The 2007 draft class is rated much higher than the 2006 draft class was, but its strength is in the high school players. 4 prep hitters highlight the class, and there’s a deep class of pitchers, both in the high school and college classes. Unfortunately, the class of polished college hitters that could move quickly into the majors is not there, and that is what the San Francisco Giants could use the most. But there’s still a talented group of players to impact a farm system.
The Prep 4:
These four hitters could have the most upside in the class, and will be heavily talked about behind top college pitchers David Price and Andrew Brackman, and top college hitter Matt Wieters (none of whom are expected to last until #10, the first Giants pick in 2007). In all likelihood, not all of these 4 hitters will be available at #10. It’s probable that none of them will last until #22, the second Giants pick in the draft. It’s even possible none of them will be there at #10. But it’s very likely that one of these four names will be the next Giants Top Pick.
Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress HS (California) – Vitters is considered one of the top high school hitters to go in this draft. He took home the MVP in the Cape Cod High School Classic this summer, and is considered very signable so far despite a commitment to Arizona State. His older brother Christian is an A’s prospect, but Vitters could go early, maybe even before the Giants draft. Vitters is a strong all around player, and was called by BA the best pure hitter in the high school class in this draft.
Matt Dominguez, 3B, Chatsworth HS (California) – Dominguez is Vitters’ rival at the hot corner in southern California. Where Vitters is the better pure hitter, Dominguez is the player with the home run power. He’s set his high school record for home runs aready, an has hit two already at Dodger Stadium during the high school playoffs. He’s a more aggressive hitter than Vitters, so where Vitters will hit for less power but draw more walks, Dominguez is the opposite. Dominguez also has good arm strength, working as a reliever for Chatsworth.
Justin Jackson, SS, TC Roberson HS (North Carolina) – The other top infielder amongst the high school class, and is generally considered the best high school position player in the draft. Jackson fits recent Giants draftees by being very speedy both in the field and on the basepaths. However, like other recent Giants SS prospects, his power remains somewhat projectible, but that’s hardly unusual for a high schooler. His father Chuck Jackson is an ex-Astros, Rangers and Giants farmhand.
Michael Burgess, OF, Hillsborough HS (Florida) – Another part-time pitcher, this is the best power prospect among the top four hitters. This lefthander has hit home runs beyond 450 feet at Sarasota, a monumental feat to center field. He also had 24 stolen bases as a junior in high school. He can drive to all fields,a nd was named the ‘Jackie Robinson’ Award winner as the nation’s top high school player in high school at the Aflac Awards dinner. Hillsborough also produced Gary Sheffield and Dwight Gooden.
The Others to Keep an Eye On:
Jack McGeary, LHP/1B, Roxbury Latin HS (Massachusetts) – McGeary could easily be in the Bay Area next fall, as he has committed to Stanford. McGeary’s profile rose this summer, and has impressed scouts with both his stuff (including a high-80’s fastball and a highly rated breaking ball, with excellent control) and his attitude on the mound. McGeary will likely be a pitcher in the pros, and could be around in the late first round or early sandwich round.
Erik Goeddel, RHP, Bellarmine Prep (California) – Goeddel didn’t make as much of a summer impact as his compatriots, but he’s been on a lot of watch lists. He throws in the low 90’s and has one of the better breaking balls in the high school ranks in his slider, and is considered one of the most mentally mature pitchers in the high school arena. As a Junior in high school, he averaged nearly 2 strikeouts an inning. He’s committed to UCLA, but is signable. The Giants have a Bellarmine grad on the roster already in Frandsen, another dip into Big B’s well is possible.
Josh Fields, RHP, Georgia – One of the coaches in the Cape Cod league said Fields’ summer performance reminded him of a guy who dominated the Cape Cod league in 2005: Tim Lincecum. What more do you need to hear? Fields, however, is currently projecting solely as a reliever, and his high-90’s fastball and high 80’s slider make him a closer prospect that could move fast.
Matt Mangini, 3B, Oklahoma State – Mangini might be the best bet for the Giants to add a top college hitter at #10. He won the Cape Cod league batting title, and has projectable pop, although he won’t be a pure slugger. He should stick at third base defensively, and is one of the top three college hitters in the draft.
James Simmons, RHP, UC Riverside – If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the Giants already have one (a draft and follow OF signed out of Vernon JC in Texas this year). This one is an all-around pitcher with no one standout pitch, but a mature combo with great command, and who can pitch anywhere on the plate at any velocity he has.
Julio Borbon, OF, Tennessee – Borbon played for Team USA over the summer, and matches the Giants recent trend of speedy players. He has a good all-around bat and has been projected to 20 HR power, and also has plus speed. He’s been compared to Johnny Damon, and plays a good center field but lacks arm strength.
J.P. Arencibia, C, Tennessee – Arencibia is one of the many catchers available in this draft, and hit 9 home runs to lead Team USA this summer. He has all the tools for a top catcher, including a good arm, but still needs to work on the basics defensively and may move to first eventually.
Todd Frazier, SS/OF, Rutgers – Frazier played shortstop, but will probably end up as a corner player either in the infield or outfield. Frazier is one of the top power prospects in the draft, but has the good ol’ fashioned need to learn how to handle breaking balls. But with good base mechanics and two older brothers who have played in the pros, he has a good chance to learn.
Beau Mills, 3B/1B, Lewis & Clark – What would a Giants draft be without someone from Lewis & Clark? Mills played in Alaska this summer, leading the league in homers, and will transfer to L&C from Fresno State. On the bad side, he has an injury history and academic issues, but he’s a left handed power bat and is the son of Red Sox coach Brad Mills, so he has some Pedigree going for him.
Mark Willinsky, RHP, Santa Clara – The Giants have taken from Santa Clara before. Willinsky has worked more as a reliever, but he has a live fastball that straightens out in the low 90’s but has great sink in the high 80’s. He has a slider and circle change to match, which he’d need to project as a starter, but could stay in relief in the pros and be very effective.
Jordan Zimmerman, RHP, Wisconsin-SP – The Giants always have a habit of finding good arms in unusual places, and Zimmerman fits the bill. He works mostly in the low-90’s, but can ramp up to 95. He is still developing a slider and changeup, but has a huge slow curve that can baffle hitters and make his fastball look even faster. He may be a sandwich round choice, or might be gone by the time the Giants pick again in the 4th round.
Matt Laporta, 1B, Florida – LaPorta was the top home run hitter in college baseball as a sophomore, but an oblique injury sapped his potential and he fell to the 14th Round in 2006. He declined to sign with the Sox, and is trying to prove he’s healthy. At his best, he was the best power hitter in the 2006 draft and could be one of the best in 2007 and hits with patience. But his defense has taken a hit, and could keep him dropping along with his age as a senior.
Mitch Canham, C, Oregon State – Canham has played two years at catcher now and will probably be at his third in the upcoming season. He’s a ‘serviceable’ receiver but has a very strong arm. He missed his first year to surgery, which actually shortened his right arm (which was longer than his left). He hit .299 and had 7 home runs, the 2nd highest total on the college champion Beavers. He’s an unlikely hitter type for a catcher, with 10 stolen bases on 12 attempts, and also posted a good on base percentage, especially for a left handed catcher.
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