's Grant Green, the USC SS who has slipped down everyones boards. Compared at times to Troy Tulowitzki or Evan Longoria, but as McCovey Chronicles puts it..."his detractors make him sound like Kevin Frandsen". Green might be the best chance after Ackley of seeing someone in the majors sooner than later.

Then there's Donovan Tate. The H.S. kid with a former NFL player for a father & Scot Boras as an agent. Not that I wouldn't draft a Boras client, but Tate is young and raw. Tate may develope into a very good ballplayer, but he won'treach the majors until atleast 2012 & likely won't show good numbers until 2013. In case you are wondering, the Giants currently only control Lincecum thru 2012 & Cain thru 2011.

Then there is the solid prospect but argueable reach & a step down in his respective reconginition as far as talent goes. Tim Wheeler has an "advanced bat" and is refined in his baserunning skills, plus is a good CF. He might help sooner than later, but the realquestion is,can the Giants to better at #6?

If they go with the Best Player Available, it likely will be a pitcher. High School Preps are flush this year. Guys like Tyler Matzek, Zack Wheeler, Shelby Miller, & Jacob Turner are all highly touted, and will be fine picks... then again, the Giants are flush with Pitching talent already and should be more than fine for the next 4-5 years. They could take one of these guys, wait for the development, and have the nexxt superstar in the wings in 2013. Or they could do this:

Take the best/most polished college pitcher available to add to the current surplus of minor league arms that are quickly pushing to be a major league surplus, and allow the Giants to make a trade for an established major league bat next season. Lets face it, no matter how good Bumgarner or Alderson get this year, they don't make in impact on the majors until next the same time they, or who ever else, bring back more trade value next season.

Arms like Mike Minor, Aaron Crow, Tanner Scheppers, Alex White, & Kyle Gibson all have the ability to make us salivate the same way Bumgarner & Alderson currently are, or Lincecum before them, or Cain, or Lowry did. At least one of these guys will be available come #6 tomorrow.

Imagine drafting an Aaron Crow & being able to turn him into a Matt LaPorta next season, whether it be at the cost of Tim Alderson, or Crow himself? Either way, the Giants aren't going to find that LaPorta here tomorrow. Nor are they going to find a Chris Davis/Josh Vitters/Ryan Braun/Evan Longoria...not that the latter two can be had via trade anyway...but the only way the Giants land one from thsi years draft is to trade from their surplus...

Starting Pitching...

Can we swallow that yet? What are your thoughts?


Steven said...

You should do your picks as if you were the Giants GM. Then later on down the road. You can go back and see what players you picked and see how you did. I'm thinking about trying to do that.

~King of Cali

Jim Ellis said...

Baseball is to hard to predict what other GM's have in mind/signability/need/development time/etc.. If all things were equal, I think I'd have the Giants rank the players:
Z. Wheeler

Don't be surpsised if the Giants pick Jacob Turner or Tim Wheeler, but my money is on Ackley if he falls, then crow if he falls.