With the draft a little more than a month and a half away, the college baseball season already past the halfway mark, and the high school in full stride, it’s time to take a look at the draft once again and explore the possible options not just in the first round but in rounds two through five as well.
Finishing Up the Big Board
Tanner Burns- A top 50 prospect come draft time, Burns flashes advanced feel for pitching for a HS pitcher. Has already filled in his undersized frame, he is pretty athletic for a pitcher with simple mechanics. He is armed with a low to mid-90s fastball that has some run and comes downhill even though he’s undersized. His power curveball has a knuckle-curve feel that flashes above average. Even though his change is lagging behind, his overall feel for pitching allows it to have huge projection. He kind of remind me with Beau Burrows and if the Giants take a shot at him it will probably be in the 2nd round, though he could potentially move up to the first. He’ll be a great prospect to develop even though he’s a bit old for a HS pitcher.
Tanner Houck- Houck’s stock has been as volatile as it gets at this point that he might be picked as high as just outside top 10 or be out of the 1st round entirely due to huge variance in his fastball velocity. From what I have seen, the fastball is a true plus pitch no matter what speed it is with its tremendous sink and coming from a low ¾ slot. The slider and change can be average pitches with the former being the better of the two. The mechanics are funky and the arm action looks scary but I don’t really see it being a red flag. I don’t think the Giants will draft him if they think that they can’t improve his secondary pitches to be a true starter because they have taken shots at a similar pitchers before (See: Bickford, Phil).
Trevor Rogers- I don’t really see him as true first round material, but Rogers has all the tools to be a top prospect. He has the height with huge projection, clunky but fixable mechanics and athleticism. His low-90s fastball has some tail but his excellent projection can allow it to pick up even more velocity. His curveball is projectable as above average with sharp break while his change is still far behind. He has some feel for his craft and his mechanics need a lot of work for him to have future average command. The Giants might not pick him because of the win-now situation that they are in and he might go to college to work further on his craft, making him a more difficult player to sign.
CJ Van Eyk- If the Giants pick a hitter in the 1st round, they might pick a pitcher at 2nd round and Van Eyk is a strong choice. A wiry pitcher with some projection in his frame, Van Eyk throws a lot of strikes but with great stuff which is uncommon for a HS pitcher. His fastball sits at low-90s but he will work his way up to throwing around 95 as he matures. His curveball flashes plus that sits above average in high-70s and his change is a future average pitch. With nice body control and clean mechanics, he projects above average command. The only knock against him is his age but I have seen that the Giants don’t mind drafting old prospects so he has a good shot to be drafted by them.
D.L. Hall- Hall’s stock has fallen and there are opinions that Mackenzie Gore might be the best prep lefty right now, but Hall is going to be a future stud and the Giants might have a stew on their hands if he’s available, which is unlikely. His fastball fluctuates from as low as 89 to as high as 96 MPH with plenty of run. His curveball is above average with sharp 1-7 break. He’s primarily a two-pitch pitcher right now so his change isn’t developed yet but projects to be average. The mechanics are clean but he tends to be inconsistent, raising questions with his athleticism. He might be a future #3 starter if properly developed. The Giants need a high ceiling pitching talent right now and Hall might be the one.
Sam Carlson- Another candidate for being drafted in the 2nd round, I have taken a liking with Carlson. He has the prototypical pitcher’s frame with room for maturity and some projection to be an innings eater. His fastball only sits in the low-90s but isn’t straight as it has great run and sink. His change features the same sink as his fastball and his slider now flashes above average with a sharp, two-plane with more vertical break. The mechanics are repeatable but the head whack worries me a bit. There’s not a lot of work to be done compared to a normal HS prospect and the Giants might want to have him with three above-average pitches and above-average command.
Joe Perez- An intriguing two-way prospect, I like Perez more as a pitcher even though he’s doing well as a hitter. What I like about him the most is that he’s mature in his frame even though he’s so young with a big fastball and little mileage on his arm. His fastball can reach as high as 98 MPH while sitting 93-96 with some tail. His curveball is more of a slurve in the low-80s with above-average projection but has a ways to go. Command is still a work in progress but with some mechanical cleanups and his very athletic frame, it can be average or more. I think the Giants won’t take a big risk with him but he’s like a nice piece of marble that you can sculpt into a very nice prospect.