The “Best Player Available” method of drafting is flawed -- not heavily, but enough so it shouldn’t be followed. So here’s an alternative; one that fits only the Giants in this draft.
Basically start by ranking the players by talent. Make talent the primary reason for the rankings, as that should be the basis for any system. Then make some quibbles.
Signability is an issue, so if a player has those problems, he should be ranked below players who are of a similar talent level who wouldn’t cost so much. The Giants can spend, but why spend if you don’t have to?
Take system goals in account. With the Giants depth in pitching, a tie in talent between a pitcher and hitter should go to the hitter. First base is more of a need than third base, thanks to Angel Villalona.
After that, make sure you don’t have too many of any one type of player. The Giants shouldn’t draft more than one at first, third, or catcher, more than two in the middle infield or outfield, or more than three pitchers among their top six picks. So if you draft a catcher, cross the others off the list.
So here is the list, at least by one man’s estimation. Fifty-one players for the six picks in the Top 51 the Giants have. This isn’t the “Best Player Available” list; It’s the Best Player For The Giants.
- Matt Wieters, C, Georgia Tech
He may not be the top overall talent, but he’s close, and the hitters are more valuable to the Giants in this draft.
- David Price, LHP, Vanderbilt
He’s the top pitcher in the draft, and would be a fine pick. He won’t be there at No. 10, however.
- Josh Vitters, 3B, Cypress HS (CA)
One of the clear two top high school hitters in the draft. The Giants could use someone closer to the majors, but Vitters would be worth the wait.
- Mike Moustakas, 3B, Chatsworth HS (CA)
He’s close to Vitters, but Vitters wins out because he has a slightly better track record before this season.
- Beau Mills, 1B/3B, Lewis-Clark State
He’s the probable Giants pick at No. 10. Power hitter at a position of need, what’s not to like?
- Rick Porcello, RHP, Seton Hall Prep (NJ)
The best high school arm in the draft in a draft loaded with them.
- Jarrod Parker, RHP, Norwell HS (IN)
Ignore the Tim Lincecum comparisons. But he does have a great fastball and the makings of two quality secondary pitches.
- Matt LaPorta, 1B, Florida
High, you say? He’s a polished college hitter; most of the other names are either low-ceiling polished arms or high-ceiling arms with a lot of work.
- Daniel Moskos, LHP, Clemson
A polished college southpaw. Not exciting, but a very safe pick.
- Ross Detwiler, LHP, Missouri State
Another good left-handed pitcher. He’s a bit scrawny, but has been very consistent overall.
- Blake Beavan, RHP, Irving HS (TX)
The first of three high school pitchers with low arm slots. The risk there is that low arm slots are bad for breaking pitches, but all have nice fastballs.
- Madison Bumgarner, LHP, South Caldwell HS (NC)
A big lefty pitcher, but has issues with secondary pitches due to his arm slot.
- Phillippe Aumont, RHP, Ecole Du Versant (Canada)
A late riser, but he is a quality big pitcher with “projectability,” but he still needs work.
- Matt Dominguez, 3B, Chatsworth HS (CA)
He’s been passed over due to his teammate Moustakas and doesn’t have premium power, but is a very good all-around player with gold glove-level defense.
- Casey Weathers, RHP, Vanderbilt
Weathers is the top college closer in the class, and could be a fast-mover to the majors.
- Josh Smoker, LHP, Calhoun HS (GA)
Smoker has a surprisingly complex selection of pitches, and knows how to use them.
- Devin Mesoraco, C, Punxsutawney HS (PA)
Gets a bump with being a very good catcher in a draft where the Giants need one.
- Brett Cecil, LHP, Maryland
He’s another not-exciting pitcher, but is a safe and solid pick.
- Nick Schmidt, LHP, Arkansas
He was a sleeper until he started getting a lot of attention, but he’s still a great second-half-of-the-first-round pick.
- Joe Savery, LHP, Rice
This should be a bumper crop for left-handers. Savery is an injury risk, but has high potential.
- Corey Brown, OF, Oklahoma State
Brown is a “toolsy,” athletic player the Giants love to grab.
- Matt Harvey, RHP, Fitch HS (CT)
Harvey has a good combo of a low-90s fastball with sink and a mid-70s curve to build upon. Being a Scott Boras client hurts.
- Julio Borbon, OF, Tennessee
He was a better prospect, but call us short-sighted for worrying about a speed player recovering from a broken ankle.
- Kevin Ahrens, 3B, Memorial HS (TX)
Want a sleeper? This is it. He was the best high school hitter in Texas, but those kids in California got all the attention.
- Chris Carpenter, RHP, Kent State
Carpenter had Tommy John surgery in 2005, but has recovered well. The Giants don’t shy away from recovering TJ victims.
- Aaron Poreda, LHP, University of San Francisco
Poreda is the hardest-throwing southpaw in this draft, and that’s a true achievement. He also has good command, and is advanced considering how recently he came to baseball.
- Jack McGeary, LHP/1B, Roxbury Lating HS (MA)
McGeary works off of his curveball, and is a power hitter who is committed to Stanford. Compared to Andy Pettitte.
- Michael Main, RHP/OF, Deland (FL)
He’s a true velocity pitcher who has learned to pitch after a rotator cuff injury. Some see him as an outfielder, a switch-hitter with great speed. The type is comparable to Michael McBryde, a Giants selection in 2006.
- Nick Noonan, 2B, Parker HS (CA)
Noonan is perhaps the most polished high school bat outside of the top 3, and is a mature batter.
- Michael Burgess, OF, Hilssborough HS (FL)
Burgess has had an inconsistent year and has questions, but has a track record that gives him an edge over another player with questions.
- Jason Heyward, OF, Henry County HS (GA)
No, he won’t last this long. He has a lot of questions, but some like him. We’ve got to say, we don’t.
- Mitch Canham, C, Oregon State
Canham isn’t the most polished defensive catcher, but he’s a very good hitter and has off-the-charts intangibles.
- Nevin Griffith, Middleton HS (FL)
Griffith is a high potential high school pitcher, who put it all together this year. He has all the tools, and just needs to develop strength and consistency.
- Wendell Fairley, OF, George County-Lucedale HS (MS)
Fairly is another raw player who has focused on other sports. He has a great stroke at the plate, and is a high potential risk.
- Kyle Blair, RHP, Los Gatos HS (CA)
Blair could be a steal, signed out of his commitment as a local player. The Giants have done it before. Great athlete with exceptional makeup.
- Tim Alderson, RHP, Horizon HS (AZ)
He’s a hard-throwing pitcher, who’s big, projectable, and plays within driving distance of the Giants minor league facility in Scottsdale, AZ.
- Will Middlebrooks, 3B/RHP, Liberty-Elyau HS (TX)
Middlebrooks is a third baseman, pitcher, quarterback and punter, but will probably end up at third base. He’s the kind of athlete the Giants love.
- Casey Crosby, LHP, Kaneland HS (IL)
Crosby is another good athlete, and could be another steal in a deep draft.
- Yasmani Grandal, C, Miami Springs HS (FL)
Grandal is a solid catcher prospect with all-around potential. He could be signed away from Miami thanks to the Giants strong Latin connections.
- Drew Cumberland, SS, Pace HS (FL)
Cumberland isn’t a great fit in a system that has a lot of middle infield prospects, but he has the speed the Giants love.
- Justin Jackson, SS, Roberson HS (NC)
Again, the Giants aren’t pressing for middle infielders, and Jackson doesn’t have any one overwhelming tool, but he’s got overall talent and a strong background to work with.
- Travis d’Arnaud, C, Lakewood HS (CA)
D’Arnaud is an excellent defensive catcher with a terrific arm. His hitting ability isn’t his strongest point, but he should be a good contact hitter with some power.
- Kyle Russell, OF, Texas
A controversial player with an uppercut swing and possible holes, but another high-potential pick. He also is demanding a big bonus for his overall skill level.
- Chris Withrow, RHP, Midland Christian HS (TX)
Withrow is a good all-around pitcher, with a polished fastball that has room to grow, and a curveball that needs consistency.
- Ryan Dent, SS/2B, Wilson HS (CA)
The middle infield prospects are getting more numerous. Dent has very good speed, but no real defensive home. He might be a CF down the line.
- Brad Suttle, 3B, Texas
Suttle is a better all-around hitter than his teammate Russell, but has more limited power. He has signability issues like Russell, and may be expensive.
- James Simmons, RHP, UC Riverside
Simmons has an incredible fastball, but needs work on his secondary pitches. Could be over-drafted by someone else.
- J.P. Arencibia, C/1B, Tennessee
Arencibia pulled a muscle in his back and struggled this year. He’s a power hitter who could be stolen in the sandwich round, but he’s also unlikely to stick at catcher, which hurts him.
- Todd Frazier, 3B, Rutgers
Frazier has had some good power, but is an unorthodox hitter. He’s one of the harder hitters to place in this draft.
- Nathan Vineyard, LHP, Woodland HS (GA)
One last southpaw. This is one with great mechanics and who leans on his slider. Could be a lefty version of Brad Hennessey.
- Andrew Brackman, RHP, North Carolina State
Sure, it might be fun to have a tall pitcher in the same rotation as Lincecum, but injury and mechanical issues have made him a “bigger they are, the harder they fall” story in draft status.
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