Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 Draft signings

The deadline has passed for teams to ink their 2009 first year player daft picks and the Giants seemed to do well this year at least getting their players under contract. The top 17 picks all signed and only 8 of the top 41 decided to pursue other avenues this year. Most importantly, the Giants were able to agree to terms with their overall top pick, P Zack Wheeler, at the last minute.

Signing Wheeler became even more important after 2 recent trades that brought the team AllStar second baseman Freddie Sanchez and first baseman Ryan Garko because in those deals, the Giants traded away the organizations #2 & #5 pitching prospects. Wheeler himself should immediately slot into the #2 or #3 pitching prospect. He isn't expected to make his professional debut in the minors until 2010 and by that time, Madison Bumgarner potentially could be challenging for an open major league rotation spot so Wheeler might just be the top dog.

Outside of Wheeler, the Giants had other very important signings, Here's the complete rundown:
1-Zack Wheeler, RHP
2-Tommy Joseph, C
3-Christopher Dominguez, 3B
4-Jason Stoffel, RHP
5-Brandon Belt, 1B
6-Matthew Graham, RHP
7-Nick Liles, 2B
8-Karl Benusa, CF
9-Evan Crawford, CF
10-Jeremy Toole, RHP
11-John Eshleman, SS
12-Christopher Heston, RHP
13-Shawn Sanford, RHP
14-Brian Salsbury, RHP
15-Kyle Vasquez, RHP
16-Ryan Cavan, SS
17-Christopher Gloor, LHP
19-Jason Walls, RHP
22-Andrew Biery, 3B
24-Alexander Berg, C
25-Steven Rogers, RHP
26-Luis Munoz, CF
27-Kyle Mach, 3B
30-Craig Wescott, RHP
32-Luke Andrews, 1B
33-Jake Dunning, RHP
35-Brandon Graves, LHP
36-Ryan Scoma, RF
37-Ryan Lollis, RF
38-Addison Proszek, RHP
39-Kyle Henson, C
40-Jonathan White, LF
41-Gary Moran, RHP
46-Juan Martinez, SS
50-Kaohi Downing, RHP

All told, the Giants drafted & signed 15-RHP, 3-LHP, 3-C, 2-1B, 1-2B, 3-SS, 3-3B, 1-LF, 2-CF, & 2-RF. Because they did signed everyone but #18 in the top 20, focus won't be on who they failed to sign, but maybe on who they failed to draft or who they actually did draft.

It appears at the onset, that the Giants drafted the best available player most of the way through with some critics debate as to whether Wheeler was the best available. The line their looks to be so thin that I would trust Sabean's judgement when it comes to talent scouting within the ranks of high school & college Pitchers.

It's the 2nd round that some questioned since the team took super prospect C Buster Posey last season, so why did they take a C here? Tommy Joseph wasn't always a C and in fact just recently focused on it. It's his bat they like as Joseph is a pure hitter. Teams always find a home for a bat, look at Pablo Sandoval. Plus, there is no guarantee Posey is a career catcher. Injuries or the athletic ability to play elsewhere can change his direction. Look at Mike Piazza or more appropriate comparison is Craig Biggio.

Others to watch, 3rd round pick Chris Dominguez is already powering through low-A ball with 8 homeruns since July 1. In fact, the roster is already littered with over achieving 2009 draft picks. Drew Biery is batting .361/.426/.556/.983 with 13 doubles & 6 HR's. John Eshleman, Ryan Lollis, & Evan Crawford (you can follow him on twitter) all have OPS hanging around .800. Chris Gloor is dominating as both a starter and reliever posting a 5-0 record with a 1.78 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, & 33 SO's in 30 inn. Jeremy Toole & Kyle Vasquez are also excelling and a Pitcher to really keep your eye on, 4th round pick Jason Stoffel has just begun throwing. He's unscored upon through his first 3 innings with 5 K's.

Two others of note to watch who have yet to begin play: 5th round pick Brandon Belt should be exciting as he brings the classic first baseman makeup with solid hitting and above average power. 6th round pick Matthew Graham is a RHP to watch. He's young, just out of H.S. and fell farther in the draft than expected due to sign-ability concerns. His Fastball is plus and some suggest he could be the best player out of this draft class in the end, but is VERY raw right now.


Katman said...

Nice summary. Thanks.

Things seem to be looking up.

The Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Wheeler, Zito rotation in 2012 looks pretty awesome.

Jim Ellis said...

ahh, your welcome.

If these guys develop the way they are advertised, we could indeed be seeing a rotation that may be unmatched in recent baseball memory. Then again, you can't call a rotation better than the 90's Braves until they actually are, but it's fun to dream

Richard said...

Any of these kids stand out to you as having the ability to differentiate between balls and strikes? I'm dreaming of a future batch of hitters that swings at the good pitches and isn't too 'aggressive' to take a damn walk.

Jim Ellis said...

Richard, No kidding right. It drives me insane how many first pitch out we get and how few walks we take.

Believe it or not (and i'm not sure which side of his fence you stand on) but we actually already have a guy just like that on the team...Fred Lewis.

Lewis's problem is the watermelon sized hole in his bat. Fred has the best eye for the strike zone on the team and learned last season how to work a count. His 30 walks so far this season are only 4 behind the team leader and he's done so in approx 170 fewer PA's. If he could just fix his swing and miss crap, he would probably be a 70-80 walk guy.

As for this draft, i'm not so hopefull. Tommy Joseph is best known for his power and his arm, it thought to be comparable somewhere between Ryan Doumit & Ryan Garko. Chris Dominguez is definitely known for his immense power and his K's. If he can devlop like the project, he's potentially a league leader in homeruns and strike outs. Brandon Belt is probably the draft's best bet for maybe a big time hitter that can draw a walk. Among the things he's best known for: Power, Batting, and Patience. He was able to draw 27 walks to only 37 K's this past season for Texas in approx 255 PA's. Although it's college and hard to compare, that would equal roughly 65 walks in a 600 PA season...After him. Maybe Evan Crawford and John Eshleman